honemoon itinerary

Old Sep 9th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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honemoon itinerary

Planning first trip to CR for honeymoon in december, have 11 days total... I spoke with a travel agent who recommended one of the all-inclusive spots, but after browsing this website, I see there is much more that CR has to offer, so I'm trying to come up with a plan...

Day 1- Fly into SJ and then down to PJ to stay in oso at bosqu del cabo for 3 nights.

Day 4- Fly back up to SJ and drive to peace lodge to spend 2 (3?) nights, maybe do day trip to arenal from there.

Day 6/7- Drive back to SJ and fly to either Punta Islita for the rest of week, or maybe liberia to the four seasons for the rest of the week.

Any suggestions? It seems there is soooo much to do, but we definitely want to spend a good chunk chillin'.

thank you!!
tam2008 is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2005, 01:30 PM
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I would suggest doing Punta Islita first- fly in, decompress, eat great food, hang on the beach. PI also has a great package with Bosque de Paz. Luxury at a serious value

Peace Lodge if you must but forget the day trip to Arenal

Then save the Osa, Bosque del Cabo or Lapa Rios for last as it is spectacular and you will be disappointed with the other crowded areas of CR afterwards- I would suggest more than 3 nights- getting there is the better part of a day.

If I could do my honeymoon all over again we would have done the package through PI, a few days in MA then flown down to the Osa for the remainder of the trip.

You can do it all without a travel agent but get busy as the season will be cranking up

Other places you might want to look into- Tiskita Lodge , Corcovado Lodge, Si Como No and if in San Jose for a night the Costa Rica Marriot- all very luxurious and perfect for a honeymoon.

Check tripadvisor for reviews as all of the places you mention have many. If tripadvisor has a bunch of questionable reviews on a place-AVOID

enjoy
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Old Sep 9th, 2005, 02:09 PM
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Thank you for the input.. we are not set on the peace lodge, or arenal (really the only place I definitely want to go to is the osa), but I have to ask why you would avoid? I thought seeing the volcano would be exciting...

I will look into that package.. thanks!
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Old Sep 9th, 2005, 08:09 PM
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Arenal is a good choice--try to get there if you can! There aren't a lot of luxury places there, but it's a great area. Peace Lodge would be good for your first or last night in the country depending on your arrival/departure times.

For sure, do Bosque del Cabo in ANY order and of course, Punta Islita (haven't been there, but sure hope to go one day!). With all that you are interested in, I'd NOT include Liberia and Four Seasons on this trip. That way, you can spend plenty of time at BdC or Punta Islita and have time for Arenal and Peace Lodge as well!

By the way, we were at Bosque for 3 nights and had a great time. 4 or 5 would have been nice, but we didn't feel rushed or slighted with 3.

My suggestion:

Punta Islita (flying in and out of SJO)

Arenal (private transfer or Interbus from San Jose)--you may need to spend a night near the airport and start fresh the next day

Bosque del Cabo (again, returning from Arenal, you MAY need to spend a night before flying to BdC)

One or 2 nights at Peace Lodge

Logistics can get interesting when traveling in Costa Rica. Always allow plenty of time to get anywhere!

You may find that you have to arrange the order so that you can avoid overnights near the airport inbetween transfers. It may help you to go to Arenal first--you do need to be working on it, though. If you are talking about anytime near Christmas, most places are already booked.
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Old Sep 10th, 2005, 06:32 AM
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Yes seeing the volcano is exciting, however a daytrip to Arenal will be about a 5 hour round trip drive and just will not have that same wow factor.

Arenal is an active volcano that spits out red hot rocks. It is impressive to see after dark and early morning. For a day trip you may only see a mountain with a little smoke or a mountain with the top covered in clouds. Where as at night you see these red lava rocks sptitting into the sky and tumbling down the mountain. Most people spend the days here hiking to the waterfall, floating or rafting the waters, horseback riding, ziplining, waterfall repelling, etc. If you go to Arenal do spend a couple of nights.

There is another volcano very near Peace Lodge, this one is called Poas. The experience is quite different. At Poas you can actually hike to the crater and look over.

Bosque is absolutely fabulous, Punta Islita still on my list, Peace Lodge was impressive.

Glad you did some research before booking the AI, as you have learned there is so much more to CR than all inclusive resorts.

Enjoy!

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Old Sep 10th, 2005, 08:35 AM
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Dfarmer nailed it- Arenal is too far for a day trip. We spent almost a week at Arenal during our honeymoon and would not do it over.

I looked forward to the Arenal leg so much more than the others and was disappointed- had I found this board and known what I know now we would have spent that time in the southern pacific region (Osa- Golfo Dulce ect)

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Old Sep 10th, 2005, 03:24 PM
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Wow, I have learned much more from everyone on this board than I did from my conversations with our travel agent.. thank you all!!

OK, two questions.. the poas volcano.. will we be able to see the lava at night? For some reason this is really something I want to see. The peace lodge is appealing because it's close to san jose (vs arenal), and we're already going to have to fly to PJ and PI so wondering if that part of the trip will be worth it. It's our honeymoon, so we do want to see as much as possible, but without spending the whole trip running (or flying) around!

