Itinerary advice?

Old Sep 12th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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Itinerary advice?

I'm planning our first trip to CR and would like to know if this is too much to try to do. We've got 2 weeks, but can add on a day or two if we need to. We're renting a 4x4.
Day 1 fly to SJO, arrive really late, stay at Melia Cariari ($71 night at Travelocity seemed like a great deal--will need someplace that will have food late at night).
Day 2 drive to Arenal Paraiso (2 nights)
Day 3 hike around Arenal area
Day 4 drive to Monteverde--El Sapo Dorado (3 nights)
Day 5 Monteverde Cloud Forest
Day 6 Santa Elena Cloud Forest
Day 7 drive to Carrara & stay at Villa Lapas (2 nights)--walk trails at hotel that afternoon
Day 8 Carrara National Park
Day 9 short drive to Manuel Antonio & stay at Tulemar (4 nights)--relax on their beach
Day 10 Manuel Antonio park
Day 11 day trip south of MA
Day 12 Damas estuary or Rainmaker
Day 13 MA park in morning, drive to San Jose--stay at Melia Cariari again
Day 14 early morning flight home

About how long does it take to drive from Monteverde to Carrara? I'm thinking of adding maybe a day onto San Jose at the end and taking a day trip up to La Paz Waterfalls and doing the Doka (sp?) coffee tour in the afternoon--is that doable?

Thank everyone--love reading all these messages!
Lorraine
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Old Sep 12th, 2003, 10:34 AM
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I forgot to add to this post that we're traveling during May, 2004.

Lorraine
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 03:31 PM
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Lorraine, Your itinerary looks good. Just be aware that the drive from Arenal to Monteverde is probably going to be awful. We did a very similar itinerary two years ago. It is hard to describe the drive but it is slow, huge pot holes, and truly an adventure. The roads in the town itself are just as bad. However,the fun of having your own vehicle and convenience canot be beat. This summer we took our third trip there and again drove, this time to Nosara and then all the way to the Osa Peninsula and back to Manuel Antonio, and then back to San Jose. We did stay at Sapo Dorado in a sunset room with a view. It was very nice. Like most we enjoyed Johnnys Pizzaria and Stellas bakery for lunch. I can't remember how long it took to get to Manuel Antonio from Monteverde because we got lost. Have a great time.
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Old Sep 30th, 2003, 04:52 PM
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Karen,

How was the drive to and from Osa? Was the scenery interesting? How long did it take you? I keep vascillating between flying and driving. I hate those little planes, but don't want to "waste" hours and hours driving down there if the drive itself isn't fun. What do you recommend?
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Old Oct 11th, 2003, 07:01 AM
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Jo, Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Just found this question. The drive from Quepos to Puerto Jimenez took about five hours. It is not for the faint of heart. At one point the road was totally washed out and we had to ford a fairly deep stream. It was a lot of fun. The drive from Puerto Jimenez to Bosque del Cabo took about forty five minutes. Before attempting this drive in the rainy season it would be helpful to get an idea of the road conditions from someone in Puerto Jimenez because it can be dicey. The reason we drove is that it was our third trip and we were trying to just wing it. In retrospect my husband said that next year we will fly to the Osa. We do plan on going back to Bosque del Cabo next year. We absolutely loved it. (On the drive back to Quepos we got lost, and started heading up mountains, wchich I knew was wrong. We ended up having to stay in Dominical one night because we ran out of light. Getting lost is part of the fun of driving in Costa Rica.) I do love the freedom of our own schedule and vehicle. If you do drive we used dollar car rental services and got what I think was a good price and excellent service. Have fun. Karen
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