Please help with Costa Rica Honeymoon Itinerary!

Old Oct 22nd, 2003, 06:20 PM
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Please help with Costa Rica Honeymoon Itinerary!

My fiance and I are getting married May 15, 2004. We are looking to take a honeymoon to CR from May 17-29th. I need help with the itinerary - I was hoping that you all could help. Here's what I have:

17 - 1 night at Xandari near San jose
18-20 - 2 nights at Tabacon Lodge
21 - 1 night in Monteverde (don't know where)
22-26 - 5 nights at Si Como No
27-28 - 2 nights (maybe at a nice beach?)

Ok, it's been really hard finding great reviews of all of these places. Also, I want to make sure that we're spending enough time at each location to do what there is to do. We have those extra 2 days at the end that we were thinking of going up to the Nicoya Peninsula for a little relaxiation and playing in the ocean (maybe fly from MA to the area and then fly back to San Jose for the flight home?). I'm not sure there is anywhere that we can do that.

Please, tell me what you all think! It would be SO appreciated!!!

Thanks again!
nicolep is offline  
Old Oct 22nd, 2003, 09:00 PM
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I would look into Makanda by the Sea or Tulemar Bungalows for you Manuel Antonio time. Makanda is a well known favorite with honeymooners and is adult only. Tulemar has its own private beach. Don't be alarmed by the sticker price. At that time of year you can do some serious bargaining on the price of the hotel stay.
Another option would be to go up to Tamarindo to Captain Suizo or Flor Blanca.
Monteverde would need more than 1 night because it is a tough trip up to it and there is a lot to see and do.
If all else fails, there are some nice hotels in the Alajuela, San Jose area that you can take some nice day trips out of.
Have you looked at Peace Lodge? It is up in Braulio Carillo at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. It could be rainy that time of year but if you were in the deluxe cabin you might not care what was happening outside.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2003, 02:33 PM
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Take a look at Flor Blanca near Tambor Beach (www.florblanca.com). In May, the newly opened four seasons might also be running some offseason specials.
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Old Oct 25th, 2003, 12:41 PM
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Nicole,
My wife and I just got back yesterday from our one week trip to Costa Rica and we stayed at several of the hotels you have in mind. A couple of suggestions/ideas:

1. I agree about not spending only one night in Monteverde. It is NOT easy to get to, but definitely worth the trip. It is my second time there in the last 10 years and I love it. However, it is 3-4 hours of brutal driving both coming and going and one night may not be worth it. I didn?t find the roads dangerous, just very bumpy and slow going.
2. We stayed at Tabacon and thought it was fabulous. The hot springs part of the resort is just unbelievably beautiful, and the Spa there is truly wonderful. My wife and I did a couples? massage and it was very romantic. However, keep in mind that the Tabacon Resort is right in the path of where the lava flow would come if there were a major eruption of the volcano. We found out after we arrived that some tour companies won?t even book their customers there because of the risk. Of course, many other hotels might also be affected as well. We thought the resort was worth the risk, but you should at least be aware.
3. We stayed 3 nights at Hotel Si Como No in one of their deluxe suites and it was awesome. The staff was wonderful and the restaurant there, ?Claro Que Si?, had excellent food. We ate dinner at Makanda our last night. The restaurant and the rest of the hotel seemed very romantic, but it is fairly remote with no views. You?re surrounded by forest and there are only 11 rooms in the whole hotel. If your idea of honeymoon romance is to be fairly isolated, it would be a good choice. However, 5 nights might leave you little stir crazy because there is nothing there but a pool and cabins. Having seen both, I would definitely choose Si Como No.

Hope that is helpful.

Jon
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Old Nov 11th, 2003, 12:56 PM
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We are seriously considering Tabacon in January- is there a safe shelter to go to in the event of a full blown eruption or would we be risking life and limb?
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Old Nov 11th, 2003, 01:46 PM
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Agree with others that the time/effort it takes to get to Monteverde isn't worth a 1 night stay; if you can revise your schedule and allot 2 nights, then that would be better. Good friend just got back from yet another trip to CR; he stayed in Monteverde at the Fonda Vela (sp?) and gave them a hearty thumbs up. He booked his airfare/hotels thru a Go-Today package and really appreciated that Fonda Vela upgraded him to a nicer room; it was rainy season and very quiet, and they put him in a better room at no extra cost.

RE: "danger" factor at Tabacon
The hotel section of Tabacon is about 1/4 mile up the road from the area where the hot springs are located. The hot springs themselves (not the hotel) lies in the direct path of current volcanic activity. There was an eruption on Sept-5th of this year and I believe they did evacuate Tabacon for a short while. No one was hurt and Tabacon wasn't impacted. I'm not a vulcanologist and therefore, unable to give you a detailed answer on the "danger factor"; I do know that if it's a MAJOR blow-up (possible but not too likely) you'd be toast if you were at the hot springs --- pyroclastic flows (gas, hot rocks) can travel over 100 miles per hour.

