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rnhm Sep 10th, 2005 11:22 AM

honeymoon . . . tamarindo or manuel antonio?
My husband and i are planning to go to CR for our honeymon in December. We already have our plane tickets. We're flying in to SJ and then going to Arenal and Monteverde. We aren't sure whether or not to go to Tamarindo or Manuel Antonio for our last leg. We want to end the vacation on the beach. Is it redundant to go to Monteverde and MA? So, what are the better points of tamarindo vs manuel antonio? What are the driving times from Tamarindo back to SJ and from MA to SJ?

2nd question is how do we get around from city to city? We've had a lot of advice to travel by private car. How do we book them?

Can't wait to go!!!

shillmac Sep 10th, 2005 12:14 PM

First of all, congratulations!

Just a couple of points to ponder:

Be sure you have ample time for both Arenal and Monteverde. You need at least 2 nights each. There really isn't any way around that!

Manuel Antonio will probably give you a better overall experience. It is vastly different from Monteverde (which is cloud forest) so absolutely no redundancy!

Tamarindo and MA are both touristy, but touristy in CR doesn't mean anything like the crowds you see at Disneyland! The area around MA will be prettier in December, and I believe you will find more to do there. And I really like Tamarindo area! But Manuel Antonio will offer you rainforest (Tam will not) right up against the beaches. Consequently, there are a lot of options for activities.

Driving time from Tam back to SJO is about 5 hours (minimum)--from Manuel Antonio it is about 3 hours. That helps as well.

We wouldn't consider NOT having a car--we just enjoy immensely driving ourselves around and doing everything when we want to do it.

However, if you choose a combo that includes Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio, it would be very easy to hire private drivers or to use Interbus ( which is an excellent way to transfer and usually cheaper than a driver.

Keep in mind that December is a very busy month, and you should make some decisions and start booking very quickly! Good luck and have fun!

dfarmer Sep 10th, 2005 12:21 PM

"Is it redundant to go to Monteverde and MA?"

This is a question that I certainly can identify with! During our first trip to CR, we visited Monteverde and I was in total awe. Our second trip we visited MA and I was a bit disappointed.

My disappointment was not in what I saw or did - but caused by my lack of realization of the different forest types. Cloud Forest, rainforest, dry forest, secondary forest and so on - I simply did not comprehend that these varied so widely.

So to answer your question as to whether or not these two locations would be redundant - not a chance!

These two locations are totally different, from the Cloud Forest of Monteverde to the Rainforest of Manual Antonio. The towns are completely different from one another, the lodgings, everything is different. Like being in two worlds.

Both places are wonderful in their different ways. I just think you need to continue going to CR to get to see it all!

rnhm Sep 30th, 2005 01:29 PM

Thanks for the help folks.

shillmac Oct 2nd, 2005 03:21 PM

Congratulations and happy honeymooning!

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