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Need Help planning 2nd Honeymoon to Costa Rica!

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May 1st, 2011, 07:16 PM
  #1
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Need Help planning 2nd Honeymoon to Costa Rica!

Hi everyone!
I have been reading and researching for a few weeks and cannot narrow down the destinations and we leave June 11! We are a couple in our 30's that are celebrating our 10 year anniversary. We are active and want to take part in hiking, canopy tours, canyoning, ww rafting, etc. We also want to stay in unique places that are romantic and quiet. We prefer seclusion and experiencing nature over luxury. We would like to do three places in 10 days if possible. We for sure want to see a volcano, visit hot springs and see the rain forest. We live in Florida so we can take or leave a beach destination unless highly suggested. We are flying in and out of San Jose and renting an SUV. We are on a moderate budget. Any help is appreciated! THANKS!
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May 1st, 2011, 08:26 PM
  #2
 
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We adore the Lost Iguana. Check it out and see what you think. It's quite and romantic, out by the lake with a gorgeous volcano view. It's in the Arenal/La Fortuna area where you can hike the waterfall and swim there, hike the Hanging Bridges, do a volcano hike, enjoy the natural hot springs like Tabacon or Eco Termales, go canyoneering with Desafio or Pure Trek, do the Cano Negro tour with Sunset Tours to see wildlife. I'd also recommend Bosque del Cabo on the Osa Peninsula for hiking and wildlife. Both great properties. You might want to spend a couple of nights at the Peace Lodge too; it's very honeymoonish.
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May 2nd, 2011, 05:40 AM
  #3
 
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hotelvillacaletas.com

tabacon.com

fondavela.com

Congrats!
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May 2nd, 2011, 05:42 AM
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a little further afield

cundeldelangel.com

corcovado.org best for wildlife

lookout-inn.com

Drakes Bay

jinetesdeosa.com
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May 2nd, 2011, 05:53 AM
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Thanks! Lost Iguana and Lookout- Inn look very interesting. What 3 destinations would you suggest? Sounds like Arenal for sure.
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May 2nd, 2011, 06:27 AM
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Arenal is our favorite. If you stay at the Lost Iguana, ask about specials - sometimes they have discounted green season rates, or buy a couple of nights and get one free. You might like Monteverde too - lots of hiking, very green in the cloud forest. You can zipline there and do a nice night hike at Hidden Valley. We saw a lot of wildlife, including quetzals. Accommodations aren't as posh in that area, but Fonda Vela has new junior suites that are nice with a small frig and a bathtub. It's pretty affordable too.
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May 2nd, 2011, 07:33 AM
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You can go to Turrialba, which is very near to San Jose, you´ll find adventure tours around it, rafting is the best in the Pacuare river. You can also find canyoning and ziplining, there is also the Turrialba Volcano. After this you can head La Fortuna, and relax in the hot springs and enjoy the views of Arenal Volcano. In hotels, O would say go with Eco Termales.
Some websites:
www.travelmap.com
www.arenal.net
www.explornatura.com

Hope this helps.
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May 2nd, 2011, 11:44 AM
  #8
 
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Hi - My husband and I will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary in June in Costa Rica as well. We only are getting away for 6 days (babies at home) so we had to focus our trip. If I had more time, I would have gone to Arenal for sure. Since we wanted to also include beach time and a rainforest,wildlife, etc..we settled on the Dominical/Uvita area on the Central/Southern Pacific coast. It appears to be easy-ish to drive to (3.5hr) from San Jose, but still a bit less touristy than many other areas. Supposedly nice beaches, rainforest, waterfalls, zipling, etc. I've found several beautiful and luxurious/remote hotels for @ $125-$149 a night due to it being the Green Season. There are many other nearby hotels that are considered nice for close to or less than $100 a night. With more time, I'd also consider Osa.

Good luck!
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May 2nd, 2011, 01:05 PM
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If Arenal volcano wasn't high on your priority list I would suggest the Dominical/Uvita for a few days (somewhere like Shelter from the Storm) and then down to Osa (Bosque del Cabo is my favorite and they are offering 20% green season discounts). These make a good bet amazing nature and wildlife.

If including Arenal you might consider a Sarapaqui, Arenal, Tortugero combo.

Tours can really break the budget so finding places where you can explore for free once you get there are the best!
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May 2nd, 2011, 07:13 PM
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I would recommend splitting your time between Arenal and the Osa Peninsula. In Arenal I love Arenal Nayara. A boutique hotel with top notch service. On the Osa. Bosque del Cabo would be my first choice. Just got back from both of these locations and must say we had the vacation of a lifetime.
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May 2nd, 2011, 08:34 PM
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We were in CR last May and loved every minute of the trip. Here are some details.

Monteverde - Stayed at Rustic Lodge and loved it. Very understated, but cheap and Jose and his brother were wonderful. Breakfast was included, but no restaurant. We didn't have a car, but we could walk to town from the lodge. We had 2 nights and would have liked one more. We did ziplining here with Selvatura, as well as a night hike with Hidden Valley and a morning walk in Santa Elena.

