Itenirary Help Needed!

Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 06:19 PM
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Itenirary Help Needed!

My husband and I are going to Costa Rica for the first time in June. We are absolutely thrilled! We are going to be there for 9 days (arriving late on the 3rd and departing early on the 12th). There are too many places we want to go in the short time that we are there. In your opinion, what are the three "can't miss" things to do in Costa Rica? We absolutely want to see the Arenal Volcano, spend some time relaxing at the beach, and do a canopy tour too. We don't want an overly crowded beach, and we're not big on nightlife. Any suggestions for an itenirary? Beach suggestions? We were leaning towards going down to the Osa peninsula. Would we be able to do a canopy tour near there? I know many of you have travelled to CR many times, or live there, and your help is greatly appreciated! Also, any recommendations for a hotel in San Jose? We arrive at 9pm and will most likely need something near the airport. Thanks!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 07:35 PM
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Since you arriving late, you are down to 8 nights. What time is your departing flight? If it is early in the day (like before 2:00) you will want to stay near the airport again. That leaves 7 nights. I would suggest Arenal first--2-3 nights, then Manuel Antonio, 4-5 nights. Both are about 3 hours from the airport, but are about 6 hours apart.

If you want another location, try Monteverde. Many people like the Arenal-Monteverde combo for about 4 nights (2 each). Since you will get an early morning start on Day 2, you will have plenty of time to enjoy Arenal before transferring to Monteverde. From Monteverde, the drive to Manuel Antonio is about 5 hours.

You can do a canopy tour at any of these locations (not sure if any are available on the Osa or not), and the one at Monteverde gets great reviews. Others can tell you more about that.

Manuel Antonio offers some very nice beaches and a beautiful national park where you can see a lot of wildlife. If you do Arenal and Monteverde both, you could finish up with 3 nights at MA.

Near the airport, there are several Fodor's recommended hotels: closest (across the highway) is the Hampton Inn & Suites. We like Las Orquideas (has a little more character--not so cookie cutter). I also like Hotel Villa Bonita (about 5 minutes from the airport). www.hotelvillabonita.com

Happy travels!
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Old Apr 26th, 2005, 07:26 PM
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shillmac-Thanks for your advice! Which hotel would you recommend in Manuel Antonio? We've been looking at Si Como No and Mango Moon. We've been toying with the idea of adding Mal Pais to our itenirary and visiting Arenal on another trip. What do you think of Mal Pais? Where would you recommend staying? Thanks again!
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Old Apr 26th, 2005, 07:45 PM
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We enjoyed Si Como No immensely. Villas Nicolas and Costa Verde get steady good reviews.

MalPais is SO relaxing! We liked Tropico Latino--the beachfront cabina--there's only one that is truly beachfront. There are some other nice places in the area as well. You could do a search on this board.

Milarepa and Flor Blanca get good reviews and are more upscale.
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Old Apr 26th, 2005, 07:56 PM
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Thanks again! Is it possible to drive between San Jose, Manuel Antonio, and Mal Pais? or would you recommend flying?
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