Help family with 3 children

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Jan 10th, 2005, 06:51 AM
  #1
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Help family with 3 children

We'd like to book for April and have been researching. Our children are 7,9 and 11. I'd like to avoid renting a car so should we use a tour company like CostaRicaExpeditions?If not, how do I go about lining up drivers to get us around. Last, any tips on best places to target with children and best places to stay would be truly appreciated.
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Jan 10th, 2005, 09:23 AM
  #2
 
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Hello. If you are the same person asking on this forum about a cabin at Bosque del Cabo, I've already sent you a message about the Osa and wonderful La Paloma on Drake Bay, which is a great place for kids. On our first trip to CR 2 years ago, I organized our itinerary but asked Costa Rica Expeditions to handle all transportation arrangements and we also hired one of their guides for a 3-day trip to Monteverde and Arenal. CRE is fantastic and everything worked like clockwork. The guide we had, Luis, was great; without him we would have seen very few animals and birds, because they're hard to spot in Monteverde and Arenal. It cost extra to hire him and a driver for 3 days and to have CRE set up transportation, but it was WELL WORTH the price for the peace of mind and added fun. We also stayed at CRE's tent camp on the Osa, an unforgettable experience that your kids would love because of the adventure of getting there, small plane that lands on a beach and then a hike to the camp, and especially the platform in the trees, though my daughter was disappointed that the sea was too rough for swimming. Her favorite spot of all the ones we visited was La Paloma on Drake Bay. The snorkeling may not be as good as in Mexico, Belize, etc because there are fewer fish and the water can be cloudy, but the whole experience was wonderful. We saw whales and dolphins from the boat, giant sea turtles in the water, lots of fish, and had a great picnic on the beach. My daughter was thrilled to see the volcano erupt in Arenal, but many people go there and never see the volcano at all, so like you I didn't know whether to go there or not. I'm glad we went (since we were lucky) but on our second trip to CR we aren't going back to anywhere we've been before except Drake Bay and the Osa, our favorites. You might also check out a rafting trip on the REventazon with CRE. We had a great time and CRE is really obsessive about safety, which I appreciate in traveling with kids. You will need to stay in or near San Jose at least one night to do this. CRE's Tortuga Lodge in Tortuguero is also great for kids, apparently. Friends of ours with kids the age of yours went there (with our CRE guide, Luis) and loved it. We didn't go there last time but are visiting it next month so I will post a message about it.
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Jan 10th, 2005, 06:20 PM
  #3
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Emily, I hadn't posted before but am so appreciative of this first round of information. I continue to piece it together and was happy to see your CRE recommendation. I also have friends that felt the same and also hinted at not making Arenal the priority. Many thanks. You'll hear from me again.
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Jan 10th, 2005, 10:35 PM
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Dear Chris, I'm sure that whatever you choose, you and your family will have a great time in Costa Rica!
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Jan 21st, 2005, 06:44 PM
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i am planning a trip in march thanks for all the info
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Jan 21st, 2005, 07:58 PM
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Hi, We have 3 children 6,8 and 10 and will be in Costa Rica 2/2-2/9. I have done a lot of research and have a few thoughts for you to consider. We were on a tour to Europe last year and i have to admit that I was looking for more leisure time and more flexibility than an experience of moving 20-30 people around for a couple of weeks. We are doing our own thing with the idea we will hook specific guides where needed. We are flying in a staying at the Bougainvillea (recommended by Fodors). We are driving to Arenal for two nights- one at Tabacon Resort and one at the Observatory lodge-- I admit to some doubts given the weather and not seeing the volcano itself but the resort will be worth I think. From there we are driving down to Manual Antonio and staying at the hotel Costa Verde before spending our final nigth back at the hotel bougainvillea. I think we can handle the roads and hopefuly get a good feel for the country, There is a ton to take in. Good luck!
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Jan 23rd, 2005, 05:53 AM
  #7
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Dineroguru, please keep me posted as our children are roughly the same ages. I, too, am not sure whether or not to start are trip at Arenal or Montverde before heading down to MA. I also keep reading that Tortuga Lodge is great for children. Let me know how things work out.
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Jan 23rd, 2005, 01:19 PM
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we just returned from CR with our 2 kids-15 & 23. We went on a tour with 12 other people with OAT. We have traveled a lot without kids (we have on more--26--who has also hiked the whole AT) throughout Europe, Israel and US and have never taken a tour. We were very happy not to drive in CR and found it relaxing and adventuresome. We only briefly saw Arenal 2/3s of the way and then it was totally cloud covered, but it was still good to be in the area, experience the hot springs and do the haning bridges hike.
 
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