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First Trip to C.R.

Alameda, California
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First Trip to C.R.

My husband & I & our 18-yr-old daughter are planning a 2-week trip to C.R. in July 2012 to celebrate a 20th anniversary, a high school graduation, and two of our birthdays. I'd appreciate any comments you have on our intinerary:

1. One night in San Jose. In and out, that's it.

2. Two nights in Tortuguero at Mawamba. Tough decision between that and the Pachira. Seeing the turtles, of course.

3. Three nights in Arenal at La Pradera. Volcano tour. Is Cano Negro tour good? Any other suggestions?

4. Three nights in Monteverde at Cabanas Los Pinos. Won't have a car so this hotel seems well-situated. True? Ziplining at Selvatura. Other suggestions?

5. Five nights at Manuel Antonio. Can't decide between Playa Espadilla and Costa Verde hotels, so I'm thinking of splitting the difference. Does that make sense and, of so, which one is more worth 3 nights over 2? I like the idea of being in the forest but would also like the ocean view for a least a couple of days. Would also appreciate any suggestions for activities in and around M.A.

Thanks and sorry for the long post.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: First Trip to C.R.

You have a great itinerary. In san Jose I would suggest the Rincon del Valle by La Sabana Park, or if you want to be downtown the Grand Hotel Costa Rica, at Tortuguero either one is a great choice, Mawamba is very nice, in Arenal I would suggest to check the Arenal Paraiso Hotel, they have their own own springs on site. The Caño Negro tour is a full day and somehow similar to Tortuguero although is very nice and in a different area, I woul also consider the Hanging bridges or the Sky Walk and Sky Tram tour(Combination of Suspended bridges and Aerial tram), there are ziplines, floating at Peñas Blancas River, horseback riding and hiking to the Fortuna falls just to mention a few, in Monteverde also consider the Cloud Forest Lodge and a hiking tour to the Monteverde Reserve, in Manuel Antonio I would choose Costa Verde. In Manuel Antonio the park hike is a must, Damas Island Mangrove boat tour etc. Have a great trip!

Edited: 24 October 2011, 19:02
San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: First Trip to C.R.

Dear Kris...

Thank you for visiting us ...Costa Rica love families and Families love Costa Rica...

Let me try to answer your questions in the best possible way as any good old costarican indian can do it!

1. One night in San Jose. In and out, that's it....godo choice...not necessarily to spend to much time around San Jose...I love my capital city but in cases like your case a family vacation better hit the road...

2. Two nights in Tortuguero at Mawamba. Tough decision between that and the Pachira. Seeing the turtles, of course....Great Choice...Mawamba is at the right side of the canasl at the beach side even that is not safe or good for swimming nice to walk at the ebach..also great choice regarding prices some very old lodges at the other side of the canal with incredible high prices...why? nobody Knows...my answer is because they can get away with it!

.

3. Three nights in Arenal at La Pradera. Volcano tour. Is Cano Negro tour good? Any other suggestions?

I like a lot better hotel Los Lagos or even Silencio del Campo...Caño Negro is a great tour...totally different as Tortuguero...Tortuguero is a set of man made canals that connect some natural lagoons...Caño Negro is a large Humedal..with there own habitat for many animals indigenous of the area...even that for some people maybe very similar in rality they are not!

4. Three nights in Monteverde at Cabanas Los Pinos. Won't have a car so this hotel seems well-situated. True? Ziplining at Selvatura. Other suggestions?

Great Choice..Los Pinos they have had been around for ever great local people...humble and nice!is

5. Five nights at Manuel Antonio. Can't decide between Playa Espadilla and Costa Verde hotels, so I'm thinking of splitting the difference. Does that make sense and, of so, which one is more worth 3 nights over 2? I like the idea of being in the forest but would also like the ocean view for a least a couple of days. Would also appreciate any suggestions for activities in and around M.A.

I will choose Hotel Playa Espadilla nice own and run by a costarican family...and very close to park and public beaches...nice pool!

Please do not hesitate to ask a question any time here at the forum...

roadadivsor

Costa Rica
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33 posts
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3. Re: First Trip to C.R.

Those are great places to go, Arenal is Beautiful, Tortuguero is amazing and either one is great Mawamba or Pachira, the canal boat tours are great, love Manuel Antonio and I agree with Mike A943 about the park, is a must, and you will be thrilled with Monteverde hiking tour.

Punta Arenas, Costa...
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4. Re: First Trip to C.R.

Great suggestions by MikeA943, a very knowledgeable guy when it comes to putting an itinerary together...you won't go wrong with his recommendations.

I will add The Hotel Don Carlos as a less expensive option to keep the budget in line.

Have a great holiday.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,438 posts
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5. Re: First Trip to C.R.

Dear Kris...

I based my answer on your great itienrary...if I made a few suggestions based on my expereince as a passenger staying on most of those places...

Some people are so good with the copy paste...but Costa Rica is a lovely free country ans we welcome any body...some may have to learn a lot...but we all love our country!

You put a great itinerary...nobody else did!

roadadvisor

Seattle
2 posts
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6. Re: First Trip to C.R.

Hello! We are a family with a teen daughter (and 20 yo son) also planning a two week trip in December 2012. We like your intinerary - are you renting a 4x4 and driving to all of your destinations? Have you made any changes to your plans since the last post? We were thinking of splitting 3 nights Manual Antonio and 3 nights at Corcovado, but concerned that may be too much....

Alameda, California
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7. Re: First Trip to C.R.

We were going to use other transportation but ultimately decided that we'd go with renting a 4x4 after we leave Tortuguero. We're getting a Daihatsu Bego, which our online agent suggested was plenty big for the 3 of us. We really haven't made any changes to our itinerary (same # of nights in each place) but have made some hotel changes as recommended by our agent. In Manuel Antonio we decided to spend 3 nights at the hotel in the park and the final 2 nights overlooking the ocean. One of the guidebooks I read indicated that Corcovado was not for the faint of heart - crocodiles, maybe sharks, heat, and lots of bugs. Call us wimps, but that was enough to scare us off. If you want to stay in touch, I'll be happy to let you know after the trip how it all worked out!

Uvita, Costa Rica
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for Uvita, Ojochal
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8. Re: First Trip to C.R.

Just a quick note that there are no hotels inside the Manuel Antonio Park. Most hotels are located between Quepos and the park. Some are closer than others. Corcovado is not that bad at all and again all hotel you can visit the park from are outside the park.

The Begos is a compact 4x4 and may be suitable for 3 people depending on luggage, as you will probably have to put lugage in the back seat as well.

Enjoy your trip!

Alameda, California
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9. Re: First Trip to C.R.

Oops. Well, I thought I'd read it was inside the park. Thanks for the clarification. And I know lots of people visit Corcovado and love it, but we just chose not to try to get there this time. Thanks again.

10. Re: First Trip to C.R.

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