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Must see sights for Kids, one legally blind, in Costa Rica?

Must see sights for Kids, one legally blind, in Costa Rica?

Old Jan 8th, 2011, 10:32 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 37
Must see sights for Kids, one legally blind, in Costa Rica?

Greetings again, I am trying to plan a fabulous trip to Costa Rica for my family of four. Our daughter is turning 13 while we are there and our son is 8. Although cognitively a typical 8 year old, our boy has endured a rough road medically. This past year we learned that he is losing his sight and he has become legally blind over the past year. Still, he can see quite a bit with his peripheral vision.

I want to take him to see the wonders that I've read about in Costa Rica before he loses more sight. We've selected this country as I've read that it offers so much diversity and visual wonders.

Thus far I've settled on Manuel Antonio as a probable destination of choice. Additionally, we are leaning towards Arenal as it seems to offer a great deal as well. We have 8 nights in April to travel.

Tentatively, we are leaning toward splitting the time between these two places and I am hoping to reserve a unit at the Buena Vista Villas based on another's recommendations as they have kitchenettes near MA.

Does anyone have any other recommendations for destinations within CR that you feel I should ensure that I take him?

Thanks so much!
murphybrown is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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What a bittersweet vacation this will be! But how wonderful you are able to take him on a vacation he will never forget.

As I said before, we have never been to Costa Rica but I really do think Peace Lodge sounds like such a wonderful opportunity for him to have up close and personal experiences with the animals. It may feel a bit contrived but where else in Costa Rica will he be able to feed a toucan?

Based on my research for activities in Arenal, it seems like a lot of things entail quite a bit of hiking and walking. For example, the La Fortuna waterfall, which is a main side attraction at Arenal, is a 15-20 minute hike down a steep path and apparently they make you sign a waiver before you do it! Would that be an issue at all? I think Hanging Bridges should be easier to navigate though.

I think MA is a perfect compromise - lots of animals, things to do, and perfect beaches. I'd probably be more inclined to do Peace Lodge than Arenal, but that's just me.

Anyway, just some thoughts. I'll be curious to see the other responses.
BAJJ is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 12:03 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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I don't know if you would make it to the East of San Jose but just about 30min from the airport in San Isidro de Heredia is www.toucanrescueranch.com Our grandchildren loved Leslie & Joyge and the sloths, birds, etc. Very hands on and very heartwarming to see rescued animals treated so kindly.
1bhcrashman is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 02:04 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 102
You might try contacting a Costa Rican organization for the blind and asking their advice.
TiltedFlipCurves is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2011, 08:30 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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I should add that my aging uncle has been legally blind all my life with what sounds like a similar condition. Courage; he's had a full life.
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Old Jan 8th, 2011, 08:53 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
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Arenal and Manuel Antonio is the most popular combo for a first time trip. Lots to see and do. I do think a stop at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens would be great if you can't swing a night at the Peace Lodge. There's an aviary, a frog tour (the nocturnal one is neat if you stay the night), a butterfly hatchery, beautiful waterfalls, and a certain times of day, you can hand feed hummingbirds which I think your kids would really enjoy.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2011, 02:31 PM
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Thank you all for the encouragement and the advice. Based on the input I am going to try and split our visit between the Peace Lodge and Manuel Antonio area. I think we may also make a journey to the toucan rescue ranch as well because it looks incredibly cool and unique. If we had more time I would incorporate an overnight stay there also for the guest cottage looks great and even has a kitchenette. On previous vacations we've enjoyed staying in places off the beaten path that also serve a mission to better the world in some way. I'm feeling more like I need to stay with the more commonly known this time due to the foreign language and our medical issues.

What a great discovery this board has been. I truly appreciate all the advice. I've been nervous enough that I might have stuck with something more conventional like Florida without the help and pressing issue of declining vision. I guess that's one of the upsides of facing such a medical challenge in that it certainly prompts one to seize the moment and spread your wings.

Anyway, thanks again for the words of wisdom!
murphybrown is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2011, 05:40 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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BEST wISHES TO YOU & YOUR FAMILY
1bhcrashman is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2011, 07:38 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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murphyb, I'm sure your family will enjoy Costa Rica, not only see things but hear the nature! Every mornings & every nights, you will be amazed to hear so many birds & mammals sing.
My 12 year old & I enjoy this link very much, actually helped us identify some of sounds we have heard.
http://www.naturesongs.com/CRsounds.html

My daughter told me that it was so fun & so cool to spend the afternoon in a nice pool & listening howler monkey's voice. It was the one of great summer vacation memories we had.
http://animals.nationalgeographic.co...howler-monkey/
Click audio!
SakuraSakura is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2011, 01:28 PM
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Those are wonderful links SakuraSakura. Thank you! My son will love identifying the sounds. We've read many posts about the delightful noises and fun of hearing monkeys land on the roofs of the bungalows. He will surely giggle at that.

Does anyone know how long it will take to drive a rental car from MA to SJO?

If we purchase an 11:35 flight I am assuming we should head to SJO the night before and get a hotel near the airport. Does that sound wise?

I saw a low-cost air fare leaving from SJO at 0100 in the morning which would allow us more time, and another night in MA
but, the reviews of Spirit Airlines were pretty scary!

Thanks for the advice
murphybrown is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2011, 03:14 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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Check yourtravelmap.com but I think appx. 3 hrs MA to SJO. Good directions for the new tollroad on that route were recently posted on Tripadvisor and are difficult to come by. Advised time for check-in at SJO is 2 hrs+ before flight. Depending on route, sometimes possible to leave in afternoon/evening and overnight at U.S. hub airport with airline still treating both segments as a single trip at good fare. Remember bag fees when comparing fares.
TiltedFlipCurves is offline  
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