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Leslee Aug 17th, 2004 04:10 PM

Osa, Malpais and ... where for the 3rd stop?
I've just decided to re-visit Costa Rica. We went last year in November and we'll be returning this year in October - love that rainy season I guess...
Our first trip we visited: Montverde, Arenal, Manuel Antonio, Osa and Malpais. I don't usually like to go back to the same places, but I can't resist going back to the Osa and Malpais.
I think I can fit one more place in and would love suggestions. Ally, Suzy2, are you still around?
We stayed at Bosque del Cabo and loved it so I'm torn between staying there again or checking out Lapas Rios. Having said that, I haven't even checked availability yet - oops - I better get busy.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

shillmac Aug 17th, 2004 06:27 PM

Leslee, here are a couple of ideas:

The northern Nicoya Peninsula--any where from Tamarindo on up toward the Papagayo Peninsula (side trips to the Rincon de la Vieja would be beautiful in October). Less rain here!

Central Valley--anywhere near San Jose. You would enjoy spending time in the Orosi Valley and east of San Jose. You would also like the Rio Sarapiqui area up near Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui--through Braulio Carillo Parque Nacional.

Savegre or Trogan Lodge south of San Jose near San Isidro.

Each of these areas would allow you to see something different than you've already seen. They're all great places.

My pick: Hotel Savegre or Trogan Lodge. This puts you in the high country. Very different with a whole range of different activities than you've experienced so far.

Ally Aug 18th, 2004 06:08 AM

Yes, I'm still around. Shillmac gave excellent advise as always. If it's more beach and jungle you want, then a stay around Tamarindo or north so you can visit Ricon is a good suggestion. Tamarindo is a busy little town so if you want less tourist go north to Playa Hermosa or Playa Coco.
It's hard to make suggestions when we don't know how much time you'll have in your 3rd stop, and where you are coming and going from. If you could tell us that, we could make other suggestions. For example you may like the Dominical area, or as Shillmac suggested, the area around San Jose. The Peace Lodge gets rave reviews, but most say only for 2-3 nights, so again, let us know how long you have and we can be of more help!

Leslee Aug 18th, 2004 03:02 PM

Hi Shillmac and Ally
Thanks for the advise. I'll check into your suggestions.
I wanted to be "open" but guess I was too vague. I feel I'll accomplish beach at Malpais; rainforest at Osa; so... highlands may be a good idea.
I prefer less touristy areas. Last visit we found a place called La Mansion Inn near Laguna de Arenal that we really liked (great horseback riding), so maybe I should consider them again.
As for amount of time - we'll have 10 days and I know travel time is a big part of that - esp. going to the Osa. I'm fine to take flights or drive anywhere- time will be the biggest factor. We'll def. fly to the Osa, but I haven't determined which place we'll stay at first or last - gotta' check hotel availability.
Thanks again,

shillmac Aug 18th, 2004 03:20 PM

The next time we find ourselves looking for something different to do, we are going to try La Carolina up near Bijagua (just south of Upala in the northern zone). There have been some excellent posts on this board from Julie (Tica Traveler). The website looks good.

mat629 Aug 23rd, 2004 07:22 AM

I just got back from CR this past Saturday - haven't had a chance to post my report, but couldn't wait to get back and check the board.
I'll throw my two cents in as far as the northern Pacific beaches (although it sounds like you are leaning in a different direction anyway). I was so absolutely blown away by Malpais - just amazing in every way I can think of - that I was a bit disappointed by our stay in Playa Hermosa. Still beautiful certainly, but really no comparison. Where did you stay while in Malpais?
I had researched Rincon when I was planning our trip - would love to go there myself & they have lodging in and near the park if you didn't want to stay at the beach.
We met a couple in Monteverde who had stayed at Rara Avis and had some fun stories. I believe it is near the Braulio Carrillo National Park.
Sorry I don't have more suggestions, but you've been everywhere I have!

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