Need Itinerary Help for CR/Osa Questions

Old May 21st, 2004, 10:32 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 33
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Need Itinerary Help for CR/Osa Questions

I am reposting this message because I realize that my heading is not specific enough and I didn't understand the search topic concept.

Hi. I am planning our first trip to CR for the Christmas season, Dec 22-31. Yes I know it's busy but we have school aged kids so we have no choice. So we are a family of five, and our kids will be aged 15, 13 and 8.

A little bit about us. We love snorkelling and the beach but don't necessarily want the classic resort vacation. I also heard the Pacific resorts will be more or less full already.

My youngest child loves science (volcanoes etc) and nature. But he's not a great hiker over long distances. We won't do rafting this year because he is not yet nine. The older 2 kids are pretty much game for anything.

I have some tentative plans with a travel agent but wanted to get advice before I commit. Our plans are:

Arrive Dec 22, overnite at Buena Vista Hotel.
Dec 23-25 Fly Osa, 3 nites at Casa Corcovado. I wanted to get 4 nites but may not be able to. If I can, we would stay the nite of the 26.
Dec 27, 28 Monteverde Lodge 2 nites
Dec 29, 30 drive to Arenal- stay Montana del Fuego 2 nites
Dec 31- Drive back to San Jose from Arenal in time to catch 3 pm flight.

Some questions.
Is it worth it to go all the way to Osa just for 3 nites if I can't get the 4th nite?
Is it doable to drive back from Arenal and catch a plane at 3 pm? If not, I will try to back up the dates.

If you think it is not worth it to go to Osa for only three nites then I could also consider leaving that for another year and focus on the Caribbean coast/Tortuguero.

If you think it is not doable to drive back from Arenal and catch the plane then I will try to juggle those dates too- move them back.

I am afraid I am trying to fit too much in. Please tell me if you think that is the case. It is hard to figure out what is too much or too little. I am also a little handicapped because alot of stuff is booked up so I have to work with what is available.

Thanks for any help you can give me! Suggestions and advice welcomed!

cinepez is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 06:48 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Definitely go to Osa for 3 nights. 4 would be a nice bonus, but you can enjoy 3.

I am a little concerned about your Monteverde time. Am I correct that you will have to fly back to San Jose from the Osa, then transfer to Monteverde? What would the times look like? Monteverde is about a 5 hour drive from San Jose (not so far, but the roads up to the M area are difficult).

If I were you, I'd play it safe all the way around, skip Monteverde, enjoy Arenal like crazy, and return to the San Jose area a day earlier. There are some great places to visit outside the city (La Paz, Sarapiqui area, etc). An extra day in this area would be time well spent and less stressful on your family. Sure, you can make it to the airport from Arenal for a same day, 3:00 p.m. flight, but I wouldn't take the chance.
shillmac is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 08:23 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,217
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Are you bound to that 3pm flight on the 31st or could you add just a day?

We did this exact trip with one more day added at end for San Jose airport overnight. Course, we weren't travelling with kids, so perhaps we could move faster(?). In any case, we flew into San Jose, spent a nite a Vista de Valle, next day went back to airport and flew to Osa (also stayed at Casa Corcovado, which you and the kids will just love!). Stayed 3 nights, flew back and rental car people picked us up at Sansa terminal. We went back to their office (Elegante) and burned up a fair amt of time there with paper work. Then drove to Monteverde. Stayed two nights at El Sapo Dorado, drove to Arenal Lodge 2 nights. Then were able to take rather leisurely drive back from there to SJ -- stopping at La Paz Waterfall/Poas volcano on the way back. Stayed at Hampton near the aiport that eve -- but took a cab into SJ for dinner. Left early next am. We thought it was a perfect itinerary.
glover is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 09:08 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 33
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for both your responses. So Glover, from your message I get the impression Osa to Monteverde in one day is doable. Shillmac is concerned about it being too much.

If I only do 3 nights at Corc, I will have an extra SJ day at the end for before the airport. I would have 1 night SJ, 3 Corc, 2 MV, 2 Arenal, 1 SJ and then leave. Which seems to be exactly how you did it.

It is adding that 4th night in Corc that throws stuff out of whack. That would cause us to have to drive Arenal to SJ to catch our plane.

Is it better to go with the four nights in Osa if we can get them and drop Monteverde?

Any chance I could get your email?

Thanks
cinepez is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 10:20 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,217
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Yes, return from Osa to Monteverde was doable. I don't recall all the timing exactly, but seems like we were back in SJ before noon and reached MV before dark -- you don't want to be dawdling over lunch or car rental though -- because remember your goal is to get to MV before dark.

Skillmac's advice isn't bad either of course -- makes it all more leisurely. We really wanted to see Monteverde though. Guess how much you want to go there should be deciding factor! How will your kids tolerate the long ride over unpaved bumpy road (they might just think it's cool of course -- but it is long).

