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Itinerary help: Corcovado vs Tortuguero, Arenal vs Monteverde

Itinerary help: Corcovado vs Tortuguero, Arenal vs Monteverde

Old Nov 9th, 2004, 05:50 PM
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Itinerary help: Corcovado vs Tortuguero, Arenal vs Monteverde

Hello all. I have been reading your posts and I am blown away by all of your generosity in giving your time. I wanted to ask for some advice. I am going to CR for 7 days Thanksgiving week.
Currently, I am renting a car to drive to Arenal for 2 days,
1 day in Monteverde,
driving back to San Jose and rafting the Pacuare for 1 day
THEN, I want to fly to either Corcovado area or Tortuguero for 2 days.

Questions:
1. Is it even worth going to Monte Verde? If I am going to Arenal and I do the Skytrek ziplines there could I possibly just do the Corcovado rainforest, maybe skip Monteverde? Would this be a better option timewise? Or would you really recommend Corcovado?
2. Would you recommend Tortuguero or Corcovado if I could only see one?
3. If Corcovado, what airlines would fly from San Jose to Corcovado? And what airport would I fly to?
4. Someone mentioned in a post staying at Drake Bay and then taking a day trip to Corcovado. here would be my 3 choices for the Osa area.
a) Corcovado Lodge Tent Camp-Fodors voted one of 30 best resorts in world I read. seems really cool...
b) Bosque de Cabo - great posts on this site
c) somewhere in drake bay and then do the mangrove trip to corcovado.
Any suggestions?

i am sure I will have follow up questions...
THANKS SO MUCH in advance for all of your help!!!

jeremy
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Old Nov 9th, 2004, 07:29 PM
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1. With only one day to devote to Monteverde, I would for sure spend the entire three days in Arenal.

2. Corcovado, hands down, but will you have two full days here? It's a rather expensive trip for only a day or two. Tortuguereo is wonderful also, and can be more fully experienced in a night or two.

3. Sansa and Nature Air both fly to the Osa, but Corcovado Park itself isn't accessed by a commercial airport.

4. Don't be surprised if you see as much wildlife at your lodge as at Corcovado! We more wildlife at our lodge near Drake Bay than in the park, and Bosque de Cabo sounds like wildlife heaven. I'm looking forward to going there someday.
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Old Nov 9th, 2004, 07:55 PM
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(Is it even worth going to Monte Verde?)

YES!

Just my two cents. You need 2 nights minimum in Monteverde. We will return again to Monteverde, but maybe not to Arenal.

Arenal was definately interesting, but
there is just nothing to compare to Monteverde. It is so lush and green and big and beautiful and wondrous. One of my favorite CR areas. And I love the Monteverde Coffee.

This year on to the Osa. Which will probably become my new favorite.

Order of our past trips.
1 Northern Guancaste Beach, Monteverde
2 Manual Antonio, Arenal, Outskirts SJ
3 SJ, Tortuguero, Montezuma, La Paz
4 (2005) Osa and still trying to decide (I may need help!)

Hope you love the Pacuare - it was so much fun and so pretty!


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Old Nov 9th, 2004, 08:45 PM
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Well thanks to Molly2 and dfarmer I also learned something.

I plan to see Costa Rica in sections rather than moving from one region to another far away region.

I have been on the Caribbean side and also did the whole Central Valley.

Next will be the Papagayo beach area in Guanacaste and perhaps a trip to Granada in Nicaragua, heck if you are this close to the border you might as well go there.

When I do the Osa part ,I will drive there or have a private tour guide take me there......why don't I fly Sansa or Nature Air ???

Oh that's easy to answer ,I am too chicken of those small planes.!!!

jpitchford your intinerary sound rush rush to me.
You want to drive to Arenal , then on to Monteverde, and then the next day back to San Jose.

I am sure you have your rafting tour booked but it is still a distance to travel ...then you want to fly to Corcovado for 2 days , then you have to fly back to San Jose to fly back home.

Mabe one day in Arenal and 2 days in Monteverde, this way you can do something in Monteverde.

Or you can skip Monteverde if you want the 2 days in Arenal and have one full day more in Corcovado.
This would give you 3 days in the Osa area.

Osa is rather difficult and expensive to get to ,so just maybe an extra day there would be better,so you can see more and go to more places.

Good Luck in the combination you choose.

And do a report when you get back

Good Night

Percy




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Old Nov 9th, 2004, 09:27 PM
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My vote: Arenal, Monteverde, and Tortuguero.

As wonderful as the Osa is, I'd save it for a time when you'll have a few more days.

If you go ahead and decide to do it this trip, I'd split my time between Arenal and Bosque del Cabo or Corcovado Lodge Tent Camp as you mentioned--2 nights Arenal, 3 or 4 nights Osa.

One week--pick two. That's the rule of thumb for seeing Costa Rica, IMHO!

