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Hoping to learn about Playa Chiquita and the Caribbean

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May 7th, 2007, 01:18 PM
  #1
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Hoping to learn about Playa Chiquita and the Caribbean

Could anyone tell me about Playa Chiquita?

I have been doing lots of searches and have not really found out much. I have been coming across a few mentions of how the Caribbean is "different". Would anyone care to elaborate on that? Does this differnece draw a Grateful Dead/ reefer crowd? Is it "different" in Playa Chiquita?

Thank You!

P.S. I do not think that there is anything wrong with "different". I am just different in a different way.

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May 7th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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"Different" describing the Caribbean used to mean what you mentioned, but not so much anymore. At least, I don't think so. Now, to me, it means "different" than the Pacific coast, and I think that's a good thing: no high-rise condos, no chains, no all-inclusives. You'll find smaller lodgings, much less expensive lodgings and fewer crowds. The trade-off is that the Caribbean gets a lot more rain than does the Pacific coast, but that makes everything lush and green. By now, the end of the dry season, the Pacific coast, especially in Guanacaste, is way too hot and dry and dusty to my liking.

Playa Chiquita is the second beach southeast of Puerto Viejo, beyond between Cocles and before Punta Uva. You'll find several nice hotels along that stretch of coast, but even at the nicest hotel there, the Shawandha, you'll pay a lot less than you would for a comparable lodging on the Pacific coast.
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May 7th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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"Different" also means a different ethnic mix than you'll find in the rest of Costa Rica. Many of the people are descended from African laborere who were brought to work the banana plantations.
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May 7th, 2007, 07:44 PM
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Hi Jeff!

Thank you so much! It really helps to know how "different" it is. Especially when traveling with our daughter.

Do you have a suggestion on how to combine it with a stop in Turrialba?

We are trying to figure out if we should rent a car. Wondered if the driving was really scary in a scared for your life kind of way. Worry a bit about taking a bus- our daughter gets car sick and was very bus sick traveling to Merida. What is the Greyline?

Thank you! Sorry to have so many questions. Just trying to figure out if we can add this to our trip back to the Osa.
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May 8th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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If you're coming back from the Osa overland, you'd leave the main highway at Cartago and head toward Paraiso, then Turrialba. From Turrialba, you go north toward Siquirres where you join the Caribbean highway. That Turrialba-Siquirres route is a bit twisting and turning. If somone is prone to carsickness, they might have problems.

Grayline:

www.graylinecostarica.com

and

Interbus:

www.interbusonline.com

are minivan shuttle services that operate fixed point-to-point service within Costa Rica. Interbus serves more locales than Grayline, but either can get you to most common tourist destinations in the country. They're a lot more comfortable than public buses and a lot cheaper than renting a vehicle.
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May 8th, 2007, 01:49 PM
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Thank you so much, jeff. You are so kind to pass along all this great information.
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May 8th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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Hi Gem,
As usual, Jeff has given you great concise information. I agree with his assessment of the Caribbean side and its "pros". We really enjoyed Aguas Claras, which was just steps through a little bit of foliage to the beach at Playa Chiquita. . .at least I think that's the beach where we were. I can never remember the order of the beaches over there and which hotels are near which ones! We really enjoy that area and try to get over there every time we visit.

Just wanted to mention to you that the first time we went, we were on a 4 day jaunt and that is the only place we went. That said, we drove over there (no surprises driving, fairly decent roads until past Cahuita, where there are more potholes) on the Braulio Carillo highway through the park and the Zurqui tunnel. It is a particularly pretty drive as you get a few nice glimpses of the depths of the canyon in the park.

Returning, we did the route Jeff mentioned (only in the opposite direction) and turned off at Siquirres, heading down toward Turrialba. We spent a full day driving back to SJO that day as we stopped at Guayabo Monumento Nacional (pre-Columbian ruins, interesting) and also toured through the Orosi Valley a bit. It IS a full day, though. We were unable to leave until after 9:00 from the Cahuita area (had intended to leave much earlier, but the rain held us up a couple of hours). We got into SJO about 5:00 or 6:00 p.m.

The next time we made that particular detour, we spent the night in Turrialba at Casa Turire, a beautiful hotel. The next day we enjoyed a more leisurely sight seeing time through the Orosi Valley. There is a LOT to see in that area. We particularly love the old ruins at Ujarras. We did NOT visit CATIE, where tropical plants are studied, but would like to sometime. Lankester Gardens is nice. The entire valley very beautiful.

I hope this bit of information will be a helpful supplement to the questions Jeff has already answered.

As to the temp and the rainfall, just a bit more. . .while it can rain there anytime of day, any day of the year (it's always rainy season), the months of Sept. and October are generally drier. Just the opposite of the Pacific side. December-January are very rainy months over there. We were there the first time in January, and that particular time the rain didn't hamper us all that much. However, during those 2 months, it CAN rain enormous amounts and it isn't uncommon for the highway to not be passable between Cahuita and Limon at a couple of estuary areas. The temps rarely get above 85 degrees, any day of the year. For what it's worth. . .

Happy planning!
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May 8th, 2007, 03:56 PM
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hi Jill,
Thank you so much for all the suggestions!! It does sound like fun. Our primary purpose to vist the Carribean and Turrialba was to look at schools. My husband and I have talked more on the subject and he feels that he needs to based in the states to work but would be up for more frequent visits to CR and buying land when we can. Since we are no longer in a rush to see schools we may wait on the Caribben. We really want to go back to the Osa and it seems like a lot of traveling to add to an Osa trip.

Now, I am hoping to expand our time in the Osa so we can see more and get to know the area. We will stay at BdC but I would like to do some exploring before we go. Any suggestions?

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May 8th, 2007, 06:57 PM
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No, I'm limited to BdC on the Osa--for now. And you're probably right in not trying to combine the east coast with the west--that's a lot of movemiento!

Sounds like you guys are getting serious about your time in CR--keep us all "posted" (pun intended) on your progress!
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May 8th, 2007, 09:38 PM
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Jill-

Thank you for confirming that it would be a lot for one trip. I just sort of thought that it might be but did not know for sure.

I love your pun!!
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