Manuel Antonio or Marino Ballenas?

Jul 29th, 2010, 03:50 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 75
Manuel Antonio or Marino Ballenas?

We are probably headed for CR this January. We'd fly to SJO and bus to Arenal for three or four days. We would then hit the beaches for 7 or 6 days, then back to SJO. I simply cannot decide between MA or Marino Ballenas. Here are some criteria:

Swimmable Beaches *we don't surf.)
Enjot snprkeling, but not a must.
Wildlife View
Waterfalls are nice
Affordable Accommodations with Ocean View (Under $200 per night).
Probably too old for zip lines, but don't rule that out.
Will be willing to drive when we get there (Probably QUEPOS)

aNY COMPARISONS, SUGGESTIONS, AND INFO RE WHERE TO STAY WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED.
Ceinwen is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 04:41 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 40
Hi. I haven't gone yet but I have been doing loads of research and if u look at my posts it will probably help u. Personally I chose Manuel Antonio but if we were staying on the area for thy long I would have split it up between the two. I think for swimmable beaches ma seems to be the better choice. You should contact marina villatoro from travel experta. She has been amazing with us. Tell her Melanie recommended her!! Good luck!
Manayiotos is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 08:24 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 830
Here's marina's site:
http://travelexperta.com/
she'll do you right.
re the zip lines, we're 55 and 58 and sky trek in arenal was the BOMB! You won't regret it!!
baldone is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 09:01 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,804
We've only been to MA, but the beach inside the park is gorgeous and swimmable. We went on a snorkeling tour, but it was kind of a dud for us because of sediment in the water - still very pretty though. MA park gives you really easy access to wildlife. We saw a lot of capuchin monkeys, sloths, bats, crabs, iguanas, a raccoon, and a lot of cool insects. The wildlife is kind of tame though, i.e. some of the monkeys can open up bags of potato chips and may try to steal from you. Not as wild as some of the other areas we've been to. Lots of hotel and restaurant choices. Great sunset views. Check out Mango Moon, Villas Nicolas, Costa Verde, Tulemar Bungalows, and Si Como No to see if any of those is what you're looking for.

When we ziplined, they had a pic up in the office of Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter zipping. He looked to be about 80 - I don't think you can be too old to zipline. It's fun to try it at least once if you're up for it.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 05:09 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
www.manuelantoniopark.com

better beaches...

www.villanicolas.com nice choice there for price

www.leavesandlizaeds.com nice for arenal or

maybe www.arenalparaiso.com for hotel/springs monerate

www.hotelvistadelcerro.com for super budget...
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 05:10 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
www.villasnicolas.com sorry missed an s
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 04:42 PM
  #7  
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 75
Thanks to all. Might split between the two places. Checked out places mentioned in MA and all look nice. Has anyone stayed at The Falls Resort, or La Posada, or La Mariposa? Also would like comments re Cristal Ballenas or Shelter From The Storn.
Ceinwen is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 05:43 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,804
La Posada is popular due to its proximity to the park; Shelter from the Storm gets rave reviews. Both seem to be consistently popular.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 09:55 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
Shelter from the Storm is wonderful. If the descrip on the website is what you are looking for you can't go wrong there.
hipvirgochick is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 09:58 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
Had breakfast at Crystal Ballena and really pretty views but SFTS is much more cozy/intimate. Beautiful rooms.
hipvirgochick is offline  

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