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Rough Draft Itinerary - Comments/Suggestions Welcomed

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Rough Draft Itinerary - Comments/Suggestions Welcomed

Old Dec 18th, 2010, 05:32 PM
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Rough Draft Itinerary - Comments/Suggestions Welcomed

Thanks to everyone that responded to my carsick kids thread. I'm going to talk to the pediatrician about giving them Bonine. If we can't give that to them, then we will probably just try to do some in-country flights. In any event, I booked our flight! Here is a rough itinerary I've created and I would love some feedback. Just so you know, we're not that adventurous of a family. Ziplining would probably the most adventurous thing we do and, even then, I'm not sure the kids would go for it. We're basically looking for a beach vacation with exotic animals and volcanoes. My kids are 8 and 10 and we will be going mid-June for two weeks.

Day one: Get into SJO at 6 pm and probably stay nearby since it will be getting dark.
Next day, drive to Peace Lodge and stay two nights
Leave PL and drive to Arenal and stay four nights (maybe Lost Iguana?)
Leave Arenal and drive to Guanacaste area and stay three nights (Four Seasons? Hilton?)
Leave Guanacaste and fly out of Liberia to Quepos and stay at MA/ La Posada for four nights.
Get a driver to SJO and spend the night at the airport in order to make early next-day flight.

How does this look? I've cut out Monteverde because some people seemed to think it wasn't worth it. Should I add this and cut back on Guanacaste? I'm celebrating a pretty big birthday in the middle of this trip and thought it would be fun to celebrate it at the Four Seasons, but I don't have to. Is there somewhere else that would make sense in our itinerary that would also be a special occasion place like that? Of course, the whole trip to Costa Rica is a special occasion.

Thanks for your help!
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 04:08 AM
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www.waterfallgardens.com

www.thespringscostarica.com PLs sister Arenal Lodge perhaps

www.fourseasons.com Costa Rica

www.arenasdelmar.com MA

www.hotelvillacaletas.com very special B4 your flight

would work well if budget is good..

Those routes are mostly pretty flat not car sick prone

flights all expensive more hassle and all go via SJ

goood drivers like

www.tucanlimoservices.com

www.dosgringoscr.com

to see more and save be delivered hotel to hotel

would be best for me...

Happy Journey,
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 10:37 AM
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That whole stretch between San Jose and Liberia has a lot of mountain driving, on the other hand it is pretty flat between Liberia and Quepos.

If the carsick meds don't work out I'm not sure I would drive San Jose to Arenal and definitely not around the lake to Guanacaste.
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 02:01 PM
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Ok, thanks for your advice. Maybe we'll do San Jose to Arenal and then go back down to MA and then drive up to the Liberia area from MA. Then, we can fly from Liberia to SJO and catch our flight home.
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 02:08 PM
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San Jose to Arenal is twisty. Liberia to Arenal is twisty, anywhere to Arenal is twisty.


Manuel Antonio is about the same distance to Liberia and to San Jose. If anything, the highway between San Jose and Manuel Antonio is flatter. The highway is open and was open even in the rainy season, with a short detour.

I'm still not understanding why you are flying to Liberia. If you want to spend money on internal flights and save some driving time, flying to Liberia isn't going to do that for you.
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Old Dec 19th, 2010, 03:23 PM
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We're not flying into Liberia. I guess I'm not being entirely clear. Sorry!
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Old Dec 20th, 2010, 05:01 PM
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Ok, I think we've finalized our plans a bit more. Any comments are greatly appreciated.

Arrive at SJO and stay the night near the airport.
Drive to Arenal the next morning and stay four nights. (Leaves and Lizards?)
We're hoping to leave the car in Arenal and then we'll take a shuttle/bus to Monteverde.
Monteverde for 2 nights. (Suggestions?)
Then take a shuttle to Montezuma. Stay in Montezuma for 2 nights. (Amor de Mar?)
Then take water taxi/cab to MA. Stay in MA for 4 nights. (La Posada or Arenas del Mar.)
Then get a driver from MA to SJO and catch our flight.
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Old Dec 21st, 2010, 08:46 AM
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Book La Posada if you're going soon, it was sold out and I was sad by the time I decided to book it! (although I was only planning 1-2 months ahead)

Personally I loved Monteverde but it is quite remote / difficult to get to compared to some other places. I'm not sure how carsick children would enjoy the ride there (through mountains). Also one of the main attractions we enjoyed there was the ziplining at Selvetura. We loved the cloud forests. I can't say whether you should go there or Guanacaste because I have not been to Guanacaste.

