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Need feedback on our itinerary

Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 08:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 10
Need feedback on our itinerary

We are planning our first trip to CR for our honeymoon and this is our first "draft" of an itinerary. I would appreciate any and all feedback/advice. In particular, are we moving around too much, not spending enough time in a particular place, thinking things are closer or easier to navigate than they are. We've never been and don't know if we are on the right track. Thanks for any advice!

Day 1 - Arrive & stay at Vista del Valle

Day 2 - catch plane to Osa Peninsula & stay at La Paloma Lodge, relas

Day 3 - Stay at La Paloma, visit Corcovado

Day 4 - Stay at La Paloma, visit Cano Island

Day 5 - Catch plane to Tamarindo, stay at Sueno Del Mar, relax

Day 6 - Tamarindo/Sueno Del Mar, go Deep Sea Fishing

Day 7 - Tamarindo/Sueno Del Mar, relax

Day 8 - Get driver to take us from Tamarindo to Tabacon/Arneal - massages, hot springs

Day 9 - Take day tour from Tabacon to Monteverde Cloud Forest come back that night and stay at Tabacon

Day 10 - Leave Tabacon in morning, get driver to take us back towards San Jose to stay at Xandari, get massages, relax

Day 11 - Fly back to States
MissO is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2005, 02:32 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 18
Forget Tabacon its a zoo, try Baldi Hot Springs instead. We found a tour service(Tampa Bay Tours in La Fortuna) that sells vouchers for $9US, it is much more relaxing and just as nice IMO.If you are in need of a great steak dinner try the El Novillo Restaurante,between Tabacon and Arenal Paraiso Hotel you will not be disappointed. Give yourselves time to relax,no need to rush around as there a too many things to see and do in CR.You will have a great time!
Bluesmoke2 is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2005, 05:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 800
I think I would drop the day trip to Monteverde from Arenal - it is a 4 hour drive each way, so in my mind it is just not worth it. There is enough in the Arenal area to keep you busy anyway (you can take the Hanging Bridges tours or a canopy tour, see the waterfall etc.).

Also, as far as I know it is not possible to fly directly from Osa to Tamarindo. You would have to connect in San Jose. So make sure the flight schedule is such that you will be able to do it.

As to Tabacon, we enjoyed the hot springs very much and did not find them overly crowded. I had a lovely massage at their spa as well. However, I did not really enjoy Tabacon Hotel. It may be worth staying elsewhere and just paying the entrance fee to the hot springs (Lost Iguana is a new hotel in that area that gets very good reviews).

Vista del Valle and Xandari are both great. Xandari's spa looks really beautiful.
Iza is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2005, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 336
You guys are on the right track. We honeymooned in CR too and we loved it.
The time of year, your ages, interests and your price range would be helpful for feedback as well as posting your destination in your title.

I you plan your flights well you do not have to spend the night in SJ upon arrival or departure- especially departure-

not sure about the day trip from Arenal- seems too far for my taste.

We stayed a week at Tabacon - by far our least favorite hotel on that trip. If you are going to spend that sort of money I would look elsewhere for a place with some honeymoon luxury.

While staying at Punta Islita we discussed our itinerary with another vacationing Tico couple. We were very excited about staying at Tabacon - more than anywhere else. The Tico couple got kind of funny looks on their faces. They said "Es okay but not luxury"- we soon found out what they meant.

Depending on the time of year I would spend more time on the Osa - there is so much to see if you like remote rainforest- consider traveling by ground to different hotels to mix it up.
Good choice on skipping the rental car- we never miss not having one

Enjoy- I wish I had found this forum BEFORE I began traveling to CR
greenfieldhunter is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2005, 12:13 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 34
Miss O, La Paloma is a great choice. We've stayed there twice and love it. In fact we find that 3 days is not long enough there. We still haven't gone on their great Corcovado excursion because we've enjoyed boogie-boarding, kayaking and just hanging out in our cabin too much. As for where to go after that, like Greenfieldhunter I'd go on to the Osa rather than Tamarindo and Arenal. I haven't been to Tamarindo but several people have said it's very touristy, more like any beach resort anywhere. As for Arenal, we enjoyed it when we went there 2 years ago because we got to see the volcano, but most of the time the volcano is covered by clouds. While there we drove past Tabacon hot springs and it was surrounded by tour buses. We went to a private hot springs, Dona Mireya's hot springs, where the owner prepared a lovely meal of local specialties served in her garden and we got to soak in the family's beautiful hot springs along with some Tico families. Costa Rica Expeditions (excellent tour company) set this up. Still, I'd go to the Osa instead of Arenal. The Osa has so much more of what makes Costa Rica so special. Two weeks ago we traveled from La Paloma to Puerto Jimenez on the Osa by jeep taxi. The trip took 2 hours and La Paloma set it up. They also set up our flight back to San Jose from Puerto Jimenez as part of our package with them. On the Osa, as most Fodorites will tell you, Bosque del Cabo is the ideal choice, esp in combination with a trip to La Paloma, because at La Paloma you can get to the beach more easily than at Bosque and at Bosque you'll probably see more animals and do more hiking. Have a great trip!
EmilyE is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2005, 12:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 34
PS I forgot to mention that if you want to go deep-sea fishing, you can set that up through Bosque del Cabo (and maybe through La Paloma, too, but I don't know about that.) Other Bosque guests did that while we were there and loved it.
EmilyE is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2005, 04:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
It has been fairly well established on this board that Tabacon (the hotel) is not all that great, but does provide free entrance to the springs, giving many people a good reason to stay there (economically speaking). There isn't really a luxury hotel in the area, but it does sound like Lost Iguana is very close to filling that bill.

Tabacon Hot Springs will always be one of the highlights of our times in Costa Rica--love them. I'm sure the others are nice as well. Never would we have characterized them as a zoo--more as a "don't miss"! I'm sure the other springs in the area are nice as well.

I think you'll like Tamarindo--particularly the B & B you have reserved. I haven't stayed there, but have heard nothing but rave reviews about it. Yes, Tam is touristy. We like it anyway. It's a fun little place in a great area to explore several beaches and small towns.

Your itinerary looks very well planned to me. I agree with the others about the day trip to Monteverde, but it can be done. You might consider instead the day trip up to Cano Negro!

shillmac is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2005, 04:37 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,372
Vista del Valle is a great place to relax on your arrival date.

La Paloma, we have not visited, but it does get great reviews. Our trip to the Osa we stayed at Bosque, I would go back today! Deep sea fishing we used Mike Hennesy, booked this at Bosque. It was an awesome day! I could easily stay the entire trip at Bosque.

Your flights into SJ and then to Tam, will probably take most of the day. Do check, as mentioned, because you do have to come back to SJ and then onto Tam. This will probably have you leaving the Osa quite early.

As for Tamarindo, well we much enjoy splitting our time between beach and jungle. And we so enjoy the little funky beach towns along the coast of CR.

Yes, I would also recommend dropping Monteverde. Although I am one that loved Monteverde, it is a long drive for just the day. And you will have already done the ride from Tam to Arenal.

Plenty of hiking in Arenal, and if you were going to Monteverde for zip lines and such, well Arenal has that too.

Do visit the La Fortuna waterfall while in Arenal, it is a beautiful fall.

And although we did not do Cano Negro, I certainly hope we get there someday.

You have a great trip planned, you have obviously done your homework, however don't plan your days in stone. You just never know what you may want to do once you arrive.

Best Wishes!

dfarmer is offline  
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