Honeymoon in Costa Rica

Old Nov 13th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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Honeymoon in Costa Rica

Hello Everyone,
I am just starting to plan our 10 day honeymoon trip. This is our first time to Costa Rica and we are quite excited. Here are the specs with related questions.
1) Dates: July 1st, 2013 leaving the 10th. Is this going to be too rainy?
2) Rental car: a good idea or is it better to just get public transit (don't have much extra money for flights)
3) Locations: I'm completely open to suggestions on this one, would like to be on the ocean for part of the trip. We are thinking about 3 locations
4) Lodging: any good suggestions of bed and breakfasts, local gems, hotels? We don't want to stay at the overly touristy hotels/resorts that seem fake.
5) Activities: We want to: hike, see waterfalls, lounge on beaches, jungle tours and are open to other adventures.
6) What do you think this might cost? We don't want to be cheap but at the same time won't be spending money on too many guided trips (especially for hiking) or $250+ hotel rooms (is 100-150/night reasonable?).

I know there are a lot of questions there so thanks in advance!
DaveAndMeg is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2012, 04:49 AM
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Hi there, Well I hope I can add to your trip. my wife and I have been traveling to Costa Rica for almost a decade now. We actually are setting up to spend 6 months of our cold Canadian winters there. We own 2 house in the central pacific area.
First congratulations if this will be your Honeymoon it will be awesome.

What airport are you flying into????
Vamos Car Rental is the the best that I have found. Driving is perfectly fine. Do not drive at night, to many crazy drivers at night especially weekends.

July is perfect time of year. Early rainy season peak is Sept/Oct. prices for for hotels should be relatively cheap(Low Season)

As far guided tours, depends on where you are focusing on spending your time. If you are headed in the Jaco direction I know a local guide who will take you out snorkeling, then pinic on his private beach and they will catch lobster and cook it for you on the beach. He will then take you on a guided hike through the jungle,waterfalls,wild life etc. He speaks very good English and him and his wife are awesome. Gino is very reasonable and has a great personality.

Hiking is fine without guides, just be aware that you are in the tropics and the jungle is full of many different creatures including very deadly ones.

I hope this has been a little helpful. If you have more questions plaese don't hesitate to post or email me. It's better if i know where you are flying into whether is it is Liberia or San Jose.
ReyLaf is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2012, 05:23 AM
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If you land in Liberia, you are 20 minutes away from great beaches (dry and sunny) and some national parks. Solid rental car was a good option for us (see these forums for advice on rentals). From there, you can go (4 hours) to the Arenal volcano (not active right now, just plumes of steam from the vent at top) area (town of La Fortuna; check out arenal observatory lodge: http://www.arenal.net/observatory-lo...FYF7QgodcWMA-g) and do zip lines, rainforest hikes, hot springs, and day trips to other areas (for example, Cano Negro wildlife refuge to the north). I find the activities pricey, but you can decide what your budget will stand (Hanging Bridges tour, a very nice one near Lost Iguana resort, is less than $25). Lots of lodging options.
Monteverde (cloudforest) is a few hours drive from Arenal (rough drive) and is lovely.
Arrival in SJO puts you 3 hours from Arenal (or Monteverde, if you go there directly). I liked Europcar rental from SJO (they will drop off at your hotel early in the a.m.)
Many people recommend Manual Antonio National Park on the central Pacific Coast (my personal preference is to avoid it like the plague; crowded, high priced, and you can get deserted beaches for free farther south). I prefer Dominical south to Uvita (waterfalls, beach, etc.)
You should read the forums here to get a better idea of specifics you want to ask about. Lots of people here will step right up with details and suggestions (but I'm all about the budget, have to be!)
sylvia3 is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2012, 12:50 PM
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Having a kitchen or kitchenette will reduce your food costs considerably.
sylvia3 is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2012, 02:26 PM
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There's a wide range of prices. You can definitely find hotels in the $100-$150 price range. Lots of great ones in fact. Be sure to be aware of 13% tax on hotels, and 23% total taxes/tip when dining out. Dining out can get pricey. But fairly reasonable if you stick to local joints/sodas.