Personally, I've been to Arenal twice and would have no qualms about going there again. I enjoy the convenience of staying at Tabacon Resort; however if you're unsettled by volcanic issue, I'd suggest staying at Montana de Fuego. Same friend who did his recent CR trip stayed there --- just over a mile from Tabacon, and has great views of the volcano, but isn't in the direct line of fire. Get more info about it on www.arenal.net
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Old Nov 11th, 2003, 02:06 PM
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Thanks for the input about Tabacon. Good to know hotel is safe, but I guess if your timing is off while at the springs, you're history. Wish I could trust this centralamerica.com agent- can't seem to get objective input.

Also, tried to get number for Peace Lodge today to call direct- CR operator said no listing exists. For those of you who said you were staying there or knew people who did, do you know if they were able to contact Peace directly?
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Old Nov 11th, 2003, 03:41 PM
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We did an amost identical honeymoon last year. Xandari is incredible. Tabacon was nice, more basic. Expect crowds in the hot springs. We had a full body message, which was amazing. I would definitely add another night to Monteverde. We stayed at Sapo Dorado and really enjoyed it. We stayed at Si Como No for 1 night and although we loved it, we very much prefered Makanda By The Sea, where we stayed for 5 nights. It was honestly one of the nicest places I've ever been, so peaceful and beautiful. Villa 10 (I believe) was the nicest.

Good Luck!
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Old Nov 12th, 2003, 05:51 AM
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Cassidy- did you have AC at Makanda? Looks like only two villas have AC (5 and 10) and lows around 70 in January. Is Si Como No nice enough to choose w/ AC over Makanda w/o AC?
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Old Nov 12th, 2003, 01:10 PM
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YES, we had AC. We were there at the end of March and really needed it. We stayed in one of the studio's, which are also very nice. Si Como No is nice, but completely different. It's very family oriented, whereas Makanda is adults only, (or 16 yrs and older) way smaller and therefore more romantic and serene.
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Old Nov 12th, 2003, 01:12 PM
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We are going on our honeymoon next week to Costa Rica. Been planning for over a year! Our itinerary is almost identical. We also couldn't choose between Si Como No and Makanda so we chose both! Staying 4 nights at Si Como No and Last 2 at Makanda in Studio 11 (supposed to have A/C!). In San Jose we are staying at Grano De Oro. Then driving to Tabacon for 2 nights. Then we drive to Manuel Antonio. We are so excited and I am more than happy to give you as much info as you would like when we come back. You can email me if you would like at: [email protected]. Feel free to let me know if you have other questions in the meantime. I planned this trip myself with help from different travel boards. Have a lot of info to share.
-D
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Old Nov 12th, 2003, 03:27 PM
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Be sure to let us all know how you made out!!
Have a good trip and Congratulations.

Pura Vida
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Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 02:45 PM
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Early May, 2003 my husband and I took a similar trip to Costa Rica. We stayed at Hotel del Fuego in Arenal for 2 nights - it is smaller than Tabacon (which we preferred) and actually has a better view of the volcano, but we went to Tabacon for the hot springs/spa and it looked very nice. We then drove to Monteverde and stayed at Hotel El Sapo Dorado for 2 nights. We then drove to Manuel Antonio and stayed at Hotel Si Como No for 5 nights. I loved Si Como No, but we had dinner one night at Makanda by the Sea and thought it was lovely. Your hotel will not be "on" the beach no matter where you stay in MA, so don't let that deter you. I thought that the amount of time spent in each locale and each of our hotels was perfect, but the one thing I'd mention is that May is the beginning of the rainy season in CR - this did not affect us in Arenal or Monteverde, but in MA it rained each day in the afternoon (some wicked thunderstorms). So, if you are looking for a nice beach locale, you may want to look in the Tamarindo area or elsewhere in the Nicoya Penn. for a better chance of consistently good weather in May. That having been said, we really enjoyed MA. Definitely do the "sky trek" in Monteverde and take some guided hikes in Arenal and Monteverde - the guides make the hikes much more interesting/meaningful. Enjoy - CR is wonderful!
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Old Nov 25th, 2003, 08:06 AM
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Hi Nicole
A honeymoon in CR sounds great. We just returned from our trip and I'm about to do a full post, but for now...
I was pretty definite about booking Tabacon but having done so... I'm hesitant to recommend it. The rooms were fine, but the place felt like DisneyLand to me. (This is my personal opinion.)
In Monteverde, we stayed in El Sapo Dorado - nice, basic rooms - good food.
In MA we stayed at Makanda - loved the pool, restaurant, villa, staff - great choice. Don't know about Si Como No.
For your last 2 nights you might consider Hotel Florblanca in Malpais; however, I'm not sure about getting there from MA. There are flights into Tambor from SJ but I don't know about Quepos.
We met tons of couples on honeymoon or anniversary. You'll have fun!
Leslee
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