Help with Costa Rica vacation

Old Mar 31st, 2005, 04:28 AM
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Help with Costa Rica vacation

Hi, we are a family of 4,(mom, dad, 2 daughters 16 and 14) traveling to CR July 1-16. I am getting overwhelmed by all the info and have found myself getting closer to our departure date w/ no definitive plans.

I have some questions.....any 1st hand experience with the horseback ride from Arenal to Monteverde?......Is it doable to get from Tortuguero directly to the Pacuare River (we want to do an overnight trip)without going back to SJ in between?

Since I am booking everything myself..I am unsure how to arrange all the transportation between destinations.

The clock is ticking...I need help....I have many more questions, but that will do for now. Thank you, this is a great forum, very helpful. Kim
danny2403 is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2005, 05:52 AM
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Had our first trip to Costa Rica two weeks ago- amazing. Didn't do horseback, but we traveled from La Fortuna (Arenal)to Monteverde via the 1/2 hr boat trip followed by 2 hrs in 4x4's. Beautiful scenery, it was my favorite ride of our 13 day trip (don't know if you can do it in the rainy season). It's a 5 1/2 hr ride by car- haven't heard of going by horseback, must be a long ride.

We made all our arrangements through Holbrook Travel, who uses a Costa Rican co called Green Heritage Tours. Both can be found online. The Green Heritage people are great, friendly, always early for pick-up, and the one time we decided to leave a day early they had a driver to us within hours. Hope that helps- have fun!
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Old Mar 31st, 2005, 06:50 AM
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Contact Desafio or Sabines Smiling Horses for the trip between Arenal and Monteverde.

For your other problem. You could possibly make the rafting trip in time but you would most likely have to skip the breakfast stop. Sansa gets in at 7:35, if you have a transport there to pick you up there should be no problem. You would just be driving while the others are eating. I would contact the rafting companies to see what their transport situation is. Costa Rica Expeditions could most likely do this and they have a lodge in Tortuguero. They could help with the flight to Tortuguero and back and have a van there to take you to the river. Rios Tropicales would be another good company to try. Big problem here is that flights do get delayed and or cancelled which would cause you to miss out on the raft trip altogether. I doubt if you would get your money back.

Another option you might think about is your first night in San Jose and going on the raft trip the next day. Instead of going back to San Jose you could go on to the Caribbean side (you are there anyway) to a lodge for the night. Your lodge up in Tortuguero could help you arrange transport from the lower Caribbean lodge to Limon and then the boat transport up to Tortuguero. From Tortuguero you could take the boat back to Limon and then take a transport to Arenal rather than go back to San Jose and then to Arenal although it would probably be quicker to fly/drive. Your Tortuguero lodge could most likely help with this also. Either Costa Rica Expeditions or Rios Tropicales could help with arranging for a taxi from the rafting take out to your lodge on the Caribbean side.

Costaricatransfers has good van transport prices. Don't forget to ask the hotels and lodges that you want to stay in for help also. You aren't alone out there. Many of them do it all the time.
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 03:24 AM
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Thank you Momlyn,

Can you tell me a little bit about your trip; activities, lodging etc. Where is Holbrook Travel based. I was trying to save money by booking everything myself, but am having 2nd thoughts. Thanks for the info. Kim
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 05:35 PM
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Email Ralph at and he can take care of all your transfer needs. Very reasonable and very reputable company. Tons of great reviews on these folks and they have excellent service. Will set up private transfers, hotels, tours or whatever you need. Other option is to do Interbus or Fantasy Tours which are semi-private transfer services on scheduled times. My guess is you will need private transfer, but worth it

Never done the Arenal to Monteverde horseback, but want to. Best advice is to go with the best. Don't want someone who overworks their horses. Someone will chime in to help you here

For Paquare River....assume going rafting. Use Rio Tropicales. Great trip I did 3 yrs ago. Option for overnight on their jungle lodge right on river. Very cool looking place. Above all very safe and one of best in that business. Hope this helps. You are going to have a blast. Doing my 4th trip in June.
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