June trip itinerary - Costa Rica

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Jun 1st, 2004, 08:11 AM
  #1
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June trip itinerary - Costa Rica

Hi my husband and i are planning a first-time trip to Costa Rica leaving this saturday June 5 for eight days returning June 13. We are flying into Liberia and will be staying the first two nights at Hotel Velero in Playa Hermosa..after that we are kinda winging it and need some advice on what not to miss and what the best way to get around would be (intrabus or rent a car?). We know we want to devote a couple of days to Arenal to see the volcano and experience the Tabocan Hot Springs and also we want to visit one of the rain forests (but not sure which one, monteverde or manuel antonio?) since we only have eight days, more like seven since the last day really is just traveling back to DC.. we dont know what would be the most time efficient itinerary for us that would include beach, volcano, and rain forest. Any recommendations are very appreciated thanks so much, your advice is invaluable.
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Jun 1st, 2004, 08:30 AM
  #2
Iza
 
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Fitting in 3 destinations into a week long vacation may be a bit much - getting around CR is not that easy. My rule is generally not less than 3 days at any destination. Having said that, you could do the following:
- 2 nights (5 & 6) at Playa Hermosa - enjoy the beach and relax
- 2 nights at Arenal (7 & 8)- drive to Arenal (around 5 hours) and check out the Tabacon hot springs on the night of your arrival; next day do some type of hiking tour or canopy tour (Hanging Bridges would be a good option or a hike to the volcano) and visit the Fortuna waterfall
- 3 nights at Manuel Antonio (9, 10, 11) - drive to Manuel Antonio (I am guessing about 6 hours); in the next couple of days, spend some time on the beach, visit the national park (closed on Mondays) and take a day trip (canopy tour, horse back riding, visit to the waterfalls are all popular options from Manuel Antonio).
- 1 night near Liberia (assuming you are flying back from Liberia)- drive back to Liberia the day before your flight and enjoy your last night there; depending on your flight time you may want to stay in one of the beach towns which are less than an hour from Liberia.

That is a lot of moving around but if you want an active vacation, it is doable. I think I would rent a car if I were you, it would still be faster than Interbus and you will have the freedom of stopping on your way.

Monteverde is a cloud forest, not a rain forest (located at a high altitude, misty and cloudy, different types of plants). Manuel Antonio has rain forest.
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Jun 1st, 2004, 08:33 AM
  #3
Iza
 
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Just one more tip: plan your driving so that you don't drive after dark which is dangerous due to poor signage and poor condition of most roads. In Costa Rica sunset is close to 6pm and it gets dark immediately thereafter!
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Jun 1st, 2004, 08:53 AM
  #4
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thanks so much for the quick and very informative advice we will probably go with renting a vehicle.. hopefully the rain/roads are not too bad.
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Jun 1st, 2004, 09:18 AM
  #5
 
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We drove from Arenal to Manuel Antiono and it was just over 5 hours (and we took a wrong turn once and had to back track). The drive is beautiful. We really enjoyed it. As I'm sure you've read - the roads are not so great - but they made for an interesting adventure! We so enjoyed Manuel Antonio - do go!
Have a great trip!! You are gonna love it!
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Jun 1st, 2004, 11:19 AM
  #6
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thanks LindyE sounds like a plan
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