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First trip to CR fall 08, NEED ADVICE

ARKANSAS
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First trip to CR fall 08, NEED ADVICE

gROUP OF TEN(10) AVG AGE OF 58, FAIRLY ACTIVE, USUALLY DO

europe, have done donkeys in Santorini, etc. like to eat and drink and have fun, but Eurpoe is now too expensive.

Thought about flying into San Jose and spending about 3 or 4 days, staying at Clarion Amon, and taking day trips out of SJ. Thereafter, flying or driving rental van to NW Pacific side and stay at Paradisis resort &golf for 3 or 4 days.

OUESTIONS:

1. What is there to do for more than 2 days in San Jose?

2. What are the best day trips to take, we talked about the volcano hot springs trip to A volcano?

3. Does anyone have anythig positive to say about Clarion Amon Hotel(reviews are mixed).

4. Heard that airline from SJ to Liberia limits baggage to 25 lbs., if so then we probably will rent van and drive, what is the best route to take and what can you do along the way?

5. If we wanted to do a combo excursion(horse back, line zip, rain forest, raft trip), which one is the best, the one near volcano or the one over on the Pacific side, or another?

6. What day trips, if any, would you recommend taking out of the Paradisis?

As you can see, we need help from someone who has been there done that. Any input greatly appreciated.

JOHNNYaRKANSAS

California
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1. Re: First trip to CR fall 08, NEED ADVICE

skip San Jose, fly in and move on, it is not the "nice" part of CR

spend a few nights in Arenal, you can zipline, horseback, raft, canyoneering, hike waterfall, hanging bridges, hot springs...

spend a few nights in Manuel Antonio, tour Nat Park w/guide, enjoy the beach

Washington DC...
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2. Re: First trip to CR fall 08, NEED ADVICE

I wouldn't spend 2 nights in San Jose either because there are so many other more interesting and exciting things to see that are not too far from San Jose.

I just got back from a 10 day trip to CR--we rented a car in San Jose and then drove directly to La Fortuna (Arenal Volcano)and spent 3 nights there. The drive from SJ to La Fortuna was very easy (well marked, nice roads, beautiful scenery)and it only takes about 3 hours. Once you are in La Fortuna, there are tons of things to do, from visiting the Arenal Volcano National Park, to ziplining, hiking, rafting and relaxing in the hot springs (I would recommend Eco Termanles hotsprings--$24 per person and simply beautiful surroundings). There are also many nice lodges to stay in, and it is really worth spending the night, rather than simply taking a day trip from San Jose.

Los Angeles
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3. Re: First trip to CR fall 08, NEED ADVICE

Unfortunately, due to the distance between locations and the riskiness of driving at night, day trips to anywhere people usually go is virtually impossible. I would pick 2 – 3 locations and focus on activities on those areas. There is really not much to do in San Jose and in fact San Jose can be quite dangerous at night especially if you wander into the wrong area. Many people do an Arenal – Manuel Antonio as a first time trip. There are enough activities in each of these areas to keep you occupied for multiple vacations. Arenal is an unbelievable experience to see the volcano and there are a number of activities. MA has very nice restaurants and hotels, but no golf. If you want golf, you will need to go to the Nicoya Peninsula. MA also has beautiful beaches and a national park where you will be able to see a wide variety of animals up close and personal. I do not have enough experience or knowledge about the Nicoya Peninsula to give any advice or recommendations about the hotels/activities there. Given the size of your group, I would hire a driver. If not, you will probably need to rent at least 3 cars (given all the luggage for a week plus the people). There are a number of good drivers that regularly post on this site. Also to answer your question regarding luggage restrictions on the domestic flights, there are 2 domestic airlines: Sansa and Nature Air. I know the limit for Sansa is 25lbs and $1 for every pound after. I have never used Nature Air, but they do have similar weight restrictions. Hope that helps.

Baltimore, Maryland
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4. Re: First trip to CR fall 08, NEED ADVICE

We just stayed 6 nights in Manuel Antonio and 2 nights in San Jose. I wish we would have stayed in Manuel Antonio the whole time.

Seoul, South Korea
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5. Re: First trip to CR fall 08, NEED ADVICE

Your post says you will be there in the fall. You might want to plan around the rainest part of the rainy season, which is the fall. September and October can be miserable at times with all day torential rains. The rest of the rainy season is ok because it only usually rains a couple of hours in the afternoon or at night.

I agree with the other posts about not staying in San Jose. If there are things yu are interested in for daytrips in the central valley then I would find another area in the central valley to stay in rather than San Jose. Possible day trips could be the coffee plantations or poas volcano. Alajuela might be an area to stay if this is what you choose.

Personally I would say skip that idea and pick two areas to base yourself such as the suggested Arenal and Manuel Antonio area.

As far as transportation, if you are looking into the Guanacaste region, you may choose to fly into the Liberia airport instead then you wouldn't require the small airplane ride. It really has never been a problem for me to pack light for the trip because you really only need shorts, tshirts, tank tops, bathing suits, all light weight items. If you are a heavy packer you can still take the small planes and pay for the extra weight. By road you can hire a taxi/shuttle, take a private bus, or take the local bus (listed in the order of most expensive to least expensive).

6. Re: First trip to CR fall 08, NEED ADVICE

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