Itinerary question/Tortuguero advice

Old Jan 16th, 2022, 10:16 PM
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Itinerary question/Tortuguero advice

We're planning to visit Costa Rica in March and are working on our itinerary. My husband and I visited back in 2010 and split our time between Monteverde, Fortuna, and Manuel Antonio. We are returning with our two children (ages 8 and 10) and are planning to revisit those places, but with some variations.

Here's the tentative plan:
Fly into Liberia
Rincon de la Vieja (Hacienda Guachipelin)
Brief stop in Arenal
Tortuguero for two nights
Manuel Antonio
Fly out of SJO

However, the more I look at our plan, the more the trip to Tortuguero seems too arduous in terms of the travel time it adds. I'm loathe to let it go—the canal rides, the different wildlife, maybe some nesting leatherbacks!—but I probably should (right?) 5 hr drive to Manuel Antonio after a boat ride makes for a long day..

If I cut out those two nights there, where should I add them? Is there an alternative to consider that might give us some of the similar feel of diverse setting?

Thank you in advance for any feedback!
alovesa is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2022, 11:53 PM
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We found the Cano Negro tour out of the Arenal area to be somewhat similar to Tortuguero. Desafio is a good company to use. No nesting turtles, but you have the similar boat tours and see things like water birds, caimans, monkeys, etc. It's an all day tour and takes a couple of hours to get there from the Arenal area. You're doing quite a lot of moving around. How long is your trip?
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