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Selva Verde? Changing my mind & would love some input.

Selva Verde? Changing my mind & would love some input.

Old Jan 31st, 2007, 05:05 PM
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Selva Verde? Changing my mind & would love some input.

Think I am slowly changing my mind on my schedule. Or maybe my mind is already made up and I just want confirmation that's it not a bad choice.

My first 3 days are what are in question, everything else is set:

May 4th - arrive in SJO, transfer to Selva Verde
May 5th- Selva Verde
May 6th - Selva Verde
May 7th - transfer from SV to Peace Lodge
May 8th - Peace Lodge
May 9th - transfer from Peace Lodge to Sansa, fly to Puerto Jimenez, transfer to Playa Nicuesa
May 10th & 11th - Playa Nicuesa
May 12th - transfer to Bosque del Cabo, stay 5 nights
May 17th - fly from PJ to SJO, stay at Orquideas
May 18th - home

Now originally I'd planned to fly into Liberia and stay in the Rincon area and then fly to SJO after 3 nights, but something changed my mind. It mostly has to do with activities/things to do. Not that there isn't plenty to do in the Rincon area, I'm just wondering if Selva Verde may be a little better suited for me. Maybe I've just been spoiled by Bosque.

What I'm looking for is a place where, if I choose to do so, I can walk around the property all day and that there is sufficient room to do so & enough to keep me occupied thru the day. Is Selva Verde a good place for this? I did stop for lunch there years ago on the Ecoscape tour (was in fact the only place I've seen a live fer de lance!) and liked it enough to remember it. But we were there only an hour and I had little time to check the place out. I have checked into availability and they do have one of the new bungalows open. How is the walk to these? Their site says 10 minutes under a lighted walkway....decently lighted so I won't scare myself to death on the walk back after dinner? I'm not really concerned with the fanciness of the room or the food, I'll have 11 more nights of some really nice places, just mostly concerned with the property itself. I'll have 2 1/2 days there and hate to waste a minute of time! So any thoughts, comments....I haven't booked yet but I'm really thinking SV may be a better fit for me.

One last thing.... they have quoted me (via e-mail) a price of $85 from San Jose to Selva Verde - that is fine. But then they also quoted me $85 from Selva Verde to Peace Lodge. Is that right? I am waiting to hear back from them to clarify as best I remember they weren't that far apart from each other. It just seems kind of high to me...

Thanks in advance for any thoughts
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 08:09 PM
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Well, that is a switch! You're gonna make it to Guanacaste one of these days! But you'll like Selva Verde, and you're right, it will be a good fit for you.

The $85 to PL sounds okay as well. It's kind of a triangle if I remember correctly. SJ-SV-PL--fairly equidistant, I think.

I've had lunch there as well--same tour, as you know. I'm not aware of just how extensive the property is, but you'll get your biggest kick I think at La Selva Biological Station. We stayed at La Quinta (just down the road) and did 2 nights. It was plenty. First a.m. early we were at La Selva for a 4 hour tour. That afternoon we enjoyed the property at La Quinta--and the pool. The next a.m. early I drove back to La Selva alone for birding with a guide. Afterwards, we checked out of La Quinta (left our luggage there for a few hours), drove to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, did the float down the river (my husband hadn't done it), then returned, picked up our stuff and headed back toward Alajuela.

So you can pack quite a bit into a 2 night stay. Just wondering if 3 isn't a bit much. I guess that gives you2 full days, though, so makes sense. Sounds like a great plan, though.

I'm envying your Florida weather right about now! Pat the felines for me--Lord knows, with these allergies, I wouldn't be able to do it myself!
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 06:19 AM
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Hi tully,

We actually stayed at Selva Verde for a couple of nights. Didn't walk all the trails as we were all over the place in that area but they are pretty amazing. This is heavy duty rainforest-be prepared for mud. Very similar (density and mud) to what we saw in La Amistad down in Panama.

La Selva of course is our first love for places to visit in that area. My father in law was on the board of directors in the 60's and we have been members for about 12 years now. I better warn you...that is where we had the peccary gnashing its teeth at us. Your biggest danger will probably just be getting run over by one of the researchers on their bicycle LOL. You have to go with a guide so you won't be alone. We also saw our first Great Green Macaw fly over a small hole in the canopy. Had to travel to Nicaragua to see more. First Puff Bird, first snowy cotinga. Great birding there. There is also another place nearby called Tirimbina. You can hire a guide there as well. We just birded on the main grounds and saw tons of stuff.

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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 10:16 AM
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Okay, just to throw a wrench into the works (or however that goes)....

