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Is Private Driver/Guide helpful for POAS Day-trip from Heredia, Costa Rica?

Is Private Driver/Guide helpful for POAS Day-trip from Heredia, Costa Rica?

Old Dec 9th, 2010, 12:17 AM
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Is Private Driver/Guide helpful for POAS Day-trip from Heredia, Costa Rica?

My husband and I are spending our last 2 nights in Costa Rica at Hotel Bougainvillea. That gives us 1 full day for a day-trip. We are considering booking a private driver/guide for a full-day trip (8 hours) to take us from Hotel Bougainvillea up to Poas, and then to take us to see interesting nearby sites before returning us to the same hotel. (Day-trip would be from 7:00 am til 3:00 pm.)

I have several questions.
--Is Poas a good choice for a day-trip with private driver/guide?
--Would it be better for us to just rent a car for our last 2 days?
--What other sights would fit into this day-trip?

More information about us: This is our 2nd trip to Costa Rica. We are also spending 5 nights at Bosque del Cabo on this trip in January, to celebrate our anniversary. (On our 1st trip to Costa Rica, we stayed in Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio areas.)

On our first trip to Costa Rica we drove everywhere...my husband drove. But we thought it would be interesting to hire a local driver for 1 day, as we would also learn more about Costa Rica through the eyes of a local. So we were thinking we wouldn't need a car on this trip. (We are also flying down to Bosque del Cabo on Nature Air.)

Ok if you have any ideas about Poas as a day-trip from Heredia, I'd like to hear them. Or ideas about private driver/guides. Hotel Bougainvillea is in Santo Domingo de Heredia.

Thanks.
Melissa5 is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2010, 02:04 AM
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Easier for me to rent a car and DIY every easy.

www.mapache.com www.servicecarrental.com roads are paved fine

Poas is best visited first tends to cloud up quickly

as the day progresses then perhaps www.waterfalgardens.com

www.dokaestate.com www.xandari.com offers great lunch

with a nice view over the valley...

More costly but also nice guys

www.tucanlimoservices.com Luis

www.dosgringoscr.com

Happy Journey,
qwovadis is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2010, 04:53 AM
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I think since it is one day, a driver would be nice. That way you can just relax. You will be driving through areas that are called the "Switzerland" of Costa Rica. Rolling green hills, cows, an image that looks more like Lucerne than central america. The driver could take you to Poas, then to the waterfall gardens which is not far away. Would make a wonderful day trip, I go to Poas and the waterfall gardens often, and I enjoy each time as if it was my first. Poas also has a side trail to a lake, so if you enjoy hiking, it is a great way to get some exercise and see lots of birds.

There are also two great tiny restaurants right before you go up to the entrance to Poas that has a view to die for. Great place to have breakfast before or after seeing the volcano. Reasonable prices.

Driver- I would recommend
www.tucanlimoservices.com
Waterfall gardens website
http://www.waterfallgardens.com/

You can have lunch at the gardens, expensive, last time I checked was $15 a person, but it was a big buffet and just such a lovely experience.

Safe travels
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Old Dec 9th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Mel, I think all the suggestions above are great. We've done a combo Poas and Doka Coffee Estate tour that was really enjoyable. Also really enjoyed the waterfalls at the waterfall gardens/Peace Lodge. If you're there at the right time, you can hand feed hummingbirds which is pretty cool. Given that you're a little nervous, I think hiring a guide/driver might be the way to go so you can just sit back and relax and enjoy it. There's also a French restaurant called Colbert's that shillmac really likes - not sure if it's still there after the earthquake though. It's a very pretty area.
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Old Dec 9th, 2010, 10:30 AM
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If Poas is heavily fogged when you reach the entrance just have the driver take you to La Paz instead. And just how early can you get a driver to show up? Doka Estates was a nice tour and the lunch buffet is okay.
mlgb is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2010, 10:10 PM
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Thanks for all your great ideas! I'm looking into getting a private driver/guide. I'm also crazy busy right now so its hard to get time to work on the trip. I need a vacation.

One thing I like about Poas is that it sounds like we will enjoy it even if my foot doesn't allow for too much hiking. (How much walking/hiking I can do depends on how my foot is doing.)

QUESTION about La Paz: Do you think the cost of the La Paz Waterfall Gardens is worth it if my tender foot is still limiting my walks to 1-2 hours? If my foot improves I can hike all day...but my foot has been tender lately and it's unpredictable.

Question about Doka: I LOVE coffee but my husband hates the taste and smell of coffee. Has anybody toured Doka with a spouse who doesn't like coffee? What do you think? (I LIVE for coffee and adore the scent of coffee. Husband doesn't... He's a biologist...who drinks tea.
Melissa5 is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2010, 03:29 AM
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The Waterfall Gardens is beautiful. It shouldn't take more than 1-2 hours to see the falls, but there are stairs. I haven't been since the earthquake, but my understanding is that things are in pretty good shape. Maybe someone who has been there post earthquake can chime in.

Neither of us are coffee drinkers, other than the occasional cup, but the tour is interesting, and the grounds are very pretty. He will smell coffee if things are in season, because they take you through the roasting and packaging process. They also served us samples of different varieties, but he wouldn't have to take those. If you're spending several days at BdC looking for snakes with your hubby, then he can spend a day at the coffee tour - hee, hee!
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Old Dec 12th, 2010, 05:19 AM
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I think volvano girl is right. You can walk the stairs if you like at La Paz or not see the waterfalls and enjoy the rest of the resort. Really beautiful, and is only a couple hours to see the whole thing. If your foot hurts, and you want to see a waterfall, have the driver go past the resort and you will be able to stop at a big one and see it that way.

The earthquake was nasty, (tore the hot water heater right off my wall,) but they repaired the roads and resort so no problems there. Didn't do that coffee tour, but sounds interesting.
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