We went to Malpais (a bit south of Montezuma / Tambor) and stayed at the Blue Jay Lodge which we really enjoyed. We flew from Tambor to Quepos, but I suppose the water taxi might be a better deal with 4 people than 2. Loved the beaches around there (Playa Carmen was great for learning to surf).

Enjoy your trip! sounds awesome.
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Old Dec 21st, 2010, 09:02 AM
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I would take a night from MA and add a night to Montezuma. It's nice having two full days to do stuff without having to move again.
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Old Dec 21st, 2010, 10:55 AM
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I'm really conflicted about Monteverde. It sounds like it's really hard to get to and some people don't even think it's worth going to, but I feel like we cannot go to Costa Rica without seeing it. If I did drop it, we could add that time to Montezuma and then just fly from Arenal to Tambor, which would save a ton of time in the car. And you are right that I need to book La Posada quickly, if we're going to stay there.

Thanks for your help!
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Old Dec 21st, 2010, 11:15 AM
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If you have kids that get carsick, I would skip Monteverde. It's a long bumpy ride to get there, and you can't fly there. There are tons of activities elsewhere to keep you busy.

We're big fans of the Lost Iguana; you might check out The Springs and Arenal Nayara too since it sounds like you want something upscale.
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Old Dec 21st, 2010, 11:21 AM
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Ok, I think I will drop Monteverde and add that time to Montezuma. I looked at Lost Iguana and it looked good. I especially liked how it was one of the few hotels that could provide a view of the lava flow. But, I just love some of the tours that Leaves & Lizards provides, including an interactive tico dairy farm visit. I really want to expose my kids to the culture of Costa Rica and provide them with some unique experiences.
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Old Dec 21st, 2010, 11:56 AM
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You might like the cultural tour that Desafio offers. I took my daughter when she was 11 I think. Depending on how interested your kids are in that type of stuff it was a nice tour with variety and they would enjoy the animal rescue center. I would not go to the rescue center in Cabayu near Montezuma...poorly run and depressing.
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Old Dec 25th, 2010, 06:47 PM
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Here's what we've booked for our June two-week trip:

One night at Peace Lodge
Four nights at Arenal Observatory Lodge - Smithsonian room. (My husband kinda fell in love with this place from the website. I'm hoping that bumpy ride in isn't too bad.)
Four nights in Montezuma at Ylang Ylang Resort - Coco Joe's Bungalow.
Five nights in Manual Antonio at La Posada Jungle - La Villa.
One night in hotel near airport.

Thanks for the info re: the Desafio tours. That cultural tour does look really good and exactly what I'm looking for.
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Old Dec 26th, 2010, 02:53 PM
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AOL: "I'm hoping that bumpy ride in isn't too bad"

Rather, hope that it was worth it.

BTW I did okay with dinner there at the lodge, just stuck with something simple. Breakfast is quite good. Take a piece of fruit and maybe make a PBJ for a snack later.

The morning free walk is good, you should see a lot, they time it to catch the howlers and spider monkeys. Horses looked to be in good condition, too.

Have fun.
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Old Dec 27th, 2010, 04:21 PM
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We loved Moteverde, but that is two adults. Just decide that you will need to return and that can be on your agenda for the next trip!
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Old Dec 28th, 2010, 06:51 AM
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@mlgb - I'm glad to hear the morning walk is good because, after proximity to the volcano, that's the main reason we're staying there. And we do plan to do a horse ride too. So thanks for that info.

@Deb - Yes, we'll just have to save Monteverde for next time!
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Old Dec 29th, 2010, 09:13 AM
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Your latest itinerary sounds jam packed but very fun. Enjoy your trip!
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Old Dec 29th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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Looks good to me! Not too much moving around and enough nights in each place. Have fun!
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Old Dec 29th, 2010, 03:49 PM
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I think the only hectic part will be Peace Lodge. We don't get into SJO until 6 pm and we already booked a driver to get us to Peace Lodge that night. I'm hoping we'll get there by 9 pm, which is the last scheduled nocturnal frog walk, but I'm not sure we will. Then, we only have that morning to tour everything at Peace Lodge before we leave for Arenal. But that was really the only time I could fit it into the itinerary and I really wanted to go there.

By the way, the Peace Lodge and Ylang Ylang reservationists have been just wonderful. They already booked all our transfers and have sent very detailed emails confirming everything.

We're so excited for this trip - don't know if we can wait until June!
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