My Sansa flight leaves from SJO at 10:35am on May 9th. I e-mailed Peace Lodge to make sure it wouldn't be an issue getting a taxi transfer from there to the Sansa terminal in time. They told me yes they could do that but they do not suggest it as they have to call in the taxi to come from Alajuela there and maybe the timing won't work. Eh? Anyone tried this? I would think even if we left early from PL at 8am we should be fine. Any comments? Now I'm scared to book Selva yet as I may have to move stuff around.

Thanks Jill & Suzie for the reassurement. Though I see one pig you'll hear me yelling all the way in the US!!
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 12:47 PM
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Transportation was my only real issue with PL. We tried to adjust our ride timing, thinking it was just us, but they kept telling us they couldn't get ahold of the driver. As it turns out, it was a group transfer and we all had to leave at the same time. That part didn't bother me but they just didn't want to tell us that for some reason.

I don't see why they would have a problem calling a taxi to be there at 8am. If you left at that time there wouldn't be a bit of trouble. Then again, maybe they have had trouble in the past and don't want to guarantee that they can get someone.

I wonder if Wady Tours over at Orquideas could help out with a private transfer. (I know, easy to spend other peoples money) Oscar from VdV does private transfers.
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 02:57 PM
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Confirming the comments above - Selva Verde has good walking trails on the main grounds and a nice patch of primary forest [which you must visit with a guide] across the river.

Birding and wildlife observation on the grounds can be very good. We've had such goodies as neotropic otter, sunbittern, fasciated tiger heron etc right on the grounds.

La Selva is a gem and an early-morning visit there can be totally amazing. I strongly agree that it is a worthwhile place to spend a few hours. A guide is mandatory there for visiting the primary forest -and more than worth the 30 or so dollars it costs.

The Sarapiqui area is one of our favourites in Costa Rica. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

cheers

Jerry
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 07:27 PM
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Thanks for your comments! I think it sounds like SV will work out for me - now if I can just get them to call me back! Since I'll only have 2 full days there & a couple of hours on arrival day, I think it seems they have sufficient stuff to keep me busy.

Suzie - I think you're right on that they probably don't want to guarantee an early morning pick-up. So I went & checked with Playa Nicuesa (they ask that you arrive no later than 2:30 due to the boat transfer) and asked if the Sansa flt that gets in at 2:20 would be okay and they said not a problem. So I decided to go with that, to be safe leaving PL on time - of course right after that I got a confirmation email from Bosque that they had booked my flights (with the early morning one). Seems like BdC is doing it a little different than past as the charge is already on my card (you used to just pay at check-out for Sansa). No biggie, but now I have to change that...grrrr!
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 07:33 PM
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Tully,

The bungalows at Selva Verde are across the highway "road" and up a hill and if you are uncomfortable walking after dinner, you could always drive down and back. We had actually booked the bungalows, which BTW have been recently remodelled, and are quite charming. After checking in ,we realized that the lodge rooms would be more suitable for us and especially our teenage daughters as it allowed for more freedom of choice for them to have their own schedule in participating in the group activities.

We had a lovely lodge room facing the river and I would try to book the same again next time, although it was indeed at least 5 minutes by lighted covered walkway to our lodge room.

Ten minutes to the bungalows, mmmnnn. Sounds like an easy walk, but is not flat, and the hike up the stairs might not be suitable for some visitors. We walked up twice and I would say 15 minutes of moderately fast walking in fierce humidity. I loved walking the covered path, and also the road, during the day, wonderful ginger garden there, but I would be VERY nervous walking at night without a guide. I don't think I am a particularly nervous person - enjoy driving myself in CR and survived a night in a tent - "Night in the Jungle" adventure south of Manual Antonio.

When we were at SV, there were no guests staying at the bungalows, only the new managers, a delightful couple. They love their privacy so the trek back home was nothing to them.



 
Old Feb 1st, 2007, 07:46 PM
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Tully,

The bungalows at Selva Verde are across the highway "road" and up a hill and if you are uncomfortable walking after dinner, you could always drive down and back if you decide to rent a car. We had actually booked the bungalows, which BTW have been recently remodelled, and are quite charming. After checking in ,we realized that the lodge rooms would be more suitable for us and especially our teenage daughters as it allowed for more freedom of choice for them to have their own schedule in taking advantage of the group activities.

We had a couple of lovely lodge rooms facing the river and I would try to book the same again next time, although it was indeed at least 5 minutes by lighted covered walkway to our lodge room. We loved that walk!

Ten minutes to the bungalows, mmmnnn. Sounds like an easy walk, but it is not flat, and the hike up the stairs might not be suitable for some visitors. We walked up twice and I would say 15 minutes of moderate walking in fierce humidity. I loved a leisure walk along the covered path, and also on the road to the bungalows ,during the day, wonderful ginger garden there, but I would be VERY uncomfortable walking at night without a guide. I don't think I am a particularly nervous person - enjoy driving myself in CR and survived a night in a tent - "Night in the Jungle" adventure south of Manual Antonio.

