Help with trip in February!

Old Jan 12th, 2004, 09:16 AM
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Help with trip in February!

My husband and I will be traveling around Costa Rica for 7 days. We want to goto Arenal, Monte Verde, and Manuel Antonio. Can anyone recommend how long we should spend in each place. We are planning on renting a car for the trip. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 02:18 PM
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We did that same basic itinerary our first trip to Costa Rica. We spent two nights in both Arenal and Monteverde, and three nights in Manual Antonio.

But, we also had to spend two nights in San Jose (really Alajuela) because of our flight arrival and departure times.

So, our seven day trip was really nine nights.
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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 06:06 PM
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Jean H - Thanks so much! Where did you stay in those places?
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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 06:18 PM
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I've done the same itinerary as Jean... she makes a good point about time flying in and out of San Jose. I always prefer not to rush things and try not to cram too much into one trip. As far as hotels, I stayed in Grano de Oro in San Jose, Costa Verde in Manuel Antonio, the Monteverde Lodge, and Arenal Country Inn. All were very nice.
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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 08:53 PM
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We did the same trip, too, about a year ago. Our flight arrived in San Jose around noon and we drove directly to Arenal so we arrived early the evening of our arrival day, and we spent the next full day and night in Arenal and the following morning we took one more quick hike before departing. Then we drove to Monteverde and arrived in the afternoon, spent that night and the next 2 days/night in Monteverde. Then we drove to Manuel Antonio where we stayed for 4 days/5 nts, and we flew back to San Jose from Quepos the morning of our departure (defintely the way to go, much quicker than driving). We stayed at Montana de Fuego in Arenal, Hotel Sapo Dorado in Manuel Antonio and Hotel Si Como No in Manuel Antonio. I'd recommend all of those hotels. Montana de Fuego and Hotel Sapo Dorado are smaller hotels, rather basic but comfortable, staff was helpful and friendly in each case, and in the case of Montana de Fuego it had amazing views of the volcano. Hotel Si Como No was the perfect place to conclude the trip - the hotel was nicer and we did a lot of pool and beach relaxing after all the hiking we did in Arenal area and Monteverde.
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 04:47 AM
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We didn't do enough research before our first trip and ended up staying at the Hampton Inn by the airport our first and last nights in Costa Rica. Not a bad place, but it was sort of a silly thing to do. Fly all those miles and end up at a hotel that looks the same as the one five minutes from here. Anyway, we stayed at Tabacon while in the Arenal area. We had decent volcano views and enjoyed our stay. Breakfast was very good, dinner so-so. We did enjoy the hot springs.

In Monteverde we stayed at Hotel Belmar. Sort of a chalet type building, nice people. Although there was nothing wrong with the place, I'd stay elsewhere on a return trip.

In Manual Antonio, we stayed at Si Como No. It's pretty touristy, but we had a great time. Two pools, two restaurants, swim up bar, even a small movie theater. Great views. We really enjoyed our stay there and would go back. But, on our next trip the following year we stayed at Makanda by the Sea. Much smaller, more intimate property. We were in the 'cheaper' studio,rather than a villa. Still very nice room. Great pool service. Nice little restaurant on site. Long steep walk down to the beach. If I was feeling like spending the money, I would stay there again. Also lots of monkeys passing through the trees every morning.

We rented a small 4-wheel drive for our trip. We were glad to have the extra clearance for the road from ARenal to MOnteverde. Someone on here said it has been graded recently. Hope it helped. Huge rocks sticking out of it when we were through. It was a beautiful and fun ride though. Just had to accept that you couldn't drive very fast.

Jean
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 07:12 PM
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We stayed at Los Lagos in Arenal for two nights. Enjoyed the hot pool and swim-up bar. Good restaurant.

In Monteverde (three nights), we stayed at Arco Iris. Right in town (Santa Elena). The rooms are actually cabins. Very nice and economical. Conventient to the restaurants in town.

In Manuel Antonio (two nights), we stayed at Hotel Del Mar. It's within walking distance of the park and town. A little more basic than the other places we stayed, but very friendly, helpful staff. Does not serve any meals.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 12:41 PM
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Just returned from CR yesterday.

Monteverde--Hotel Fonda Vela. A wonderful place. Great restaurant with superb views. Has its own nice little walking trail.

Volcan Arenal--Arenal Paraiso Resort. It and Montana de Fuego have best views of the lava flows. It was very nice--good restaurant. We got air conditioned room and were glad we did as we hit a bit of a hot spell one day. The pool bar does a nice mango daquiri
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