Itinerary

Old Sep 26th, 2009, 12:38 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Itinerary

My wife & I are planning our first trip to Costa Rica, and wonder if we are planning too many stops.
SAT - Arrive SJO 12:30pm, and drive to Vocano Poas area
SUN - Vocano Poas and dive to Arenal area. Night in Arenal
MON - Arenal Area. Night in Arenal.
TUE - Arenal area and visit Monte Verde
WED - Drive to MA. Night in MA
THU - Night in MA
FRI - Drive to San Jose
SAT - Tour San Jose
SUN - 2:00pm flight home

Is the above itinerary too much? And if staying in Arenal area, shoudl we spend Tuesday night in Monte Verde, and then leave from there for MA on Wednesday?

Appreciate the advice,
shannonj is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2009, 12:44 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You really don't have time to go to Monteverde; it looks like you only have one night scheduled there. It's a long bumpy drive to get there. You would basically just get there and then have to come back the next day. I would spend at least three nights in Arenal and at least three nights in MA.
volcanogirl is online now  
Old Sep 26th, 2009, 02:34 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good advice from vgirl. And I would skip that first night and Volcan Poas and head straight for Arenal. Sometimes you get to see down into the crater and sometimes you don't. Likewise, Arenal. Sometimes there is cloud cover for days with only brief glimpses. I'd put my bet on Arenal with more time.

I'm one of the few persons who will tell you that San Jose is worth part of a day. Definitely we think it is. It has some good stuff. I'd recommend Hotel Britania (or Britanica, we stayed once and liked it really well) or Don Carlos, have stayed many times. Very nice location for stepping out on your own during the day. One of the nicer places to stay is Hotel Grano de Oro (with a fab restaurant). From there you can taxi down to the main areas around the National Theatre, the Mercado Central, the Gold Museum, and lots of small but worthy restaurants. It's a full day. We love to have a cappucino (wish I had a $1 for all the times I've said that) outside the Gran Hotel Costa Rica across from the Teatro Nacional and just people watch. It's a nice area. Don't miss POPS ice cream on the corner!

My advice would be to choose one of the following itineraries:

3 days Arenal 4 days Manuel Antonio (or vice versa)

3 days Monteverde 4 days MA (or vice versa)

Either of the two choices above, but 3 nights/3 nights and San Jose thrown in there.

Since your departure flight out is 2:00 p.m. (and you need to be at the airport by 11:30 or so), you COULD add the 4th night and drive back on the day of (leaving by 7:00 or so).

Hope this helps. The good news is: it is almost impossible to make a bad decision!
shillmac is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2009, 06:03 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Too much SJ time...

