Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Mexico & Central America (
-   -   My CR itinerary - couple of questions (

tully Apr 24th, 2006 06:36 PM

My CR itinerary - couple of questions
Okay, so my trip is pretty much booked, here's what I wound up with:

05/13/06 Arrive SJO 12:30 pm, Interbus pick-up at Garden Court 3 pm, arrive Arenal Paraiso 5:30 pm
05/13/06 - 05/16/06 Arenal Paraiso
05/16/06 Interbus pick-up at Paraiso 1:30 pm, arrive Garden Court 4:30 pm, taxi to Orquideas
05/16/06 - 05/17/06 Orquideas Inn
05/17/06 Sansa SJO to PJ depart @ 10:15 am, arrive @ 11:25 am, collectivo @ 1:30 pm to Carate
05/17/06 - 05/20/06 Lookout Inn
05/20/06 - 830am collectivo to the BdC turn-off
05/20/06 - 05/26/06 Bosque del Cabo
05/26/06 Sansa PJ to SJO depart @ 11:10 am, arrive @ 12:20 pm, pick-up by Orquideas
05/26/06 - 05/27/06 Orquideas Inn
05/27/06 Depart @ 7:10 am :(

Any uh-ohs I'm not seeing? Anyone with knowledge of booking tours with Arenal Paraiso? I don't get in til 5:30pm but don't really feel like booking anything til I get there. Should I book something now for at least the next morning or will I be ok to wait til check-in?

Does the atm in Fortuna usually work? I doubt I'll end up going, but any recs on hot springs (not Tabacon)? Anyone ever notice an atm in the Hampton Inn/Garden Court/Denny's area?

Any other suggestions/comments?

shillmac Apr 24th, 2006 07:00 PM

Sounds great, Tully. Wish I could help with the ATM questions, but can't. You would think there would be something in that area. I know that up the road toward Heredia, there is a new gasolinera with an ATM. .but it's 5 minutes away from where you will be--by car!

Your itin really does look good. I would love to spend as much time as you are going to spend down on the Osa. Lookout Inn seems like it would be an interesting place--and so much time at BdC! What a treat!

We have booked 4 nights at Bosque del Cabo already for next March. Wanted to be sure an get Congo and Mariposa (as per SO many rec's on this board from fellow Fodorites). Our older daughter and her (after June 17!) husband will be meeting us there for a week. Actually, they only have 6 nights, so just the 4 nights at BdC :(

Leonardo thought I was a little "loopy" when I made such a big deal of getting the reservations in place, but I told him he wouldn't believe all the great reviews BdC is getting on this travel board! He wrote back and told me he has since had a request for December, 2007! And that he would like a vacation! He says the reservations are never ending! :) Must be good for Phil and Kim!!

I think you could certainly afford (especially in May) to book your Arenal Paraiso tours after arrival. That reminds me, I have a question to ask about our plans for Arenal and Bijaguas in July. I'll send an e-mail.

Hey girl, you are almost there! :)

dfarmer Apr 25th, 2006 05:20 AM

Tully looks wonderful!!!

As to Paraiso - I admit it was way back in 2002 when we were here. But I would say book it upon arrival. They had lots of tours available to choose from. I think after a long day of travel I would enjoy dinner and take a bottle of wine or a few cold Imperials and settle in on my porch or in the pool, and wait for the show!

We drove past Tabacon several times and I never could make myself stop - the parking lot was always full of tour buses. However if you choose Termeles or Baldi then that may be one evening I would book in advance. Not that I have been there, didn't even know it existed back then! But it does seem small so may book quickly.

If you have not already - Do try to get to the La Fortuna Waterfall, very worth the hike down and back up! A picture of us at this falls, sits of my desk at the office to inspire me to continue to work!

shillmac Apr 25th, 2006 06:01 PM

LOL--Donna, we're all of the same mind. Those photos do keep us on the ball, don't they? Those paychecks making vacation time possible--at least for most of us! :)

You mentioned something that has been on my mind. We are planning 2-3 nights at Arenal first of July. We had planned 3 at first, but then decided we might prefer to have 3 at La Carolina up near Bijagua (cool little place out in the middle of nowhere)--we can't do 3 at both places. We can visit Cano Negro from either, so still have to decide which place gets 2 nights and which gets 3 nights!

BUT, all rambling aside, our MAIN plans for Arenal would be La Fortuna waterfalls and Baldi or Termales. Which would you recommend? We've been to Tabacon twice--love it there, think it is absolutely beautiful, but want to try other places in the area. I'm thinking we'll get into the area by 1:30 p.m. and with that afternoon and the next day, have plenty of time to work in both activities and perhaps a stop by the Hanging Bridges on the way out. Do you have any advice/recommendations for us?

