Help with my 11 day Trip!

Jul 11th, 2002, 10:36 AM
  #1  
Kasia18
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Help with my 11 day Trip!

I was hoping that I may get some help/guidance with the trip I'm planning to Costa Rica in September. We are going for our Honeymoon!

I know it's the "Green Season" but we've decided to "go for it" anyway. I have been reading alot about the weather and it seems it's pretty unpredictable. It is of coarse the tropics!

Detailed below is the trip I have planned thus far. Please give me feedback on itinerary, length of time in each place, accomodations and so on.....

Arrive in San Jose. Depending on what time we arrive either stay overnight in San Jose or move on to our 1st destination:

1st destination: Arenal/La Fortuna.
3 days 2 nights. Staying at Tabacon Hot Springs Resort. While there enjoy spa services and the hot springs as well as take a trip to the Volcano. Also heard you can go white water rafting?

We are not sure if we are going to take the trip to Monteverde. Heard it's a long bumpy ride with not much to see/do. Also heard it's damp and freezing - not my idea of fun! The only thing we would do there is a zip cord tour or sky trek on suspension bridges?? Is it worth the trip for 2 days or should we just skip it all together??? HELP -Suggestions

2nd Destination: Tamarindo
4 days 3 nights. Staying at Cala Luna. This is pretty much beach area so I think we are going to rent a car and explore some beaches and neighboring towns. What else is their to do in this reagion? Heard the weather is usually nice even in the rainy season.

3rd destination: Manuel Antonio
4 days 3 nights. Staying at Tulemar Bungalows. I heard Si Como No is like a weird disneyland. Friends of ours did not recommended it. We are going to do a quick trip to Quepos and also visit Manuel Antonio Park.

In terms of getting to each of these regions, we would like to fly as it would be quicker but what are our transportation options?

Woul love to hear suggestions and tips!
Thanks!!

Head back to San Jose to catch a flight back to New York.
 
Jul 11th, 2002, 12:31 PM
  #2  
Michael
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Don't worry about the green season. I was there in early June and only a few afternoon showers. Mostly sunny.

I travelled to San Jose and the Pacific Central Coast. I would spend only enough time in San Jose to enter and exit the country. It's intersting to see, but crowded and air pollution abounds. Travel to various towns throught out the country is reasonable, about $65 PP each way, versus 5-6 hours at best driving, at least to the Pacific Coast. Driving, though, you can stop off at the coffee plantations in the central valley, or take a tour from SJ, or rent a car.

The coast is beautiful, as is the whole country! See as much as you can, get down to the Osa Peninsula if possible. Arenal Volcano is a don't miss. Best part for me was surfing and deep sea fishing! Almost a guarantee to land a sailfish.

Good luck
 
Jul 11th, 2002, 02:45 PM
  #3  
Iza
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We did a similar trip in August of last year (with the addition of 3 nights on Osa Penninsula at Lapa Rios). I think your itinerary sounds fine.
As to your hotel choices: Tabacon looked nice from outside and from what I hear is considered the nices hotel in the area. Tabacon Hot Springs were a lot of fun. Be prepared for rain in that area of Costa Rica. We were there for 2 days and did not get to see the volcano at all due to low clouds, rain and fog.
In Tamarindo, our favorite place to stay is Capitan Suizo. We visited Cala Luna briefly and I noticed two things about it: it is not directly on the beach and there are no shade trees on the property. But we did not see any of the rooms.
In Manuel Antonio, we stayed at Si Como No and enjoyed it. It is a bit Disney but since we had our 7 year old daughter with us we liked that aspect of it. I think you are right, it is probably not the best choice for a honeymoon. I heard good things about Tulemar and also Makanda and Hotel Parador.
I would probably skip Monteverde if I were you.
Depending on your flights in and out of San Jose, you may have to stay there your first and last night. We really liked Xandari (www.xandari.com) and Vista del Valle (www.vistadelvalle.com) which are outside of SJ.
As to transportation: the first time we went to CR we flew and just rented a car for a day in Tamarindo. The second time we flew to some destinations and drove to others. It is hard to advise you what to do, but you may have to rent a car to go to Arenal - I think they discontinued flights there.
Here is a link to my trip report:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessages.jsp?fid=6&tid=1316204&numresponses=17&start=0&searchText=trip+report

Have a great trip.
 
