Suggestions please for 2 country visit!

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Oct 29th, 2007, 04:47 PM
  #1
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Suggestions please for 2 country visit!

Hey Folks,

I'm back asking for suggestions for a trip next August '08 with husband and two boys (15 and 13). In 06 we went to Italy and Swit. but given the dollar pounding against the Euro we decided to visit South America next summer. I realize that August is the "rainy" season in most of these countries but it's really the only time we can go.

Here are our parameters:

1. We'd like to combine two contries over a 14 - 17 day week period.

2. We'd like a combination of eco-tour, adventure - rainforest, zip-line, rappelling, rafting, hiking, etc, along with culture/history and some beach.

We were thinking of Costa RIca and Ecuador or Peru and Argentina or Brazil and ????

We tend to stay in small hotels and B&B's to get a sense of the local flavor and customs.

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Oct 29th, 2007, 05:42 PM
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We've been to Costa Rica twice and will definitely be going back. It offers everything you want - check out Arenal, Manuel Antonio, and the Osa to see which appeal to you. Maybe combine it with a trip to Belize.
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Oct 29th, 2007, 06:07 PM
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My favorite combinations are Guatemala/Belize and Guatemala/Honduras. Pictures and travelogues are here if you're interested:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections/

Happy trails!
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Oct 29th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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Thanks for the replies....Volcanogirl, what time of year did you go and do you think that August would be too rainy??

Hopefulist -- You're pictures are gorgeous thanks for sharing. Will definitely consider your suggestions.

Thanks again..
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Oct 29th, 2007, 08:54 PM
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Sounds like you'll be planning a great trip! I took my 10 year old daughter to Costa Rica earlier this year and although we only visited CR, it was a 17 day trip so I'm going to give you a brief itinerary and a link to my trip report in case any of it interests you. We had such a great time another 17 day trip is set for next March!

1 night in San Jose - Don Carlos (late night arrival)
4 nights in Puerto Viejo - Banana Azul
3 nights in Arenal - El Campo del Silencio
2 nights in Vera Blanca (I think?) - Peace Lodge
5 nights in Osa Peninsula - Bosque del Cabo
1 night in Alejuela - Hotel Villa Bonita (early morning departure)

If you read my trip report you'll get a good idea of things to do in each of these areas. Next trip we'll be eliminating Peace Lodge and visiting Manuel Antonio, but the rest will be fairly similar.
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Oct 29th, 2007, 08:56 PM
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Oops! Forgot the link!

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...6&tid=35013920

There's also a link to photos near the bottom.
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Oct 29th, 2007, 08:58 PM
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We were just there in July and had good luck with the weather despite it being the "green" (rainy) season. Really September and October are the rainiest for most parts of the country. You can check out the rain patterns on costa-rica-guide.com. We didn't get any rain at all this trip. On our last trip, we got some afternoon thundershowers, so we did activities earlier in the day and in the evening. You can get really good rates too.
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Oct 29th, 2007, 09:02 PM
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I forgot to mention where we stayed - the Lost Iguana in Arenal, and the Peace Lodge by the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, also Bosque del Cabo in the Osa, and Mango Moon in Manuel Antonio. You can check out their websites and see if they appeal to you. I see hvc has mentioned some of the same spots. If you do a trip like she did, you could easily spend the entire time in CR.
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Oct 30th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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Thanks hipvirgochick and volcanogirl, I really appreciate your suggestions and trip reports. They certainly make trip planning a lot easier
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Oct 30th, 2007, 11:57 AM
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Have fun, and let us know where you end up going!
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Oct 31st, 2007, 12:47 PM
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Hey volcanogirl and hopefulist,

Thanks so much, again, for the info. Just wondering, did you make your hotel reservations yourselves, or did you use a travel agent, did you make your tour reservations before you left or while you were there, likewise your tour guides?

Thanks very much....

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Oct 31st, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Hi skiobx, we made all our reservations ourselves and found it pretty easy to do. We booked all our drivers ahead through our hotels, but for tours and things, we just booked once we got there and had no problems.
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Oct 31st, 2007, 04:24 PM
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I've never used a travel agent - just guidebooks and forums for ideas and a little internet research. We prefer public transport with the occasional taxi as needed and have never rented a car in CA or used a driver. We avoid tour operators except where they'll enhance our experience, for scuba diving or birding, for example.

August isn't the rainy in northern Honduras. In our other "green season" trips to Belize and Guatemala and western Honduras the rain has fallen almost exclusively at night or (occasionally) starting in the late afternoon, no problem.

Our travelogues are linked with our photos - let me know if I can answer questions. Happy trails!
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Oct 31st, 2007, 05:09 PM
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For the activities you want to do, I agree that the places others have mentioned are great choices. It seems like Central America, rather than South America, is the best option for you. Remember that August will be winter below the equator, so even though places like Argentina and Chile are fabulous, they probably aren't the best choice for your family. The Amazon (Peru and/or Brazil) is a good rainforest option, but the activities you describe can probably best be found in Belize/Guatemala or Costa Rica as suggested.
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Dec 1st, 2007, 01:31 PM
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Based on your replies I,ve narrowed our trip next August (with our teenage sons ). Again, August is the only time of year we can go so I'm concerned about the "green season" and exactly what that will be like rain and bug wise. What I have planned so far is this:


Aug 7 -- Arrive SJO - stay in area 1 night
August 8 - 12 -- Travel to Areanal/La Fortuna - either the Arenal Springs or Silencio Del Campo:
Hiking
volcano tours
zip line/canopy tours
rafting
Hot springs
August 12 - August 15 Puerto Viejo - either the Banana Azul, Las Costa Papito or Villa De Caribe:
Biking
Surfing
possibly the Torturuga area
hiking
August 16 return to SJO area possibly by rafting the Pacure (sp?) River
August 17 - Depart for Home

I've not yet made the final reservations so I would greatly appreciate any comments or suggestions on this tentative itinerary (accomodations, locations, activities, etc). The only things we cannot change are the time and duration - August and 10 days.


Thanks so much in advance.
Skiobx
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