And secondly, after looking at the bdc website, I see that most of the activities originate "in town".. how long/how expensive is the ride into town? Was this an aggravation? Or is there too much to see right onsite, that noone bothers with the other activites (fishing trips etc..)? And how bout the other place mentioned.. lapa rios.. any thoughts?
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Old Sep 10th, 2005, 07:35 PM
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Bosque del Cabo is fabulous. You won't have to go into town to have a great time! There are a lot of things to do on site with guides, trails, etc. I don't know about fishing, though! I can't imagine wanting to leave the property except to enjoy the trails--it is so relaxing and beautiful!

As for Poas, it doesn't have lava flow. It is about an hour from the airport, very near Peace Lodge, and it has a beautiful crater. It is way less active than Arenal, which burps and rumbles and shoot boulders and lava out all the time!

Now that you mention it, you may have found the answer to your problem. You don't have to go to Arenal, just relax at Peace Lodge for a couple of days and take in the area nearby. There is an abundance of things to do and see within a very short drive of Peace Lodge. Poas Volcano is one of them. You could easily spend an entire day at Peace Lodge and La Paz just enjoying the butterfly garden, the waterfalls, etc (and take in Poas early in the morning on the same day--guarantees visibility the earlier you are there. Not far from there is the Sarapiqui region (Caribbean Lowlands) with the Sarapiqui River, the little town of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, etc. There is a wonderful little hummingbird gallery overlooking a canyon and waterfall between La Paz and PVdS.

If fact, this might be a good way to start out, just savoring the luxury of Peace Lodge and exploring Costa Rica nearby!

Another option, as if you needed more confusion, is to stay nearer San Jose and do some white water rafting on the Pacuare. You can do full day or overnight. Gets rave reviews. I haven't done it, but it is on our list! If you do this, there is a great full-day tour called Highlights of Costa Rica tour that takes you to a coffee plantation for breakfast, visits Poas Volcano, drives by one of the La Paz waterfalls, stops at the hummingbird gallery, stops for lunch at Selva Verde Lodge, and then on up to the Rio Sarapiqui and PVdS for a gentle cruise on the river. It makes a huge loop, then returns to SJO through Braulio Carillo Parque Nacional (very scenic). Makes for a great day--neither of these activities are relaxing, but they sure are fun.

For this option, I'd choose Hotel Grano de Oro in San Jose.

You know, I'm rolling with this, planning your honeymoon for you. . . .please excuse my mental wanderings. . . .how about starting at Punta Islita as Greenfieldhunter suggested, ending with Bosque del Cabo, and breaking up those 2 parts of your honeymoon with some adventure in the middle (Pacuare & Highlights Tour). Or the Peace Lodge/Explore-the-area-on-your-own plan.

Then you would have a natural break between your flights. Sorry if I got too far afield for ya! BTW, congratulations!

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Old Sep 11th, 2005, 07:51 AM
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I think I can say for all of us - We are happy to help!

As for talking with your travel agent, I would guess you are talking to someone that does not specialize in Costa Rican Travel. But can book package tours. If you decide to use a travel specialist, then know there are some very good ones out there that do specialize in CR - just ask.

Don't want to duplicate answers, but I did want to address BdC. This place is awesome. Maximum capacity for guest is about 30-40 people. The grounds and trails and views here are stunningly gorgeous. The meals are very tasty, sure miss those fabulous fresh vegetables. The staff is unbelievably helpful, attentive, friendly and warm. Birding with Edwardo is quite interesting, the night hikes again interesting, hiking on your own could be done for days, lounging around the pool to cool off in the afternoon, day dreaming from a hammock is a great lazy day, watching the birds and monkeys is very entertaining, conversations with other guests could go on for hours. If you want to do a tour such as kayaking or such then just plan a day for this. I would not want to go back and forth to town each day, but certainly did not mind a day. We went off shore fishing one day, which was incredible, other days I simply did not want to leave the grounds. As for Lapa Rios, we did a quick visit over there and the hotel is certainly nice. The only complaint I have ever heard is the number of steps down and up to the cabins. Whereas BdC is an easy stroll from the standard and deluxe cabins to the pool, bar, restaurant. Now the climb back up from the Pacific can be quite strenuous! OK I will quit, quite obvious I loved this place!!!!!
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Old Sep 11th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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Donna,
I enjoy your description of huffing and puffing coming back up on the Pacific Trail. Makes me feel better!

I would force myself to climb at least 30 steps before I would allow myself the opportunity to stop and rest! Otherwise, never would have made it! Good thing it is a fairly short hike!
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Old Sep 11th, 2005, 05:50 PM
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ok, I am definitely SOLD on bdc.. had emailed them a few days back and they have availibility.. woohoo!!

Next dilemma.. I'm thinking we are going to try to do arenal for 2 nights and hope to see the volcano. I'd like to stay somewhere with a view of the volcano, I've heard arenal paraiso? or the lost iguana?

Also, if we decide to do that first, we arrive in SJO at 145PM, will we make it to arenal that night? We will probably hire a driver.

thanks!
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