Shoot down this itinerary!!!

Old Aug 24th, 2004, 12:35 PM
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Shoot down this itinerary!!!

What's wrong with this itinerary:
arrive SJO 10;30 pm, stay at Xandari
leave in the morning for Arenal, overnight at Tabacon. do canopy tour, volcano, safari float
return to Xandari for one night
fly to Punta Islita for 4nights
last night in San Jose.
Would it be better to skip Arenal/Tabacon and go directly to Villas Caletas or somewhere else for the 1st 3 nights?
We are travelling in late October.
Thank you!!!
P.S. Punta Islita is a must.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 01:10 PM
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You've chosen great locations. There is very little to "shoot down"!

One suggestion: Don't do Xandari/Arenal/Xandari your first 3 nights. Too much moving around!

Xandari is a bit too pricey, IMO, to arrive there at midnight (by the time you get through customs, etc--it could even be longer, not sure just how far Xandari is from the airport. . .30 minutes?) and leave the next morning.

I would suggest staying at a less expensive place near the airport, such as Vida Tropical B&B, then doing one of the following:

2 nights Xandari
2 nights Arenal

There is plenty to do at Arenal and in the area where Xandari is located at well. If you are going to Punta Islita, I'd skip Villas Caletas. The central part of the country is stunningly beautiful, and you would enjoy being there for a few nights before you head to Punta Islita.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 01:37 PM
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Thank you.
The problem is I have to get back to San Jose area for the night for my flight to Islita in the morning. Would it be better to stay in the San Jose area all 3 nights, and do Arenal as a day trip? I am concerned about leaving Arenal late in the day during the rainy season...Also, being able to look at from the jacuzzi at Tabacon at the volcano sounds pretty cool!
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 01:39 PM
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Or just not go to Arenal altogether? Maybe go to Poas instead?
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 04:11 PM
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You could easily do Arenal as a day trip. There are all kinds of tour groups that do this trip. You might consider staying the entire time at Xandari (except that first night still bothers me because it's so darned expensive--I'd still stay somewhere cheap just to sleep, then go to Xandari the next day!). You could do an Arenal tour from Xandari I think. Poas is good as well. But it's just the volcano and a little secondary forest hiking. Very nice, but Arenal offers quite a bit more. The hot springs are very nice! Check with Xandari on an Arenal tour.

When are you going? Your combination of central valley and Punta Islita is excellent. You may or may not see the volcano. . . .but you can have a fabulous time in the area even without that little bonus! The drive up there is quite something. You really shouldn't miss any chance you get to drive around in the central valley--no matter what you decide to do--breathtaking!

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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 04:20 PM
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After looking at the Xandari page and the tours it offers, I want to mention to you that you would also enjoy (along with Poas & Sarchi) La Paz Waterfall Gardens as well as the Rio Sarapiqui area. There is just an enormous number of ways to delightfully spend your time in this part of Costa Rica. As for staying somewhere else your first night, that was poor advice born of my efforts to scrimp here and there so we can afford a luxury place now and then--forget it! Make it easy on yourself. . .go straight to Xandari, stay there 3 nights, then off to Punta Islita! What's a few more dollars when it comes to convenience? Who wants to pack up and move after one night ANYWHERE! I'd grab your itinerary in a New York minute!
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:40 AM
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Thank you, Shillman. Last question--what is better for day trips, Xandari, Vista Del Valle, or Finca Rosa? In particular, which one is closest to Arenal?
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 09:45 AM
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We've not stayed at any of these places, but have driven by Vista del Valle. I've looked them all up online at various times. If memory serves, all are in the same general area about the same distance from Arenal. I hope someone will respond who can direct you better!
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:28 PM
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Herb,
I looked again at the 3 hotels. Each one is going to be about 3.5 hours from Arenal. All three have excellent reputations.
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