Need Help - 17 Day Costa Rica Itinerary

Oct 23rd, 2019, 02:03 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 12
Need Help - 17 Day Costa Rica Itinerary

Hello!

I made a last-minute decision to go to CR for two and a half weeks. I leave next Wednesday. The only activity that I've scheduled so far is a 3 day hike in Corcovado. Understand that it'll be very wet, but I really want to see the area. In terms of interests, I love all things nature - hiking, kayaking, animal watching - all of it! I plan to rent a 4x4 SUV for the duration of my stay. Here is my rough itinerary:

10/30 Day 0 Arrive Early PM/Drive to Arenal
10/31 Day 1 Arenal
11/1 Day 2 Arenal/Drive to Uvita
11/2 Day 3 Uvita
11/3 Day 4 Uvita
11/4 Day 5 Uvita/Drive to Puerto Jiminez
11/5 Day 6 Puerto Jiminez/Corcovado
11/6 Day 7 Puerto Jiminez/Corcovado
11/7 Day 8 Puerto Jiminez/Corcovado
11/8 Day 9 Puerto Jiminez/Drive to ??
11/9 Day 10 ?? (Help!)
11/10 Day 11 ??
11/11 Day 12 ??
11/12 Day 13 Tortuguero
11/13 Day 14 Tortuguero
11/14 Day 15 Tortuguero
11/15 Day 16 Tortuguero/San Jose
11/16 Day 17 Fly Home Late AM

Here are my questions:

1) I want to see Arenal, and also need to get to Puerto Jiminez by 11/4. A friend of mine recommend stopping in Uvita along the way to break up the trip (and he loves the area). Should I allocate more time to Arenal and less to Uvita - vice versa?

2) After Corcovado, I'd like to make my way to the Caribbean coast. I understand it is too far to reach Tortungureo in one day. Where do you recommend I stop along the way?

I'm open to any and all suggestions. Again, I'm only bound by the Corcovado trek Nov 5 - 7.

Thank you so much!
Jessica
jessinaround is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2019, 10:30 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,984
Are you sure you want to go to the Osa this time of year? Some years it's days and days of continuous rain. We went one year in July and our guide said he leaves for all of October because parts of the property can go under water. There's tons to do in the Arenal area; it's one of our favorites. Since you like hiking and animal watching, check out the Arenal Observatory Lodge. They have tons of trails, beautiful volcano views, lots of wildlife, and a free guided hike each morning. You can do some nice hiking at the Mistico Hanging Bridges as well. There's also a beautiful waterfall you can hike to and tons of adventure activities. Also like the Penas Blancas safari float and the Cano Negro boat tour. The Bogarin Trail owned by a local family is a great place to see sloths, colorful frogs, and nice birds. Easy, flat trails there. At night, visit the pretty natural hot springs like Tabacon or Eco Termales.
volcanogirl is online now  
Oct 23rd, 2019, 10:33 PM
  #3  
 
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That's a long time to stay in Tortuguero, most of the lodges do a typical two night package. We stayed two nights, and that was about right for us. It's all canal based so riding around in boats looking for wildlife and hiking out at night to see the turtles. This is the very end of turtle season, not sure how many will still be around. It starts in July. Great wildlife around though.
volcanogirl is online now  
Oct 25th, 2019, 10:19 AM
  #4  
 
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In the Arenal area, Desafio is great for guided tours and activities.
volcanogirl is online now  
Oct 25th, 2019, 03:38 PM
  #5  
 
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I'd definitely plan 3 nights in Arenal area so that you have 2 full days - otherwise I don't think it makes much sense to go all the way up there.

I don't see how you could fit the Caribbean coast in between Osa and Tortuguero - it's a really long way and you'd drive by the turn off to get to the boats for Tortuguero on the way.

This itinerary has you doing quite a bit of driving. I'd try to rework it - maybe change the destinations a bit.

Of all of the places you've mentioned, Osa Peninsula is the geographical outlier, and given the weather, it seems like the obvious choice to cut. You could much more easily visit the Arenal area, Tortuguero, and the Caribbean coast together - maybe include Sarapiqui as well. That would make for a nice 17 days. But it looks like Osa is already booked (non-changable?). In that case, I'd probably stick to Arena, Osa, and the Pacific coast.
november_moon is online now  
Oct 25th, 2019, 03:44 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Do you already have a guide for Corcovado, and they said the weather would be okay?
https://costa-rica-guide.com/travel/...-map-rainfall/ is a nice weather map that shows general weather patterns by season. Mouse over the Osa to see what I'm referring to.
volcanogirl is online now  
Oct 25th, 2019, 03:57 PM
  #7  
 
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That's a great map. Really helpful.
november_moon is online now  
Oct 25th, 2019, 09:19 PM
  #8  
 
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I really like that map - very helpful in planning. I agree about adding more time to the Arenal area; we usually stay four nights when we go.
volcanogirl is online now  
Oct 30th, 2019, 11:10 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 12
Thank you all for the information! The hike is already booked, so Iíve decided to keep that in the itinerary. With some additional research, I came up with the itinerary below. Iím on the plane there so hereís hoping it works out. If not, Iíll change course - the beauty of solo travel Thanks again!

Arrive 1:30 PM/Uvita
Uvita
Uvita (Nauyaca waterfalls)
Uvita
Drive to Puerto Jiminez
Puerto Jiminez/Cabo Matapalo or Dos Brazos
Puerto Jiminez/Corcovado
Puerto Jiminez/Corcovado
Puerto Jiminez/Corcovado
Puerto Jiminez
Drive to Cartago/Volcano Irazu/Turrialba
Cartago/Volcano Irazu/Turrialba
Drive to Cahuita
Cahuita
Cahuita
Cahuita
Cahuita/San Jose
Fly Home Late AM
jessinaround is offline  
Oct 30th, 2019, 02:23 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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I would expect Uvita to be rainy as well; fingers crossed for good weather for you.
volcanogirl is online now  
Nov 2nd, 2019, 08:15 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Sorry you're not going to make it to Arenal; that's a wonderful area. Hope you get to make a return trip. How are things going so far? Careful driving on the Osa; we went in July and had to cross over several streams. They'll be bigger this time of year.
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