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First time to Costa Rica

Orrville
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9 posts
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First time to Costa Rica

Hello,

My wife, daughter and I will be traveling to Costa Rica for the first time. We will be going in October and staying in Puntarena (where the cruises come in) for 11 days. We plan to travel up to the volcano and to the rainforest. Is there anything worth seeing in Puntarena? What is the easiest way to travel from Puntarena to other locations. Are there any really good maps to get?

From reading some of the posts we have learned that it will be very wet during that time (bring poncho), not to bring jeans, bring bug spray. We have never been to a rain forest. I would like to try surf fishing once or twice.

I would greatly appreciate as much help/tips as possible

Manuel Antonio...
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1. Re: First time to Costa Rica

Why are you going to stay in Puntarenas for 11 days. You can easy visit 4 places with soo many days.NATUREGUIDE

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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2. Re: First time to Costa Rica

The city of Puntarenas is a typical busy port city, not particularly attractive and not generally recommended as a destination for tourists. The province of Puntarenas is very large and includes some more typical tourist haunts including Jaco and Manuel Antonio. I agree that you don't want to stay in 1 place and make day trips or you'll spend far too much of each day getting to and from attractions. Better to map out a circle tour with 2-3 nights at each stop. Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Anotnio are a frequent combo for 1st time visitors, but if you tell us more about your interests, others may be able to give you more detailed advice.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: First time to Costa Rica

Rent a Car and drive around...so many places to visit and discover!

With a car you will save money and time...

I wear jeans about 80% of my time..dry or wet season...the best pants!!

Many beaches to try surf fishing...

Maps...if you rent a car they will provide you with one...or if you provide me with your USA addr. I will mail you one..hopefully will make it to your house on time!

Luis Road Advisor

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in paradise!!

Colorado
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4. Re: First time to Costa Rica

I will share a tip someone gave to me on my first visit. Give yourself plenty to time to get somewhere! It might look like a short distance on the map, but plan at least two or three times more time to travel in CR. I don't like driving at night, so it we always made sure we had plenty to time to get to our destination.

The roads are twisty, narrow, and in bad shape. There are no shoulders and cars or trucks sometimes stop or breakdown right in the middle of the road. There are lots of hills and mountains to navigate.

I am not an expert, but I recommend getting a four wheel drive so you can get off on some of the unpaved side roads. Some of our best memories are from the detours we took when we got lost.

Slow down and enjoy yourself. CR is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Orrville
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9 posts
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5. Re: First time to Costa Rica

We are going there with our church. 6 of the 11 days our mornings and early after noons our time will be completly booked. The local people are putting together 2 trips for us, but I am not sure what, I think a rain forest trip will be one with zip lines involved. This is why we are dedicated to the city of Puntarena. We may be able to stay some where else the day we arrive and the night before we leave.

We would like to see the volcano.

I personally like canoeing, fishing, birdwatching, white water rafting, anything outdoors. My wife is not as much of an outdoors person as I am but would like to see the rainforest, said she would zip line and like to see the volcano. My daughter is 11 almost 12.

Kansas City...
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6. Re: First time to Costa Rica

There is great bird watching in Monteverde Cloud Forest. We took a tour through Sun Tours and did a lot of bird watching in the cloud forest. There is also a lot of hiking in La Selva and Monteverde. I definitely would try to rent a car and get out more to see some sites. Though beware of the drivers, it is crazy. Volcan Arenal is beautiful and so is Volcan Poas, but the cloud cover is frequent over it. Definitely bring bug spray and we didn't bring jeans especially in La Selva, waterproof pants worked best with the rainforest.

Orrville
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7. Re: First time to Costa Rica

Does any one know of canoeing opportunities close by?

We would want to photograph the river and riparian areas and wildlife so would not want many rapids.

8. Re: First time to Costa Rica

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