My draft itinerary for Costa Rica

Old Oct 17th, 2005, 07:12 AM
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My draft itinerary for Costa Rica

Has anyone every booked a trip to Costa Rica thru Central America.com? Or can you recommend another travel agent? I have been working with them on my trip to Costa Rica in April w/ husband & 2 teenage sons.

Your opinions on itinerary and hotels would be greatly appreciated.

Arrive in San Jose - stay one night - Grande Oro Hotel

Rent a car and drive to Arenal - 2 nights - Lost Iguana Hotel

Drive to Monteverde - 2 nights - El Establo Mountain Hotel

Drive to Manuel Antonio - 3 nights - Tulemar Bungalows

Fly from Manuel Antonio to San Jose via Nature Air for flight home
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Old Oct 17th, 2005, 11:37 AM
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We have used CentralAmerica.com twice, once for us and once for my step daughter - neither of us had any problems.

Another professional that I have used for CR travel is Pat Hewitt, Costa Rica Travel Exchange and Costa Rica Concierge. Perfect! http://www.truecostarica.com/index.html
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Old Oct 17th, 2005, 06:06 PM
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Janiekins,
Are you going to Costa Rica instead of Florida? How exciting!!! We have been using Ralph at GaialinkTours.com and he has been so helpful. Plus, he has a US number in New York! Good luck!
Jayne
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Old Oct 17th, 2005, 06:08 PM
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Dear Janie
My sister and her family did just about the same itinerary last month.
They absolutely loved it all. They used www.acrtours.com for the logistics and for some transfers.

The personalized and professional service they encountered was much more than they expected. We plan to use them also. They suggested, we ask for Alex as the driver/guide. They are very impressed.
Have fun! Rick
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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This looks fine to me and you'll get a great overview of Costa Rica. I just want to mention that Nature Air uses an airport that is about 45 minutes from the International airport, so make sure you have plenty of time to make that transfer from one airport to the other.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 06:32 PM
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You mentioned Tulemar Bungalows on your itinerary, has anyone you know stayed there? It was in the '99 Fodor's, I just got the 2006 edition and Tulemar Bungalow's was nowhere to be found. I am nervous about it now because I made a deposit to stay there. Also couldn't find it in Frommer's (oops sorry, it is fodor's site!)
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Old Jan 25th, 2006, 10:36 PM
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Two comments:

If you are going to be spending a single night in the San Jose area before driving north to Arenal, why come all the way into the madness and traffic of San Jose and then have to drive your way back out of it the next day - for a single night at the Grano de Oro? Hardly seems worth it, no matter how grand that hotel may be.

Also, one thing I can say about your travel agency is that they REALLY know how to push those high-priced (I would call them OVER-priced) resorts! Man oh man, they didn't miss a single one in a single locations - they'll be adding up those commissions for weeks! But you're going to need to take out a loan!
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Old Jan 26th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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I also would skip Grande Oro Hotel and find somewhere to stay in Alejuela- a town MUCH closer to the airport.

Second thing, Nature Air is NOT 45 minutes away. It is 9 miles away and a very quick shuttle ride. We made it in about 15 minutes... Sansa Airlines is another alternitive- their terminal is right next door to SJO.

If you're looking for a travel agent, we really liked Alajandro with vacationcity.com
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Old Jan 26th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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If you are arriving early, I would also skip San Jose and drive to Arenal.
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Old Jan 26th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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58smom et al,

We stayed at the Tulemar Bungalows a year and a half ago. I highly recommend it! The rooms were beautiful, private beach with use of kayaks etc., great restaurant, monkeys everywhere, swimming pools, etc. Next door is a place called Cantina Salsipuedes that is great for dinner. Also, it is a short walk to Karolas restaurant. Allison
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Old Jan 27th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Janie, we visited Tulemar last April with another couple and enjoyed it so much that we are staying there again this April! The bungalow accomodations ( we had a 2 bedroom) were beautiful with spectacular views, good breakfast buffets, a great beach for boogie boarding or just relaxing. We enjoyed the monkeys twice a day just off our balcony.

It is a wonderful place!
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Old Jan 27th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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Just returned from CR and loved it. I too strongly suggest avoiding SJ due to distance (wrong direction) and danger of being robbed. Suggest renting a car at the airport and driving to a hotel north of San Ramon called Villa Blanc. It is in the mountains and has great service and excellent food. Fabulous dinner for 2 with wine about $70. It is on the route to Arenal. One drawback is that it is always in the clouds but scenery is spectacular and there is a canopy tour less than a mile away. We did not use it so can't comment further.

Warning that any estimates of driving times should be at least doubled and do not drive at night - potholes are fierce. We were told the drive from Arenal back to the main highway takes about 4 hours due to poor road conditions.

Any doubt about your agent then try Katie High at goduesouth.com.
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Old Jan 29th, 2006, 04:58 AM
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Just returned from our CR trip. We used CentralAmerica.com only for our last night in in the country for Hotel Grano de Oro. We felt good about our experience with them. We loved Grano de Oro.
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