www.monteverdeinfo.com far prettier and more scenic

than downtown SJ spend a full day there

www.fondavela.com nice to stay

You can catch an SJ city tour around your flight night

So 3 Arenal 2 Monteverde 3 MA 1 SJ close to Airport

www.mybeaconescazu.com nice there

Have fun,
qwovadis is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2009, 07:07 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you can get out of San Jose as soon as possible . It's a very dirty town . We just returned from Cost Rica on the 24th and headed back in December . We did 2 nights in Arenal , 2 nights in Monteverde , 3 nights in Manuel Antonio and 2 nights in San Jose . Manuel Antonio is the most beautiful spot there is . We are reurning for 7 days in December and only going to Manuel Antonio . To us Arenal was ok , but to see the eruptions at night you have to be on the opposite side of the valcano from 98% of the hotels in the area . If you are a hiker , then Monteverde is a wonderful place to see . Getting there is some of the enjoyment , you have about 40 mile of dirt and rock road to drive up the mountains , but it is pretty . Make sure to rent a 4x4 vehicle . In Arenal we stayed at the Montana de Fuego which was a nice property but nothing exceptional . In Monteverde we stayed at the Monteverde Lodge which is a very nice place . In Manuel Antonio we stayed at the Costa Verde , where we will stay again and again , breathtaking views from Studio and Sudio II rooms . In San Jose we stayed at the Grano de Oro , don,t waste your time or money there . Do not rent a car from Mapache , they pull a bait and switch with your deposit and tried to rip us off 3 times . Thrifty has the best rates . No road signs there so if you don't have a good sense of direction , rent a GPS . The Manual Antonio area offers all the activities of Arenal and Monteverde , other than the valcno that may not be visible . Plus at Manuael Antonio you have the Pacific Ocean .
ezcatchfishing is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2009, 07:22 AM
  #6  
RAC
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,951
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Drop Monteverde and San Jose and do 3-3 Arenal Manuel Antonio. Monteverde is too remote to be a one-night destination, and San Jose is one of the five ugliest places in Costa Rica.
RAC is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2009, 08:00 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Of all the places you're going, Arenal is our favorite spot because there's so much to see and do there. Seeing the active volcano is amazing; you can also hike to the bottom of the beautiful waterfall and swim there, do the Cano Negro tour to see wildlife, go to the natural hot springs like Eco Termales or Tabacon, white water raft with Rios Tropicales, zip line at Sky Trek, and hike the Hanging Bridges. Manuel Antonio is nice if you want beach time - it's a little more Americanized than some of your other spots, but offers lots of good restaurant choices and easy access to wildlife. We usually only spend time in San Jose due to our flight times - have stayed at both Xandari and Grano de Oro and liked them.
volcanogirl is online now  
Old Sep 28th, 2009, 07:40 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the useful responses. We've scales back our plans a bit. We are staying the first 3 nights at AOL in Arenal and then 4 nights at La Posada in MA. Just one night in San Jose before we fly out. Perhaps we'll get to Monte Verde next time.

If you have any "must do's" for Arenal, MA, or San Jose, we'd appreciate the advice.
shannonj is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2009, 07:52 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think you made the right choice shannon. Monteverde just isn't a easy to access area for a stopover. In Arenal my suggestions include Cano Negro tour and Eco-Thermales hot springs with dinner, hanging bridges, volcano hike, horseback to waterfall, cultural tour with Desafio, canopy tour...there are a lot of activities there so you won't have time to do them all. Some of the more adventurous ones are Venado Caves or canyoning and waterfall rapelling. In MA you can do some of the same things so depending on how you want to split them up there are also canopy tours there (Titi and Canopy Safari are the ones that come to mind), sailing, snorkeling (not really great, but can be fun), Finca Valmy horseback, Damas mangrove kayaking, and of course the park where you could spend a full day with a picnic playing in the waves and spotting wildlife. Note the park is closed on Mondays. As shillmac said, Don Carlos is a good place to stay in the city in a good location and has a great gift shop for last minute things. If you aren't planning on sightseeing in the city Orquideas Inn is always a great place to chill last night.
hipvirgochick is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2009, 04:25 AM
  #10  
RAC
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,951
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For Arenal, Cano Negro is a good day trip, and is great when combined with a hot springs visit with dinner.

Also good in Arenal are the hanging bridges. I would also set aside a day or two while staying at the AOL to just explore the grounds, check out the wildlife, and gawk at the volcano. Apparently there are good ziplines in the area, but we haven't used them.

For Manuel Antonio, we really enjoyed Titi Canopy tours and our afternoon tour of the park. Juan Brenes is an excellent guide and we had a great time with thim.

http://juanbrenes.blogspot.com/
RAC is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
beachmountainhounds
Mexico & Central America
20
Jun 29th, 2009 09:07 AM
Lizzy44
Mexico & Central America
4
Apr 13th, 2009 10:18 AM
cdnelli
Mexico & Central America
23
May 16th, 2004 07:37 AM
Kwoo
Mexico & Central America
17
Mar 19th, 2004 08:34 PM
rwech
Mexico & Central America
7
Jan 22nd, 2004 12:41 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:50 AM.