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HELP with Costa Rica Itinerary in a Hurry!

Old Jan 14th, 2014, 06:48 PM
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HELP with Costa Rica Itinerary in a Hurry!

We have openings in Costa Rica but they are going fast and have limited dates at this late booking.
We as travelers have flexibility in February and are trying to align all schedules.

We would like to fly into San Jose and stay the first night nearby: Pura Vida maybe?
Then drive early morning to Osa Peninsula and stay at:

Bosque del Cabo for 3 nights
Lookout Lodge for 3 nights
Back to Pura Vida for 2 nights and see some of Arenal area.

Does this seem too tight? Other options:

1. Should we not stay a total of 6 nights in accomodations tha are similar in surroundings (Bosque has only garden cabinas available and would be surrounded by jungle similar to Lookout Lodge)?

2. We have the option of skipping Lookout Lodge and staying 2 nights in Cabina overlooking ocean and 2 nights in garden cabina surrounded by jungle and removed from main area by 7 minute walk over suspension bridge. We could start still at Pura Vida and finish their or nearby San Jose.

3. Also: Playa Nicuesa (also Osa) has openings that could allow us to stay the entire time in the same cabin without moving about

We could fly from San Jose to Jimenez but I like the idea of having a vehicle to get to some different tours during our stay.

Any suggestions or experiences we should include are welcome.
2 adults travelling, no children

Thank you! Have to confirm rooms within the day -- sorry for the last minute plea!
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Old Jan 14th, 2014, 09:47 PM
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Because time is tight I will reply...although I'm no expert I have been at Bosque del Cabo recently. Do four nights there. It is worth it. Unless you have a real fear of heights, you will get used to the suspension bridge and it is not a difficult walk. And who knows, they may have a cancellation.

You don't need a car. If you decide to do tours outside BdeC they will provide transportation. Fly to Puerto Jimenez; you can rent a car when you get back to San jose.

I don't know Lookout Lodge but if you want to do arenal you will have to skip it. Arenal is not a day trip. So basically with your schedule plan just two places plus airport ends of the trip.
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Old Jan 14th, 2014, 11:05 PM
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Thank you emmajm:
If we spend 4 nights at Bosque we have the option of all 4 earlier in the garden cabina or split it between the garden cabina and a classic cabina with ocean view--that option is available to us towards the end of February.
Do you have a suggestion about that since you've been there?
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 12:35 AM
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We stayed in an ocean view cabin at BdC and loved it. If you can spend time in one, you should grab it. The views are gorgeous and those cabins stay cooler since they get the ocean breeze. I personally wouldn't drive to the Osa; you have a short time frame, and that would eat up a lot of valuable time. In the short drive from the "airport" in Puerto Jimenez to BdC, we encountered cattle in the road, a few small streams, trees in the road, etc. We were glad to have someone else doing the driving when they picked us up. The Arenal area is fantastic with great adventure activities, the volcano, the natural hot springs, and the waterfall. I'd take a look at splitting time between BdC and also staying in Arenal. The country is so diverse that it's nice to see two completely different areas.
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 05:06 AM
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I agree; I wouldn't drive, especially with your short time frame. My husband and I once split our time between an ocean cabana and a garden cabina, and were glad we did. We liked both, but yes, the ocean cabina has a cooling breeze, and it's less of a walk to the main lodge. It wasn't difficult to move. We had everything ready, and it was all moved while we were off hiking.

I wouldn't stay in more than two areas.
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 05:16 AM
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Based on the responses I will book Bosque for 4 nights. We will arrive 2 -3 days prior and from airport head towards Arenal, return car at airport and take plane to Osa.
I'm thinking of staying at:

1. Casa DeCary in Arenal
2. Pura Vida in Alejuela -- 10 minutes San Jose(but how far to get to hanging bridges from there?)
3. or Monte Terras in Tronodoro (west edge of Lake Arenal)

Any input--where has anyone else stayed and thought it was enjoyable, clean and had good proximity to activities?

We would leave from one of these and go to airport for Osa
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 05:48 AM
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If you still want to be away from it all, but not so isolated in the Arenal area, the Lost Iguana is nice. It's very close to the lake and right next to the Hanging Bridges. Comfortable but has a nice jungly feel to it.
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 06:13 AM
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If you're talking about the Hanging Bridges in the Arenal area, it's about three hours from San Jose.
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 06:57 AM
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Yes, I would take the two days in a classic cabina even if you have to move to the garden.
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 12:43 PM
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Thank you all for the input--
we booked 4 nights at Basquo and they had a deluxe cabina with ocean view open up. We will start with 3 days in Arenal and return to San Jose the day before flying out just to peek around with the day we have!

Now I need an Arenal spot!
I saw Lost Iguana but feel I'm already doing a pretty extravagant stay in Bosque and want to spend the bulk remaining on tours. So I'm thinking

1. Villa Eco Arenal
2. termalas del Bosque
3. Villa Vilma
4. Monte Terras

Any knowledge of these?

Thank you--I have international and flights to Osa booked
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 01:51 PM
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Have not heard of any of those, but Silencio del Campo is another popular spot. I believe it's budget friendly.
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Old Jan 16th, 2014, 05:29 PM
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Great itinerary. I haven't heard of those spots either, sorry.
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Old Jan 18th, 2014, 06:51 PM
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Stayed at Silencio del Campo two days ago.Very pleasant, central location. Lovely hot springs, good vegetarian dinner entrees. Probably 20 to 30 percent less than Lost Iguaga. Ask about any discounts, AAA rates, etc. Even in high season, it appears that they don't like rooms to go vacant.
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Old Jan 19th, 2014, 09:49 AM
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Have you looked at the Arenal Observatory Lodge.
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