Transport around the country ranges from local buses (very cheap), to rental car (reasonable), to shuttles (reasonable, but at times inconvenient/crowded), to private drivers and internal flights (good for the Osa/Drake Bay)

For you guys, I'd recommend flying in and out of Liberia. Hitting Rincon de la Vieja, and then a beach or two in Guanacaste and/or Nicoya. Maybe Rincon 2-3 nights, rent a car and drive to Montezuma for 2-3 nights, and then finish up in a beach in Guanacaste closer to the airport. You could get away w/ just having the rental car for the Montezuma portion...
Eliot_Greenspan is offline  
Old Nov 25th, 2012, 02:47 PM
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Hi Dave and Meg! First of all: Congratulation for your engagement and future weeding!
My husband and I love to travel and we always go to Costa Rica like 6 to 9 months a year. Here you'll find the answers that you search:

1)The weather is great in July, love that period of time, very sunny in the morning, sometimes tropical rain in the afternoon or late at night.
2)We own our car, but I can talk to you about buses. If you are in Costa Rica for a while, the buses are great, but when you have just 10 days like you'll do, you will lose so much time. There a lot of buses BUT, they need to stop at every corner to take people...For 10 days, I think it would be a lot better to take domestic flight. It's faster and safer too. Because I got my own car, I never take domestic flight, but my sister did, and loved it! She always takes one from San José to Quepos. She uses Sansa Costa Rica Domestic flight: www.sansacostarica.com. And it's sometimes cheaper than renting a car...
3)I can tell you about 2 great locations: South Pacific region ( Quepos, Dominical, Uvita, Ojochal...)and Corcovado.
Both are great,less tourists than the North. Beautiful beaches, great restaurants and hotels, good atmosphere and so peaceful!
4)About lodging, I can suggest you a Costa Rica villa rental:The Mango Tree Spa.
Here is the web site: http://www.themangotreespa.com
Or, for a Costa Rica Ecolodge in Corcovado, I can suggest La Leona ecolodge: http://www.laleonaecolodge.com/
5) For activities, it depend of what you like. If you like surfing or learn to surf, in Dominical, near the first hotel I suggest you, you can go to a Costa Rica surf school named Green Iguana Surf Camp. Here's the links:
http://www.greeniguanasurfcamp.com/. There are many beaches around there too, just to enjoy the sun and good waves.
6) It's hard to tell you a price, because it depends on a lot of things. Just keep in mind that Costa Rica is the most expensive Central American country...but it's also the better one for a peaceful and safe trip.

Hope you'll enjoy it!

Hasta Luego!
CrisLegrand is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2012, 02:10 PM
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My youngest sister got married two years ago, she was in Costa Rica Celebrating her honey moon in Santa Teresa Beach. she was in Hotel Pranamar Villas, she told me a really nice experience there. I was browsing in the hotel web site, there is a really useful link http://pranamarvillas.com/en/package...-packages.html. In my own opinion , I was in Santa Teresa Beach, not in this hotel , but I really love many activities in this beautiful beach such us surf, horse back riding, canopy . In addition , Nicoya Peninsual, Guanacaste is a really nice area, full adventure, beaches, volcanoes and much more.
Hope this helps!!
DannyTraveller is offline  
Old Dec 5th, 2012, 12:48 PM
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How does this sound?

Fly into San Jose, get a rental car, drive to Manuel Antonio/Quepos. Rent a villa for $1,000/wk USD. Do some trips from there into Manuel Antonio National Park. Drive back toward San Jose and stay in a resort in Jaco for a day or two @ReyLaf maybe you could point us to your connection if we go this route. Then go to San Jose for flight. 9-10 days total.

Any changes you'd make if it was you? We don't really want to move around too much.
Do you guys know of a place in Manuel Antonio to stay? Are there decent restaurants there?

Anyone have any good day trips around Manuel Antonio?

Has anyone driven this route, is it an OK road?

Thanks for everything so far,
Dave
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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With 9 or 10 days, you should split your time between 2, or 3 places at the most. For a honeymoon, spend 2 nights at Xandari or Peace Lodge. Then head to Arenal for 3 nights. Finish up at Manuel Antonio before heading out of San Jose. Don't lock yourself into one place for a week. Be flexible. What if you have crappy weather? You would be stuck in one place. In Arenal, we stayed at Arenal Observatory Lodge. Others really like Lost Iguana and Silencio del Campo. In MA, we stayed at Costa Verde. Lots of price point choices.
MichelleY is offline  
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