La Fortuna or Manuel Antonio?

Old May 18th, 2015, 02:32 PM
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La Fortuna or Manuel Antonio?

Hi Everyone,

I am trying to organize a 7 day trip for a family of seven in July to Costa Rica (it would all be our first time). We have two elders in their 80s (both active) and the remaining adults.
I am guessing our pace will be a bit slower and I have decided to limit our family vacation to only one location to limit travelling times. We are deciding between La Fortuna or Manuel Antonio. We would all be interested in walks/hikes/sight-seeing activities.
I was wondering which location would have more activities to do over a span of 7 days, or if based on experience there's not that much to do in each city and people prefer that we do both cities.

Thanks so much
spea0688 is offline  
Old May 19th, 2015, 08:50 AM
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Does the 7 days include the travel days? If it does, you are down to 5 days. You could do Arenal then somewhere closer to San Jose for a few days, such as the Peace Lodge or Xandari. If you want the ocean though, choose MA. both have plenty to do.
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Old May 20th, 2015, 05:21 AM
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Manuel Antonio is a beautiful park and a wonderful beach. Lots of different restaurants but can tend to be crowded on the roads. Sunsets are the best. The extra activities are limited and for most of them you can do the same thing in Arenal.
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Old May 21st, 2015, 10:21 AM
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I love both those spots; we did both for our first trip, and it really gave us a nice overview of CR. It's such a diverse place that I would personally do both, and you have time to do it. If you really only want to do one spot, are you more interested in volcano time or beach time? Some things we've enjoyed in the Arenal area are the natural hot springs like Tabacon and Eco Termales, hiking at the waterfall and swimming there, hiking the Hanging Bridges, a volcano hike - probably would skip this since there's no current lava flow, the Cano Negro boat tour to see wildlife, the Proyecto Asis animal rescue center, tubing at the Springs Resort and spa, rafting with Rios Tropicales, and ziplining at Sky Trek. Explore some of those and see what you think. In Manuel Antonio, we enjoyed doing a guided tour of the park with Manuel Antonio Expeditions, the Damas mangrove tour, the Villa Vanilla Spice tour, sailing, and beach time. We snorkeled in MA, but I'd give it a pass since the visibility isn't great. Lots of good hotel and restaurant choices in both areas and about 4-5 hours to go between them. In the Arenal area, both Desafio and Sunset Tours are good tour companies if you want to explore their websites.
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