One week in CR...stay in one area or divide time

Old Mar 16th, 2017, 01:19 PM
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One week in CR...stay in one area or divide time

Traveling to Costa Rica in Feb or March of 2018 with my sister and family (4 adults, 4 kids ages 6-17). First idea was to go to two places (Arenal, then coast), but now wondering if renting a house in one location might be a better, more relaxing idea.

Recommendations of areas that "have it all"?

Interested in rain forests and wildlife, zip lining, etc...but also beach. I know many will recommend Manuel Antonio, and that is a definite possibility. Wondering what other areas might be recommended!

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Old Mar 16th, 2017, 01:33 PM
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Nice that you are going to Costa Rica next year! If you are looking for the whole package, staying at one place maybe could not be really helpful for you and your family, as you still need to travel by car. It also depends how long you are willing to stay and the budget.

Maybe you could ask a travel agency for extra information about the country? It helped for me, so it would probably help for you as well. Just tell what you want and mostly, they know the exact places you need to visit etc. I used for my trip to Guanacaste. If you are looking for a rainforest, Guanacaste wouldn't be something for you to visit; however, Tamarindo is quite nice for families and holiday goers.

Good luck with your search and I hope this maybe helped you!
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Old Mar 16th, 2017, 05:02 PM
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A lot of first timers like to do a combination of the Arenal area and Manuel Antonio for their first trip. Since CR is so diverse, I think it's nice to see two different areas of the country, and you have time to do it. Sky Trek in the Arenal area has great ziplining with lake and volcano view; there are also tons of adventure activities in the area, and gorgeous natural hot springs like Tabacon. Manuel Antonio has a beautiful beach inside the park and tons of easy access to fairly tame wildlife. Tulemar Bugnalows is our favorite place to stay.
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Old Mar 17th, 2017, 09:15 AM
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d, advertising is not allowed on the boards.
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Old Mar 25th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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You can get beach, wildlife, rainforest, zip line and all if you were to go to Manuel Antonio and Monteverde. From Monteverde you can see arenal from a distance but not up close. Transportation from one to the other is possible by rental car or shuttle van
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Old Apr 6th, 2017, 10:04 AM
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We find Manuel Antonio very busy and touristy. Not to say you should not consider it - just depends on what you're hoping for, right? With one week to fit in as many "adventuras" as your group would like, I'm going to suggest another approach. Not sure what your budget considerations are either...

Fly into Liberia, a smaller airport... Stay in the Guanacaste/Papagayo area for beaches/drier climate. From there it is not a long drive to Racon de la Vieja where there are rain forest zip lines, thermal hot springs, mud baths, horses, river tubing, hiking, all within an hour or so's drive. And not as busy as Arenal. Arenal has all of the above plus hanging bridges at Mistico but the distance is too far for a day trip from Guanacaste/Papagayo.

The point is you would not have to change accommodations. There is a great supermarket at Coco Beach if you decide to do in-house cooking -- always love that for breakfasts especially!

Pro's and con's to every plan, but thought you might like an alternative suggestion. Volcano girl may have some helpful comments on this, hope so!
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Old Apr 6th, 2017, 02:45 PM
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I like the combo of Arenal and a Pacific beach location such as Manuel Antonio, or Dominical. Manuel Antonio has several diffent beaches, some are busy and some are not, same can be said for the range of hotels. I was able to stay at Arenas del Mar at a great discount, although otherwise it can be pricy, but it's very nice. There are lots of hotels in the area in all price ranges. In Arenal I spent a few days at the Observatory Lodge (great for wildlife and birdwatching) and a few in La Fortuna for better access to hotsprings and the waterfall.Horses and zip lines are offered all over CR, no rreason to pick any particular area to do one of those.

volcanogirl is the expert on CR!
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