While we loved Osa and could have stayed longer, we did all we wanted to while there. Usually one day will be a trip to Cano Island (for snorkeling etc) and the other hike into the park.
With the 3 night stay you've still got some free time to walk the trails on the CC property and/or spend time at their beach.

Sure, email me if you have other questions [email protected]. We leave tomorrow for 9 nights -- this time 3 nights at Savegre Lodge, 2 in Dominical at Pacific Edge, 2 at Villa Nicolas in Manuel Antonio and a night in SJ on either end at Le Bergerac. We're really looking forward to it!
glover is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 12:37 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cinepez, I didn't mean to imply your itinerary wasn't a good one. I was just thinking that it would take the entire day to get from Osa to Monteverde, and with only 2 nights there, you just have one full day. It just seemed like a long hard drive in and out of Monteverde for one day to see and do the area. Yes, it's true, after many trips to Costa Rica, we have concluded that, for us, a couple with no children in tow, we prefer leisurely! Have a great trip!
shillmac is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 03:23 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 33
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I really appreciate your input, Shillmac. I am actually quite concerned about doing too much and I am considering cutting MV, although I am glad to hear from glover that the itinerary is doable. It's hard to figure stuff out. It seems like for some, 3 nites at MV is too much or they wouldn't go period because it is crowded. Still others say skip Arenal. If I get the extra night in Osa I will probably skip MV and go at a slower pace. If we don't it gonna be a tough decision.
cinepez is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 05:18 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't worry about it, because you are going to have a marvelous time regardless of how the schedule works out. You have a great itinerary, and if you don't mind moving around quite a bit (the scenery is great!) it will be your best adventure ever! We were at Arenal during Christmas last year (drove up from San Jose on Christmas Day)--loved every minute of it!
shillmac is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 05:18 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It shouldn't take 5 hours to drive from SJ to Monteverde unless you run into some huge accident or have a breakdown or some such. Just be sure that you have a good 4wd vehicle--a real one, NOT something like a Toyota Rav4. You need good clearance. The driver we hired took 3-1/2 hours or so--we did run into a couple of traffic tieups along the way.

The drive from Arenal to SJ is not difficult--again, barring some very unusual happenings, you can make it in 2-3 hours depending on your driving style. We hired a driver, and it took exactly 2 hours from the Arenal Paraiso Resort to the SJ airport.

We were in MV in January--it wasn't at all crowded. Don't know what Christmas vacation would be like.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 08:29 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 33
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So Rufus- (hoping you check back in)
do you think it is realistic to drive Arenal in the AM to SJO for a 3 pm flight? Or better to stay in SJO?
cinepez is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2004, 08:42 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In case Rufus is not responding tonight, it is very realistic. Leave early (just in case), the drive won't take more than 3 hours. It isn't a difficult drive--especially in the morning. If you get into the San Ramon area by 9 or 10, you'll be almost to the main highway and within an hour (or less) of the airport. Not only will you assure yourself plenty of time in case there is some type of road problem, you might have enough time to spend in Alajuela or Heredia (both interesting towns). Although I discouraged it in an earlier post, it is certainly an easy thing to do.

Ordinarily, there will be no problems at all! Only once have we had the experience of a traffic jam on Highway 1, but didn't have a flight to catch, so it wasn't a big deal. Two trucks broke down (on highway 1), one west bound and the other east bound, and stopped traffic both ways for close to 2 hours. This can happen, for sure. It just isn't likely. When it comes to catching flights, we just err on the side of caution.
shillmac is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2004, 09:14 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 30
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I wouldn't worry about the time to drive to Monteverde. It is about 3 1/2hrs from the Sansa terminal and about 4hrs from Nature Air.

You will enjoy your stay at Casa Corcovado. Even 3 days in that area will be great!

There are different trips out of Arenal for rafting on the Sarapiqui. Your younger son should be able to do one of those. Maybe the family could split up for a few hours as there are more challenging rapids on that river also.

Hotel Sugar Beach might be a good place. You can snorkle, visit Rincon de la Vieja, Los Innocentes, Conchal, Flamingo.

Monteverde Lodge would not be my first choice for lodging in Santa Elena. It is in a great location but I was not comfortable in the hotel itself. It is clean and the food is decent and you are within walking distance of a lot but there was just something that didnt' give me that warm fuzzy feeling . El Sapo Dorado might be a better choice if it is available.
KatHep is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
koala
Mexico & Central America
17
Sep 18th, 2009 07:25 AM
campjulie
Mexico & Central America
22
Jan 21st, 2007 04:17 PM
tripMe
Mexico & Central America
9
Oct 26th, 2006 07:29 PM
sj1
Mexico & Central America
4
Jan 25th, 2006 04:10 PM
rebecca05
Mexico & Central America
9
Feb 28th, 2003 07:03 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:48 PM.