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Tips for Costa Rica trip!!!!

Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Tips for Costa Rica trip!!!!

I am going on a trip to Costa Rica with three girlfriends in late april. We all recently graduated college and are looking for a fun relaxing trip. I want to do some typical day trips and hikes, etc. but we also want to be able to go out at night to bars and feel safe. We heard Tamarindo is a good place for us to look, but if anyone has another suggestion that would be great on where to stay!

We are flying into San Jose but because we get in so late, we'll have to stay overnight! Does anyone have a suggestion on a hotel near the airport that would be easy to get to? And any suggestions on how to get from San Jose to the area of Costa Rica we decide on would also be really helpful?

Thanks so much for any information that will help us!!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 11:04 AM
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Personally I wouldn't rec Tamarindo, they've been having issues with the water (sewage) and it's become very built up, with all the things that go with that (drugs, thefts, etc). Although it's built up as well, I would suggest Manuel Antonio, it's easy to get to you can fly Nature Air or Sansa or take the interbus shuttle), wide variety of things to do & places to stay etc. The airport is actually in Alajuela, not San Jose, so I would suggest looking at a place there instead, myself I always stay at Orquideas Inn.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 12:20 PM
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I agree about Tamarindo. A place where you can get into some very unpleasant situations very easily.

Also full of construction and uncontrolled growth.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 12:59 PM
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How long do you have in Costa Rica? Did you rent a car? Do you want to spend a few nights in one locale then a few nights in another or kinda work from a home base? My friends and I (all late 20's) we're in Costa Rica in September and we rented a house on Playa Aguijas (a small, private beach about 30 mins North of Jaco). Our location was awesome for laying on the beach, basking by the pool, day tripping to MAnuel Antonio (highly recommend this part of the country), surfing in Jaco, fishing in Herradura, hiking through Carera national park... that said, a trip to Arenal to the volcano was just too far for us to make in a day... If I were you guys, and depending on what all you want to do, you may want to consider a condo in a smaller ocean side town or you could stay in Manuel Antonio- it was beautiful. As for the hotel in San Jose, we landed mid afternoon and took our rental car on out for the coast. How late is your flight coming in? Driving in Costa Rica is an adventure to say the least and depending on your arrival you may be able to make it to your destination before nightfall... one of our friends didn't fly in until REALLY late that night (and we had another friend coming in the next afternoon so they were going to drive across together), so she spent the night in San Jose (at the Marriott, I believe- could be wrong though- paid a lot for it, but she said it was worth it to feel safe and have transportation to and from the airport)... just some thoughts- y'all are going to have a great time!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 03:59 PM
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Our family of 6(4 teenagers) found a B&B thru this forum.We went Christmas 2007(just 2 months ago)Good service,free internet available,quiet,laundry,only about 6 rooms. Best part, breakfast inc.$55/room/night!!! Hotel Bonita Villa www.hotelvillabonita Also, we stayed at another really quaint place:www.1915hotel.com Reasonable and clean! All you need to do is show the "yellow light on top" cab the directions and they will take you there from the airport...maybe 10 minutes away. OR, arrange with the B&B to be picked up at the airport. Just give them your itinerary and ask them to make pick up arrangements.(maybe only $10) We also hired an English speaking driver that was Fab!!! cheaper than renting your own car @ $140/day. Try [email protected] : Leo Rodriguez..24 yrs old, kind,helpful and also a university grad. He was great!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 05:25 PM
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Thank you all so much for your helpful responses!! I was about ready to book Tamarindo until I read this! I will look in Manuel Antonio. Do we have to rent a car if we are going to stay there? Is anything walking distance or do they have cabs? I'm very hesitant about renting a car! I really wanted to have a "home base" and then plan day trips from there.

We have 10 nights in Costa Rica all together but two of the nights will be near the airport. We don't get in on the 25th of April till 9pm, so I didn't want to try and travel that late!

Thanks again & I'll let you know what I find!
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Old Mar 4th, 2008, 05:39 AM
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In Manuel Antonio you should be able to walk to a lot of places or hire taxis to take you to a lot of things... you will need a car to get there from San Jose... a lot of people do hire drivers, I found that a rental car (4 wheel drive) was easy and the roads were not as bad as I thought they were going to be (the major roads were fine and the side roads were a little rough, but otherwise we only missed one turn on one trip)- that said keep in mind "The bus always win"- this was our saying as we were driving around Costa Rica- buses will pass uphill in a curve, best to just let them go on their way. I think the 4 of you will have a ball in Manuel Antonio- do one of the jungle tours and zip line and def check out the park- beautiful. If you're going to have a home base, you may be able to go to vacationrentals.com or vrbo.com and get a condo for the week... Have a great trip!
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