Help with Costa Rica Trip

Old May 12th, 2014, 04:39 PM
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Help with Costa Rica Trip

My hubby and I are planning a week long trip to CR at the end of July/ beg of August and would love some suggestions on must sees and hotel suggestions.
3 things we'd like to see/do:
Volcano
Cloud forest
Beach - one that offers great surfing (for him) with a beautiful beach (for me)

What is the best route to see these? Suggestions on where to stay?
For hotels we prefer upscale smaller places with character instead of big resorts.

Is there something other than these things we shouldn't miss while in CR?
Thanks for any advice!
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Old May 12th, 2014, 07:30 PM
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The Arenal and Monteverde areas are a nice combo for volcano and cloud forest. Both areas offer a lot of adventure activities. In the Arenal area, we like the Lost Iguana for jungly rustic and Nayara or The Springs Resort and Spa for upscale, probably Nayara for you since you don't want a larger resort. The Springs has a beautiful river that runs through the property and gorgeous hot springs, as well as tubing and kayaking, so might be worth checking out. We stayed at Fonda Vela in Monteverde; that area tends to be more rustic, but we had a newer junior suite that had a nice view, a small frig, and a bathtub. It's one of the hotels closest to the reserve. For beach, we love Tulemar Bungalows in Manuel Antonio, but you might prefer a surfing town. Check it out and see what you think. They have their own beach and tons of wildlife like monkeys and sloths on the property. If you only have a week, I would take a look at just doing two locations since it takes a long time to get from place to place.
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Old May 13th, 2014, 06:38 AM
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You might find that the SKytrek and/or Arenal Hanging Bridges (1/5 mile from Lost Iguana; www.hangingbridges.com ) fill your need for being up in the trees without the long sidetrip to Monteverde.
The beaches of Uvita would be perfect for your sand/surf portion of your trip. Dominical for surfing, and almost anything farther south for a beautiful swim day (check out Marino Ballena National Park, Playa Ventanas, etc.). There are myriad sidetrips and tours in the area, too, plus a wide range of lodging. http://www.anywherecostarica.com/destinations/uvita
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Old May 13th, 2014, 06:40 AM
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By the way, you do understand that there's no volcanic activity at Arenal right now? You might see a tiny bit of gas venting from the top, but it's more a place for scenery and the tourism activities that have built up around La Fortuna.
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Old May 16th, 2014, 02:04 PM
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Thanks so much for the really great suggestions! Volcanogirl, these hotels are perfection!
Sylvia, thanks for the great beach reco's. And that was my next question about the volcano - bummer...!
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Old May 16th, 2014, 03:38 PM
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Naw, it's still cool! Very scenic...and given the type of volcano, be glad it's not erupting. The surrounding area is also lovely. (By the way, the rooms of Lost Iguana have terrific volcano/jungle views.)
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Old May 21st, 2014, 07:09 AM
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True! Thanks for the tip with Lost Iguana..it looks amazing (those are some crazy bedspreads ;-)
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Old May 23rd, 2014, 04:05 AM
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JES, sometimes the Lost Iguana offers specials so be sure to ask if you decide to book there.
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Old May 23rd, 2014, 05:37 AM
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I definitely will, thanks for that tip!
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Old May 23rd, 2014, 06:33 AM
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Have you booked your tickets yet? Southwest Nicaragua has all of those--San Juan del Sur for beach surfing, Mombacho for volcano and cloud forest, many other volcanoes.
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Old May 23rd, 2014, 07:43 AM
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We jumped on a groupon for Lost Iguana (after reading Volcanogirl's many posts on La Fortuna); although it's not a current offer, they do indeed have other specials. Also, if budget conscious, check with Groupon: they currently have offers for Volcano Lodge & Springs (Arenal), Rio Celeste Hideaway, and two in Manual Antonio, the Hotel California and The Ocean Club: for example, http://www.groupon.com/deals/ga-rio-...deaway-hotel-4
(Go to the "Getaways" tab and browse.)
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