help ME!!!! please

Old Dec 15th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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help ME!!!! please

I am completely confused. My wife and I want to travel to Costa Rica for 14 actual days in the second week of January 2008 BUT seem to be screwing up the whole thing. We need help to get our thoughts together and tap into your collective experiences to work all this stuff out.

we live in Chicago and can travel any time of the day/week/month.

we want to travel non stop to whatever airport gets us to Fortuna in the least stressful manner. We would like to stay at the Iguana spa BUT also want to take lots of the side trips SO we are conflicted as to whether to stay in town or the spa. If staying in town we would like a good hotel to stay at, clean sheets a/c showers the normal stuff, we don't mind staying at inns if its ok.

from Fortuna we want to go to Monteverde to do the skywalk thing and whatever else the place has to offer. We were told that we could take some kind of jeep boat trip across the lake but don't see how to do this. Also we don't know how to get around in Monteverde reliably

from monteverde we want to go to manual antonio for some reason BUT we don't know why as we got kinda drunk with the folks telling us to go there?? anyone with domain knowledge or a better waypoint from Monteverde please help.

from manual antonio we want to go to the guanacaste area ( I don't but the wife does) to go to the beach, I would prefer to gnaw my own arm off than this but..... Anyway if anyone has a great place to stay while we are here OR how to get there, please help out.

from guanacaste we want to magically get to whatever airport will get us directly NONSTOP back to Chicago.

please help as we think we have left this kinda late to start, I don't mind throwing money at this provided it is not wasted. I DO NOT want to hire a car and wonder if the buses are as good as they say they are???

thanks all
majorkong is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2007, 05:15 AM
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United offers a direct flight out of ORD on Sat to Liberia. It just began this month, we took AA last month, flew from ORD to DFW, then on to LIR. Go to, and get yourself a couple of maps to familiarize yourself with the lay of the times are not like here in the US....the back roads are brutal, and sometimes the only way to get to where you are going...even if you don't want to "hire a car", renting one is how you are going to see what you want to see, what with the side trips you want to take....Just get there, rent a small SUV, take your maps and explore!
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Old Dec 16th, 2007, 05:52 AM
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If you fly to Liberia, that it's there in Guanacaste, and you can search for hotels here in Fodor's for that area. If you rent a car, it will take you 4-5 hours to get from there to Arenal (La Fortuna). If you fly to the San Jose airport (SJO) from Liberia it will take you 3 hours to get from SJO to Arenal. I think you were refering to Lost Iguana when you said Iguana spa, or maybe you were thinking Tabacon resort and spa? They are both very beautiful (Tabacon more luxurious and closer to town, but right at the feet of the volacano). You can also ck Montana de Fuego and Arenal Paraiso to be even closer to La Fortuna. Be aware that La Fortuna is a small town with some restaurants and gift shops. Once in any of these hotels, you can arrange through their tour desk transportation to Monteverde. Also here they have mentioned Interbus? as a good reliable form of transportation if you don't want to drive in CR. Hope this helps.
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Old Dec 16th, 2007, 03:11 PM
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thank you blueorchid and rodman. We will take your excellent advice. We are thinking about renting a car now.
thanks again.

majorkong is offline  
Old Dec 17th, 2007, 10:30 AM
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Major Kong...

I spent 3 nights at the Lost Iguana and really miss the place particularly the staff! Anytime you want to do a side trip just go to the reception desk and they put it together and you get a voucher for your trip. Totally painless process!

They even set up the jeep-boat-jeep trip right there. I was picked up by a driver, taken to the boat, the guy takes care of your luggage and once on the other side of the lake you have a driver that picks you up and deposits you at your hotel in Monteverde!

The whole trip including transporation has been wonderful. I will take the Interbus from my hotel in Monteverde tomorrow morning and ride back to Alajuela near the airport for $29.00. Not a bad price to me!

Hope this helps you in your decision about where to stay in Arenal...Hanging Bridges you just ride in one of the golf carts up the hill from Lost Iguana.

If you want a nice affordable hotel that is kid friendly in Monteverde then I would suggest the Poco a Poco Hotel. The service and quality of food is good plus a heated swimming pool. You can probably get the room for 80.00 or less for a double including breakfast.

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Old Dec 17th, 2007, 10:59 AM
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It should really only take about 3- 3-1/2 hrs from Liberia to Arenal. The roads are paved although pot holes are always a problem. There could be a landslide if there have been heavy rains. We went past a recent one this summer but they had cleared it pretty quickly.

If you have time, stop at the German bakery for some good coffee.
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 05:52 AM
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As for your questions, I can only answer about the jeep-boat-jeep and monteverde questions since we did that.

We booked the Jeep-Boat-Jeep through for $25 pp. You don't have to worry about anything it is door-to-door service.

However, while in Arenal we saw lots of tour operators in town that were booking it as well. So you can always wait til you get there and book it too.

As for Monteverde, they have taxis (SUV Taxi's) to get around town. We were in Monteverde (Hotel Fonda Vela) and it was $5 to get to town (Santa Elena). So it is not costly and taxis are abundant. We would ask our hotel, the restaurant, shop (wherever you are) to call the taxi and they arrive in a min. or 2. It is really simple - don't worry!

Also, when you book the Hanging Bridges or Canopy Tours in Monteverde, transportation is included. SO you are covered for that portion. We booked with Selvatura through our hotel but they have Selvatura offices in town. There is also a anywherecostarica office in town along with lots of other travel agents to book all your tours, transfers, etc.

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