Itinarary Help for Costa Rica


May 31st, 2004, 04:18 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8
Itinarary Help for Costa Rica

I am flying into San Jose late Fri night than flying out the following Fri early aftrn. My question is since there is so much to do and I only have 1 week, where to go?

I want to Whitewater raft the Pacaure, see some sites & have a little beach time so will this work in the time I have if going via bus.

I want to see Arenal, Monteverde (maybe), Manual Antonio and the Corcovada area as well as raft 1 day on the Pacaure, I know to much to little time. What ideas would you have?

Sat-Float Pacaure river all day and make my way via bus to SJ than to Arenal that night
Sun-Arenal and spend night
Mon-leave mid day from Arenal for Quepos
Tues-All day Quepos Manual antonioa area
Wed-Leave for Osa/Corcavado area
Thurs-All day osa/drake area
Fri-early morning fly back to SJ from Corcovado area for 1:45pm flight

Thanks for any help or what might work best~
denvdawg is offline  
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May 31st, 2004, 07:35 PM
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Where to begin? Logistics of traveling in Costa Rica don't lend themselves to this much moving around! As you noted, too much, too little time.
Here are some thoughts for what they are worth:
1. A week is good for a couple of locations.
2. It would be hard to do justice to Corcovado/Osa Peninsula in such a short time.
3. It is never a good idea to count on flying back to San Jose on the same day as your flight. You could, however, get back to the airport fairly easily from Manuel Antonio or Arenal provided you were willing to start out very early. Even then it is a little risky.
4. I may be wrong, but I think you would have to return to San Jose to catch a flight to the Osa. Nearly all domestic flights originate from San Jose.

Your Pacuare tour operator will pick you up from your San Jose hotel and return you there late in the day. You really should wait until the next day to head for Arenal. You could be there in about 3 hours--by noon perhaps.

2 nights Arenal suggested

6 hours from Arenal to Manuel Antonio

2 nights Manuel Antonio suggested
3 if you want to head back to San Jose very early on Friday.

You could also reverse, do 2 nights San Jose, 3 nights Manuel Antonio, then 2 nights Arenal. I think you could get from Arenal back to the airport in just a little less time than from Manuel Antonio. 3 hours as opposed to 3.5 hr from MA.

Remember that it might take longer to return that last day if you are traveling by bus rather than car. You need to be at the airport by 11:30 a.m.

These locations would give you a wonderful Costa Rica experience.

Perhaps others will have some ideas to share with you as well. Safe travels!

shillmac is offline  
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May 31st, 2004, 08:04 PM
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Whew !!!!!

I agree with shillmac,you are trying to see too much.

As she mentioned ,leave out Osa.

Several months back there was a lovely posting by Neta,about how you should go about seeing Costa Rica.

The best way to do it is in parts, like Neta had said.
There is no use skipping across the country, trying to see everything in a cannot be done with any justice.
Also like shillmac said you have to be sure you are in San Jose for your flight.
Personally I would be in San Jose the day before my flight, there are many places to see in the surrounding area as a day trip, and have the comfort of knowing you are near the airport,for your next day's flight.

Hopefully other will offer their opinions also
Percy is offline  
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Jun 1st, 2004, 06:28 AM
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Author: costaricafinca ([email protected])
Date: 01/27/2004, 11:38 am
Message: I have joined the forum only recently, but as someone who lives in Costa Rica, works in the tourism business and has helped many family and friends plan their trips to Costa Rica, I feel I have some insights to the subject of planning such a trip and I thought I would share them with you.

Basically 80% of the people who come to Costa Rica from North America, have the same amount of time for their vacation (between 8 and 11 days usually), more or less the same budget, the same basic knowledge about the main attractions, and the same dilemmas about which mode of transportation to use. And almost everyone goes around with a strong feeling that whatever they will do or wherever they will go, they?ll still be missing on something. To avoid this uncomfortable feeling, let me tell you something right now ? you are right, whatever you will do and wherever you will go, you will still be missing on something, and let me add, you will want to come back for more. This is something, I think, that people have to acknowledge and embrace, and not fear or feel uncomfortable with? Costa Rica is small in size but very large in what it has to offer, and this is what is so wonderful about it.

Knowing this, and not stressing over it, can really make people?s decisions about their itinerary much easier. What I am trying to say is that you shouldn?t stress too much if it is better to go to Monteverde or to Tortugero for example ? both are wonderful and unforgettable! It doesn?t really matter that much. This is exactly why people have such a hard time deciding ? it is because everything they hear sounds so wonderful.

In general, for first time visitors, I think a combination of a volcano (be it Arenal, Poas, Irazu?), beach (Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, Tortugero?) and central valley (for beautiful day trips, mountains, rain/cloud forests?) is ideal. Any combination will work for almost anyone, and will give a decent taste of Costa Rica (remember, you will want to come back again anyway...).

This brings me to another issue ? because it is a little bit hard to travel in Costa Rica (only from a technical point of view, the roads are not very good, the distances on the map are misleading...), I think it is more important to take the time and really think about what kind of traveler you and your travel companions are. Do you feel comfortable renting a car, or do you prefer a shuttle service? Perhaps a personal driver? Are you very active and want to do adventurous things (canopy, rafting, snorkeling), or do you prefer to relax and watch the sunsets, or maybe a combination? (on the beach, in the mountains). Do you like to stay in the same place for a few days, or move around a lot?

Because of the technical difficulties of traveling in Costa Rica, thinking about these things, I believe, is very important in designing an itinerary which you will feel comfortable with and enjoy. Where to go, and in what order, will come together better if you think about the kind of traveler you are.

These are just my thoughts and insights, but hopefully it will make some of your decisions easier. If you want to contact me directly, feel free to write to my email.

Thanks and Pura Vida,

(Posted by Neta some months ago to assist first timers in making choices regarding their time in CR)
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