Tamarindo or Manuel Antonio or both?

Old Jul 18th, 2002, 06:52 PM
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Tamarindo or Manuel Antonio or both?

My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon for December. We are planning on spending 3-4 nights near San Jose, and then travelling to the coast. Does it make sense to spend time in both Manuel Antonio and a beach town like Tamarindo, or should we spend our time in one place an venture out on day trips. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We have close to two weeks.
Old Jul 18th, 2002, 11:16 PM
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I may be biased, but I love Manuel Antonio. I really think it's the best part of Costa Rica, if you go for the nature experience. So I wouldn't miss that, no matter what else you do.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 06:07 AM
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I think with the amount of time you have you can easily do both. They are different and we enjoyed both on our trips to Costa Rica.
Manuel Antonio is nice for a combo of rain forest/beach adventure. The hotels are located on a series of hills overlooking the ocean so the views are amazing. We did not see too many animals at the hotel (stayed at Si Como No) but had good luck at the national park which is definitely worth seeing (go on a guided tour). Because of the location high on the hills there are no true beach front hotels in Manuel Antonio and you have to take a bus, taxi or shuttle to get to the beach. Manuel Antonio is very green and lush.
Tamarindo is more of a surfer beach town with the surfers on the northern part of the beach near the river and southern part of the beach very quiet. There are plenty of hotels that are on the beach or within short walking distance (our absolute favorite was Capitan Suizo, but it may not be the greatest choice for a honeymoon since it is popular with families). The sunsets are amazing in Tamarindo. There are also a lot of activities available there including horse back riding, various day trips etc. It is a drier area than Manuel Antonio so you usually have sunny weather there but it is not as lush as Manuel Antonio.

Another option for you would be Punta Islita which seems like a great honeymoon spot.
And of course for intense nature experience you should go to Osa Penninsula.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 06:33 AM
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Iza, I couldn't agree more with everything you said!
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 08:17 AM
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I'd trim back your stay in San Jose area to 2 nights --- include an overnight or two at Arenal (Tabacon Resort). I'll be making my first visit to Manuel Antonio this Sept -- from what I've read and heard from friends who've been there, it's a great spot for a CR nature experience. I have been to Tamarindo. And thoroughly enjoyed a short visit in this beach town. I'd suggest a stay at Tamarindo Diria --- hotel sits directly on the beach, and if you'd rather sit by their swimming pool, it's quite lovely there as well. Good news/bad news about this beach is they do allow horseback riding. Great if you're a rider. A bit of a nuisance if you're strolling on the beach later in the day (dodge those droppings). I did walk by the Capitan Suizo (it's close by Diria on same stretch of beach) --- looked like a nice place. Also, one of the things I most enjoyed during my CR stay was getting to see a turtle nesting. At Playa Grande, (just north of Tamarindo), we were led by a guide during the evening to witness a leatherback laying her eggs.

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