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1st trip to costa rica

Chico, California
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1st trip to costa rica

I am traveling to costa rica for the first time with my wife, her brother and his wife. We finally made our first decision and that is that we can only stay 6 nights 7 at the most. We plan to fly into San Jose and go straight to Arenal to do all the fun/adventure things there, but we would like to make a trip over to Monteverde at some point, but from what I am understanding we would most likely have to spend at least 1 night there to get the full experience since it is quite a trip. This also makes it a little crazy to be going back and forth between hotels.

We plan to split the trip up because we also want to vist the beaches. So 3 or so nights in Arenal/Monteverde and then still trying to decide to head down to Manuel Antonio or over to Guanacaste and stay on a beach over there. Since we are going to be keeping busy in Arenal we want our stay on the ocean to be somewhat relaxing more low key, giving us some time to explore the country try new foods, experince the night life/shopping etc.

I know its a short trip and its going to be a little crazy since we are splitting the time up. Any advice would be sooo extremely helpful. At this point we need to continue with our planning, but we feel overwhelmed with all the decisions.

Oh and we will be traveling in November if this helps.

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: 1st trip to costa rica

Based on what you want to do in the amount of time you have, will you be renting a car?

Costa Rica
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2. Re: 1st trip to costa rica

With the short amount of time you have, I would pick two places and not three. I would recommend 3 night at Arenal and 2 or 3 at Samara. Playa Samara is beautiful, laidback and easy to get to from Arenal. Then you can head to Alajuela for your flight out or the night before your flight out, depending on what time you leave. Check here: www.samarabeach.com

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: 1st trip to costa rica

I like the combination Arenal and Manuel Antonio...less driving than going to any Guanacaste beach...

Adding Monteverde for one night...is a good option...

You can do somenthing like:

1- San Jose to Arenal...about 3 hours drive...

2- Arenal to Monteverde...jeep-boat-jeep...about 2 and half hours transfer.

3- Monteverde to Manuel Antonio...4 and half hours drive...

4- Manuel Antonio to San Jose...

You can do shuttle or renting a car...private drives will be like $ 125.00 per person based on 4 people...for all the transfers...

roadadvisor

La Fortuna de San...
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4. Re: 1st trip to costa rica

Hello

Based on the short amount of time you will be spending in the country I would consider ruling Monteverde out.

Whether you prefer going to Guancaste or Manuel Antonio is up to you. For a first time visit I would go to MAnuel Antonio but either one of the places are really nice.

Nadia

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: 1st trip to costa rica

2 areas would be optimal, but if you wish to do three I would go with roadadvisor's suggestion. Head to Arenal, spend 3 nights, do the x-fer to Monteverde spend 1 night, x-fer to Manuel Antonio and spend 3 nights (if you can swing it). If it were me with 6 nights though, I'd skip Monteverde.

6. Re: 1st trip to costa rica

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