Either way, you'll have a great time, I'm sure! Just don't, as Percy says, put yourself in a position to be rushing around--that is a recipe for misery when traveling in Costa Rica!
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Old Nov 10th, 2004, 12:36 AM
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THANKS YOU GUYS!!!
Great advice. So off of what I just read, I have narrowed it down to two itineraries (not exact, but just general ideas). See here:

Itinerary #1
Tuesday - Arrive 7am, Rent car, drive to Arenal Area, check in hotel, do SkyTrek Arenal ziplines over canyon, do Tabacon hot springs at night
Wednesday - Hike volcano, relax at night, stay in Arenal
Thursday - Drive to Monteverde, check in hotel, do cloud forest, stay in Monteverde
Friday - Hang in Monteverde, drive back to San Jose, return rental car, stay in
San Jose
Saturday - Raft Pecuare River (6am-5pm), take boat/fly to Tortuguero, stay in
Tortuguero
Sunday - Explore Tortuguero, stay in Tortuguero,
Monday - Fly/boat back to San Jose, Fly back to LA @ 5pm

Itinerary #2
Tuesday - Arrive 7am, Rent car, drive to Arenal Area, check in hotel, do SkyTrek Arenal ziplines over canyon, do Tabacon hot springs at night
Wednesday - Hike volcano, relax at night, stay in Arenal
Thursday - Drive back down, maybe stop in Monteverde area for a day hike or somewhere else; drive back to San Jose, stay night here
Friday - Raft the Pecuare River, 6am-5pm; Fly to Osa Peninsula, stay here
Saturday - Osa Peninsula; Probably Corcovado, but maybe Drake Bay or Bosque Del Cabo
Sunday - Osa Peninsula; Probably Corcovado, but maybe Drake Bay or Bosque Del Cabo
Monday - Fly back to San Jose, Fly back to LA @ 5pm

With #2, I would have a full two days at Osa
What do you guys think?

Percy,Of course I will post a report here when i am done with my trip...

shilmac, from your post, i asusme you would recommend itinerary #1?

QUESTION: BTW Monteverde and Arenal (if I did Osa and only did one of these), I will be seeing rainforests down in Osa (probably Corcovado). Given this, would you all recommend doing Arenal instead of Monteverde, since Arenal is very different than what I would see in Osa?

But if I go with #1, I could do both Arenal and Monteverde...

I am getting close to choosing, thanks SOOO much for all your input!!!
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Old Nov 10th, 2004, 05:34 AM
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Sorry, jpitchford, I overlooked your white water plans. I don't really favor one over the other. Thoughts:

Plan 2 does not allow enough time on the Osa.

Monteverde is no-way a day trip. You need to choose between Arenal and Monteverde, then forget the other one for now. You can do it next time.

Arriving at 7:00 a.m. will give you a good half day at Arenal. Consider heading back to San Jose the next afternoon. You can see and experience Arenal in 2 half days (and, of course, your night at Tabacon). With your short time, you are desperate need of freeing up a day somewhere and Arenal is a good place to do it.

I don't think there is a way in "you know where" you can raft the Pacuare and fly to Tortuguero on the same day. Anyone else?

Streamline your thinking a tad more. Choose 2 locations! With your Pacuare trip thrown in, you need to do some additional creative planning (such as cutting your time at Arenal).

Suggestion for Plan A:

Arrive Arenal Tuesday by 11:00 or 12.
Arrive back in SJO Thursday 5:00 or so. (Leave Arenal by 2:00)
Raft on Friday.
Saturday--off to Tortuguero
Return to San Jose on Monday.

Suggestion for Plan B:

Return to SJO from Arenal on Wednesday
Raft on Thursday.
Friday a.m. flight to Osa, returning Monday in the a.m.

I know it seems that you should be able to "drop by" Monteverde for a few spare hours, but this is simply not the case. If you want to go there more than Arenal, then choose Plan A--go there on Tuesday and return to SJO on Thursday.

Notice Plan A provides for a longer Arenal visit than Plan B. You'll need less time in Tortuguero than you will the Osa.


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Old Nov 10th, 2004, 08:38 AM
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If you are looking to vary your experience, Monteverde and Arenal are each quite different from what you'd see on the Osa.

I think that you have some hard decisions to make! I agree - narrow your choices to a couple of spots. You can't lose. It's all good!

If you decide to eliminate Tortuguero from your plans,and Arenal becomes one of your areas of concentration, a day trip to Cano Negro, leaving from La Fortuna, would be an excellent substitute. We saw as much wildlife here in a few hours, than at Tortuguero! Especially birds. This is a long trip, but you might be able to fit the hot springs in in the evening.

I'd be absolutely amazed if you could pull off rafting the Pacure and flying or boating to Tortuguero on the same day!

Percy, I'll be interested to hear what you think about Granada.
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