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Best Choice for beach and wildlife in Costa Rica

Grosse Pointe...
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Best Choice for beach and wildlife in Costa Rica

I want to travel with my husband and two children, ages 2 and 3 to Costa Rica in February. At first we decided to visit Arenal and Manuel Antonio but it seems that plan may get unwieldy for two little ones with so much shuttle time. I considered just going to Manuel Antonio but I am having a HARD time finding a hotel that will accommodate children, get us in easy walking distance to the beach and afford the kind of comfortable amenities my husband and I are looking for - at a cost that seems doable. We would like to keep nightly hotel rates around $180 or less. Can anyone recommend one location in Costa Rica, other than Manuel Antonio, that is great for beach and nature/wildlife (in particular my son is craving a boat tour with crocs :).

Otherwise, if Manuel Antonio is the undisputed best location for what we are seeking, can anyone recommend an affordable hotel with comfy amenities, in easy distance to the beach with two little ones in tow?

Grecia, Costa Rica
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for Province of Alajuela
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1. Re: Best Choice for beach and wildlife in Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio does fit the bill, but you could also try Tamarindo, I think the Diria might be in your budget, right on the beach, croc tours can be done in the area, check with Xplore - http://www.xplorecostarica.com/

The beaches in Tamarindo are not as nice as in Manuel Antonio IMO, but it might work for you.

On the Caribbean side of the country there are many unspoiled beaches where rainforest meets sea, but not as many hotel options or infrastructure that you might be looking for.

Cheers

San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: Best Choice for beach and wildlife in Costa Rica

Try Marriott Los Suenos -

for the kids HUGE swimming pool and activities. You are right on the beach also.

for wildlife: you are 20 minutes away from Carara National Park, Crocodile River and surround by mountains plush with rainforest.

The resort itself has a lot of iguanas, macaws and monkeys. You can walk the resort safely with your children and get to see lots of things.

My 3 yr old goes to the swimming pool nearly every day here... and never gets tired of it.

Costa Rica
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3. Re: Best Choice for beach and wildlife in Costa Rica

You can also take a look at the Playa Brasilito/Conchal area. From there, you can do a number of day trips to National Parks - including a boat trip through Palo Verde and a visit to Rincon de la Vieja in lieu of Arenal.

In this area, you have several small beach towns, more less strung out along the same road - Conchal, Brasilito, Flamingo and Potrero - and all 10 km from beginning to end. So you have a lot to choose from in the area and can easily visit the other little towns.

www.costarica-nationalparks.com

www.rincondelavieja.net

www.brasilito.com

San Jose, Costa Rica
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4. Re: Best Choice for beach and wildlife in Costa Rica

Forgot to add that another option would be Punta Leona ... the condos are right on the beach also and the beach is VERY nice.

Chicago, Illinois
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for Costa Rica
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5. Re: Best Choice for beach and wildlife in Costa Rica

You really want to be at Manuel Antonio if wildlife and a beautiful beach are your priority. I don't know what your definiton of comfortable amenities includes but take a look at La Posada which is within walking distance of the beach and national park and has private bungalows for $110/ nite, a 2-story villa with kitchen for $160/nite and a 2 bedroom house with kitchen for $200/nite at high season http://www.laposadajungle.com Also check out Tulemar Bungalows/Buena Vista which has bungalows with ocean views for $270/nite or $1795/week. Over your budget but worth it and comes with separate living room and kitchenette.

Jaco, Costa Rica
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6. Re: Best Choice for beach and wildlife in Costa Rica

Agree that beach + wildlife = Manuel Antonio. :)

San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: Best Choice for beach and wildlife in Costa Rica

Did you try La Posada Inn or Inn on the Park...also a new hotel ...Hotel San Bada...another great buy The Falls...Villas Nicolas...Verde Mar...Cabinas Hotel Espadillas...Cabinas Hotel El Bosque...most of this places are nice and simple...and some very close to the public beach and the park main entrance...

Excuse my English I´m a costarican native!

roadadvisor

Grosse Pointe...
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8. Re: Best Choice for beach and wildlife in Costa Rica

Thank you all for suggestions made thus far. I looked into the different locations and it does seem that Manuel Antonio fits everything but the bill :). The things I am looking for in a great hotel stay are good view (which to me can be jungle and doesn't have to be ocean), proximity to beach (as I mentioned), and nice pools + hot tub if possible! Arenas del Mar is pretty much the dream location accept every way I look at it it is just a too pricey for us right now.

Does anyone know more about Tulemar Bungalows? The weekly rate is probably doable and it does seem nice. Are there hot tubs available? Is there a restaurant at the hotel..it seems like everyone has food prepared in room? Is it in walking distance to restaurants off of the property? Do they offer regular hotel maid services? What are the grounds like and can one walk to the beach? Finally, I haven't seen weekly rates offered, would I call for that?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, but I feel like this hotel location is less self explanatory. Any and all info about Tulemar Bungalows/Buena Vista would be much appreciated!

Punta Uva, Costa...
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9. Re: Best Choice for beach and wildlife in Costa Rica

Take a look at the Caribbean side of the country near Puerto Viejo, Punta Uva and South have some beautiful beaches, some fantastic for the little ones, and tropical rain forest alive with wildlife. Some of the bungalows have AC for the comfort of you little ones if you like.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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35 reviews
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10. Re: Best Choice for beach and wildlife in Costa Rica

You can check the web site for Tulemar Bungalows or Buena Vista Villas and Casas...maybe some of the best places around Manuel Antonio...

Incredible nice views...great secluded beach...most of the time only hotel and villas guests...nice little bar by the beach...nice beach chairs...

The property is hillly a lot of up and downs...they offer a shuttle that can drive you to some near by restaurants..like Cafe Milagors great breakfast...and some of the best sandwiches...Karola´s very good ...Kapi Kapi incredible good food pricy but good...Aqua Azul good for burgers ...most of this places no more than 3 minutes from the main entrance...

Yes your bungalow is like any hotel with maid service...

Will be hard to find better place than Tulemar and Buena Vista Villas and Casas...

Sincerely yours...

Roadadvisor