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Tulemar Bungalows for a week or add one more location? First trip to CR

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Mar 17th, 2014, 12:10 PM
  #1
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Tulemar Bungalows for a week or add one more location? First trip to CR

Hello All, I am planning on taking my 16 year old neice to CR in early June. I am getting a little overwhelmed by all of the options and places to stay. I travel extensively but have never been to CR. We have 8 nights, but the last one will need to be spent at the airport SJO since our flight is early.

The true purpose of the trip is really for my neice and I to have a wonderful time together. I took her older sister to Venice and Paris last year and it was amazing. The younger neice has no desire to go to Europe and wanted a " beach" vacation. Well, I wasn't really on board with that initially because I wanted to expose her to a different culture and something unique. We finally settled on CR which I think will combine the two and have more activities than just lying on a beach.

With that said, I do not want to rent a car and I know there are so many wonderful areas to explore....would I be shortchanging ourselves if we just went to Manuel Antonio and spent the entire week there versus vistiting two different locations ( i was originally thinking Arenal and MA)? It looks like we could have beach time and do excursions from there. When I consider the distances and transportation logistics I am leaning towards the entire week in one spot.

Any advice ?
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Mar 17th, 2014, 01:37 PM
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RAC
 
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Personally, I would say a week in Manuel Antonio is about twice as long as is optimal. I would look for a second location that gives you a sense of the country's diversity.
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Mar 17th, 2014, 02:28 PM
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Many people do what I call "surf n turf" on a first visit to Costa Rica: Arenal and MA are a good combination. I wouldn't want to spend a whole week in MA, at least without a car.
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Mar 17th, 2014, 06:06 PM
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We stayed at Tulemar on our last trip, and we loved it. We spent five nights when we did it. I like the idea of splitting up the trip. Four nights there would be fine paired with time in Arenal. Tulemar was great because they had their own beach and several restaurants and a grocery store that we could walk to. They'll also stock your frig for you if you want them to. We saw lots of wildlife there - monkeys, sloths, and an aracari. The national park is beautiful, and the Damas mangrove tour is fun; we also enjoyed the Villa Vanilla spice tour - they serve some great little desserts on that one, and there's a beautiful view.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 04:26 PM
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we are staying at carolina lodge (not sure how far that is from ma) but we too wanted to see 2 different areas. here you are in a rainforest on 170 acre eco lodge with horseback riding, hot tubs (formed by river water and fire underneath1), hikes to an amazing waterfall…your niece is so lucky!
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Mar 19th, 2014, 07:39 AM
  #6
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thanks everyone...looking into splitting it into two spots MA and Arenal. thanks!
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Mar 19th, 2014, 10:41 AM
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If you decide to go with Tulemar, I'd recommend booking as soon as possible. I booked fairly far ahead and still had to stay in three different spots to get all our time there. They book up fast! If you can swing it, I think it's worth the cost to get one with a balcony. The round octagonalish ones do not have balconies.
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Mar 26th, 2014, 02:23 PM
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I liked Arenas del Mar, and it recently made Travel + Leisure's Top 500 List. They have a great naturalist (Ersel) and a private beach, in addition you can walk from the hotel along the main public beach to the National park (although I only did that one day as the resort itself is pretty).

However the rooms may be a bit too cosy for two people in separate beds if that is a problem.'

http://www.arenasdelmar.com/
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Mar 27th, 2014, 04:57 AM
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Groupon has some deals right now, maybe worth checking out: here's one for MA Beach Club (3 nights/2 bedroom condo for $499), and you can peruse others from there:
https://www.groupon.com/deals/ga-the...nuel-antonio-4
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Mar 27th, 2014, 09:52 AM
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Hello! , I would say MA as well, there is to much to do, you can do a tour and more, and it is pretty easy to find info about it. But if you want something different you can go to Uvita, it is a beautiful beach, with very exciting activities such as surfing, it has a good weather almost all time in the year, Wales often are close of there you probably can see them if you go to the right place, turtles, all kinds of water sport, scuba diving, estuaries and mangroves tours, as a Costarrican guy I would do that if I were the one who is coming to have a good time on the beach, let me know any further question.

Regards! best of luck !
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Mar 27th, 2014, 10:48 AM
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Dennis, what time of year can you see the whales?
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Mar 27th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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I'm a fan of the Uvita area also; just a few miles south (from the surfing) the waters are very calm; lots of lodging options, lots of activities, and IMO a little less frenetic than Manual Antonio (the town) and less crowded than the park.
Especially like Playa Ventanas, and the cool sea caves there, and the National Park of Ballena.
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Mar 27th, 2014, 01:08 PM
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OP doesn't want to rent a car, would you still recommend Uvita area?
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Mar 27th, 2014, 01:55 PM
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I don't think it's that much different than getting to MA from SJO: there are public buses
http://www.uvita.info/uvita/getting-here/bus
then, once there, local buses and taxis are common up and down the coast highway
There are also charters
http://www.easyridecr.com/private.htm
My preference is always to rent a car, and then be able to explore (for example, to get to Cataratas Uvitas: http://www.uvitadream.com/what-to-do-waterfalls.php )
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Mar 27th, 2014, 01:58 PM
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BTW, the humpbacks are there at Marino Ballena National Park from December to April:
http://costa-rica-guide.com/Natural/Ballena.html
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Mar 27th, 2014, 03:55 PM
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Muchas gracias, Sylvia.
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Mar 28th, 2014, 07:03 AM
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I sure wish I could see the whales there, volcanogirl! Don't know if you've had the opportunity to visit the "tail of the whale" beach in Ballena, but it's really pretty (and an unusual shape).
There were fares for $345 round trip to SJO from my city, but I couldn't take advantage of them, so guess I'll get my vicarious thrill from reading about others' trips here
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