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Not sure which region to stay...

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Not sure which region to stay...

I am trying to plan a first time trip for myself, husband, and two daughters, age 8 and 9 to experience "some" of what CR has to offer in a 6/7 day period.

We have been traveling with our daughters since they were four and five, so they are accustomed to travel. etc.

I keep researching and because of the overwhelming amount of info cannot figure out best region ot stay. I was hoping for suggestions...

I know my children want to be able to experience the animals as best possible .....holding or petting in a safe place would be great.

Also, we want to be able to do some rainforest touring--volcano views. Last of all, we always prefer to stay beachfront but don't want to travel hours to get to the other things, is that possible. Or is it best to forget the beach and just stay in Arenal Region?

Pros and cons of flying into Liberia and traveling from there? or Fly to SJ and travel from there.

I guess I want to know which area can we fly into --get around to enjoy the most? Without leaving one region and going to next.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Not sure which region to stay...

I think you can try...SJO...and from there...go to Arenal Volcano area... a lot of fun soft adventure tours...great place for the kids...many hotel choices...try to find a hotel that is not to far from La Fortuna...nice for the kids to walk in town...without spending a fortune in cab rides... about 3 hours drive...

From La Fortuna...drive to Manuel Antonio National Park...great area for wild life...and nice beaches...just common sense...

about 4 hours drive...

Then back to SJO...about 3 hours drive...


Costa Rica
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2. Re: Not sure which region to stay...

Another possibility is to head for Arenal for a few days and then on to the Caribbean coast. The Aviaros del Caribe is a sloth rehabilitation center and they can hold a sloth while visiting there.

I would be careful about your kids getting too close to some animals. I know Aviaros del Caribe and they are very good but in others, you might run into someone who doesn't take care of their animals as well.

A couple of helpful websites: www.arenal.net and www.puertoviejosatellite.com

It really isn't possible to stay in Arenal and visit beaches as a day trip. It just takes too long to get there from Arenal. Look here for driving distances and times - www.yourtravelmap.com

You would be better off planning a few days in Arenal and a few days at the beach.

Another beach to consider is Samara where in nearby Carrillo Beach, a lady has a wildlife rehabilitation center where your kids can see lots of animals close up. When we were there, she had a very charming, small wild pig that followed us closely as we walked around.

Puerto Viejo de...
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3. Re: Not sure which region to stay...

It really depends on what time of the year you are traveling. It's a lot more fun to play on the beach and the jungle when it is not raining. The Caribbean side and the Pacific side are very different when it comes to weather.

Rainy season on the Pacific side begins in May and runs through November. Often, there is sun in the morning and then it starts raining at midday every afternoon and continues into the evening.

On the Caribbean side, rainy season is from November through January with scattered rain in the summer. The wettest months are in the winter. It is dry and sunny in August and September and the water is flat, not so good for surfers but fantastic for diving and snorkeling. Regardless of the season in the Caribbean there is always sun, mixed in with the rain.

If you like it less developed and you want some cultural experience, you may really love the Caribbean as I do. I have lived there for three and a half years.

There are lots of fun things for you and your daughters to do in the Puerto Viejo area. Besides swimming at many different gorgeous beaches and hiking to beautiful jungle vistas, you can see and learn about the wild animals of Costa Rica at our wonderful animal rescue center and play with the baby monkeys. You can see how chocolate is made from the local cocoa trees.You can visit the Indigenous and learn about their culture. You can take a Caribbean cooking class and try our delicious local food. You can see the Blue Morpho Butterfly in the jungle and learn about the many uses for the jungle plants - or visit a butterfly garden. You can stay up late for a night time guided jungle walk, and stay up even later to see the Sea Turtles come ashore and lay their eggs. And you can hear some good live music almost every evening at dinner: calypso, reggae and Spanish ballads. Of course you can swim in the waterfalls, ride horseback on the beach, go rafting on a wild river and zip lining in the high forest canopy!

Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
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4. Re: Not sure which region to stay...

Flying into Liberia is a great option if you want to limit your drive time to beach location. It is easy in and out of Liberia. There are many choices for hotels on the beach. Liberia airport is usually more expensive to fly into and out of.

Puerto Viejo is a great area, just more drive time. Manueal Antonio gets you the wildlife, but you can't stay on the beach. Pros and Cons to each area.

Of course Arenal and Manuel Antonio are a very popular choice and for good reason. The drive times are not to bad for Costa Rica, but not quick. If you got a private driver the kids could spread out on the rides and the driver can act as a guide along the way.

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5. Re: Not sure which region to stay...

Thanks for the suggestions.. that gives me a little more of direct info relating to my situation....I am gonna continue to dig a little further into your suggestions and see which may work! Thanx again!

6. Re: Not sure which region to stay...

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