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Last minute Costa Rica trip- can you please help with itinerary?

Last minute Costa Rica trip- can you please help with itinerary?

Jan 26th, 2014, 03:55 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 41
Last minute Costa Rica trip- can you please help with itinerary?

Hello! My husband and I are planning our second trip to Costa Rica in March. We went several years ago and I must thank all of you for your help in planning our trip!! This forum provided wonderful, spot-on recommendations and advice. Last time we traveled to Arenal, Manuel Antonio, and the Osa (Bosque del Cabo of course!) This trip we'll have less time- 8 nights,9 days including our two travel days there and back to the US. We both agree we must visit BdC again and we're also planning on rafting the Pacuare River since we didn't do this last trip. So I'm wondering if some of you might be able to offer advice on our itinerary? The BdC and rafting dates are pretty much fixed since we booked last minute and this was what they had available. My questions are-

1)Should we fly straight down to the Osa upon arrival in San Jose? Does this make more sense? Or should we not stress about making a connection and stay the night around San Jose and take one of the morning flights down? Our US flight is scheduled to arrive at 1pm. The only flight I've found that leaves that same afternoon for PJ is a Sansa flight at 3:30pm. Does this allow enough time for customs, etc?


2)When we fly back from the Osa to San Jose, we have two options. We'll arrive in San Jose around 10:30am. Which would you choose?

We can spend the day and night somewhere nice outside of San Jose( looking at Finca Rosa Blanca). We could just hang out and relax until our rafting tour picks us up early the next morning.
Or
We can have a driver pick us up at the airport and drive us through the Orosi Valley to a hotel near Turrialba (Casa Turrire or Guayabo Lodge). This is near where the rafting tour starts the next morning, so we could meet the group. We love off the beaten path locations and experiencing the local culture. Is there enough time for a little of this in an afternoon, worth the effort?

I know these are subjective questions, but we're stuck and would really love to hear people's opinions based on their experiences. We'd love to see a new area (Turrialba, Orosi) even if for a day, but is it too much moving around? Should we stay put? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!!!

Itinerary A-
Day 1-Fly to San Jose, overnight at Finca Rosa Blanca
Day 2- Early flight to Puerto Jimenez, overnight at BdC
Day 3- BdC
Day 4- BdC
Day 5- morning flight to San Jose, picked up at airport and driven through Orosi Valley and to Turrialba (stop for lunch or sightseeing), overnight Casa Turrire or Guayabo Lodge
Day 6- meet rafting tour in turrialba
Day 7- rafting tour
Day 8- driven back to San Jose to overnight
Day 9- flight back to US

Itinerary B-
Day 1-Fly to San Jose (arrives around 1pm), catch 3:30 Sansa flight to Puerto Jimenez, overnight BdC
Day 2- BdC
Day 3- BdC
Day 4- BdC
Day 5- morning flight to San Jose, spend afternoon and night near San Jose (Finca Rosa Blanca)
Day 6- meet rafting tour early in the morning to drive to Turrialba on bus
Day 7- rafting tour
Day 8- driven back to San Jose to overnight
Day 9- flight back to US
broadway79 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2014, 07:20 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,061
For me personally I wouldn't try to rush and make a flight down to the Osa on the first day. I can't count how many times our flights down there have been delayed, so it would be stressful to me to try to make a connection. I've heard Finca Rosa Blanca is nice. We also like Xandari.
volcanogirl is online now  
Jan 27th, 2014, 04:47 AM
  #3  
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Posts: 41
Thanks for your thoughts, volcangirl! I always enjoy your posts and recommendations. That's what I was initially thinking, but then started second guessing if we'd be wasting time and moving around too much.

Any advice on the Orosi/Turrialba leg? Think we'd have time to get a taste of that area in a day before rafting?
broadway79 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2014, 05:41 AM
  #4  
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Can anyone weigh in on visiting the Orosi valley/Turrialba area in an afternoon and evening? Or we could spend the day and night at Xandari. We have to make some quick decisions and we'd love to hear people's thoughts. Thanks again!
broadway79 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2014, 05:44 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,061
We haven't been to that area, but Xandari is great - gorgeous views, extensive grounds with some small waterfalls, a good open air restaurant, spa, etc.
volcanogirl is online now  
Jan 28th, 2014, 09:59 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,085
We have always enjoyed going to the Orosi Valley - we love the restaurant on the lake, Casona del Cafetal, the House of the Dream/Casa del Sonador for gifts, Lankester botanical garden at Paraiso (I think). We had always had our own transportation, but I'm sure either lodge you stay at could arrange your transportation and an afternoon tour.

To me, the Orosi area is quite unspoiled, very few tourist, rolling hills, coffee plantations and nice hiking in Tapanti (sp?) N.P.
colibri is offline  
Jan 28th, 2014, 10:22 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,061
I was going to suggest asking RAC - I think he may have been to that area, but colibri, your suggestions sound fantastic. I'll have to put that area on my to do list. How far is it from San Jose?
volcanogirl is online now  
Jan 28th, 2014, 07:25 PM
  #8  
RAC
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,951
There's a ton to do in the Orosi area--Irazu volcano, Orosi valley itself (Sanchiri offers stunning views at lunch), Lankester, city of Cartago, Tapanti etc.

But, it's really a full day area to explore, not a half day type of area, especially if you're staying on the other side of San Jose. Most of the sights in the area can be visited in the afternoon, but Tapanti and Irazu are morning places.
RAC is offline  
Jan 28th, 2014, 07:48 PM
  #9  
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Thanks RAC and colibri for your thoughts and recommendations on Orosi! Sounds like there's a lot to see. We just have to decide whether to spend our free day at Xandari (looks awesome, volcanogirl!), or drive straight from the airport (returning from the osa in the a.m.) to Orosi and then overnight in Turrialba. We can meet our rafting tour in San Jose or Turrialba the next day.
broadway79 is offline  
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