Osa Lodging and general itinerary help

Old Jan 29th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Osa Lodging and general itinerary help

This site has been invaluable in planning our first trip to CR, so thank you all so much! We have gone from doing a package deal, to using an agent, to now I'm thinking we can pull it all off and do the whole trip our selves thanks to the comments on the forums here....so I just need some more advise:

We're going from 4/27 to 5/5 or 5/6, so that gives us 10 days max. Arenal and Osa are the two main areas we'd like to see and my husband really wants some "down time to relax", so I was given the recommendation to end at Si Como No in Manual Antonio by a good friend of mine who was in Costa Rica last year.

So, with that in mind, here is what I'm planning:

Day 1 (Fri) arrive San Jose around 2pm and go right to Arenal. So, here's my first question - it looks like we can arrange a private transfer to arenal for about $120.00 each way. Would it make more sense to rent a car for this portion? It really is the only portion of the trip we would need a car. I found the transfer info on arenal.net. Here we were considering Arenal Springs Hotel? Recommendations?

Day 2 and 3 in Arenal.

Day 4 we'd transfer to Osa - here again I need some advise. First, do we leave Arenal on Sunday afternoon and stay in San Jose? Or can we leave early on Monday morning to make a morning flight to Osa? Second - I'm very torn as to which area of Osa to go to? We were all set on the Drake area to either Casa Corcovada or Aguila de Osa. But then in reading more, the Puerto Jiminez area sounds so nice as well. We'd stay at either Lapa Rios or Bosque del Cabo, Including travel, we'd be there from Monday through Thursday. When we were looking at the Drake area we thought the Cano Island and Corcovado tours that were included in the Lodge prices seemed to be cool. But now I'm torn. Thoughts?

Day 7 - transfer to Quepos - now, can we fly directly from either place in Osa to Quepos? It looks like from Puerto Jiminez that Nature Air does fly to Quepos, and I'm not sure if the included transportation at the Casa Corcovada or Aguila will get us there - we'd stay at Si Como No on Thurs, Fri and Sat.

Day 10 - fly from Quepos to San Jose to return home.

Is this all feasable? And if anyone would be so kind as to comment on the logistics of the travel between locations I'd really appreciate it. As well as the hotel selections. I'm not sure about the Arenal hotel choice.

Thank you so much....It seems like a big undertaking to plan this on our own, but with the help from here, I think we can do it!
ShellD is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2007, 07:53 AM
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I was told that if you fly out of Puerto Jimenez that you probably would have to fly back to San Jose before you would be able to get to Quepos. Not sure if this is the case or not but if you go to Nature Air or Sansa's websites, you should be able to do a search to find out.

I'll be at Bosque del Cabo in March. I have been to Manuel Antonio as well as Arenal. In Arenal we stayed at the Lost Iguana Lodge and were happy with it. In Manuel Antonio we stayed at La Colina but I wouldn't recommend it unless you're on a tight budget. We had no other choice because we had booked very late. It was clean and the food was good but I didn't like the location and the pool was tiny.
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Old Jan 29th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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The 7am Nature Air flight out of PJ does show a stop in Quepos on its way back to San Jose.

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Old Jan 29th, 2007, 02:19 PM
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Regarding your itinerary. You will be disappointed in Manuel Antonio after the Osa. The Osa is so beautiful and unspoiled. I would arrange a transfer to the Drake Bay area after Bosque del Cabo and then you can fly back to San Jose from there. We had Bosque arrange a transfer to La Paloma Lodge for us and then stayed there three nights. Both the Osa and Drake Bay beat out Manuel Antonio in my book. it was really easy to do and Bosque arranged all our flights. At La Paloma we just got a room and purchased the tours separately.
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Old Jan 29th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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I second the previous poster's suggestion. Split your Osa time between the 2 locations, and that solves one of your dilemmas! Si Como No is a fun place and MA is okay (more than okay), but a split between Bosque del Cabo and Aguila de Osa would be fabulous! Could I come along and carry your bags?????

You can get a 10:30 (about that time) flight out of SJO (Sansa) to Puerto Jimenez--and a 6:00 a.m. flight as well. I think if I were you I'd spend the first 3 nights at Arenal (rent a car and drive), but return in the afternoon of your 4th day to spend the night at SJO, catching the 6:00 a.m. the next morning--to give you max time on the Osa.

Looking back at your days, I'm thinking you might want to consider one location on the Osa, though.

