Which country: Costa Rica, Brazil, or Peru?

Old Nov 16th, 2008, 12:58 PM
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Which country: Costa Rica, Brazil, or Peru?

My husband and I are planning to take a nine day vacation to one of these three countries in January, but can't decide which to visit.

Our background...We are in our early 30s, no kids. We love hiking, snorkeling, and active vacations. I am particularly interested in visiting rainforests because I studied tropical ecology and geography in grad school. I've done research in Uganda, Gabon, and Venezuela and traveled in Mexico, Thailand, and throughout the U.S. including Hawaii. Our budget for this trip is about 5,000 (flying out of Chicago).

I was initially leaning towards Costa Rica because it sounds like the perfect place for an adventurous vacation. I think we could cover quite a bit in 9 days and would love to spend half the vacation hiking in the rainforest and seeing the volcano, and the other half hitting the beach and snorkeling.

Then I started wondering if Costa Rica might be a bit touristy for us and if South America might be a better option because of my interest in rainforests and seeing the Amazon. If we go to Peru, we would split our time between Cuzco/Machu Picchu and Purto Maldonado/Tambopata. If we went to Brazil, we would likely split our time between seeing the Amazon and the beach.

My questions:

Does Costa Rica feel too touristy to fairly well traveled people?

Which country (Peru or Brazil) would be easier to see the Amazon in the short amount of time we have?

Would language be a serious issue in Peru or Brazil since we don't speak Spanish or Portuguese?

Any advice will be much appreciated!
Thanks.
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Old Nov 16th, 2008, 01:17 PM
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My daughter just left Peru .. the water is fairly cold there yr round .. she went up as high as Mancora to surf without freezing. Both Peru and CR are known for their surfing, which all but rules out snorkelling (with the odd exception). The waters in CR are high 70's to mid 80's yr round .. some snorkelling around Manual Antonio Park .. others might know of other spots. I've been to CR twice and didn't find it touristy at all .. mind you I didn't go with the all inclusives. My daughter and her boyfriend just arrived in CR for a month of surfing .. her 4th trip there. She likes the food much better in CR and weather. We took in Mal Pais last year and it was worth the extra travel time.
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Old Nov 16th, 2008, 01:52 PM
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We've traveled extensively and CR is our favorite place to go. We've already been 3 times and will continue to go back until we've seen it all! For hiking and rain forests, check out Bosque del Cabo on the Osa Peninsula. It's not remotely touristy, and we saw all 4 kinds of monkeys, sloths, toucans, macaws, coatis, and an anteater. For beach time, Manuel Antonio has a beautiful beach, although CR doesn't have great snorkeling. We have always done snorkeling vacations before - Hawaii, BVIs, Mexico, USVIs, Greece, etc. CR to me is so much more than that. We love it. I really think you would enjoy the Osa. It's a get away from it all kind of place. Arenal is a great area too with an active volcano that's amazing.
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Old Nov 17th, 2008, 08:50 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions Surfer29 and Volcanogirl. You're making me lean towards Costa Rica! There are some good deals out there right now that include airfare, hotels, and rental car.
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Old Nov 17th, 2008, 12:05 PM
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www.jinetesdeosa.com

www.bosquedelcabo.com

Osa best for me.

you are right many areas of CR

touristed but Osa not as much...

www.desafiocostarica.com

Arenal more touristed

but lots of adventure not really

duplicable in SA...
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Old Nov 17th, 2008, 05:48 PM
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Very hard to make a mistake with an itineray like Arenal and the Osa Peninsula (Bosque del Cabo). VERY HARD!

Vgirl, honestly, after you've seen it all, you're going to find someplace else? Come on, give me a break! You're hooked!

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Old Nov 17th, 2008, 06:40 PM
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Hi, my name is Volcanogirl, and I am a Costa Rica addict.
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Old Nov 17th, 2008, 08:40 PM
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volcanogirl ,I knew you were an addict ,I just did not know it was Costa Rica .

Oh my goodness, how do I delete this ! (gulp!!).

Now to get serious,madisonmichelle,:

Having been to all three places you are contemplating, I would have to say Costa Rica....because

if you want rainforest, beachtime and snorkeling, you can do this all in Costa Rica.

Yes, the Brazil Amazon is nice but it takes extra days of travel to get there.

You will see more Scarlet Macaws here in Brazil Amazon... I had them eating out of my plate at breakfast (I sent shillmac a picture of this !), however, shillmac and Volcanogirl can tell you that you will get very close to them in the Osa in Southern Costa Rica

Also you need a Visa and also Yellow Fever Vaccination to get to the Brazil Amazon...not so for Costa Rica.

However, ( and I have to give you this option) if you want to see Machu Picchu,Cuszo and all of the Sacred Valley... then I guess you have to go to Peru.

You said it all in your statment of:

"I think we could cover quite a bit in 9 days and would love to spend half the vacation hiking in the rainforest and seeing the volcano, and the other half hitting the beach and snorkeling. "

Pssst ... Go to Costa Rica.

Percy


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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 03:35 AM
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Good advice, Percy!
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 05:26 AM
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Okay, you guys have me longing for the Osa! I think it was the mention of scarlet macaws, Percy.

I'm going to have to write Kim at Bosque del Cabo and ask for a "fix"! Just a little description based on Nov. 18 sights, sounds, etc. I'll post a response and we can all get a good "hit"!

OP, I can't imagine anyone going to Costa Rica and coming away without thinking they made the perfect choice. That said, Peru, Argentina definitely on my list of things to do.

Tully just returned from Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls, had a nice time, but e-mailed me that she wished she had spent that time in Costa Rica (she's been there numerous times). If that tells you anything. . . .

For all the reasons Percy the Whack Job said, give CR a try--it's so easy. Then you can do the others in time! Unless you come down with this illness many of us have. . .

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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 01:38 PM
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Percy the Whack Job !!!

hhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

That's what I get for spoiling you .

madisonmichelle, you see how these ladies mistreat me, and I am such an O

Percy
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 03:39 PM
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LOL!

You had it coming. . .you and your favorite hockey mom!
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 07:58 AM
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Yes,Sarah is coming down and we are going to do lunch!

I told her she does not have to come because she did not get my vote.

She said" that's okay neither did John McCaine !

So I guess she is buying lunch

Percy
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 05:36 PM
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I mean neither did Obama !!!

Percy
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 08:25 PM
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Oh my, Percy, have you been swigging vodka with Putin again? You are hopelessly confused AND confusing!
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 08:39 PM
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Why are you always right shillmac!

Yes... I have been swigging Vodka with Putin, but shhhh!! you know what happened last time.

Yes... I am confused that is why I did not vote for Obama nor Mccaine...the decision was too confusing.

madisonmichelle, please accept my apology for hijacking your post.

Good Night shillmac...get to bed , it's 11:40 PM right now, where you are .

You need some of this .

Percy
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 04:17 PM
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Apparently that's exactly what I did. I wanted to have the last word.
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 07:29 PM
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shillmac
I am not going to reply because I want you to have the last word.

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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 08:43 PM
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Thanks jmvp

I think we have shillmac confused !

Yawn!
Good Night everyone
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 09:10 PM
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Word.
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