Honeymoon in Costa Rica - June 2010

Old Feb 24th, 2010, 08:02 PM
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Honeymoon in Costa Rica - June 2010

My fiance and I are flying into San Jose on June 12 (arrive 11:30 a.m.) and fly out on June 24 (12:30 p.m.). I know we want to spend some time in Arenal and Manuel Antonio, but I'm thinking that with 10 nights, we may be able to throw in a third destination. Would the Nicoya Peninsula work? Does anyone have any recommendations for an itinerary? We'd rather not rent a car, and we'd prefer not to fly anywhere within the country. We love to hike and experience nature, but we also enjoy nice hotels, great restaurants, etc. Any advice is welcome! I have done a TON of research but am a little overwhelmed. Hotel recommendations are welcome too!
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 06:59 AM
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Congrats on your trip...

since you do not want a car

would do 5 days in each place

www.costarica.bookit.com good sales on

www.tabacon.com at Arenal

for MA www.issimosuites.com is nice.

would stop there but for 3 days in each place

add Nicoya www.hotelcapitansuizo.com Tamarindo

www.interbusonline.com cheapest with 2

or splurge and do a driver www.tucanlimoservices.com

Have fun,
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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Try hitting Peace Lodge on your way back to San Jose for last two nights. You'll only be an hour from SJO airport.

http://www.waterfallgardens.com/lapaz-peacelodge.html
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 10:50 AM
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I think fishee's suggestion of the Peace Lodge is great - it's very honeymoonish. Xandari is another good spot and would put you close to the airport. Both are pricey, but nice if you can splurge.

Or you could go to Monteverde - the Jeep Boat Jeep with Desafio will get you there for about $25 each.

We usually book private drivers through our hotels and have good luck with that. Interbus is another option.

In Arenal, good restaurants include Don Rufino, El Novillo for steaks, and La Choza de Laurel. Soda la Parada is good for casados and cheap.

In MA, we liked Ronnie's Place/Mi Lugar for seafood and sangria, Salsiupuedes for tapas, Cafe Milagro for coffee drinks, Barba Roja, and Cafe Agua Azul. Go early for sunset views.
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 10:52 AM
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For scheduling, I'd do 4 days Arenal, 4 in MA, and then two at PL or Xandari. The Lost Iguana is nice in Arenal - if you can, get a balcony with a jacuzzi tub. Check out Mango Moon in MA, Si Como No, Buena Vista Villas, or Tulemar Bungalows.
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 04:06 PM
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Thank you for your replies. Orginially I was thinking Arenal, Monteverde and then Manuel Antonio. Is that too much? Would it be better to do 4 days in Arenal and MA and then the last two nights at one of the suggested hotels? Is there stuff to do around Peace Lodge or Xandari? How much would we be looking at for private drivers?
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 06:35 PM
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From Peace Lodge or Xandari, you could tour the Doka Coffee Estate and go to Poas Volcano if you wanted to. Xandari offers a lot of tours on their website, but not everything is close by.

http://www.xandari.com/ResortSpa/DayTrips.html

You could do Monteverde, but they don't have a lot of nice hotel options like you said you wanted. Good hiking though. Really up to you.
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Old Mar 16th, 2010, 08:07 PM
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Thanks everyone. Here are the hotels we've narrowed it down to:

In Arenal:
Lost Iguana
Silencio de Campo
(Other reasonably priced suggestions welcome)

In MA:
Arenas del Mar
Makanda by the Sea
Buena Vista Villas
La Mansion
Parador

We're not opposed to staying in two hotels at each location if it'll give us more variety.

I'm also interested in the "best of the best" activities in eah place.

Keep in mind that we're not planning to rent a car so we nee dto stay places that'll still be doable using alternative transportation.
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Old Mar 16th, 2010, 09:17 PM
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I think you'd be happy with either choice in Arenal; we're partial to LI, but SdC gets consistently good reviews as well. LI is a little more posh, but SdC is closer to town.

In MA, I'd lean towards BVV for proximity to the beach.
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Old Mar 16th, 2010, 11:19 PM
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Really LOVE Silencio del Campo. Local family owned and great bargain. Buena Vista Villas ok but expensive. Check Tulemar Bungalows "Mot Mot" villa downstairs. Great value.
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 05:47 AM
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hip, someone was saying the other day that Mot Mot is no longer available - have you heard that? Hope it's not true.
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 11:09 AM
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Yikes. I wonder what's happening with Tulemar? First the restaurant closed and now Mot-Mot? It still appears on line with rates but that's a big bummer if no longer available. Such a great green season deal.
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 11:12 AM
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I guess for a honeymoon though one could splurge for BVV! The room we had there was very nice, but the least expensive room they have. I would go one step up at least to get a nice ocean view for honeymoon. ;-)
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 08:34 AM
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Thanks everyone. Think we've decided on LI for Arenal. Anyone have experience at Arenas del Mar? I'm asking just b/c it looks AMAZING online.
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 08:35 AM
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Also, is 5 nights in Arenal too much? I was thinking 5 nights there, 4 in Manuel Antonio and then 1 closer to the airport.
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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We've never stayed 5 nights, usually 3 or 4, but there's plenty to keep you busy if you want to stay 5. Lost Iguana has really beautiful grounds and gorgeous views. You'll like it. We like the rooms with the jacuzzi tub on the balcony. I'd advise getting a second floor room for more privacy. Also ask for a lower number room; the higher number rooms are a pretty steep hike. For activities, you can hike the waterfall and swim there, do the hot springs like Eco Termales and Tabacon, white water raft with Rios Tropicales, do the Cano Negro tour with Sunset Tours, hike the Hanging Bridges, do a volcano hike with Desafio or Sunset Tours, zipline at Sky Trek, etc. There's also the Venado Caves which we haven't tried, but looks interesting.

Haven't stayed at Arenas del Mar, but it gets really good reviews. Hope you'll report back. Happy honeymoon!
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 09:47 AM
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We just got back from our 3rd trip to Costa Rica. You might be interested in Rafiki Safari Lodge. It is maybe 1 hour south of Quepos. They can arrange transportation for you. It's a really neat all-inclusive experience in luxury jungle tents. The jungle location is absolutely beautiful. Check out their website. While we were there, we did horseback riding and rafting on the Rio Savegre. I just posted a trip report about our experience there.
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 09:52 AM
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Just stayed at the Arenal Nayara -- in a Nayara suite and it was absolutely luxurious!! Beautifully decorated, new, modern bungalow style house with a wrap around porch, jacuzzi on the porch, two showers indoor and outdoor.
There was some construction on the grounds, which was really annoying, but worth it for the spectacular room.
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 09:53 AM
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Thanks guys. I've also been looking at Tulemar / Buena Vista Villas. I guess they are the same resort?? The "premium bungalows" are priced lower than the villas. Has anyone stayed in the actual bungalows? Are they nice? The Mot mot is no longer available.

fcfarmgirl: i will look at that lodge...may be cool for a coupe of nights.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 01:30 PM
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we stayed at La Mansion last month; beautiful property, with great views and service and fabulous breakfasts; Room was very nice with a grassy patio and view of Manuel Antonio beach.there are a few rooms that overlook the front entrance, which would not be as enjoyable, but you can request a room away from the entrance; it was only 1/2 full ; one day we had the pool to ourselves for a few hours; Stayed at Lost Iguana; also fantastic; you are in your own private jungle;definitely get a room with jacuzzi.
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