Need ideas - quick side trip in Costa Rica

Old Mar 17th, 2008, 01:16 PM
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Need ideas - quick side trip in Costa Rica

I'll be in San Jose for work, and I plan to take a few extra days for fun. If I have Thurs-Fri-Sat free and fly out of SJO Sunday morning, where would you go for a short stay? I've been to Arenal and MA and would like to see something different, am interested in nature, animals and photography. I'll be on my own (40-yr old female, well-traveled). Thanks in advance for your suggestions...
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Old Mar 17th, 2008, 01:41 PM
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I would look into the Carribean side (either Tortuguero or Puerto Viejo) or the Osa Peninsula.

What time of year will you be there? That might help folks make the best suggestions.
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Old Mar 17th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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I think c's suggestion to go the Osa Peninsula is great. If you like nature, animals, and photography, I can't think of a better spot for you. We spent 4 days/3 nights there last July and saw howlers, capuchins, a sloth, spider monkeys, toucans, coatis, an anteater, and wild scarlet macaws - it's an amazing place.
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Old Mar 17th, 2008, 03:37 PM
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I'll be there the first week in May. For Osa, I know I'd need to fly. Same for Tortuguero & Puerto Viejo? I do love the beach, too, but thought Puerto Viejo might not be good for someone on their own? thanks again...
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Old Mar 17th, 2008, 03:47 PM
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Are you interested in birding? If so, check into Rancho Naturalista down near Turrialba. 2 birding tours per day included. The food is fabulous, 3 meals per day included. You'd have some wonderful photo ops. I was there last summer with a fellow who was there primarily for photography and he got some excellent shots.
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Old Mar 17th, 2008, 04:22 PM
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Well, you obviously have a few choices here! Yes, for Osa would be best to fly Sansa or Nature Air given the time you have and convenience.

You can take public bus or Interbus (or the like) easily to Puerto Viejo, but it's about 5 hours. I'm about your age and would feel fine by myself. My 10 year old was my companion last year which isn't much better! Turned out to be one of our favorite areas.
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Old Mar 17th, 2008, 05:58 PM
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chris, you can go to the beach on the Osa, as well. We stayed at Bosque del Cabo; it has gorgeous ocean views, but you have to hike down to get to the water. Other places on the Osa have easier beach access if that interests you.
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Old Mar 17th, 2008, 07:19 PM
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You could also look into a place like Selva Verde. It's only a 2 hour drive from the airport. Try to book in one of the bungalows, has a/c and offers much more privacy.
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Old Mar 17th, 2008, 10:29 PM
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Not far from the general Selva Verde area is my favorite B&B: Casa Rio Blanco.

MY
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 12:51 PM
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Thanks everyone-- great suggestions! I've decided to visit Osa. I checked out Bosque Del Cabo's website and it looks amazing! I've seen several posts about the great views from the houses at BdC, but how are the views from the cabinas?
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 01:08 PM
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The views from the cabinas are wonderful! I wouldn't hesitate to stay either deluxe or standard. Mariposa and Congo seem to get the most rave reviews for views, and Mariposa has an outdoor bathtub. We stayed in Gecko last time and thought it was amazing and had a great view too, but switching to a standard this month and staying in Pizote. If you do more searching here you can pull up some nice threads with great descriptions of many of the cabinas.

Nice choice!
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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Thanks Virgo! What do you like about Pizote? I'm looking for a deck & view, so appreciate your advice regarding which cabina is best for that...
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 02:23 PM
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The monkeys seemed especially partial to the trees around Pizote (but you never can predict that!) and also had great views and I can't remember just how big the porch/deck was, but I'll be reporting back after we return late on 4/7. Not sure when you're going? Gecko was a deluxe and decided we didn't need that. With a standard my daughter and I can each have our own bed.

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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 03:13 PM
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Pizote is a good one (they're all good ) always seems to be a lot of creatures about. When are you going? I'll be arriving may 10th. Great choice, you will certainly not be short of things to photograph!
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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We stayed in Tucan; it also has an outdoor tub and wonderful view. I saw tons of monkeys in the trees surrounding our cabin - howlers, spiders, and capuchins. All the cabins are perched high on a cliff and overlook the ocean; the only ones I wouldn't recommend are the garden cabins because you have to hike over the bridge at night to get to them, and they don't have the ocean view or breeze.
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 04:38 PM
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Sol is next to pizote--best shower view imho. . . .lots of monkeys!
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Tully- I'll arrive May 8 & check out May 10th... Sorry we'll miss each other! I wish I could stay another night but think it's best to get back to SJO Saturday afternoon to catch a 9 a.m. flight home.

I've requested Mariposa and haven't heard back from BdC yet, but I'll be happy with any of the view cabinas. Can't wait to go!
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 09:38 AM
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Mariposa is on the end, so it has a little more privacy. It's kind of known as the honeymoon cabin, so it's a good one.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 04:53 PM
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chris - just missed ya. Pretty sure there is someone else here at fodors who is also checking out same day, I forget whom but maybe they will chime in. Have a great stay, you won't regret it.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 07:29 PM
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Just found out my flight out of SJO to the states departs at 1:00 p.m. Would I be crazy to squeeze a third night at BdC and fly in to SJO that morning? There's a Nature Air flight arriving SJO at 10:30, is that cutting it too close?
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