When we were at SV, there were no guests staying at the bungalows, only the new managers, a delightful young couple. They love their privacy so the trek back home was nothing to them as they are up and down to the lodge many times during the day.

You will love Selva Verde, but good choice to go there first as it is very basic compared to what I have heard about Peace Lodge. There is a lovely new pool and food at Selva Verde was delicious. Don't miss the appetizers and music, just before dinner!







 
Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 03:59 AM
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flamesfan thanks for your reply! I truly hope I'm not the only one staying in the bungalows when I'm there, that would make me feel a little weird. Not too worried about the walking & humidity, I am a walkoholic and live in FL so humidity doesn't faze me. As long as the "lighted" part is enough that I can see more than 5 ft in front of me I think I will be okay.

So am to understand that once you go over the suspension bridge you cannot proceed without a guide? On the SV site they have a map with a couple of trails near the river rooms and one up by the bungalows - am I to assume that those are okay to just cruise around on your own?
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Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:03 AM
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What a pain to have to change things. Leo can probably do it easily for you. There is something to be said to having people do some stuff for you. I feel better knowing that they will confirm the flight back which you can't do easily on your own up there as you know. The only time I ran into trouble flying was when I made my own reservations fo a flight to/from PJ. They had cancelled the flight back for some reason and I didn't know it. Should have thought to have Isabel check it for me but didn't because I had never had a problem before.

Sounds like safe is better than sorry. You certainly picked a bad place to have to spend and extra hour or two. Don't suffer too much!

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Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 08:23 PM
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So I have gone & reserved Selve Verde. When I was making the reservation, I mentioned I wanted to get it done now to make sure I get a bungalow - she said oh it's okay the others are all open as well. Great! Hopefully some people will book between now & May, don't want to be out there all by my lonesome!

After this mashup with Peace Lodge about the transfer, I ended up going back to taking the earlier flight. It has to be possible to get from PL to Sansa by 10am, I just can't believe it's not, so I will hope for the best. I did though actually email Liseth at Orquideas to see what their transfer price would be, just for kicks.

Figured since I'm putting all this money down I really should get my airline tickets. It's been holding at about $670 for the past month....I just went online and the price had dropped to $536 so grabbed that right away. Actually cheaper than last year, yeah.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 09:57 PM
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Yes, there is one path and a road up to the bungalows, a few paths near the river and near the pool. One of the main attractions of SV is the abundance of tiny frogs.... spot one and you'll notice them everywhere you look. Across the suspension bridge is a primary rainforest and short trail and guests can access this area with a guide. Often the area is very muddy so rubber boots are made available by the lodge.

Enjoy!
 
Old Feb 5th, 2007, 06:28 PM
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-bumping for sandy-
Hope you had a great time on your trip, hope you will write a report?

Two questions for you....How much was the boat charge from Playa Nicuesa to the Wildlife Sanctuary? I'm thinking it would be cheaper from PN than BdC and would like to go. Hopefully there may be some others I can split it with.

Also, I'm a little confused about the boat transfer. I get off the plane at PJ then...? Do I take a taxi somewhere, a boat dock or pier? And on my return from PN, I somehow need to meet up with Bosque for my transfer. Are there taxi's around or is it close enough to walk to the BdC offices?

I'm really looking forward to PN (should've gone last year!) and Marcela has been so helpful. Anything else you think I should know about PN feel free! Thanks
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 10:11 AM
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ttt, hope sandy will see before this gets buried again
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 03:34 PM
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Hi Tully, I'm curious to see what you hear from Liseth. I specifically e-mailed her, but it was answered by someone else. Doesn't matter, but I didn't recognize the other person's name. She may have been off for a couple of days.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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That's so weird! I sent an email to Liseth & it was answered by someone else too. What's also weird is that I wanted to reserve one of the garden rooms (I like being close to the pool/bar/restaurant) and they were already booked up! Had to get a superior up on the hill and hope a garden one opens ups. Just weird for May that they're booked already. Oh well maybe Liseth is on vacation.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 04:09 PM
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All my emails to Orquideas have come from someone named Greivin Ugalde in Reservations, not from Liseth--anyone ever hear of him/her?
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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Yes, that's who answered me as well. Very helpful, it was just weird as I am used to having Liseth respond.
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Old Feb 8th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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I just spoke with Neta today, but forgot to ask her. Liseth is working with Neta on her Heart of Costa Rica package. I'll have to remember to check on that. Yes, same person who answered my e-mails. Liseth is from Sweden, is that right? Perhaps she is visiting her homeland. If I'm not mistaken, her mom was in CR with her as well?
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