Itinerary critique and suggestions

Mar 5th, 2007, 01:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3
Itinerary critique and suggestions

I've been reading through messages on this board, and you are all so helpful!

My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon to CR over Christmas Break this year. I know--it's a busy time, but I am a teacher and that's my only vacation.

Here's our plan, but we need a little help:
1 (12/20): Fly into San Jose, transfer to Xindari
2: Full day at Xandari. Overnight Xandari.
3: Drive to Arenal for afternoon (hanging bridges)/evening (hotsprings/volcano viewing) overnight Arenal.
4: morning in Arenal, drive to Monteverde (leave by lunchtime) Overnight in Monteverde.
5: Full day in Monteverde, overnight in Monteverde.
6-8: Drive to Manuel Antonio (3 nights at Makanda--a splurge)
9-12: Here's where we're stuck.

We're having trouble finding rooms (12/28-12/31) on the Guanacaste coast, which is where we had planned to go. I'm starting to wondering if we're trying to pack in too much. Any suggestions for a revision? We'd like to end the trip with some beach time, although we'd prefer a place where there's people and stuff to do off the beach, rather than a secluded hideaway. Our return flight is scheduled for the afternoon of 12/31 from Liberia.

thank you so much for your help.
hatshepsut is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 02:09 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,149
Last August we stayed at El Jardin de Eden in Tamarindo, Guanacaste. This is not right on the beach, but on a slight hill above the town and has a private walkway down to the main part of Tamarindo where you can access the beach. It was nice and quiet up there.

We had a balcony with a great view, the restaurant was open air with very good food (excellent buffet breakfast included) and there were two pools adjacent, one with a swim-up bar. And it has very pretty grounds.

We were visiting our daughter and her husband who live and work in Tamarindo and this was their suggestion. (Their apt. was too small for the four of us and the two cats <grin>.)

While we did not surf, there is a 'surfing school' in Tamarindo, which, I believe, will let you at least get your feet wet if you are not experienced.

Your itinerary sounds 'do-able', as they say, but I would suggest flying from Manuel Antonio to San Jose, then Tamarindo. Or at least flying from San Jose to Tamarindo after driving to San Jose. Some of the roads to Tamarindo are, umm, interesting, and I would not do them without a 4 x 4. Our daughter, who is experienced with the potholes and the slalom driving necessary to avoid them, drove us from there to Arenal and back.

While they were busy working we did rent a 4 x 4 for a couple of days and drove further down the coast and visited Santa Cruz, and Guatil, a crafts village. It wasn't bad after we had watched how to do it. (Wherever you drive, as you crest a hill, go slow. There very well might be two traffic cops waiting for you on the other side. If oncoming car flashes their lights at you they are warning you....gendarmes ahead. The police will tell you that it will be much more convenient for you to pay the fine on the spot rather than having to go to court. Don't flash your money (my daughter slipped most of her bills to me while the cop was writing the citation, and then took out what was left and said "this is all I have with me".) Of course it was accepted.

I hope this is useful information...happy wedding, happy honeymoon. You will love Costa Rica. (I assume you are going to do a zip line? They look like great fun (for someone your age. They would give me a heart attack <giggle>.)
jtrandolph is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 03:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,541
I would spread it out more and skip the last (unknown) option. Right now you're cramming 6 places in 12 days, too much IMO. I would do nights 3,4,5 in Arenal, nights 6,7,8 in Monteverde and nights 9,10,11 in MA, with a last night near SJO for your flight out next day. Just a fyi - the Christmas time is very busy and many places have already started booked (and may be full), plus many places in MA have minimum night stays, so I'd start making reservations very soon.
tully is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Tully has the exact same thoughts about this as I do--stay longer at Arenal, Monteverde--spread it all out a bit. 3 locations in that amount of time is perfect. Book your last night at another luxe place near the airport, such as Vista del Valle--start your trip out in a restful way and end it up the same. Best of everything! Congratulations! Happy honeymooning--great place to start out!
shillmac is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 131
I noticed you are flying out of Liberia so ignore Shillmac's suggestion about ending up Vista del Valle (but not all the other great suggestions).

May I suggest you think about finishing your trip in Nicaragua at Morgan's Rock - fabulous beach (though definitely a secluded hideaway) with lots of great activities on and off the property. It is a 3 hour land transfer from Liberia. I combined MR with a trip to Costa Rica in January and all I can think about is getting back there.

snoopy12 is offline  
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