Need help in August

Old Mar 21st, 2005, 09:48 PM
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Need help in August

Hi, I know this sounds really sad, but I need an Itinarary. I have posted before but I can't seem to zero in on Costa Rica in August. We are 2 parents and 3 kids ages 10,12 and 15. The kids are not as adventurous as my husband and I. I think that once we get to CR we will have a great time. I just need help with what and where. It all sounds so good. Has anyone been in our place? We like nature, beaches and being in different culture. We also have to keep the costs down.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 05:22 AM
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We have gone to Costa Rica 3 times with our daughter who absolutely loves it there. All of our trips were in August. I am sure your family will have a wonderful time in Costa Rica.

Tell us a bit more about how long you will have there, if you are planning on flying into San Jose or Liberia, and if you are planning on renting a car.

The 2 most popular places for a first trip are Manuel Antonio (a small national park with beautiful beaches) and Arenal volcano area. The beach towns in the northwest are also very popular. And the cloud forest in Monteverde is a popular destination as well. If you have one week, you should plan on visiting 2 destinations, if you have more time, 3 or even 4 would be possible.

A typical itinerary for weeklong trip would be:
Day 1 arrive in San Jose and spend 1st night in the area
Day 2 get your rental car and drive to Arenal - spend 2 nights there
Day 4 drive to Manuel Antonio and spend 3 nights there
Day 7 drive back to San Jose and fly back home the next day.

If you decide on destinations, I am sure you will get a lot of recommendations for places to stay as well (let us know how much you want to spend per night for a hotel).
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 06:50 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply. Cost is an issue and we need 2 rooms per night or a condo rental. We will probably have b/w 8-14 nights. Osa sounds like a wonderful place, yet I have read that August could be very wet? As well as the cost and distance of getting there? I have read so much about the 2 above mentioned areas that I find myself wanting someplace different. Should I ignore my impulse, trying to find a place that is less popular. I live in LA and I know that most would want to visit "Hollywood". I could never bring myself to recommend such a well traveled location. Does this make sense?? I guess I want to know if these places are really worth the time? Are there other places that offer more. Is there a nice area that we could rent a condo for 5 days and also visit 2 other places?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 08:23 AM
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I think I know what you mean but I would still not hesitate to recommend the popular destinations in Costa Rica. If it helps, I have no desire of ever seeing Disney World, but I love Costa Rica, including Manuel Antonio and Arenal ;-). They are just not as touristy as people make them seem, there are no large hotels or large scale developments there.

Osa Peninsula is a wonderful place but August may be wet and it certainly is extremely humid. We loved Osa for the wildlife viewing opportunities but would hesitate to go again during the green season because the weather was really uncomfortable. It is also fairly expensive because you would probably have to fly in (and flight costs add up when you are taking a family of 5).

I think a good plan for you would be to rent a condo on a beach somewhere in the north west for a few days (Playa Langosta, on the southern end of Tamarindo, may be a good place for you - check the listings on www.vrbo.com, another town we like in that are are Playa Flamingo), then go to Arenal or Monteverde for a few days and then Manuel Antonio. Or for a less travelled destination instead of Manuel Antonio, Montezuma or Malpais/Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula may be a good option.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 01:26 PM
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We were there last August with our 15 yr old son...put "trevor's cr trip report" into the search area and I think his comments will come up...my report should as well. We loved our trip and still talk about it all the time...if you have questions after you read the posts, we will try to help, Joyce
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 09:22 PM
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thank you all, I am busy reading-
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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We were in CR last month with our 3 kids, 10, 13 and 14 1/2. We loved it! There is so much for them to do. I don't know what the weather is like in August, but we were there for 8 days. We spent 2 nights at LaQuinta de Sarapiqui in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. We had 2 cabinas side by side that were wonderful - great patios with a hammock and rocking chairs. It was our favorite place. We did a great canopy tour at Hacienda Pozo Azul, and a really nice hike at Tirimbina. Then we spent 2 nights in Arenal - I can't remember the name of the place (our reservations at Arenal Paraiso were given to a tour group, so they sent us to another hotel, which was nice, but we had 2 separate cabins.) We would have had 1 room at AP to accomodate the 5 of us (deluxe). We did the hanging bridges, the LaFortuna waterfalls hike and a raft trip on the Penas Blancas. Unfortunately, the volcano was cloudy the whole time, but we did see one huge eruption. Then we moved on to 3 nights in Manuel Antonio at the Costa Verde. We loved this place, too, and had 1 room with a queen bed for us and a king bed for our kids. It was perfect. It was a studio-plus room with a great view in the B-building. The highlight was the monkeys in the restaurant before sunset every night. Since it was the end of the trip, all the kids wanted to do was go to the beach and the pool. It was great! We did do the hike through MA, and shopped at the vendors on the beach, and I would have loved the Isla Damas tour, but we ran out of time. It was nice just to relax and take it all in. We then returned to a hotel in Alajuela near the airport and went to Zoo Ave. before leaving. Enjoy your planning! I got so much help from this board!
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 05:18 PM
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dhswor,
Pleae tell me more about Hacienda Pozo Azul.
The canopy ride and anything else you may have done there.
Thanks!
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Old Mar 25th, 2005, 07:08 PM
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Iza has given you some great advice and I second all of her suggestions. Definitely take your kids to Arenal and Manuel Antonio--they are the most heavily touristed areas in Costa Rica, yes, but there is a very good reason for that! There is a LOT to do at both locations, and all those activities seem especially geared toward families. Also, keep in mind that in August, there will be fewer tourists. Heavy tourism in Costa Rica is not the same as heavy here in the U.S. at Disneyland, for example. We've been to both places dry season and green season--never thought it was too crowded to enjoy fully!
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 05:54 AM
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baggyi, we did the canopy tour at Hacienda Pozo Azul and loved it. The main reason we did that one is the fact that they have a second line that you are attached to - a safety line. It was perfect - at least I felt safer! The guides were great, too. They take a video and you can see it first before you buy it. We also went back for dinner at their restaurant. It was pretty good, but in a beautiful setting on the river. They offered other tours that you can check out on their website-
http://haciendapozoazul.com. Other things in the area include La Selva, Tirimbina, the Serpentarium, Braulio Carillo National Park, Sarapiqui River rafting trips, Centro Neotropico Saraqiquis and Selva Verde. There are 2 cities nearby - La Virgin and Puerto Viejo. We loved staying at La Quinta de Sarapiqui Country Inn. They have nice cabins (we had 2 right next to each other) and beautiful grounds to explore. www.laquintasarapiqui.com
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