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Need Advice - Itinerary - Arenal / Manuel Antonio / Golfo Dulce - Then What?

Need Advice - Itinerary - Arenal / Manuel Antonio / Golfo Dulce - Then What?

Old May 22nd, 2021, 07:27 AM
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Need Advice - Itinerary - Arenal / Manuel Antonio / Golfo Dulce - Then What?

We have 15 days (July 26 - Aug 9) in Costa Rica (travel days included). First week we are travelling with friends. We arrive SJ in the morning and will head to Arenal Lodge Observatory for 2 nights. Then we head to Manuel Antonio (Tulemar) for 4 nights.

The rest of the time is only my family of four which includes my husband and two daughters 14 and 10. Originally, I had planned to spend some days on the Caribbean side but then came across the Eco Lodges on the OSA and Golfo Dulce which intrigued me as it is so different then what we would normally do. I currently have 5 nights booked at Playa Nicuesa. This was appealing to me because of the fishing, free use of kayaks, SUP's, included food, nature etc. I think my family could also use a few days to decompress.

I need some help with the last two days. The night before we leave we will stay in SJ.
Should we head back up to Monteverde / Arenal area? I feel our 2 days when we first get is not enough. Or Uvita for Marino Ballena? Or Just go back to SJ and do some day trips?

We can also cut a day or two off the Play Nicuesa part. I'm a bit worried it may be too many days there as it is Green Season and don't want to get rained out. If so, would it be worth it to head to Guanacaste area or Peninsula Nicoya? Or is that too much driving?

We can still modify the last part of our trip so any suggestions are welcome.
Thank you!
melindaolson6619 is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2021, 08:56 AM
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If you have a big budget, the Peace Lodge could be fun. If you want to see wildlife and rough it a little bit, Selva Verde. Or you could go back to the Arenal area and visit the natural hot springs, hike the waterfall, and do some adventure activities, maybe do Cano Negro or visit the Bogarin Trail. Monteverde would be good if you like cooler weather and enjoy birding. We usually spend four days in the Arenal area when we go.
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Old May 26th, 2021, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by melindaolson6619 View Post
We have 15 days (July 26 - Aug 9) in Costa Rica (travel days included). First week we are travelling with friends. We arrive SJ in the morning and will head to Arenal Lodge Observatory for 2 nights. Then we head to Manuel Antonio (Tulemar) for 4 nights.

The rest of the time is only my family of four which includes my husband and two daughters 14 and 10. Originally, I had planned to spend some days on the Caribbean side but then came across the Eco Lodges on the OSA and Golfo Dulce which intrigued me as it is so different then what we would normally do. I currently have 5 nights booked at Playa Nicuesa. This was appealing to me because of the fishing, free use of kayaks, SUP's, included food, nature etc. I think my family could also use a few days to decompress.

I need some help with the last two days. The night before we leave we will stay in SJ.
Should we head back up to Monteverde / Arenal area? I feel our 2 days when we first get is not enough. Or Uvita for Marino Ballena? Or Just go back to SJ and do some day trips?

We can also cut a day or two off the Play Nicuesa part. I'm a bit worried it may be too many days there as it is Green Season and don't want to get rained out. If so, would it be worth it to head to Guanacaste area or Peninsula Nicoya? Or is that too much driving?

We can still modify the last part of our trip so any suggestions are welcome.
Thank you!
I had 4 nights at the Arenal Observatory lodge and it was just about right. For me, 2 nights would not have been enough. Itís only full day after all. Thereís hiking opportunities, multiple wildlife opportunities, eco springs opportunities as Volcanogirl noted and overall, it was much more about what I went to Costa Rica to see vs. Manuel Antonio.
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Old May 26th, 2021, 08:02 PM
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It's a bit of a drive from Playa Nicuesa to Arenal/Monteverde, but I think that might be a good option after some downtime in Nicuesa, if you do lop off a night and add it to Arenal/Monteverde. I'm not sure of your interests, but Arenal/Monteverde could fill up days. Thinking of the young folks in your family, Monteverde offers a great zipline experience - SkyTrek. A guided tour in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (have done it twice and both were magical) thrilled our teens/young adults. We saw Quetzals both times and the views alone were worth it - finishing the tour with a visit to the hummingbird garden in which you are literally "fanned" by hummingbird wings? Unforgettable. But if you aren't flora and fauna folks, the hot springs around Arenal are amazing and there are great kayaking tours on the lake and rafting tours on the rivers as well.
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Old May 28th, 2021, 08:04 PM
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Thank you all so much for the suggestions! So hard to make a decision.
melindaolson6619 is offline  
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