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Help to plan our trip to Costa Rica

West Hartford...
6 posts
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Help to plan our trip to Costa Rica

My husband and I will be in CR for 2 weeks in the end of November, 2011. We are renting 4x4. We are interested in the bird / animals watching, hiking, local culture, quit beach time (NO extreme sports / ziplines / surfing/ golf). So far our itinerary looks like this:

1. Arriving in SJO ( 1 PM) and driving to La Fortuna on the same day.

2. La Fortuna / Arenal - 3 days/ 4 nights.

3. Monteverde / St. Elena - 2 days / 2 nights.

4. Nicoya Peninsula (Maplais / Santa Teresa) through Puntarenas - 4 days / 4 nights.

5. Manuel Antonio - 2 days / 2 nights.

6. For remaining 2 days / 2 nights we need to find place relatively close to the SJO (no more then 2 hours drive) from which we can see some coffee plantations (any suggestions?) and any other interesting places around San Jose.

Our immediate questions:

1. Should we replace Nicoya for day trips from Manuel Antonio (Carara Park, Dominica, Uvita).

2. What's are the realistic driving time between our destinations.

3. Do you recommend booking guided tours in the parks in advance or better to book them there?

Any recommendations to our itinerary are appreciated.

Thank you!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Help to plan our trip to Costa Rica

I will go with option one...

Driving times

1. Arriving in SJO ( 1 PM) and driving to La Fortuna on the same day. ...3 hours nice road...

2. La Fortuna / Arenal - 3 days/ 4 nights....two to two and half hours ride...some rough section ...not a big deal...incredible nice views...just dive slow.

3. Monteverde / St. Elena - 2 days / 2 nights.

4. Nicoya Peninsula (Maplais / Santa Teresa) through Puntarenas - 4 days / 4 nights.,,,depending on ferrry times...but easy...from Monteverde....7 hours...with ferry time...

5. Manuel Antonio - 2 days / 2 nights....MA to SJO...3 hours...even a few mintes less!

Find the guides once your are here...but it is the best to have a guide...

Just try to stay away...from out of nowhere hotels...ask about how far each hotel is located...some funny locations...middle of nowhere....you will spend half of your vacation driving in and out of your hotel or B and B...

roadadvisor

West Hartford...
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2. Re: Help to plan our trip to Costa Rica

roadadvisor, Thank you for your advice.

Do you have any suggestions about coffee plantations and any other interesting places around San Jose for last 1-2 days of our trip.

Thank you.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
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7,819 posts
43 reviews
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3. Re: Help to plan our trip to Costa Rica

Doka Coffee Estate - http://www.dokaestate.com/ A visit to Poas if you can get there early enough, 10 am is more or less the cut off for visibility inside the crater. La Paz Waterfall Gardens is a good place to stop for lunch - http://www.waterfallgardens.com/ This is all in the same area so if you have time you could do all 3. Museums in San Jose are something to also consider. Others will chime in soon.

Cheers

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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8,863 posts
24 reviews
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4. Re: Help to plan our trip to Costa Rica

There are a number of boutique inns in the Central Valley outside San Jose that might make a good base for daytrips your last 2 days. I've stayed at Vista del Valle and Finca Rosa Blanca both of which are surrounded by coffee fields and you could then visit Doka for a more en depth explanation of the coffee process, as well as use either as a base for an early morning drive up Poas Volcano. If you're looking for more modest accomodations you could check out Siempre Verde B&B surrounded by coffee fields near Alajuela. http://siempreverdebandb.com/

Costa Rica
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25,655 posts
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5. Re: Help to plan our trip to Costa Rica

Also take a look at Orquideas Inn in Alajuela. My favorite place to stay in Alajuela is Alegria B&B - you might check it out although it is not "out in the country."

La Fortuna de San...
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6. Re: Help to plan our trip to Costa Rica

I would just add the extra days in Manuel Antonio and explore that area There is a lot to do there.

A great way to end your vacation is to stay at Casa Bella Rita-a gorgeous B&B outside the city-just beautiful: http://www.casabellarita.com/

Enjoy your time in paradise!

Wendy, La Fortuna, CR

7. Re: Help to plan our trip to Costa Rica

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