Where to go?

Old Sep 28th, 2004, 01:45 PM
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JBQ
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Where to go?

This is a duplicate bacause I orginally posted in "Latin America" twice. Sorry

We are trying to plan our trip to Costa Rica for this winter. My friend and I will be celebrating our 30th birthdays with our husbands in Costa Rica. Since this is the first time we are travelling as two couples I want to make sure that we try to include everyone's interest. They tend to enjoy golfing while my husband is determine to surf (he does so at home even if it is snowing and I am not kidding!). She and I love the beach and perhaps some spa treatments.
So the real questions are...
How should we break up the 7 nights?
Could we stay in Manuel Antonio for 7 nights or will we run out of things to do?
How about 2 nights at Peace Lodge to enjoy some adventure activities that we are reaaly looking forward to and then 5 nights in MA?
Or, 4 nights in MA and 3 nights in Tamarido? ( I feel like they maybe too similiar)

I used this site to plan my honeymoon (to Hawaii) and the advise was unbelievable!! Thanks

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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 02:04 PM
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Peace Lodge (so I hear) sounds like a good place for luxury and pampering! And the central valley is beautiful and offers all kinds of activities if you are interested.

If you spent the rest of your time in Manuel Antonio, Domincal would be good for surfing (although it is about 1.5 hour south on a difficult road). But Manuel Antonio is very nice.

If you stayed at Paradisus Playa Conchal, you would have a beautiful golf course and could surf nearby in Tamarindo (20 minutes). Also, Tamarindo is fun for shopping around, nightlife, etc.

In this same area, there is a smaller, 9 hole course, I think. Hacienda Pinella or something like that. I've only heard of it and seen signs, so could be way off base--something in the back of my mind says "golf course". You might check it out.

Is budget a problem? The Paradisus is fairly expensive, and the green fees are probably extra. However, I am not aware of golfing possibilities in the MA area.

I agree that 3 days near Tamarindo and another 3-4 days at Manuel Antonio wouldn't give you the "best" experience in CR. That central area is just great. w
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 02:05 PM
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What I was wanting to say, before I so rudely interrupted myself (!), is: When are you going? Just be advised that, if you are planning a Christmas/New Year's trip, everything is most likely already booked. What a fun way to spend your birthdays! You are going to have such a good time
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 02:54 PM
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Thanks for the information - it just confirms what I was thinking.
We will be going to CR in Feb for 7 nights.
How is Manuel Antonio different from Tamarindo? I felt that MA was at least closer to San Jose and that would be an advantage. I would love a place where we could have nice dinners and some drinks along with all the great activities during the day.

Budget is not of great conern but I don't want to be wasteful either. We were considering Si Como No in MA and Cala Luna in Tamarindo.
Thanks!
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 05:15 PM
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Both are good hotels--SCN and Cala Luna. The main difference in the two sites it that you will see more wildlife at MA because of the parque nacional. Both tend to be crowded (with tourists), but that doesn't particularly bother us. We like all parts of Costa Rica--those places where you see very few tourists and those where there are many!

The hotels in Manuel Antonio are up high overlooking the beaches, so there aren't really any beachfront places to speak of. Manuel Antonio is not a town--it is just an area of hotels and restaurants that have developed around the park.

The coastal area around Tamarindo is flatter. And you are staying in a "town" rather than in a national park area. Tamarindo is in Guanacaste province and will be dry in February. Because of its climate and proximity to "rain" forest, Manuel Antonio will be greener and prettier during our winter months (their summer). Guanacaste, the dry northwest part of Costa Rica, tends to turn dusty and brown during the dry season. It is very lush and green during the rainy season.

Manuel Antonio is good if you are into lots of activities (but doesn't accomodate surfing and golf!). There is good deep sea fishing out of the nearby town of Quepos if you are interested in that.

How important are golf and surfing?!

There are, you know, other places to surf, such as MalPais (a little time-consuming to get to, but near the funky town of Montezuma). MalPais/Santa Teresa is a beautiful beach area. No golf, but surfer-ville! Also, there is Nosara, south of Tamarindo, for surfing--I understand it is good for the beginning surfer. Near Tamarindo, there is also Playa Negra for surfing.

Given your ages and interests, you might prefer a more active area where there is life after 6:00 p.m.! That would be Manuel Antonio or Tamarindo.

Hope this helps. It's a tough decision.



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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 06:11 PM
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Thanks for the insightful information regarding the differences between MA and Tamarindo. Surf is a must we live in a beach town ourselves and it is part of daily life. Many of our friends go to CR on a yearly basis but only for surf - no one goes site seeing. So that is why I'm lacking information in that area! But our compromise is some surfing some adventure activities. I'm in the early stages of planning were I'm still getting aquainted with the geographical differences. Thanks for all of your help!
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 06:23 PM
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If you are leaning toward Manuel Antonio (and you are right, it is closer to SJO by a couple of hours) don't forget that one of the prime surfing spots in Costa Rica is in Dominical, south of Manuel Antonio.

It isn't crowded, there are many wildlife opportunities there, nearby waterfalls, jungle to explore, etc. It might be just your cup of tea. Most of the hotels are located in Dominicalito, a couple of km below Dominical proper. It isn't convenient enough to drive back and forth from Manuel Antonio every day for surfing, but it might be what you are looking for. Just a thought.
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