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Why does everyone suggest MA, Tamarindo or Puerto Viejo?

Massachusetts
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Why does everyone suggest MA, Tamarindo or Puerto Viejo?

I picked Santa Teresa/Mal Pais because it's somewhat more difficult to get to and I'm assuming a bit off the beaten track. Is there more to it than that though? Am I missing something? I'm not looking for a party - just good quality time with my kids but with everyone recommending other areas I'm concerned I might be off base in my choice.

Tamarindo, Costa...
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1. Re: Why does everyone suggest MA, Tamarindo or Puerto Viejo?

You know, all areas you mentioned have something to offer to your family, really you won't be dissapointed... I live in Tamarindo so that's where I can give you advice... I am not an expert in the other areas, but as far as Tamarindo I can tell you it would be great for your family, there is plenty of wildlife, tours for the kids, ocean activities... The town is very convenient for families, all services are available (supermarket, ATM's, drugstores, shopping, restaurants)... the beach is very safe and there are very convenient and affordable accommodations, maybe condos are the best option for families...

Tamarindo is also a good base for doing other side trips to the Volcanos and National Parks...

Hope this helps

Manuel Antonio...
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2. Re: Why does everyone suggest MA, Tamarindo or Puerto Viejo?

Santa Teresa/ Mal Pais are both excellent places, your familly is going to have a great time there. like you said, if you are looking for a quiet small town the two places are perfect for you. You also have a lot of option for nature tours and wildlife. You made a good desicion. NATUREGUIDE

Punta Uva, Costa...
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for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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3. Re: Why does everyone suggest MA, Tamarindo or Puerto Viejo?

You have made a good choice in visiting the area of Mal Pais/ Santa Teresa, most visitors to CR want to see as much of the country, we try to advise you on different areas so you can get a good idea of what the country looks like, the area you are visiting is far away from most of popular place in the country and therefore hard to get to see other parts of this beautiful country.

Enjoy your family vacation, you'll have a great time.

Seoul, South Korea
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4. Re: Why does everyone suggest MA, Tamarindo or Puerto Viejo?

I think that Mal Pais/Santa Teresa is a great choice. The ocean is pretty rough there so unless you kids are expert swimmers I would be extremely cautious.

Here are some perks to that area. You are right that it is off the beaten path so no high rises or extremely touristy stuff but they also have what you need in terms of choice of restaurants and lodging.

You can day trip to Cabo Blanco National Park, which is not a very visited park so no crowds.

You can day trip to Montezuma, which I love. If you take a walk away from Montezuma for about 20 or 30 minutes down the beaches you get some great scenery along the way including a nature preserve with volcanic rocks and pelicans diving for fish. I guess it depends on the age of the kids as to whether they will be up for a long walk but if so, it is worth it. Eventually you come to Playa Grande, which is a beautiful vast stretch of beach that has little to no people and the waves, although still waves, are calmer. There are good restaurants in Montezuma too.

I have seen a good amount of howler monkeys and cappuchin's in this area of Costa Rica too so I am sure the kids will enjoy that. You can hear the howler's especially early in the morning and it is a pretty fascinating sound.

Massachusetts
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5. Re: Why does everyone suggest MA, Tamarindo or Puerto Viejo?

Thank you so much for the reassurances. I really appreciate it.

Massachusetts
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6. Re: Why does everyone suggest MA, Tamarindo or Puerto Viejo?

Ddherself - Thanks for the tip on Playa Grande. We will definitely make our way there. And we will watch the rip tides - my understanding is that there are beginner waves in the area as well. My kids are really looking forward to learning how to surf! Usually I drag them around to ruins (loved Belize and Mexico and the Mayan ruins!), etc on our vacations so they are really looking forward to playing this vacation - I'm hoping for a warmer version of our Alaska vacation.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: Why does everyone suggest MA, Tamarindo or Puerto Viejo?

It will be a little warmer than Juno Alaska!...you kids will love Playa Grande...and great place to learn some surf...it is surfer paradise! And amybe even have the chance to see some great turtles!

MA, Tamarindo and Puerto Viejo...kind of simple to get...plus a lot of great accomodations...taht may be the reason among many more!

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!

Punta Uva, Costa...
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for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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8. Re: Why does everyone suggest MA, Tamarindo or Puerto Viejo?

Make sure they are set up with lessons with a local person, they will enjoy it better,and be safer for them.

Seoul, South Korea
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9. Re: Why does everyone suggest MA, Tamarindo or Puerto Viejo?

Mke sure you account for the fact that there is more than one Playa Grande in Costa Rica. The one I am referring to with no people is a beach in walking distance of Montezuma, not the beach outside of Tamarindo. Completely different thing.

Massachusetts
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10. Re: Why does everyone suggest MA, Tamarindo or Puerto Viejo?

Gottcha - not sure the kids would be up for a walk to Playa Grande in the Tamarindo area!

Cubanon - won't people offering surf lessons in that area be local? Are you suggesting I somehow find out how long they've lived in the area?