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Help planning romantic getaway for my wife to CR or Mexico

Help planning romantic getaway for my wife to CR or Mexico

Old Feb 25th, 2014, 02:32 PM
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Help planning romantic getaway for my wife to CR or Mexico

Hello, I follow some of the posts but have never posted anything regarding a getaway. I know this is the group to help!
I would like to take my wife on a getaway to help her relax and rejuvenate after a long period of difficult times for her.
She loves outdoors, warm weather and exploration.
We've been to Belize once. Loved it but weather near Placencia was very hit and miss and mostly it was a miss! May return to do a secluded caye?

Thinking of Costa Rica--perhaps Osa? Maybe that or Manuel Antonio. Please give thoughts on a good location for rest, good exploring, wildlife, adventure and good food!

Any thoughts on what is a great place in Mexico would also be welcome. I don't think AI is for us. But something that is near a beach and yet we could day trip to explore ruins or go snorkeling. Baja? Cancun? Riviera Maya? I don't know the areas at all--seems like there's a lot to compare.

Again I want this to have outdoor activities but also nice accommodations.
Thinking if it's under 400 per night would be best but I know some places I initially looked at were $500 (those had meals)
5 -7 nights if Mexico or Belize, but 8-9 nights if it is Costa Rica

Thank you!!
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 07:36 PM
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We really like Tulemar Bungalows in Manuel Antonio; in Belize, we like Victoria House. If you want a second non beach destination in Costa Rica, you could check out Nayara or the Springs Resort and Spa. The Lost Iguana if you want a get away from it all jungly feeling.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 04:47 AM
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volcanogirl, Tulemar looks really nice. Is there a lot of wildlife in surrounding area and specific tours that you recommend?
A get away from it all vibe also has me leaning towards The Lost Iguana. But even still I'm wondering if there's something even more jungly you have stayed at? To feel totally unattached to sell phones, tv , etc
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 05:51 AM
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Hi Tripmaker,

I never been to Belize, however I think Costa Rica would be most likely to appeal to you, and I agree with Volcanogirl, Manuel Antonio is a great choice: beautiful beaches and rich wildlife. It is an ideal place to relax (there are SPAs too!) and enjoy a wide range of activities in the National Park (rafting, walking, mountain biking...). By the way, in Costa Rica you won't find many archaeological sites, and most of them are situated near San Jose. However, certainly one of the best and strangest thing to see is 'The Stone Spheres' (hundreds of monolithic sculptures made by human hands). In December, The Archeological Museum of the Stone Spheres just opened in Palmar Sur (Osa).

Baja don't have ruins, but there are nice prehistoric cave paintings. If you want to see archaeological sites near the coast in Mexico you'll need to go to Cancun/Riviera Maya - it is the same area - but most of the resorts are AI (optional). Maybe have a look at Isla Cozumel, it will be more peaceful than Cancun or Playa del Carmen and there are great snorkeling/diving spots!

Laurent
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 06:45 AM
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trip, Tulemar is fantastic, and we saw a lot of wildlife right there on the property - howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, sloths, and an aracari. They have their own beach - loved that a lot - free boogie boarding and kayaking if you want to. We did a tour of the park, the Damas mangrove tour, and the Villa Vanilla spice tour. The rooms/villas have kitchens which is convenient, and you can walk to a number of great restaurants nearby. The national park is beautiful and full of wildlife and also has a great beach. There are adventure activities too. Manuel Antonio Expeditions is a good company; I got the recommendation for them on this board.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 06:49 AM
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For even more get away from it all, Bosque del Cabo is great and has amazing wildlife and hiking, beautiful ocean views too. We saw all 4 kinds of monkeys there, sloths, toucans, scarlet macaws, coatis, and an anteater. Not enough power to run a blow dryer, kind of rustic elegance.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 06:51 AM
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Pura, I'd love to hear about the archeological sites near San Jose. Are there some you would recommend?
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 08:42 AM
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For exploring ruins, then you'd want the Yucatan peninsula, the "Mayan Riviera" on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico. Also better snorkeling that side.

That said, both Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific side are fun towns with lots to see and do and all kinds of different places to stay (not just All-Inclusive resorts) like B&B's, small local owned hotels, luxury resorts, condos, etc.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 10:50 AM
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If you want romantic and intimate, in Mexico I would look at the Riviera Maya starting with Akumal and all points south of there, including Tulum. White sand beaches, not too many megaresorts, and tons of daytime activities, everything from ruins to snorkeling in underground caves. It was in the jungle instead of the beach, but we really loved Selva Mariposa (on the road from Tulum to the Coba ruins). Private waterfall and plunge pool off the master bedroom. Sigh.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 11:22 AM
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What time of year?
I agree with RAC about Akumal and Tulum, headed back in May for 8 days.
Been to Costa Rica three times and over two dozen to Mexico, mainly Puerto Vallarta (7 times) and the rest in the Riviera Maya.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 03:31 PM
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I third Tulum for romantic. If so, look at La Zebra or Nueva Vida de Ramiro, for example.

