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Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Arenal

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Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Arenal

I am planning a solo trip to Costa Rica for around 10 days. After tons of research I've decided that I would like to go to Manuel Antonio to see the park and enjoy the beautiful beaches, Jaco to go to surf camp and for a little night life, and Arenal to view the volcano, visit some hot springs, and raft the Toro river.

I am trying to figure out in which order to visit all three that would make the most sense, and approximately how long to stay in each place. I will be having my birthday on the 2nd-3rd day of my trip, so would like to be able to at least party a little bit. Also, seeing as though the only things that I want to in Jaco is a one day surf lessson, and a little night life...is it even worth staying in Jaco?

The are the places I'm considering staying and activities I've researched:

Manuel Antonio:

Manuel Antonio Hotel (proximity to beach and park, plus price are ideal)

* Jade Tours MA park tour

Jaco:

Clarita's (not completely sold on this one. Any ideas for accommodation with a great location ie. Close to beach AND nightlife, at a Reasonable price [under $70])

Del Mar surf camp

Arenal: (this is where I think I will be doing the most activities)

Hotel Vista de Cerro OR

Tree Houses Hotel Costa Rica

Wave Expeditions Toro rafting trip (I am an experienced rafter)

Desafio Adventure Co. Volcano hike/ Baldi hot springs day trip

Any other MUST SEE/DO in the general area of these three locations?

Any other hotel reccomendations with great location and value for the price?

Any and all advice and feedback is much appreciated!

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1. Re: Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Arenal

Also:

Advice on EASY and reasonably priced transportation to each destination? I don't feel comfortable renting a car.

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2. Re: Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Arenal

Also:

Advice on EASY and reasonably priced transportation to each destination? I don't feel comfortable renting a car.

Atlanta
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for Jaco, Bocas Town
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3. Re: Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Arenal

If you want to meet people that may be traveling to the same places as you then I would start in Jaco. Lots single travelers. If you can wait until you arrive to choose a hotel that may be best. Hotel Poseidon is in the middle of it all.

In Manuel Antonio I like Verde Mar because of location. There is always nightlife somewhere you just have to look harder in some places. Ask around and people will let you know where the popular place for the night will be.

Public buses are a good option if you have the time. Maybe a combination of private drivers, public buses and domestic airlines would work. Again, if you meet other travelers that want to go to the same places you could split the costs of a driver.

Bermuda
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for Bermuda
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4. Re: Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Arenal

I've stayed at clarita's in jaco. It was decent with a good price. If you think you might be partying late at night and will need to sleep in be sure to get a room with a/c. The single-storey block has no a/c or insulation under the roof and it turns into an oven as soon as the sun hits it! You haven't experienced heat like this unless you've worked in a foundry! It was okay for us because we didn't go to bed til late and we left early in the morning.

Vista del cerro in la fortuna/arenal is where I always stay. It has the best price/location in the area and is family owned and run. Each room has a clear view of arenal volcano.

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5. Re: Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Arenal

With my arrival times it doesnt seem possible to get an interbus to pick me up from the airport and take me directly to MA. Im contemplating spending the night in San Jose and then catching the interbus the next morning. I think im going to book the Hotel Santa Tomas as it is cheap and in a good location. I will only be staying there for the evening and hopefully arranging transport to MA. Does anyone recommend any other hotels in San Jose for $50 or less a night?

6. Re: Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Arenal

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