help with August plans

Jun 16th, 2003, 08:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 98
help with August plans

Could us some help with plans and order. This is what 2 adults and 2 kids ages 8 and 11 are planning for 14 days in August. Feel free to trash.
Days 1 and 2 Selva Verde in Chilamante
Days 3,4 and 5 Tabacon in Arenal
Days 6,7 and 8 El Apolo Dorado in Monteverde
Days 9,10,11,12 and 13 Si Como No in Manuel Antonio. Last night near airport. Renting a car for duration so travel times would be much appreciated.Also lookin for rafting trip not too tough for 8 year old. Thanks!!
belly is offline  
Jun 17th, 2003, 05:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Dear Belly, We did a very similar trip last year. Be sure to take the guided walk at La Selva Biological Station when you go to Selva Verde. We saw more there than on the lodge of the grounds.Also drove there from San Joseand then to Arenal. The drive from Arenal to Monteverde is interesting to say the least and then when you get there the road is just as awful. Also stayed at Sapo Dorado in a sunset suite which was really just a large room with a beautiful water view. Your kids will love Si Como No. We stayed at Hotel California but looked at Si Como No.You will have a wonerful time. I hate to quote driving times because so much depends on the weather and roads. Just be prepared for enormous pot holes going to Monteverde.My husband did a rafting trip from Selva Verde and he thinks an eight year old could handle that. We also took a boat ride on the Sarapiqui that was fun and we were able to see quite a few animals. The grounds of the property are beautiful. The meals are buffet style, all you can eat, but rather plain food.By the way we got a pretty good deal by just showing up although I would not recommend it if you have your heart set on it. We paid, I think, thirty five dollars a person per night but it included all three meals.Feel free to ask any more questions.
karenf is offline  
Jun 17th, 2003, 08:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 98
Dear Karenf
Thanks for all your help! Having some second thoughts about El Sapo Dorado after reading several posts on other sites about noise from neighbors. Thinking of Monteverde lodge instead?
Thanks for tip on price of Selve Verde and on La Selva walk. Belly
belly is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Dear Belly, Yes we could hear the people next door at Sapo.You did have the great view, though, but neither Monteverde Lodge or Sapo is close to the forest entrance. The other thing about Sapo is that the first morning they tried to charge us for the breakfast that is included. Also it is very skimpy, just toast and juice and coffee. you will find yourself ordering from the menu if you are needing more. Might not fill up kids. Tajke them to Johnnys for pizza and Stellas bakery for delicious sandwiches.If the Monteverde lodge had some amenities that the kids would like I would check into that. Dining room staff at Sapo not at all friendly. A good morning or a smile is nice, and I do speak some Spanish so it was not a language problem.It does have some grounds that the kids could use to run around,etc.We did have rain everyday at Selva but really loved it there.We saw lot of tiny colorful frogs right on the paths going to the dining room. Below the restaurant there is a small bar that is open to get cold cokes and sometimes ice cream is available. The rooms are very plain but you are not that hot with just fans.When we did the early morning hike at the biological station we saw monkeys, sloths, peccaries, snakes, tons of birds and other animalstoo numerous to remember.We also ate lunch there since it was just a little more and it was lunch time when the walk ended.We reserved it over the internet. You must reserve in advance, I think, and paid there. It is only about ten minutes by car from Selva Verde. Out of all the places we went to ny husband loved Selva Verde. Arenal was completely clouded over both days we were there. (Stayed at. Montana de Fuego) .
karenf is offline  
Jul 6th, 2003, 04:19 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 60
How funny.....after much research I am thinking of a very similar trip:

Arrive San Jose. Stay overnight

Fly to Tortuga Lodge for two nights

Fly back to San Jose and drive to Arenal for two nights

Drive down to Los Angeles Cloud Forest for a night

Drive down to Manuel Antonio, Si Como No, for 5 nights.

Then, trying to decide between driving back to SJ or flying to catch a 12:45 flight back.

I have two 14 year olds....too bad our time at Si Como No won't overlap....we get there on the 14th.

By the way....from Los Angeles, for 12 nights for four, our trip is costing 8,000 doing it myself. That includes an extra 1000 for tours and and an assumed 900 for food. What does yours run?

jdla is offline  
Jul 6th, 2003, 08:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,441
This thread was started a while ago and I hadn't seen it before. I just wanted to add my two cents about Monteverde Lodge. You will not be disappointed in the food. Costa Rica Expeditions owns this lodge and they have wonderful food whether it is at the tent camp or on the river camp or at Monteverde Lodge. The grounds there are lovely also and you can get to Finca Ecologica easily from there. For rafting info go to They are an excellent rafting company and their web site gives you an idea of what the rivers are like and the minimum ages for them.

To Jim,
My husband and I spent 10 days with a private guide/driver for a total of $3,000 plus $1,000 air fare.
Suzie2 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2003, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 60
Thanks suzie. I don't think I'm too far off....we're staying in nice places (more expensive than I thought it would be, though), we have four, we're renting an suv for 10 days, and the 8000 includes 2400 in airfare. Overall, we thought Costa Rica would be less expensive, but the hotels and tours really cost. With two teens, we thought that we would balance the mud, rain, and bugs by staying in nice places with air conditioning and nice pool.


jdla is offline  
Jul 7th, 2003, 08:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 800
Jim, your cost is just right for what you are doing. We are going for 2 weeks in August and staying in nice places, with a large SUV for the whole time and our cost (2 adults and 1 9-year old) is about $7,500 including airfare, food, day trips etc. This still compares very favorably with our vacations in other places (for example, we spent 2 weeks on Kauai last year and it was much more expensive, even though we rented condos instead of staying at hotels and prepared our own meals at least half the time).
Iza is offline  

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