Itinerary help

Old Mar 18th, 2004, 09:52 AM
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Itinerary help

My husband and I are heading down to Costa Rica on April 22nd and have 15 nights there. We have to spend the first and last night near the airport due to flight times. We want to get some time in at the beach (scuba/snorkeling/surfing) and see the rainforest (hiking/canopy tour). We're both active and want to see as much as we can.

This is what I'm thinking as a tenative interary. Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated.

1 nt: San Jose
4 nts: Nicoya Penninsula (2 nights Tamarindo, 2 nights Samara)
2 nts: Monteverde (from Putarenas) - possibly stay at Fonda Vela.
4 nts: Jaco/Quepos - considering staying at Villa Caletos and taking day trips to Arenal and Manual Antonio instead of splitting the time between the two.
3 nts: Osa Peninsula. Torn between staying at Lapa Rios (is it worth the price?) and somewhere is Drake's bay.
1 nt: San Jose.

Are there other places that you would reccomend on the Nicoya peninsula?

Thanks for your help!
sfbutlers is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2004, 10:20 AM
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Dear sfbutlers,
A few comments:
1. Monteverde requires at least two nights, and you definitely have time for it, but you have planned really really long drives on the days you go to and leave Monteverde. You can count on many long and tiring hours on the road the day you get from Samara to Monteverde, and the day you drive from Monteverde to Jaco/Quepos. I personally am not a big fan of Monteverde, and I would change it for Arenal in a heart beat (you can read a lot of opinions on Monteverde, but all agree that the drive there is not easy nor short). In any case, you should probably plan a stop on the way, at least on one way, because I believe by then you will be a little tired and another full day of driving won't help. You can stop in the Central Valley. Remember, that it will basically take you an entire day to get to Monteverde, and an entire day to get down from Monteverde, and you will only have one full day to enjoy it.
2. If you want to go specifically to Villa Caletas, then you should stay there, of course. But otherwise, it makes much more sense to stay in MA (there are some beautiful hotels there), since there is much more to do (canopy, the national park, the beaches, restaurants etc).
3. I haven't been to Osa myself, but some may say that you have too much beach time and it may be repetitive. You may want to skip one of the beach locations, and spend a few more days inland, and enjoy something a little bit differnt (Poas Volcano, Carara Biological Reserve, Turubari Park, La Paz waterfalls, whitewater rafting, to name a few).

Please feel free to write me directly for any more info or questions.
Pura vida,
Neta Talmor
costaricafinca is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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This is what you are looking at...
Day one arrive....night in SJ
D2 5-6hr drive to Tamarindo surfing
D3 Tamarindo Full day snorkeling/diving. Catalina/Bat Island the best area to go.
D4 Drive to Samara. Not too long. Ally???any ideas on this?? Personally I would just stay in Tamarindo.
D5 Samara/Tamarindo or leave for Monteverde.
D6 about 4-5hrs to Monteverde. Leave Samara very early and you might get to Monteverde by noon. You can hike Finca Ecologica, visit the Butterfly garden, possibly a night hike today.
D7 Early to one of the Reserves. If going to Monteverde, make reservation day before and ask for guided hike (just a tiny bit more but worth it). Stop for a peek at the artisans shops possibly lunch at Stellas or the other place next door on your way back towards town. Afternoon at one of the canopy tours...either sky trek or Selvatura. Fonda Vela is a nice place. A bit far from everything but if you have a car it will be no problem.
D8 Drive to Jaco..about 3 1/2hrs or Manuel Antonio making it more like 5-6 hrs assuming you will be stopping for lunch somewhere.
D9 Central Pacific somewhere
D10 Central Pacific
D11 Central Pacific.
D12 you could possibly fly to the Osa (puerto Jimenez) from Quepos(Manuel Antonio). This is not a regularly scheduled flight but if you have someone down there help you can do it. Whichever hotel you stay in can help with your flight. You would also need to make arrangements to leave your car in Manuel Antonio. Otherwise you could drive the 1 1/2-2hrs to San Jose to catch a flight to the Osa.
D13 Osa
D14 Leave Osa fly to San Jose
D15 leave CR
This schedule would drive me nuts! For this short a time I would definitely skip the Osa or Monteverde. I really like Monteverde but I really love the Osa. As Neta pointed out, you are already spending a good bit of time on the coast so some interior time would be a good idea.

Suzie2 is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2004, 07:35 AM
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The drive from Tamarindo to Samara would be about 2 or 2-1/2 hours, but unless you're wanting to experience a very sleepy fishing village with nothing much to do but swim or fish in a little panga boat, I'd skip it to and just stay in Tamarindo.
Ally is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2004, 11:11 AM
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Monteverde--the Fonda Vela is very nice, and it has good restaurant and bar. We didn't have a car, but cabs were cheap, and we never had to wait more than 5 minutes after the hotel called one for us. $5 would take us practically anywhere in the area--$10 for the extremes. The roads were pretty bad. We learned a lot about the area from chatting with cab drivers.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
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