Tully! Sorry to hijack your thread! Feel free to kick me off! :) ARE YOU PACKING YET? HAVE YOU INFORMED THE FELINES????? :)

Oh well, Donna, just noticed you stated that you haven't been there. But that's okay--what have you heard?! I looked at Baldi today and their website looks very appealing.

weasel Apr 26th, 2006 09:58 AM

Hi we had no problem using the ATM at the bank in Fortuna, We stayed at the Hampton in in SJ and they cashed a travellers cheque for us but I never saw ATMs in hotels.

tully Apr 26th, 2006 06:31 PM

Jill I thought faithie was the only one authorized to hijack threads!! :) :) I totally agree w/booking early at BdC. I really wanted Lapa but got Mariposa (which is fine, but I'll miss "my" deck)!

donna - kicking back with a few Imperials!?!? Who me? ;) It is a skill I aim to perfect.

Thanks weasel. Hopefully I'll only need to hit an atm once or twice at most. I went ahead & paid for the 9 nights on the Osa already so less I have to carry around.

I guess I'll just decide when I get there about the hot springs. For some reason they just don't appeal to me but Arenal Paraiso has some, so if I like them maybe I'll try Baldi.

A couple other random questions....
The collectivo dead-ends in Carate, is this where I get off for Lookout Inn or should I get off a little/lot before?

Any suggestions for something to hand wash clothes with? I figure after 9 days down there I'm going to need it!

Anyone know where the BdC office is in PJ? I'll have 2 hours to waste, thought I'd pop in & say hi.

shillmac Apr 28th, 2006 07:45 PM

Tully, can't you send your laundry in to Puerto Jimenez while at BdC? Who wants to wash clothes???? :)

I'm anxious to hear what you think of LookOut--I sure enjoyed reading the report about it on the other thread. You just have 2 weeks left! :)

tully Apr 30th, 2006 04:51 AM

Oh Jill, I can barely do laundry at home, I certainly won't be doing it whilst on vacay. But I meant just something I can give a quick wash to stuff like bathing suits, maybe some of my quick dry shorts and such.

Another question popped into my Arenal Paraiso, is anything within walking distance? Say I wanted to have lunch somewhere else or something. I know I can take a taxi, but I usually walk at least 2 miles a day anyway so wouldn't mind the walk. But I'm unsure about how close AP is to anything else.

shillmac Apr 30th, 2006 07:08 PM

Tully, I don't remember details about how close anything was to Arenal Paraiso, except that Montana del Fuego was close (another hotel). We never spent much time in the car, so I guess there are places FAIRLY close. We ate dinner one evening at a little place on the same side of the road that was probably less than 5 minutes away by car--so not that far. We are going to be at Arenal Observatory Lodge in July (1st 3 nights of the month). I'm wondering exactly where El Novillo is because we want to be sure and eat there. We may already have (it may be the place I just mentioned), but I'm not sure.

Tully, surely someday we'll end up someplace at the same time in CR--it would be fun to meet. You will always be the girl whose first item on the agenda after arrival was a beer at the bar outside the airport. That left such a huge impression on me for some reason! What a way to begin Pura Vida! :) I just always thought, "Now THAT girl has it all figured out!" :)

dfarmer May 1st, 2006 04:45 AM

Tully - the laundry question brought back some memories! I looked out into the shower one day at BdC and my husbands clothes were strewn on the floor of the shower. He had soaped them up with bath soap and was stomping on them as he showered. I thought to myself "He really can multi task!!!!"

So obviously bath soap works, but a little bottle of Woolite would also come in handy.

We spent a little time at the BdC in town office while Kevin picked up supplies. It was nice to get to meet Leonardo. I have pictures of it, but for the life of me cannot remember where it was located. On a corner, but can't remember anything else.

shillmac May 1st, 2006 07:18 PM

LOL, Donna, I can relate to that story. We resorted to laying our shoes and socks out on the grass in a sunny spot one morning to try to attain some dry-ness! It worked! :)
But stomping them in the shower--that's even better! Come to think of it, I think I took our socks into the shower with me a couple of times. . .could've used extra pairs of those! :)

kaudrey May 2nd, 2006 10:44 AM


Hot Springs - we really liked Baldi, so much, we went twice!

ATMS - Fortuna has several. If one doesn't work, the other should (that was my experience).

Tours - you can book them when you get to Arenal Paraiso, or get them in town. Either way, you'll be fine.

Have fun!


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:10 PM.