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Help with trip to Costa Rica

Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 09:01 AM
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Help with trip to Costa Rica

I am about to book a trip to Costa Rica that covers San jose, Tortuguero. Arenal and Monteverde. I can also book an extension of 3 days to Manuel Antonio.

My question is if it is worth booking the extension to Manuel Antonio. I cant be away ´for too long and I am considering if I should book it . Is 9 nights in Costa Rica enough without visiting Manuel Antonio? I am a middle aged woman travelling alone with a Llama Travel tour.

Also, is it safe to travel to Costa Rica? I just read some posts telling that there is crime...

Thanks in advance

Teresa
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 09:30 AM
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There is crime everywhere. Sweden, Japan, Tanzania, United States--it's everywhere. Costa Rica is very safe.

You're seeing enough that you don't need to see Manuel Antonio. It would be worthwhile to see, though. You do see monkey and sloths like nowhere else.

Hard to say whether it's worth it to you.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 10:02 AM
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I'd say it depends on whether you want beach time or not. MA has a beautiful beach inside the national park and easy access to fairly tame wildlife. If that's something that appeals to you, I'd add it, and if not, give it a pass. Although Tortuguero is on the water, you can't swim at the beach there, and it doesn't have that classical light sand and pretty water like you would see in MA. I've felt very safe in Costa Rica; parts of San Jose can be rough with bars on the windows and razor wire strung up around buildings for security. The other areas are pretty with a focus on nature and adventure activities. I'd take the same safety precautions you would anywhere - don't wear flashy jewelry, don't leave any valuables unattended, don't drink too much, etc. I don't think you can say there's anywhere in the world without crime.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 11:36 AM
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I think it would be worth it to go to MA! It will be another type of "eco system" since it is on the ocean. It is wonderful to hike around in the national park and relax on the beach.

As for crime, I have always felt safe in Costa Rica but I very closely guarded any valuables. I never left anything on the beach unattended when going in the water. I ran into a tourist who had his expensive camera stolen while talking on a pay phone but that could happen anywhere. Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 04:06 PM
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Do keep an eye on your belongings (monkeys and humans have been know to snatch them). I would think that since you are not renting a car and are in a group there will be not much opportunity for any incidents.

You will surely see monkeys (howler and spider) and probably sloths elsewhere, but I agree that the Manuel Antonio beach is worthwhile if you are wanting to actually go in the ocean.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 01:09 PM
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Thank you very much for your helpful replies
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 01:36 PM
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Manuel Antonio was the last leg of our 10 day trip to Costa Rica and it couldn't have been more welcome. The beaches are great for relaxing (aside from the occasional guy trying to serve you frozen drinks). I would definitely make an effort to see this part of the country. Arenal is great, too. Definitely visit the hot springs - it was fabulous.

Crime was not an issue for us, but always be aware of your surroundings and definitely be cautious when going off the beaten path with smaller towns. Have fun!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 04:21 PM
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I agree with RandanMarie - it's a nice ending to a Costa Rica vacation. Very relaxing, nice beaches, good restaurants, and easy access to view wildlife...yes it is touristy...but for some reason we seem to spend our last few nights here on 5 of our last 6 trips. As far as safety, i have never felt threatened in CR (i'm not a fan of san jose though and have never spent time there)...you need to be aware of your surroundings as you would anywhere.
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