Jul 11th, 2002, 03:06 PM
  #4  
Monica
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Kasia: You will LOVE Tulemar bungalows for a honeymoon. So romantic! And not "Disney" at all. Their restaurant is really good too.
 
Jul 11th, 2002, 09:53 PM
  #5  
Michael
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A few more places to consider or at least check the web pages:
http://www.costa-rica-hotels-travel.com/
http://www.tamarindo.com/sdmar/
http://www.marflam.com/sailing/marsail.htm
http://www.hotel-california.com/
 
Jul 12th, 2002, 06:12 AM
  #6  
Kasia
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Thank you all for responding!!

IZA: What was your experience with the weather in August? Friends of ours stayed at Captain Suizo and LOVED it there. They thought that Cala Luna might be better for a "Honeymoon" spot. Good to know about the lack of tress and location away from the beach. We were thinking about heading to the OSA Peninsula but I have heard it's a pain to get there and it's really quiet with not much to do. How was Lapos Rios? I have heard good things about the hotel - it looks Fabulous!
I would love to read your trip report but I can't figure out the link you posted. Can you repost?
Thanks Again for all your info.!

Mike: Thanks for the websites!

Monica: Yes we are hoping to stay at Tulemar Bungalows! Friends of ours recommended it!

Thank you all for your comments!
 
Jul 12th, 2002, 11:11 AM
  #7  
LT
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You can go white water rafting at various places throughout the country. I’ll keep recommendating this until people get tired of hearing it. You should seriously consider spending an extra day, either after arrival or before departure in San Jose, and book a white water rafting trip down the Pacuare River. It’s a beautiful river. I understand some of the other white water places are not as pretty and the water is brown. The Pacuare River has green water and great scenary.

While at Arenal, you might consider taking a day trip to Cano Negro. We spoke to someone during our trip and she said this was one of the best things she did. She said she saw more wildlife and birds during this trip than any other place. This is after she had visited Arenal and Monteverde. It was also recommended by our hotel receptionist at Arenal but we didn’t have time to do it. I kinda wished she had done it.

Monteverde - to go or not to go. Monteverde National Park is ok but I don’t consider it a must see destination, especially We saw some interesting things but it was not worth the trip unless you really like bird watching or studying plant life. In Texas, we would call the “cloud forest” a heavy fog but we are ignorant folk here.

Other place to consider:
The Osa Peninsuala may be quite but all of the places we visited were quiet. La Fortuna is a small town. Quepos is also a small town. During our 10 day trip, all we did was go to bed after we ate dinner. Costa Rica was not crowded at all during our visit. You're not going to run into a lot of tourists so most places you visit will be quiet. If you're looking for night life, you may not find any, at least, we didn't.
 
Jul 23rd, 2002, 04:53 AM
  #8  
Karen
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Dear Kasia, Sounds like a nice trip. We just returned and spent two nights at Arenal. Never saw the volcano. do not be disappointed if you do not see it. Drove from Arenal to Monteverde. The drive was horrendous. Once you arrive in Santa Elena the roads there are just as bad if not worse than the one you took to get there. We went to the cloud forest knowing it was not the best place to view wildlife at that time of the year. We took a guided tour and also did the sky walk. If we were to skip any part of the trip it would be that. I just did not think it was that impressive or different from other places we have been. I'm not sure why people are impressed with it.Loved Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui and Selva Verde Lodge for the feel of being in the jungle. Have fun.Karen
 
Jul 23rd, 2002, 11:21 AM
  #9  
G
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north of tamarindo and playa del coco is a very quaint beach settlement called playa hermosa, which has a fantastic beach that's pretty well sheltered for snorkeling, there are a couple of good restaurants, and some nice villas that are available on the hilltop overlooking the coast. Oh, and another place that I'd recommend is playa ocotal, which is just south of playa del coco, it is very nice...
 

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