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Itinerary help -- Lands in Love, Samara?

Boston
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195 posts
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Itinerary help -- Lands in Love, Samara?

We are a family of 4, w adults, 2 older teens. We have airplane tickets booked to San Jose for one week at the end of June/ beginning of July (7 nights); we are scheduled to arrive mid afternoon on a Sunday. We don't want to run around too much, and drive somewhere new every day, or even every other day; we'd prefer to go to just two areas at most. Also, we'd prefer not to rent a car. We're open to a range of activities but would rather experience what is unique to Costa Rica, while still leaving some time to relax.

Right now, we're thinking of going directly to the hotel Lands in Love from the airport, and making that the base for the first 4 nights. It seems as if we can do adventure activities such as zip lines, rafting, hiking, etc. right from the hotel and it sounds as if it is in a beautiful area. Another advantage is that they will accommodate gluten free diners (one of us has celiac). Are we really missing out if we don't stay in Arenal? My understanding is that the volcano isn't active right now. We can do a trip to Arenal (and the hot springs) as a day trip from Lands in Love if we want to.

I'm less certain about what to do the second part of the trip. At one point, we were thinking of going to Tortuguera. Now, we're thinking of 3 nights at a beach area, perhaps Samara. I was thinking of Samara rather than Manuel Aretenio because I've heard that Guanacaste is likelier to be somewhat drier at that time of year. How long a trip would it be from San Ramon (where Lands of Love is) to Samara? (We'd probably need to hire a driver to do it.) Is there another Guanacaste location we should consider instead that might be easier to get to? We're not big on all inclusives, although a place with a nice pool, proximity to the beach, and even a little luxury for this piece of the trip wouldn't be frowned upon.

I actually like the sound of both of these locations -- however, I feel a little funny because I don't think that either area is on most people's first time trip to Costa Rica -- they certainly don't seem to be featured on the various package tour suggestions.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice!

La Fortuna de San...
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1. Re: Itinerary help -- Lands in Love, Samara?

Lands of Love is in the middle of SJO and La Fortuna....not exactly a "no man's land" but pretty much! If I were you I'd come straight to La Fortuna (since you said you'll be getting into the afternoon) another hour to La Fortuna is nothing! Gluten-free is not new around here and you should check around-many places (like B&Bs) are happy to accommodate your dietary needs. I personally just went sugar-free, gluten-free, coffee-free, so know that it's not that uncommon of a request as it used to be! Just ask around!

For your beach location-you might want to look at Tamarindo area-there's a lot more to do there and it's not super busy (Samara is beautiful but may be too sleepy for for teenagers? Just a thought! I personally like being just say 5 minutes outside of town so I can have the serenity of nature yet be close if I need it (look at Hideaway Hotel in Samara and Hotel Captain Suizo in Tamarindo-both of these fit this profile).

Hope this helps!

Wendy, La Fortuna, CR

San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: Itinerary help -- Lands in Love, Samara?

Nice that you are planning to spend some time at Lands In Love...I drive a lot of my clients there and they really like it...mostly bird watchers...and animal lovers...they run a nice kind of experiment with the staff there about gluten free meals...they have a wonderfull log about every day of the experiment...

Great idea to stay with them a t least one night...then keep going to Arenal...and stay some night there, hopefully in a hotel near La Fortuna...many hotels offer services but they are in middle of nowhere...at the end not worth it...nice family hotels in La Fortuna...Los Lagos...Silencio del Campo,...El Sesteo...

For the beach and the kids...of course Manuel Antonio NAtional PArk area...wild life...great beaches...nice food...all kinds of hotels...almost will fit any budget...and only 3 hours from SJO!

Hotels in MA...La Posada In...Inn On the PArk...The Falls...Cabinas Hotel Espadillas...Cabinas Hotel El Bosque...more expensive...Si Como No...MAripoas...Arenas del Mar...Issimo...

roadadvisor

Boston
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195 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Itinerary help -- Lands in Love, Samara?

Thanks for the responses! Why do you think it best to continue to Arenal, rather than stay at Lands in Love -- it seemed as if we could do the same adventure activities and some hiking from Land in Love, and the volcano doesn't seem to be active right now. We can also do a day trip to Arenal, including the hot springs, right from Land in Love.

I'm now looking at MA instead of Samara -- how long is the drive from Arenal to MA? How about from Lands in Love to MA?

Thank you so much for your help.

La Fortuna de San...
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4. Re: Itinerary help -- Lands in Love, Samara?

I personally don't like packing & un-packing so I never stay in one place for just one night if I can help it. I've eaten at Lands in Love and I thought the food was just okay-definitely not worth all the hype they've gotten. It's a pretty area but as I said before-it's the only thing around for miles. If it was just you & your husband looking for romance-I'd say stay there but with 2 grown teenagers....you may be wishing you were closer to town. Bottom line is-if that's where you want to stay-go for it!!! The good thing is that in Costa Rica it's hard to make a "bad decision"...each area has it's own charm!

Wendy, La Fortuna, CR

Costa Rica
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5. Re: Itinerary help -- Lands in Love, Samara?

I think the real question here is what your teenagers are like and like to do. And, of course, if you want to please them or just drag them along.

I think you have a good description of Lands in Love and can make a good decision about that. It is certainly possible to do all you say from there.

As for beach, there is nothing wrong with Samara. Samara is a small town but big enough for things to do, a couple of good grocery stores, an assortment of restaurants, etc. Look here for more information - www.samarabeach.com and here www.nicoyapeninsula.com

If you decide to stay at Lands in Love, Manuel Antonio might be a better choice based on your limited amount of time here. www.manuelantoniopark.com It's a bit closer to San Ramon than Samara and and 1.5 hours closer to the airport than Samara.

But I think either one would be fine for you and your family.

Check here for distances and travel times.

6. Re: Itinerary help -- Lands in Love, Samara?

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