Leaving next week for Costa Rica!

Apr 24th, 2008, 09:05 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Leaving next week for Costa Rica!

Hi, we are leaving for Costa Rica on Apr. 29; just me, my husband(we're in our early 40's) and our 6-year old son. I was in Costa Rica over 15 years ago so I know a lot has changed. We have a timeshare thru RCI and when a property opened up in Jaco Beach, not my 1st choice, we jumped on it. Here's our tentative itinerary Apr. 30-May 12, 2008:
Spend 1st 2 nights in San Jose.
7 nights in Jaco Beach, but I highly doubt we'll stay all 7 nights there; probably check out Manuel Antonio; then go to Guanacaste and stay at Playa Hermosa. On the way back to San Jose, maybe stop in Arenal for a couple of days, then spend last night in San Jose. We've planned on renting a car, but we're a bit nervous about it. I've read some of the posts here and I think we should still do it since we want to see a couple of areas, what do you think? I would appreciate any suggestions. By the way, we know enough Spanish to get around. Thank you!
rfred3 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2008, 08:40 AM
  #2  
 
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You are talking about a lot of driving!

Could you start in Manuel Antonio after San Jose for a few nights? You could then work your way up to the other places.

To MA from San Jose would be 3 hrs. You could then head up to Jaco from MA 1 1/2 hrs. From Jaco about 3-4 hrs to Playa Hermosa, from Playa Hermosa it would be about 3-4 to Arenal, from Arenal 3 hrs back to San Jose.

To go to Jaco first, you would be looking at a 5-6 hr drive from Manuel Antonio to Playa Hermosa with stops.

Do you actually leave the country on the 12th? I would add an extra night to Arenal if you leave the 13th.

Arrive 29th, night in San Jose
30th night in San Jose
1st drive 3 hrs to MA night in MA
2nd night in MA
3rd night in MA
4th drive to Jaco 1 1/2 hrs
5th Jaco
6th Jaco
7th Jaco
8th drive 3-4 hrs to Playa Hermosa
9th Playa Hermosa
10th drive 3-4 hrs to Arenal
11th Arenal a.m. Return to San Jose mid afternoon. I would try to get there before 4:30. Rush hour traffic can be horrible.
12th depart

Personally, I would skip Playa Hermosa and go directly to Arenal. Plenty of things to do there and you will have already had two beach destinations.

If you were there 15 years ago and went to Manuel Antonio then you will be relieved to know the road is paved now.
Suzie2 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2008, 10:00 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for the reply, Suzie2. We have 2 nts booked in San Jose. I was thinking of staying in Jaco Beach for 3 nights and doing a day trip to Manuel Antonio during that time. Then heading to Guanacaste from Jaco and staying in Playa Hermosa at least 2 nights-- I have friends to visit in the area. Then we can head to Arenal, stay at least 2 nights, before heading back to San Jose on May 11th. Our flight leaves early 630 am from San Jose on May 12th. Do you think it's too much moving around? We could stay longer in Jaco, or stay a day or so in Manuel Antonio, we're not sure yet. But my favorite area is Guanacaste.
rfred3 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2008, 10:14 AM
  #4  
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One other question, we arrive in San Jose at 530 am after a 5-hour flight; do you think we can do a day trip to La Paz Waterfall gardens later that day or even that morning, or should we wait and get an early start the following day? We're staying at the Courtyard by Marriott in San Jose.
rfred3 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2008, 11:03 AM
  #5  
 
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Posts: 2,441
You could easily visit La Paz on your arrival day....You might want to do a Doka Coffee plantation tour first so you can stay awake LOL! It is on the way to La Paz.

Revised

Apr 29 arrive- do La Paz
Apr 30 San Jose
May 1 drive to Jaco earlyish so you have an almost full day
May 2 visit Manuel Antonio. night Jaco
May 3 Jaco
May 4 drive to Playa Hermosa
May 5 PH
May 6 PH
May 7 PH
May 8 drive to Arenal
May 9 Arenal
May 10 Arenal
May 11 drive back to San Jose

The above schedule is pretty good. Not too rushed at any one place and gives you time to breath before having to tackle the roads again.

I would try to get up and get to MA as early as you can. The wildlife is always better early.



Suzie2 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2008, 11:16 AM
  #6  
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Thanks so much, Suzie! This looks great, I'm really excited now. I'll let you know how it turns out. We have our Fodor's Guide and a good map (hopefully)- let the adventure begin!
rfred3 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2008, 11:23 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,441
Costa Rica is always a wonderful adventure. Have a great time and enjoy your friends.
Suzie2 is offline  
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