help with my dilemna

Dec 30th, 2003, 10:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 33
help with my dilemna

Hello everyone,

My husband and I will be travelling from Vancouver Canada to CR for the first two weeks of May. I have somewhat of an itinerary. We have 3 extra days and are not sure where to go. Manuel Antonio seems to be everyone's favourite although it seems like it is just too touristy. Is it an absolute not miss? We can also change the itinerary and cut out certain things if need be. Our itinerary is as follows and is not set in stone.

Day 1 arrive late Alajuela Pura Vida Hotel
Day 2 Pura Vida Hotel side trip to Poas and La Paz
Day 3 to Almonds and Corals for 3 nights
Day 6, 7 and 8 Dominical or Manuel Antonio
(Villas Rio Mar or Costa Paraiso Lodge (cabinas right on the beach)) or La Colina in Manuel Antonio. Can we get to either of these destinations easily from Almonds and Corals?
Day 9 and 10 Arenal at Montana De Fuego
Day 11 and 12 Montverde at Finca Valverde
Day 13 Alajuela at Pura Vida
Day 14 airport to home.

Are we doing too much? We will rent a 4x4. Are we repeating ourselves (Montverde and Manuel Antonio)? Thank you so much for your help.

trvlbug is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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It's been years since I was in Costa Rica, but I liked it so much I went 2 years in a row. (Mind you, that was more than 12 years ago so I'm sure it's more developed now.) I'm not sure what you mean about repeating yourself with Manuel Antonio and Monteverde. Monteverde is in the mountains - you actually cross the continental divide there, whereas Manuel Antonio is a national park on the west coast. They are quite different.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,194
Yes, manuel Antonio is one of the most visited spots in the country, along with Arenal Volcano, but is quite spread out and I don't think you would feel crowded at La Colina. I think the beaches are much nicer than the beaches around Dominical. Dominical does have some charm though it's more of a 'surfer' town with a younger crowd for the most part. But if you decide to go there, I'd opt for Costa Paraiso because the beach closest to Villas Rio Mar is not a very pretty beach and is not good for swimming. It gets big strong waves that only the best of surfers are comfortable with. I've been to the area twice and never got in the water because of this. The beach by Costa Paraiso would be better for swimming. Also, if you decide on Dominical, you'll be close enough to go to Manuel Antonio to walk through the park which is very nice. Of course, if you stay in manuel Antonio, you can also take a day trip to Dominical. I have not helped a bit, have I? Sorry to add to the dilema.
Ally is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 12:06 PM
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Thank guys. Susan, thanks for clarifying. No Ally, you did not add to my dilemna (he he). I think we will go to Manuel Antonio and La Colina. Although we are not big on laying on a beach for hours we just did not want to be in some over-developed area with hordes of tourists. Do you think my itinerary is okay? Anyone have any suggestions to make it easier. Sorry for all the questions but we are coming such a long way and at a bit of expense and we don't know when we'll be back. We are in our late 40's and somewhat active, just to give you some background.

trvlbug is offline  
Jan 1st, 2004, 09:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2
I would definitely pick Manuel Antonio over Dominical unless I were a surfer dude (which, alas, I am not ;-)

The only other "fiddle" I would make with your itinerary would be to put Monteverde right after Manuel Antonio, leaving Arenal for last - it is a long haul from Manuel Antonio to Arenal and Monteverde is between them about midway. It is a fairly straight journey from Arenal back to San Jose and the airport.

One question: I have been to Costa Rica numerous times and have never heard of Almonds and Corals. What is that?
DennisCovey is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2004, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,441
I honestly think you will have trouble if you try to go to Almonds and Coral. That is a very rainy area and you will be going during a rainy month. It would be a very very long drive to try and get to Manuel Antonio from there.
To get to Manuel Antonio you would have to travel the road to Limon - Siquirres- Turrialba-Cartago and then on to the Pan Am Hwy heading south to San Isidro del General and then over to Dominical and then up to Manuel Antonio. Other option would be to do the same route through Turrialba and then up through Cartago and San Jose to get around to Manuel Antonio that way. Even driving up to Limon and over through Braullio Carillo and over to the west coast is going to be a very long day.
I would plan at least 6-7hrs to get to Dominical from Almonds and Coral at which time you could spend one or two of your extra days there. then head up to Manuel Antonio.
Suzie2 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 10:18 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Thanks to everyone,

Suzie2, are you suggesting that we skip the Almonds and Corals stop altogether or should we just change things around? We could go from Alajuela to Almonds and Corals then back to Alajuela then to Arenal, to Montverde and then to Manuel Antonio and back to Alajuela. Does this sound better or should we forget A&C altogether? If so where should we go for those 3 days? Punta Leona any good? Thanks for taking the time to answer.

trvlbug is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 04:05 PM
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trvlbug is offline  
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