Apr. 27--Arenal---arrive just in time for night night

April 28--full day, overnight

April 29---full day, overnight

April 30--Sightsee during the day as you make your way back to SJO (La Paz Waterfall Gardens, little colonial towns, Doka Estate Coffee, etc), overnight near airport

May 1---fly to Osa, overnight

May 2--overnight

May 3---overnight

May 4---overnight

May 5--return to SJO, overnight

May 6--Departure
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Old Jan 29th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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Oops, posted too soon.

SO, with that in mind, you really only have 4 nights on the Osa---which is a good amount of time, but not for 2 locations certainly.

You can grab yourself an extra night down there by NOT sightseeing back to SJO on April 30, leaving early and catching a flight that same day. HOWEVER, the more leisurely option would be the slow day back to SJO. That area between Arenal and SJO has a lot of treasures, and your entire trip would take on a more relaxing tone.

Just my dos colones!
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Old Jan 29th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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It's up to you if you want a car in Arenal, really depends. I was there for 3 nights and got around just fine without one. JMO, but I would book a transfer thru someone else, I've been reading things lately about arenal.net that sounds like things are in disarray lately. Not familiar with Arenal Springs, looks nice though.

I agree with the point that MA is a let down after you've been down on the Osa. I went from Bosque del Cabo to MA a couple years ago and didn't enjoy myself as much (though my first trip there was fine). I'd spend 3 nights in Arenal area, 6 nights on the Osa and your last night near SJO. You could always do a split between Drake and the PJ area. Whichever place you stay should be able to arrange it for you.

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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 06:09 PM
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shillmac - I like your idea to stop on the way back from Arenal and make it a more leisurly ride. Actually, you have me thinking of adding The Peace Lodge in this part of the trip. Do you think that makes sense?

This would make our trip:

Arrive Friday and go to Arenal

Sat/Sun Arenal

Monday head to La Paz - stay at Peace Lodge until Wed am

Wed flight to Osa - still unsure about where we'd stay. Leaning towards Bosque based on strong postive reviews here!

That gives us Wed, Thurs, Fri at Osa - leave Saturday on the later flight to return to San Jose.

Stay in San Jose Sat night, fly home Sunday morning.

I gave up on Manual Antonio - based on the comments that after Osa it would be a let down - from what I've read I agree and I couldn't find a hotel I really wanted to stay at.

Would you stay at the Peace Lodge one or two nights between Arenal and Osa? If we only stayed one night, it doesn't give us very much time in that area.

Thanks again to everyone for the help!
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 07:53 PM
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I think you are wise to give up MA this trip. As for Peace Lodge, one night will be plenty if you arrive with a few daylight hours, spend the night, then have time to enjoy the property the next morning. All depends on flight times you arrange, etc.

2 nights would be fine as well--even better probably if you can swing it in your itinerary. Nothing wrong with 3 nights on the Osa. We did 3 nights there the first time and had a fabulous time. 4 is better, but that is true at lots of places!

You can also arrange Peace Lodge at the very end of your trip, building in just a very relaxed ending to it all.
Lots of options, as you know, all of them good ones! You are getting there--see, the planning is half the fun! You'll work it over and work it over, and before you know it, something is going to feel just right!
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 07:56 PM
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Forgot to mention, but I'm sure you've already thought of it. Beware of scheduling a really early flight (6:00)to the Osa if you are staying at Peace Lodge. Sansa is your nearest airport and it is about an hour from La Paz. That would necessitate your leaving the lodge about 4:00 a.m.! If you're booking 2 nights at La Paz, then you'd be fine in scheduling the 10:30 flight to Puerto Jimenez.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 07:13 AM
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I want to thank everyone for their help and comments on my itinerary!

shillmac, you're comments have been so helpful and well thought out, you really have a way of making those of us who are unsure feel so much more comfortable in our decisions! I really appreciate your guidance!

I've gone ahead and made reservations at the Peace Lodge for two nights between Arenal and Osa. We're staying at Bosque del Cabo for 3 nights at the end of our trip. I'm just not sure about our lodging in Arenal. We're most likely renting a car for the first five days. But I haven't gotten as far as reserving that yet.

I have just one or two more questions, but I'll start new threads on those.

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 09:25 AM
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You are so very welcome--I know you are going to have a fantastic time!
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 07:27 AM
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Hello

An option in Osa is Nicuesa Lodge, amazing place, surrounded by forests, accesible by boat. A perfect place to relax but at the same time to have some fun, different activities like kayaks, boat tours, fishing, hiking. Great food! Hope this helps.
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