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First time trip for group of 8 - need help!

Chicago, IL
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First time trip for group of 8 - need help!

Wow! There are so many places I feel like I need to see during my first trip to Costa Rica. Unfortunately, we only have 6 days and don't want to spend the entire time driving. Any advice on the best area for a home base to get us a bit of beach and rainforest? We're a laid-back crowd of 8 friends, celebrating a 30th birthday and definitely want the adventures of fishing, surfing lessons, canopy tour, horseback riding and hiking. Plus, a little R&R... We're an off-the-beaten-path group, but want the luxury and are willing to spend for it. Right now it's either Arenal Volcano area 3 days + Nicoya Beach town for 3 days or straight to Manuel Antonio or Domincal for the entire trip. Any help is appreciated!!!!

Florida
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1. Re: First time trip for group of 8 - need help!

You can do every single thing you want to do right from Manuel Antonio. The only thing missing in MA is the volcano. There is a LOT to do anywhere in Costa Rica. If I were doing your trip I would try to rent a guest house or villa in the Manuel Antonio area for the whole trip. "Off the beaten path" is never very far away down there. With the amount of money you'd save by renting a villa for your whole group, you could easily afford to do an overnight trip to someplace like Arenal in the middle of the week, with plenty of R&R - in your own place - on each end.

I'm sure more experienced travelers could tell you the same thing about places all over Costa Rica. You have to not think about what you might miss, but think about what you're going to do and see each day that is exciting and new and interesting and could be found nowhere else. How could rushing to be someplace else be better?

Never regret what you didn't see, but appreciate the uniqueness of what you had there and then. ESPECIALLY in Costa Rica!

Chicago, IL
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2. Re: First time trip for group of 8 - need help!

Thank you bertsnpike! This is excellent advice for first adventure in Costa Rica. We've been leaning towards renting a villa for our group (privacy, so we don't disturb other guests, cooking our fresh caught fish in the kitchen, etc.) in either Manuel Antonio or Dominical - somwhere near there. Your reasoning is already lessening my stress of having to plan a trip for 7 of my best friends. Thanks again.

Does anyone have any villa recommendationsl in the Central Pacific area?

St. Petersburg...
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3. Re: First time trip for group of 8 - need help!

Some place like Shelter from the Storm in Dominical might suit your needs well. They have a couple houses grouped together, with kitchens, a pool, etc. I've never stayed there but have considered it, the pics look very nice on their website & it gets good reviews here at TA.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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4. Re: First time trip for group of 8 - need help!

If you guys wnat to relax and have some good fun...Manuel Antonio is the place...try tulemar.net...Buena Vista Casas and Villas...you guys love it...and form San Jose only 3 hours by car or 30 minutes by plane!!

Or maybe one excellent combination can be one night Arenal...and the rest in Manuel Antonio...you have everything you may want out of those two destinations...from San Jose to Manuel Antonio about $ 15,00 per person, private transfers...from San Jose to Arenal...about the same $ 15.00 per person (prices giving are not quotes are references as suggestions for the itinerary)

Luis Road Advisor

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in paradise!!

Chicago, IL
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5. Re: First time trip for group of 8 - need help!

thanks again. All of this is so helpful! It looks like we'll be heading to Dominical to stay in Casa del Sonador (villa) or Shelter from the Storm. It looks like there is so much to do in that area! Now we're just determining if we should fly to drive. In March, it seems like the drive shouldn't be too rough.

Road Advisor, what route is prettier for the drive? the Pacific route or Hwy 2 through the center of the country?

Thanks again!

Newport Beach...
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6. Re: First time trip for group of 8 - need help!

your on the right track! With eight I would recommend fly to Manuel Antonio on www.flysansa.com

Fly from San Jose to Quepos

You will see lot's from the air and save yourself 4 hours of driving in 2 cars.

rent a car in Quepos at Economy Rent a Car you can get the link off a search.

Then you can drive and will enjoy it more do Dominical and have more time for the beach and fun stuff.

7. Re: First time trip for group of 8 - need help!

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