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Should I stay in San Jose, Costa Rica or in a nearby town?


Should I stay in San Jose, Costa Rica or in a nearby town?

Old Jun 9th, 2002, 05:31 PM
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Message: Jay

Regarding artwork to buy...

I really liked the artwork in the Distinctive Hotel chain, of which several of their properties have been mentioned in this dialog:Grano del Oro in San Jose had the best quality of art I thought (check out their restaurant for both food and art), also Casa Turire in Turrialba (though the artist was from San Jose--unfortunately I don't remember the name).

I don't know your taste in art, but perhaps you could contact the person who selects the hotel's artwork and see how you can purchase it. I know the Grano del Oro in San Jose sells art, but I bet it's pricey. If you are looking for a steal, I doubt you'll find it there. Again, I don't know your tastes or price ranges. Costa Rica was more entrepreneurial than I expected and they may be a bargain compared to Hawaii and the Caribbean, but dinners in the nicer hotels were $20 to 35 pp (excluding wine) which I thought was pricey for CR. Souvenirs for the most part, were also expensive given a 13% city tax that is tacked on or is included in the price(s).

We also stayed at Villa Caletas, but I don't remember any art work that stood out in my memory.

Good luck!

PS: Someone mentined a gallery next to Si Como No, which again is another one of their properties. Check out their web site something like www.distinctivehotels.com

Old Jun 10th, 2002, 06:29 AM
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Topping for Lynn.
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 04:29 PM
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Thanks so much for the great info! I had also heard about the possibility of the Pacuare being dammed for a power plant, so was really looking forward to rafting this particular river. You've certainly eased my mind about my safety concerns, and I really appreciate the tips about what to take.

Thanks again!

Old Jun 12th, 2002, 10:44 AM
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i wouldn't stay in san jose only because it's so boring - if you are going to costa rica i assume you are going for the nature/hiking/rafting/wildlife etc and san jose does not offer any of this. i've been 2x in the last 6 months - on my first trip i didn't know any better so i stayed in san jose, but the 2nd time i stayed at orquedeas in alajuela and it was very nice, clean and pleasant and they also arrange day trips around the area if you want to stay for a few days. i am sure your rafting tour operator can arrange to pick you up there.
on another note, if you are looking for the best wildlife and remote area of the country you must go to the Osa Peninsula and stay in the Drake Bay area - my last trip i spent 10 days there. to get there, you can fly from san jose to palmar sur with sansa - they have daily AM departures. from palmar sur you need to take a 20 min taxi to sierpe, where you can catch a boat to the drake bay area.
for guiding i recommend you contact charlie from "Corcovado Expeditions". They service guests from any hotel in the Drake Bay area and will custom tailor any activity you like. while I was there, they arranged an overnight camping trip to the Sirena Station where we spotted a tapir, an anteater, all 4 species of monkeys (spider, white face, howler and squirrel), several bird species, crocodiles, agoutis & more. Other possibilities are a 1/2 day of whale watching or a hike to the Llorona waterfall where you can camp overnight. They will arrange the usual tours to Cano Island, hiking from San Pedrillo station, but they are flexible and open to other more daring stuff. Prices vary according to the activity & # of participants.
Ask at your lodge for Charlie from Corcovado Expeditions or if you want to arrange it beforehand, you can email them at [email protected]
Old Jun 14th, 2002, 02:49 AM
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Last time I was in San Jose, it was a fun, vibrant place. Planning to go back in February or March.

Does anyone know if:
- the plaza between the Grand Hotel and the opera house is still as active with vendors and street performers as it used to be.
- the mariachi bar on the main east/west road, a few blocks east of the opera house, is still active

Now I need to try to find the name of that cute little B&B that I promised I would stay in next time.
Old Jun 14th, 2002, 02:38 PM
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Found it . . . the Don Carlos. Anyone have any experience with it recently?
Old Jun 14th, 2002, 05:44 PM
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All I know is that the Don Carlos is very close to the Jade Museum and all the guide books say it has a nice gift shop!

Good luck and have fun!
Old Jun 16th, 2002, 11:57 AM
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re Hotel Don Carlos...

I stayed there twice when I was volunteering in CR in 1991. I've been back a few times since, but not in the last five years. It's a small "boutique" hotel...with a lovely inner courtyard where they serve breakfast and coffee in the afternoon. They used to have exotic birds in cages in the outer courtyard which do a fair amount of squawking (sp). The rooms themselves are on the dark and small side though. And yes, the gift shop is the best I've encountered as far as variety and prices go.
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