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What not to miss with only one week in Costa Rica

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What not to miss with only one week in Costa Rica

Hello everyone!

Me and my boyfriend are going to explore Costa Rica in december (approximately 7-14th of december +/- a couple of days). Because of the limited time, we need to decide which part of Costa Rica we want to explore. We are currently thinking about visiting Monteverde Cloud Forest (probably flying to and from San José) and then continue to Guanacaste to explore their beaches and snorkeling.

We have an average budget (not planning on staying at luxurious hotels, but neither cheap hostel dorms). What we mainly want to get out of this trip is: relaxing at beaches, discovering nature, kayaking and snorkeling. Are there any places that we NEED to visit? What areas should we avoid (especially considering the level of tourism, we don't want something too touristy).

Thank you very much for your help!

Josefine

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Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Central America
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Monteverde Cloud Forest...
Monteverde, Costa Rica
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1. Re: What not to miss with only one week in Costa Rica

Very much depends what you guys are looking for…Mountain…Volcanos…Beaches…rivers…???

roadad visor

Ontario, Canada
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2. Re: What not to miss with only one week in Costa Rica

See if ready made itineraries might help:

www.twoweeksincostarica.com/itineraries/

https:/… .

Re budget: see https:/…

Weather in Dec. might determine your choices of the areas- https:/… .

Playa Guiones...
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3. Re: What not to miss with only one week in Costa Rica

If going to the Guanacaste beaches, it would be best to depart from LIR airport. It would be a lot closer than SJO airport. Regarding snorkeling, I hope you do realize that Costa Rica is not the best location for this activity. There are not a lot of beaches that have any shore snorkeling, Most likely you would have to take a boat, kayak or maybe jet ski tour to get to the snorkel areas which means you would be in deeper water and there is not that much to see, IMO.

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Juan Santamaria Intl Airport
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San Jose, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
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Ontario, Canada
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4. Re: What not to miss with only one week in Costa Rica

We spent time in Papagayo Bay yrs ago and tried snorkeling. Very disappointing. Nothing like in Roatan in Honduras, or Contadora Island in Panama, etc.

During subsequent trips to some other areas, we did not bother bringing our snorkeling gear with us. Waves were too big. Or water visibility was too poor due to rainfall. E.g., we were in Manuel Antonio recently, could not snorkel, waves.

Edited: 17 October 2017, 21:29
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Roatan
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Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: What not to miss with only one week in Costa Rica

Thank you Allylam…

Just to avoid confussions Papagayo is not a bay is a GULF…

roadadvisor

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6. Re: What not to miss with only one week in Costa Rica

Yes, Bay vs gulf is important not to confuse the OP in their Qn about snorkeling in CR!

BTW, "Gulf : A gulf is the technical name for a very large bay, appropriate for the ones like Gulf of Mexico, Persian gulf and yes Hudson Bay and the Bay of Bengal. In essence, all gulfs are bays . But small bays cannot be categorised as gulfs."

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7. Re: What not to miss with only one week in Costa Rica

Our main goal is to relax, we will arrive from a more adventurous trip so the one in Costa Rica needs to be very chill. When it comes to the snorkeling; we're no experts, we do not need anything extravagant and we're aware of the fact that we'll probably have to make a trip about it. However, snorkeling is not mandatory as long as we get to see good beaches. We are also planning on visiting the cloud forest in Monteverde, do you guys know if there are any buses between Santa Teresa and Monteverde? Thank you so much for all your input!

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Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Central America
Monteverde
Monteverde
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Bend, Oregon
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8. Re: What not to miss with only one week in Costa Rica

Snorkeling is very disappointing in CR. There is too much silt which makes the water cloudy and the reef is largely dead. Wild life is in abundance down towards Uvita and north near Play del Coco and some bays south towards Tamarindo (which is very touristy, so not there). We also found Monteverde very overrated and disappointing personally. It rained the entire time we were there (over 3 days) and we saw no wild life which is common. You should consider getting closer to the Arenal/la Fortuna area for wild life, awesome hot springs at Tabacon (I've heard others are nice too) huge water falls, and the now dormant volcano and it's sister next door, Cerro Chatto.

Edited: 03 November 2017, 19:29
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Uvita
Uvita
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Tamarindo
Tamarindo
Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Monteverde
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Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
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Tarcoles, Costa Rica
Ontario, Canada
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9. Re: What not to miss with only one week in Costa Rica

@7,

Re: transfer from Santa Teresa to Monteverde:

There is a shared shuttle for US$60 pp, twice daily (6:45 am, 2:30 pm), provided by Santa Teresa Travel ( http://www.santateresatravels.net ). Estimated Travel time - 5 hrs.

[You can also see the above option here - https://geckotrail.com/transportation/ . Good site for researching transportation options in CR, but they are a 3rd party, so reads their Terms first.]

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Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Monteverde
Monteverde
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
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