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Back to Isla or Caribbean Costa Rica

New England
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Back to Isla or Caribbean Costa Rica

Wondering if any of our Isla contributors have been to both?

Costa Rica sounds wonderful with possibility of white sandy beaches and a jungle setting with lots of colorful birds, monkies etc.

However it would likely take a full day to get from Boston to San jose and then a four or five hour drive or transfer.

Isla on the other hand is less than a four hour flight from boston and perhaps a little over an hour to transfer. Isla may lack the wildlife of Costa Rica, but the restaurants are fantastic and that section of the beach on adjacent to Sergio's is heaven. It's a tough choice!

PS I would be most interested in the perspective of people who have actually visited both.

Edited: 03 July 2010, 04:58
ca
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1. Re: Back to Isla or Caribbean Costa Rica

Costa Rica is great for nature. I could not believe all the different animals & birds we saw. We toured around the whole country, volcanoes, mountains, Pacific & Caribbean coasts. I love the Caribbean & was looking forward to the beautiful water, but was disappointed. Maybe just area we were in (Tortuguero) but waters were very rough & not the typical blue or clear I expected. I would vote Isla for relaxing beach or Costa Rica for more adventure & inland activities.

Southern California
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2. Re: Back to Isla or Caribbean Costa Rica

Agree with poster #1, have been to Costa Rica 3 times and Isla 5 times. There are very few white sandy beaches in CR other than on the Caribbean side south of Cahuita. Did not care for the heavy druggy scene there, preferred the Pacific side beaches of Samara and Tamarindo but they wil not have the white sand. CR is really almost all about nature although they do have some spots for surfing. Diving is poor most places also.

Playa Guiones...
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3. Re: Back to Isla or Caribbean Costa Rica

The other two posters are correct. I live in Costa Rica (in Nosara, about 40 minutes south of Samara) and it's all about the nature here. You won't find the crystal light blue water anywhere here that you see around Isla. Don't get me wrong, we have fantastic beaches for sure, but just different. Most are surfing beaches, though there are some nice ones for swimming too. Samara is one, San Janillo is another. Here in Nosara, it's all about surfing. I get woken up every single morning by the howler monkeys. I hate that, but what am I gonna do? It's their jungle!

FLORIDA1
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4. Re: Back to Isla or Caribbean Costa Rica

Hi! I was lucky enough to be in Isla last July and Costa Rica (Arenal Volcano) in February and then the Costa Rica's Carib side (Puerto Viejo) in September. I agree with the previous posts. Definitely traveling to Puerto Viejo was more time consuming, expensive, and strenous. I would say Isla was more relaxing, and comfortable, with clear, calm water. Puerto Viejo had more monkeys! I am excited to be returning to Isla this July so I guess Isla gets my vote, unless for some reason you are somewhat bored by beaches and prefer a greater variety of adrenaline inducing activities. In Puerto Viejo we did beach+monkeys+rafting+ATV+zip lines. Hope this rambling helps!

new york
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for Isla Mujeres
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5. Re: Back to Isla or Caribbean Costa Rica

Florida1, where did you stay in Puerto Viejo? I've been to the Pacific side but not the Caribbean. I was intrigued by PV. Also, how was the swimming? PV is known for surfing so I imagine the waves were big?

FLORIDA1
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6. Re: Back to Isla or Caribbean Costa Rica

Interestingly enough, we stayed at a place called La Isla Inn in Puerto Viejo. I can understand how a person who likes Isla Mujeres might also like the Carib side of Costa Rica. I was not that thrilled with La Isla Inn, though. In general, Isla Mujeres was more comfortable, less rustic. Puerto Viejo reminded me of more of a hippy surfer place (not that I am really well acquainted with either). We dove in both places and Isla Mujeres was definitely better. The visibility was poorer in Puerto Viejo and there was maybe 3 feet chop in the water. Feel free to PM me.

new york
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7. Re: Back to Isla or Caribbean Costa Rica

Thanks so much for info. I'll definitely be PMing you with questions :)

8. Re: Back to Isla or Caribbean Costa Rica

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