Honeymoon Itinerary

Feb 22nd, 2003, 10:47 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Honeymoon Itinerary

I need help selecting hotels for our honeymoon in July. We want to start in the Arenal area then head to either the beach or the jungle and then do the other. We want secluded resorts. Bosque del Cabo in Osa sounds very nice to me as does Makanda in Quepos but I have no idea how to fit these all in and how to travel between these. We have around 14 days.
rebecca05 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2003, 01:22 PM
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14 days is plenty to fit those 3 things in.
You could add a couple of days elsewhere also.
Vista Del Valle Plantation is in Alajuela where the airport is. You could spend a day or 2 there and do a couple of day trips or if you want to go into the city you could look at Hotel Grano de Oro or Hotel Don Carlos. If you stay in the city a nice place to go eat would be the Monastery. It is up in the hills overlooking the central valley.
If you get in by early afternoon and want to go directly to Arenal you would have time if you had a private driver or car waiting for you. A quick story...a fellow I met a couple of weeks ago spent 5hrs trying to get out of the city in his rental car...he finally hired a taxi to lead him out. LOL There are no street signs.
If you stay in the San Jose area you could take a private bus/shuttle to Arenal in the early morning. A taxi would get you to the place where the bus leaves from. It would be about $25 for the private bus trip to La Fortuna. Gray Line has several options you could look at for transportation. Interbus is another private bus. Or..again, a private driver. I have the name of one if you are interested. Both bus companies have web sites.
From Arenal you could easily take one of the private buses/shuttles to Quepos/Manuel Antonio. An inexpensive taxi from their stop in Quepos would get you to Makanda. Gray Line has a big sign outside their office in La Fortuna. Very nice comfortable buses. Arenal Lodge has a matrimonial suite with a hot tub and is quite aways from anything else (makes it more expensive for day trips though). Tabacon has the hot springs to play in as well as a spa. There are several other nice places like Arenal Paraiso, Montana del Fuego.
Makanda is a very special place but you could also look at Si Como No and for something a little closer to the beach..Tulemar Bungalows.
From Quepos/Manuel Antonio you could easily hop on a quick (30min) flight down to Puerto Jimenez on Nature Air. Phil would have a taxi waiting for you at the "airport" to take you on up to Bosque del Cabo. There is always a chuckle at the airport for first timers.
To get back to San Jose there are several flights out of PJ to San Jose.
Suzie2 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2003, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 800
For a stay near the airport also check out Xandari (www.xandari.com). We liked Vista del Valle but I think Xandari is even better.
I think that you should do this:
1st night stay at a hotel near the airport, relax and have a leisurely dinner; the next day, go to Arenal (either rent a car or get a driver or use one of the shuttle services) and spend 2-3 nights there. After that return to San Jose and take a flight to Manuel Antonio and stay there for about 4 nights (you really do not need a rental car in MA). Then you can take a flight directly from MA to Osa Penninsula and stay 4 nights there. Fly back to SJ and spend your last night near the airport. You could also do the Arenal part at the end, after returning to SJ from Osa.
2 years ago we visited Manuel Antonio, Osa, Arenal and Tamarindo in 2 weeks and it was a great trip.
Iza is offline  
Feb 24th, 2003, 12:48 PM
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How does this sound??

Day One: Fly into San Jose
Private Car to Monteverde Cloud Forest at Hotel Montana US $75

Day Two: Frong Pond Butterfly Garden

Day Three Canopy Tour

Day Four Horseback ride to Arenal Volcano Area
Arenal Volcano Area:
Arrive at Tabacon Resort $139 a night includes Breakfast
Relax in springs
Day 5 Spa Day

2 Nights at Hotel Tacotal
Day 6 Cave Tour

$80 a night Suite Cabin with full volcano view, 1 King bed, bathroom with hot Jacuzzi bathtub, bidet, satellite TV, a/c, bar, game table, sofa. Includes full breakfast

Day 7 take one of the private buses/shuttles to Quepos/Manuel Antonio
Check in at Hotel Makanda by the Sea
Three Nights here $175 a night

Day 10 Take Private Jet to Osa Peninsula
At the bosque del cabo Cabins $250 a night Including all meals.

