(osa + tamarindo) OR osa +(san juan & tortguero)

Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 11:10 PM
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(osa + tamarindo) OR osa +(san juan & tortguero)

Trip: Me, husband, and daughters aged 13,16, and 21, first time in Costa Rica.

All we know for sure is November 21-25 will be Bosque del Cabo (Osa) and fly home on the 25th.

Question: What to do November 17-21.

Main concern: We'll get a lot of rain in the Osa in November. Maybe we'll want some sun for the other part of the trip?

Other considerations: We want to do an easy zipline, a not-too-wild white water rafting experience, and a slow boating tour through the jungle to see wildlife. Turtles would be cool and seem to be out of season in Tortuguero in November but in season in Tamarindo. We've seen volcanoes before so feel we can pass on them in the interest of time. I'm afraid cloud forests will provide poor visibiity for monkey-viewing and will be cold, and well, not sunny. We want to see monkeys (and sloths!) more than birds. We don't care about nightlife, although a little Costa Rican culture would be interesting.

Option 1: San Juan 2 nights, when we do rafting. Tortuguero 2 nights for slow boat trip through jungle. Then Bosque del Cabo for four nights (zipline there, apparently). Will Bosque del Cabo (Osa) and Tortuga Lodge (Tortuguero) seem duplicative?

Option 2: Tamarindo 4 nights for zipline, sun, turtles. Bosque del Cabo for remainder. However, I got some impression that Tamarindo (dry in November, I'm hoping)is a little, what, tacky? I'm considering Sueno del Mar if we go with Tamarindo. Maybe Sueno del Mar is enough out of the way to have a less overdeveloped feel? Any rafting around Tamarindo?

Or other itinerary suggestions? Someone previously suggested Cano Negro. Would that permit both rafting and slow-boat nature viewing?

It might be more restful to avoid 2-night stands and instead stay in places that can act as a base. Right?

Driving to Osa sounds bad, so we're thinking of no car rental for the trip, and flying between destinations. That does sound limiting, but we don't want to spend all our time lost.

Any opinions to share with me?

Thank you!!!
sweetmarie is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2007, 04:37 AM
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Hi, Marie - we met someone at BdC who had done a river tour there, and they raved about it; we did not do it ourselves, so I can't give you details, but they really loved it. Also there is a simple zipline at BdC.

Manuel Antonio offers ziplines and mangrove tours.

Our favorite tour ever was the Cano Negro tour out of Arenal - amazing wildlife on that tour: howlers, capuchins, sloths, birds, caimans - we got some amazing pictures when we did this one. We met people who were going river rafting at our hotel out of Arenal, so I believe there are trips you can book - would involve driving/riding to get to the river. We had seen volcanoes before too, but nothing compares to Arenal in my book. It's really amazing.

You can also book white water rafting out of the Peace Lodge. That's a great hotel with a beautiful waterfall hike on the property.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Wow. An awful lot to talk about. Lots of activities, and different locations. Logistics could be problematic too.

Tortuguero and the Osa have a similar feel, in that they are both rain forests with lots of nature. They do have different species of birds and different topography. You have to spend the night before in San Jose to get to Tortuguero. If you don't fly back, you should spend the next night too. This may eat into your time too much.

I have heard that there is a small (four cables) canopy tour in Tamarindo, and a very simple one at BdC. So if this is a priority, you may wish to reconsider your choice. The best ones are in Monteverde, where they originated. There is a good one in Manuel Antonio too.

The best rafting is near Turrialba. And is accessible from San Jose, and requires that you spend the nights before and after there. There are class III and class IV rivers near Manuel Antonio too. Not as scenic as the Pacuare and Reventazon, but a fun ride.

My guess is that the best thing for you would be to head for Manuel Antonio / Quepos. You can raft, do the slow boat thing, and ziplines there. Lots of monkeys and great beaches too. There are flights available to Puerto Jimenez too. So your travel will be smoother.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer more advice.

Warm Regards,
Pat Hewitt
(Travel professional)
Pat_Hewitt is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 10:16 PM
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Tamarindo - only a little over two yrs. since my then 18 yr. old, 21 yr. old and we two, then 50 yr. olds were there. WE stayed at Hotel Capitan Suizo, but walked south to Sueno Del Mar - and yes it is enough far away that you will enjoy the peacefulness. Hotel Capitan was loved by all of us but we wanted a location for our young adults to learn to socialize around alcohol, partake if they chose and yet be safe - this location was awesome. Asked if our 18 yr. old was old enough, etc. My husband would go back there each trip, but I, the reader of all the posts the last 2+ yrs. know now that there are soooooo many locations. Tamarindo, being our first destination in CR will always hold a place in our heart. Tico's and Tica's may not live there, but they are the spine of the tourist industry (work there) and THEY are awesome. Pura Vida
Dyer is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2007, 07:29 PM
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We've always enjoyed Tamarindo, too, Dyer. Although now it is so different (and busy) we don't spend much time there. Usually stop by for a lunch and an hour or so of browsing, internet, and using ATM--'bout every year. When we first experienced it 5 years ago, it was just a little surfer town. Kind of touristy, some cool shops, but very laid back. Boy, has that changed. It's very hard to recognize now! There's a new kind of energy (called Real Estate!), and I sure miss the "slowness" of 5 years ago!
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Old Aug 28th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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I'm considering now that, nice as Tamarindo may be, maybe we should skip Tamarindo and instead do 4 nights in Arenal and 4 in Osa. Will it be too much hassle and time and expense spent traveling if we do 2 nights in Arenal, 2 nights in Tamarindo, and 4 in Osa? I'm just worried, though, that if we skip Tamarindo, we won't see a ray of sun the whole week (remember this is the end of November.) I wanted to see the turtles in Tamarindo, but I'm reading that they're few and far between in recent years. And there IS a beach at Bosque del Cabo, but I don't have a good idea of whether we'll be so water-logged there that we want be able to enjoy it. What do you think? Should Tamarindo stay or go from our itinerary?
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Old Aug 28th, 2007, 10:24 AM
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That's a tough question if you really want some beach time. But, you're on the right track by picking either Arenal OR Tamarindo.

What about 2 nights at Iguana Lodge or Black Turtle Lodge (Puerto Jimenez in Osa) for some beach time (Iguana Lodge has barbecue on the beach on Tuesday's), 3 nights at BDC and 3 nights in Arenal. That's a great itinerary!

You may have just a couple of hours of rain a day, you never know.
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Old Aug 28th, 2007, 10:26 AM
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P.S. I believe Iguana Lodge has a turtle project too, and similar to in Tamarindo that time of year, probably scarce, but something you could look into.
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Old Aug 28th, 2007, 09:05 PM
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We spent 8 nights in Tamarindo last November, at Thanksgiving time. It poured hard our first couple of days and then cleared off and was sunny and beautiful the rest of our stay.
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