Also, I think Osa in Costa Rica can be very romantic but definitely relaxing, wildlife, off the grid, etc. Of course, Bosque del Cabo is my favorite, but El Remanso (next door) could also fulfill your needs (it's maybe a bit more on the romantic side).
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 04:18 PM
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Here's a wildcard: The Lodge at Pico Bonito (northern coast of Honduras). Lovely, lovely place with an option for a private candlelight dinner on their deck built over a river. Plenty to do in the area.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 08:01 AM
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jamie 99: Checking into Riviera Maya earlier and Le Zebra did not have availability in March that spanned the days that would work. Did not see Nueva Vida de Ramiro.....
plumboy: I've been checking out Bosque del Cabo and El Remanso, limited availability at El Remanso.
I'm going to look into the place RAC mentions in Honduras, you would be the second person who mentioned the idea of a trip to Honduras today. The other was while at a bookstore in the travel section.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 09:24 AM
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Good morning! is great that you want to do something special for your wife, my advice as a "Costarricense" it would be Manuel Antonio, there are a lot of activities outdoors that you can do, hiking, horseback at the beach, swim, bird watching and more, beautiful beaches of course, the weather is most of the time warmth, I hope this will be useful for you, enjoy your trip!

If there is something else that I can do for you, just let me know.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 12:29 PM
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tripmaker, first pick your destination then worry about lodging. I usually stay in Akumal (like Hotel Akumal Caribe) but a couple of good friends really liked Cabanas Tulum, has AC from 7pm to 7am and breakfast is included if you are more interested in the Tulum area.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 02:01 PM
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I agree. Pick your destination first. Then you can find a place to stay. I wouldn't choose where I was going based on a hotel (well unless it was truly fabulous or unusual in some special way).
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 02:38 PM
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I'll dissent a little bit on the "pick the destination" first advice, but just a little.

If someone's looking for a relaxing/romantic atmosphere, then choice of lodging takes on an additional importance.

Btw, have you looked at places near Uvita like Tikivillas and Oxygen Villas?
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 05:44 PM
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Osa -- decided this would be best fit.
Looked at a variety of options and narrowed it to the list below. Anyone who has stayed at one of these and has input--or maybe has stayed at a coouple and can compare, I would appreciate any advice. I will be booking tomorrow.

Lookout-Inn Lodge near Corcovado (Monkey House is very open, they call it Monkey House for a reason! and good feel from people there)

Bosque del Cabo (so many good reviews--is this THE BEST for viewing wildlife passing through? )

El Remanso (may be the most romantic of these but only a string of 3 nights in one ocean view suite and then 1 additional night in a regular garden room. Still not certain if there is the abundance of wildlife here as some others??)

Nicuesa (Golfito I think--across the golfo Dulce, I like that they have seclusion, jungle, beach and many activities)

Iguana Lodge (Golfo Dulce side, loved the concept, has boogie boards, paddle boards, kayaks and tours--though to go to Corcovado is a full day)

Tiskita (between Pavones and Punta Banco)

Finca Exotica (removed, no electric in rooms but can recharge items in main area, vegetarian food--we eat seafood but no meat and were vegetarian for 20 years. Some remarked it was excellent for vegetarians)

Now that you see where I'm leaning if there's another that I've overlooked please make suggestions!
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 07:33 PM
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Of these, we've been to Bosque del Cabo and Iguana Lodge:

Wildlife: Bosque del Cabo wins hands down (unless you're bird nerds, in which case you can visit Bosque del Rio Tigre from Iguana Lodge and go crazy)

Food: About equal, but Iguana Lodge has more options

Romance: I'd have to give the edge to Iguana Lodge, with the new age vibe there

On-site hiking: Bosque del Cabo has the best trails on the Osa

Water-activities--Iguana Lodge is right on the beach, and is very close to Puerto Jimenez for boat tours and kayaking

Recommendation: Split your time between the two!
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Old Feb 28th, 2014, 04:31 AM
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Lapa Rios is another one that people seem to like. I agree with RAC about the wildlife at BdC. It was absolutely fantastic. I don't find it to be particularly romantic, more jaw dropping and amazing. And yes, they are known for their fantastic trails. If you're into hiking and wildlife, I would put it on your list. RAC has a nice idea regarding splitting up your time. I'd do BdC and then the beach of your choice. To me, a beach area is more relaxing so it would be a nice way to end your trip.
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