Day 13 Flight Back to San Jose stay night in Xanadri
Day 14 fly home
rebecca05 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2003, 01:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Rebecca, I think if I were you I would probably cut out one night from the Arenal portion of your trip and added that to either Manuel Antonio or Osa. So you would have 2 nights in Monteverde, 2 nights in Arenal, 3-4 nights in MA, 3-4 nights on Osa and 1 night in Alajuela. You may also consider staying at just one hotel in Arenal instead of 2 (packing and moving hotels always takes time and is really not necessary since these hotels appear to be in the same general location).
Also, keep in mind that that you will not get a "jet" to fly to Osa, it will most likely be a small 4-5 seater, twin engine prop plane!
Iza is offline  
Feb 24th, 2003, 06:55 PM
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Iza: The reason for the hotel switch is that I have heard that the hotel Tabacon is a little touristy but we really wanted to go to the hot springs. It would be cheaper to stay there a night or two than pay for tranfers and the $20 entrance fee. Which day would you cut out to add to Osa or M.A.

I am aware the "jet" won't be a jet but I was showing this same print out to my bridesmaids and they oooh and ahhh more with "jet" than "puddle-jumper"
rebecca05 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2003, 07:03 PM
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I am pretty sure you can fly on one of the regular flights (travel air or Sansa) to Puerto Jimenez from Quepos. Size of the plane will vary. I was on a flight from Puerto Jimenez to Quepos in an 18 seater. A couple of weeks ago I flew on a 6 seater from PJ directly to SJ but a charter to Quepos (larger plane) left just before mine. I think you need to check directly with the airlines for those flights. One of Phils people (Bosque del Cabo) in the office can make the plane reservations for you also.
One hotel in the Arenal area is enough. La Fortuna is not that big of a place.
The best viewing for the lava/hot red rocks is around Arenal Paraiso, Montana del Fuego, and Tabacon right now. The location for the best viewing changes due to the path of least resistance changing. There is a little restaurant between Paraiso and Montana del Fuego called El Novillo where you can eat outside and watch the red hot rocks come tumbling down the side of the volcano. Food is pretty good there also.
Suzie2 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 10:08 AM
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Both Iza and Suzie give you good advise. When at Tabacon I suggest you get to the hot springs early then later in the evening. Resort guests can enter early before the general public and the experience is totally different than when the crowds arrive later. I agree with Iza that you may want to consider an extra day in Osa. That part of the country was the highlight of our trip and we loved Bosque del Cabo.
DaveS is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 05:42 PM
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I don't know where you're flying from. Unless you can arrive in San Jose by early afternoon, you'll probably have to stay close by the first night. I'm in the midwest, and can't get to CR in time to 'get out of town'. There are some lovely small hotels fairly close to the airport.

We spent three nights at Makanda last week. Truly a wonderful place, with great staff. Only drawback is the killer walk up the hill to the main road between Quepos and Manual Antonio. However, we don't mind walking and made the hike a couple times a day. I would advise carrying a flashlight at night, the road is pretty well lit, but there are no sidewalks and people drive fast. Of course, you could also take a cab.
JeanH is offline  
Feb 28th, 2003, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 11
Wow - you have a lot of great information here. One thing that has been overlooked, however, is a wonderful place to stay right outside the airport. We just returned from a spectacular trip to CR and our favorite part was the Finca Rosa Blanca Country Inn (in Santa Barbara de Heredia). They have a van that will pick you up from the airport (about a 20 minute drive). The staff is fabulous, the design - unlike any I have ever seen, the food gourmet....I could go on and on. See for yourself on their website (www.fincarosablanca.com). They are also well reviewed in MoonHandbooks Costa Rica. We started and ended our vacation at Finca Rosa and will do so on all of our future trips. Of the 2 rooms we stayed in, we preferred El Cafetal (jr. suite). The regular rooms (Blanca y Negra, Las Mascaras, etc..) are not very large, but the whole atmophere of the inn is so special, it more than makes up for it. Check it out - you won't be disappointed.

While we stayed there, we did a day trip to La Paz Waterfalls and Poas Volcano. As many other posters have covered the details of these trips, I won't repeat, other than to say that we thoroughly enjoyed both destinations. Finca Rosa can make arrangements for you. Ask for Francisco.

We also stayed at Makanda while in Manuel Antonio. Beautiful grounds, luxurious rooms, etc.. Definitely a good honeymoon site - very secluded and removed from the touristy areas. Be sure to venture down to their private beach. Upon check in, we were told that they had a small private beach that we could use but you had to walk down a lot of steps to get there. Regretably, we didn't check it out until the morning that we were leaving (by that time you will realize that everything has a lot of steps, but it is usually worth it). The beach is not what I was expecting when they said small and it is BEAUTIFUL - don't miss it! Whatever you do, you can't go wrong in CR - have a great time!!!!!!!!
JKP is offline  

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