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nuance Mar 31st, 2005 06:21 AM

HELP with JULY Itinerary
here's the plan. Previous help has been invaluable.

Th arrive SJO at 12pm-drive to [email protected]
F [email protected] ride or canopy tour
S drive to malpais stay @milarepa
S drive to montezuma stay @ el sano banano
M el sano again
T drive back to Alajuela stay @ Xandari
W Xandari-LaPaz/Poas
Th Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
F drive to PVdT/Manzanillo stay at Shwanda
S Shwanda
S drive back to SJ
M depart at 1pm for New Orleans

My husband wants a couple of surf days, we both love the beach. We laso want to see some of what makes CR so special. I teach and love butterflies and nature. Any suggestions?

nuance Apr 1st, 2005 10:30 AM

please help. we would like to take care of all reservations

Iza Apr 1st, 2005 12:04 PM

OK, since nobody is responding: I would stay in either Malpais or Montezuma or both. There is no point in splitting 3 nights between 2 hotels. If you have a car you can easily visit Montezuma from Malpais or vice versa. Surfing should be better in Malpais than Montezuma.
I am not that familiar with the Atlantic side - hopefully someone else will chime in with comments.

Iza Apr 1st, 2005 12:53 PM

Sorry, wanted to say "but not both" instead of "or both".

jlh370 Apr 1st, 2005 02:21 PM

I was actually going to say the same thing. I like your taste in hotels! We are staying 2 nights in Milarepa, 2 nights at El Sano Banano and 1 night at Blue Jay Lodge.

If you drove to Malpais and only stayed one night, you wouldn't get hardly any time there. I would stay at one or the other.

shillmac Apr 1st, 2005 05:43 PM

I'd suggest getting to PV and Shawanda a day earlier so you can stay an extra night. You are going to really like this area, I think. It's a great place to relax at the end of your trip. You need at least 3 nights here!

nuance Apr 2nd, 2005 06:53 AM

So, should we skip PVdS or LaPaz or Poas. I wasn't sure. I teach young kids and really wanted to see the butterflies by LaPaz and share that experience with them. Can you canoe, ride down the sarapiqui river? We are definately more beach people than anything. I value your opinion from previous boards.


shillmac Apr 2nd, 2005 07:55 AM

I was thinking that, if you returned to Alajuela early Tuesday (arriving in the early afternoon), that you could enjoy Xandari that afternoon and overnight. On Wednesday you can explore Poas and La Paz, perhaps taking in a Doka Coffee Plantation tour as well.

Thursday a.m. depart Xandari early, drive straight to PVdS, have them take you down the river and back on a jungle cruise--you'll see a little wildlife--it's just a relaxing ride about an hour, maybe a few minutes longer. Have lunch, head to Puerto Viejo/Manzanillo, arriving around 4:00 in the afternoon on Thursday.

This gives you Thursday night there, full day Friday, full day Saturday. 3 nights.

Sunday you can arrange entirely to your liking. Return to SJO early, visit Sarchi for souvenirs, or take in a couple of museums in San Jose itself. Or spend time traveling back the main highway through Braulio Carillo, stopping for the aerial tram; or take the less traveled road, turning south at Siquirres and exploring the country around Turrialba including Guayabo Monumento Nacional--very interesting. We did this one year on our return to SJO and had a great day in a part of the country where most tourists don't travel.

Whatever sounds good to you! All would be fun and interesting. You could even hang out in PV longer if you really like it there, then drive straight back to San Jose around 2:00 in the afternoon.

nuance Apr 2nd, 2005 02:33 PM

Your replies are so thorough...thanks tons. couple ???'s. Is the drive from the airport on a noon flight to arenal no big deal before dark? Any suggestions on where to stay our last night? We'll have stayed 2 nights at Xandari. Also, is it better to stay at Mialrepa and visit Montezuma or Sano Banano and commute to Malpais/ST? Finally, What are the exact insurances I will need when renting the 4X4? !Gracias por su ayauda!

RufusTFirefly Apr 2nd, 2005 03:12 PM

nuance--assuming no unusual problems, you would have plenty of time to drive to Arenal if your flight lands in SJ at noon.

shillmac Apr 2nd, 2005 06:13 PM

We stayed at MalPais and went into Montezuma during the day--3 days. Once to hike the falls, another to go to Cabo Blanco Reserve (it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays), and another day to hike Cabo Blanco (since it had been closed the day before!). MalPais area is very quiet at night (and Milarepa is further from "town center" than our lodging at Tropico Latino. If you want more nightlife, stay in Montezuma. If you don't mind turning in early, I'd opt for the more tranquil area of Santa Teresa.

I never know what all the insurance is called. I'm sure someone else can help you with that. There are people who pay way more attention to the specifics than I do! I DO know that our insurance (platinum card?) pays a portion of it (about $5-7 daily), so we decline that segment (whatever it is called). We just do whatever is mandatory. . .

Agree with Rufus you should have no problem getting to Arenal before dark. We've arrived at 2:00 and made it.

For your last night, try Las Orquideas. It's a moderately priced hotel in Alajuela (about 10-15 min from the airport). We find it to be a good place to relax in the evening, meet other travelers, and have a wonderful breakfast in the a.m.

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