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Good itinerary for a week long trip, single female?

Boston...
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Good itinerary for a week long trip, single female?

Hi, I'm thinking about options for winter vacation and may take a spontaneous 6-day long trip to Costa Rica alone. I've never been to Latin America, I don't speak Spanish, I don't have a big budget, and I won't be driving - I hope these limitations are okay!! I'm an outgoing and nature-loving person, but I'm not interested in crazy partying or ziplining/hiking adventures this time around.

I'm really interested in seeing 1) a volcano, mudbaths/hotsprings, 2) rainforest. Maybe if there's a guided tour?, 3) beach. I'll be coming into the San Jose airport.

My main question is, where is a good and safe area for me to stay that lets me travel around to these sorts of places (and any hostel recommendations)? Which of the above do you recommend, and am I missing any "must see" sights? It's hard for me to digest all this information I see everywhere!

Thanks!!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Good itinerary for a week long trip, single female?

Dear lalava..

Nice nick name...sorry no much LAVA around our volacanos lately!

If you are into hot mud baths...Rincon de la Vieja Volcano...check Hotel Hacienda Guachiplein...great place ..and asfe for a single female...

You can travel by Shuttle companies ...

For great Hot Springs...Volcan Arenal...not hot mud baths around Arenal sorry..

I´m a little concern about the numbers of nights...honestly you can not try to visit many places...maybe two...and sice you ask...I will do Arenal ...Rincon de la Vieja and one beach around Guanacaste...

Or Arenal and Manuel Antonio National Park for beach and wild life..

roadadvisor

Boston...
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2. Re: Good itinerary for a week long trip, single female?

Thanks for your help!!! I've been doing research but all I see are tours. For all these places you mention (Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenal, Rincon de la Vieja) do I have to book a tour to look at them? Or can I freely wander around them, and just pay the entrance or maybe entrance to some hot springs? Do you know if it's easy to use public transit to these places?

Also if possible I'd like to stay in a cheap hostel, even though that hotel sounds nice...

Basically right now I have a week of extra time and about $800 to spend so I figured I'd go on a trip to another country. I found a good $430 flight to Costa Rica, so I'm thinking if I can spend $40/night for 5 nights = $200, that gives me about $170 to play with for food and transit and stuff. I'm not looking to have a luxurious or adventurous vacation - as long as things are safe, I don't mind eating cheap food, staying in a hostel, and just wandering around volcanoes and forests and soaking in the country on my own.

Boston...
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3. Re: Good itinerary for a week long trip, single female?

Oh, and one more question...

Is there one town I could stay at that has reasonable access to a volcano, a beach, and a forest? For example, is there one place I could stay that has a short bus to Arenal and a bus to Manuel Antonio? I'd like to not have to move hostels for each tourist attraction I hit up.

Thanks!!

Playa Guiones...
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for Nosara
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4. Re: Good itinerary for a week long trip, single female?

Buses are cheap and go everywhere, but the problem is, flying into San Jose, you'd be best staying in the central valley, mid Pacific or carribean.

You need to figure out how many nights you really have outside of San Jose.

You may have to stay somewhere near the airport if you have a late arrival or early departure.

As for the best area, is your wish list above in order of perference? Meaning is seeing a volcano number one/ If so, head to Arenal for hiking, waterfall, hot springs, hanging bridges. You do not need a 'tour' for these activities.

If beach is you number one, head to either Manuel Antonio for stunning beaches and lots of wildlife, or the carribean side. You don't have to have a guide (although it helps to see things), you can just pay the park entrance fee, usually $10.

For hostels, check hostelworld.com. There are 91 hostels listed for Costa Rica and the site shows ratings and reviews for each one!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: Good itinerary for a week long trip, single female?

Dear lalava

Here you go...nice answer by Allylam...

Maybe CAribbean is waiting for you...Puerto Viejo...just 4 hours by public bus from San Jose...really affordable...and many places that will fit into your budget...

Of course for beaches and wild life...Manuel Antonio and only 3 hours by bus from SJO...many places to stay ..that will fit your budget!

roadadvisor

Boston...
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6. Re: Good itinerary for a week long trip, single female?

Oh wow thanks for your advice! You're right, I'll probably get a tour for wildlife - just wanted to hold back on a tour for the volcano or beach, just paying some entry for a hot springs is good enough for me. :-)

So I guess Arenal is the closest volcano to San Jose? I'd say probably volcano > rain forest > beach is my order of preference. One more question - would you say it's safe to wander around the volcanos/beaches on my own during the daytime?

Thanks and I will keep looking around!

Boston...
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7. Re: Good itinerary for a week long trip, single female?

Okay right now I'm tentatively thinking now of an 8-day schedule. What do you think? Anything I should try to squeeze in here?

Day 1 afternoon: Arrive in San Jose, look at markets stay in hostel in San Jose

Day 2: Go to Arenal volcano by bus, hike around volcano, stay in La Fontana

Day 3: Celeste river & Tenorio volcano hiking tour

Day 4: Relax more in Arenal. (Any suggestions here?)

Day 5: Go to Manuel Antonio by bus, look around forest

Day 6: Manuel Antonio beach

Day 7: Bus back to San Jose

Day 8 : Fly out

Also, how safe are San Antonio and Arenal? Should I just be going back to the hostel and hiding out as soon as it gets dark? I'm reading a lot of concerns about safety, which is a little scary... while I've traveled alone to East Asia, Europe, and Dubai, I have yet to encounter anything scary or dangerous.

8. Re: Good itinerary for a week long trip, single female?

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