help with geography

Old Dec 19th, 2003, 06:58 AM
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help with geography

Hi everybody,
I am driving this summer through Costa Rica and am planning the following path--San Jose to Arenal to Tamarindo to Monteverde to Quepos--13 day trip. Does that make geographic sense? It is hard to tell from the maps b/c of the location of Monteverde. The other option is San Jose to Arenal to Monteverde to Tamarindo to Quepos but I thought I would break up the beach towns with Monteverde and it appeared to be "on the way" from Tamarindo to Quepos. Your thoughts and how long does it take to drive between each place? Thanks in advance.
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Old Dec 19th, 2003, 07:54 AM
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It is a long ride up that mountain to get to Monteverde. I would do it from Arenal then on to Tamarindo. You will be doing a lot of driving. CR is a lot bigger than you think once you get on the road. CR is slightly road challenged LOL but they are getting better.
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Old Dec 19th, 2003, 08:26 AM
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Suzie2 you are the best--thanks. Because of the amount of driving,we are considering skipping either Monteverde or Tamarindo, help us decide what to do!!!
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Old Dec 20th, 2003, 07:50 AM
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Considering the little time you have, I would skip Tamarindo but it depends on what you want out of your trip. Tamarindo is beach. Manuel Antonio is a combination of many things-beach, rainforest, mountains. The beach is not as easy to get to from many of the hotels but the ones in the park are nice. It is monkey heaven.
All of us on this board can only give you the best info we can. Ultimately, you are the one who has to make the decision based on what you have learned and what you are looking for in your trip. Costa Rica is an amazing place that changes constantly depending on your location. You won't be able to see it all in one short trip.
Tamarindo-in the drier area of CR. This area is considered dry forest and the trees are slightly sparser and shorter (reminds me of Texas where I lived for 5 years). Monteverde-lots of mountains, cloud forest. Very lush with lots of epiphytes (sp?).
Fortuna-slightly less forested because it is in the valley but a short hike up into the mountains where it will be lusher. A live volcano going booooom!
Manuel Antonio- beautiful vistas of the ocean from many of the lodges. I have seen pods of dolphins on a couple of occassions. Basically built on the side of a mountain. There are tons of monkeys and other critters. There are a limited amount of hotel/lodges closer to the beaches that you can stay in. Parque Manuel Antonio is very interesting and even more so with a guide. Lots of green here also.
Ally or Iza could give you more info on the Tamarindo area than I can. I have spent more time just up the road in the Conchal/Flamingo area as well as up near the Nicaraguan border.
Happy planning.
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 01:35 PM
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suzie2--thanks a lot for your wonderful advice!! after more thinking we are going to do arenal, monteverde and manuel antonio--after all we live in miami and see plenty of beach--Tamarindo next time--thanks again
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