Arenal - Stayed at Silencio del Campo. All cabins that are very comfortable and the grounds are gorgeous. They have their own hot spring, just one pool, but free! Breakfast was included, but they also serve lunch and dinner. We used taxis to get around. Had 3 nights here, but never saw the top of the volcano, so don't be disappointed. Did a tour of Cano Negro that was arranged by the front desk.

OSA - Stayed at Bosque del Cabo, which you may have noticed is a huge favorite on this board. All meals are included and they have many great hiking trails. You'll see lots of birds and animals. We flew to Puerto Jiminez from San Jose. I don't recommend driving because it will take way too much of your time.

We stayed one night in the San Jose area in the middle of our trip (after Arenal and flew to OSA on Sansa from there). Then we returned to the SJ area on Nature Air and spent another night prior to flying home.

The night in the middle of the trip was at Alegria B&B and George was great. We had a taxi take us to our anniversary dinner at Xandari, which is another (pricey)option for a night in SJ. George served us breakfast and then gave us a ride to the airport.

At the end of our trip we stayed one night at Casa Bella Rita. Steve picked us up at the airport and took us back to their beautiful home. Rita and Steve were wonderful hosts and it was a nice end to our trip. Breakfast is included, and they'll make you just about anything you want. We requested that they make us dinner, which they will do for an additional fee.
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May 3rd, 2011, 02:24 PM
  #12
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Wow so much to take in! Thanks for the great suggestions. I for sure want to see a Volcano and now I am aware I may not see much Which volcano is my best shot for viewing? What tours can you suggest that may not be overly crowded? I have read some reviews on here of the hanging bridges and canopy tours being very touristy and crowded.
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May 3rd, 2011, 03:09 PM
  #13
 
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Arenal has the classic typical cone shaped volcano. We've seen it every trip that we've been on, but it comes and goes in the fog.
We've also been lucky enough to see the lava/hot rocks every time, but it hasn't done anything for a few months. Poas is another popular one; it's more of a crater than you can peer down into. It has the same foggy mist that envelops it though. I'd go with Arenal since it has a lot of what you're looking for. We did the Hanging Bridges in that area, and it was pretty quiet, not crowded for us. Hire a guide to up your chances of seeing wildlife.
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May 3rd, 2011, 06:25 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: May 2011
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IMO I would go Nayara Resort http://www.arenalnayara.com/ and then off to Punta Islita http://www.hotelpuntaislita.com/
Cheers & Congrats!
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May 4th, 2011, 02:50 AM
  #15
 
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Not crowded is Uvita, we stayed at tiki villas and was the best part of out stay. Day tour to corcovado was just magic, we are now counting the days ti go back!
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May 4th, 2011, 12:15 PM
  #16
 
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I went to Arenal in March, and preferred a more rustic, and less expensive option than some of the higher-end hotels in the area. Ended up staying a few nights at the arenalvolcanoinn near the la fortuna area. I had a nice view of the volcano from my cabin window, although only got to see the top of the volcano the first night, as it was overcast the next couple of days, but enjoyed the lush grounds, and did a lot of hiking. I plan a trek to Chirripo in June. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, taxis are expensive in Arenal.

http://www.arenalvolcanoinn.com/
http://www.lavaloungecostarica.com/ ´great cheeseburger
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May 6th, 2011, 08:16 AM
  #17
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We have decided on Arenal for sure and are now deciding our second stop. Do we need a rental car in Arenal or are things reasonable close by? As are as our second location goes where do we have the best chance to see wildlife? I am also wanting to do a little authentic shopping for handmade items to bring home if anyone can suggest a place. Thanks!
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May 6th, 2011, 10:03 AM
  #18
 
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Things in Arenal are pretty spread out. A lot of people do like to have a car there for that reason. We don't rent a car and have found taxis pretty easy to get if you choose not to rent one. The roads are in pretty good shape in that area unless you stay somewhere like AOL.
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May 6th, 2011, 01:17 PM
  #19
 
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If you want your second location to be about wildlife, then I think everyone will agree that you should think about going to the Osa, if your budget allows. We are actually arriving on June 11 too and spending two weeks. Our itinerary is Monteverde, Arenal, Osa, and Manual Antonio. We're spending five nights at Bosque del Cabo and they are having a great 20% off green season special right now. (They also have a little gift shop and, based on the picture on the website, seem to stock it with local, handmade items.) In order to get there, we are hiring a private driver to take us from Arenal to the Nature Air terminal in SJO and then flying to Puerto Jimenez. We are not renting a car at all, and are just going to rely on taxis - I prefer to do it that way. Also, I'm pretty sure Nayara will be booked up in Arenal because we unsuccessfully tried to reserve it months ago! It does look lovely though.
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May 6th, 2011, 03:25 PM
  #20
 
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We had BdC take us to a little gift shop in Puerto Jimenez where they had great stuff at good prices. The gift shop at BdC is pretty tiny, but the Osa is definitely a good pick for wildlife. If you want less off the grid, then Manuel Antonio has easy access to wildlife; it's sort of tame though because you're so close to the animals and a lot of people feed them.
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