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Travelling with a 4 yr old....1st timer

Houston
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Travelling with a 4 yr old....1st timer

Hello everyone, I've been lurking the boards in the last couple of months trying to get information. We are travelling to Costa Rica March 1-9 and would like some travel advice. The plan is to fly into SJO and out of LIR as we would like to spend a couple of relaxing days at the JW Marriott.(special rate). Ideally, we would like to spend 2 days in SJO, 2 in the Lake Arenal area and 2 in the Hot Springs Area. We are considering staying at a Tree House Hotel for 2 nights so that our daughter can get a unique experience and the Marriott San Jose (special rate). Please recommend places to stay in the Arenal/Baldi/Tabacon area - we are open to staying at local gems. Nothing overly expensive - $100 max per night. Do you recommend that we rent a car to drive to Guanacaste? If not what other modes of transportation are available and how long would it take. I am having a hard time mapping the distances so would appreciate if someone can Map out an Itinerary for me. Thanks so much!!

Costa Rica
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1. Re: Travelling with a 4 yr old....1st timer

For distances - www.yourtravelmap.com

Here's a good map of the Arenal area www.arenal.net/arenal-costa-rica-map.htm Also check www.arenal.net for lodging options in the area.

A popular form of transportation is the shared van shuttle which provides hotel to hotel transfers for an average of $40 per person. Check with www.shuttlebus.co.cr or www.anywherecostarica.com or www.interbusonline.com You might also take a look at Costa Rica Shuttle.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Travelling with a 4 yr old....1st timer

I recommend that you rent a car because it will give you a lot more freedom especially with that 4 year old along.

For Arenal I would reconsider the Tree House Hotel with a child that young. From the photos it looks like the railings are not really designed to protect young children who could easily slip under or through. Their website notes: "Always keep in mind that they are unusual buildings, high off the ground so care should be exercised especially with children". I also think your vacation would be much more enjoyable if you didn't change hotels every 2 nites. Suggest you consider a hotel closer to Arenal/La Fortuna for your time there or subsitute Leaves and Lizrards for the Tree House Hotel given the age of your child. You can check out www.arenal.net to see what suits you best, but my favorites in that price range are Arenal Green with woodsy interiors in cabins with patios and volcano views for $85/nite but no pool, Arenal Paraiso with rooms from $89 plus a pool and small hot springs onsite or check out Arenal Oasis (which I haven't seen but sounds like a good fit) with bungalows for $82 in a quiet location not far from La Fortuna or the volcano. Read tripadvisor reviews for the last which provide more detail than the hotel's website.

Houston
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3. Re: Travelling with a 4 yr old....1st timer

Thanks for your recommendations. I really like the other hotel suggestions and you are correct about the Tree House safety issues. Can you tell me if the drive to Guanacaste and a stay at the JW is worth it? Like I said we will get a special rate for staying there, but I am wondering if there is anything nearby that is worth the 3-4 hr drive and open jaw flight. I would love to spend a day in SJO - any hotel recommendations that are in the heart of everything? I've head El Presidente is nice. Thanks!

Houston
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4. Re: Travelling with a 4 yr old....1st timer

Thanks for the maps and travel links!! $40 is alot of one bus trip - a car might be more economical. Can rentals be picked up at one location and dropped off at another, for example, pick up in SJO and drop off at Liberia airport?

Uvita, Costa Rica
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5. Re: Travelling with a 4 yr old....1st timer

Car renals can be picked up at one location and droped at another, there isw normaly a charge, however some companies do not charge you extra if you rent for a week or more.

6. Re: Travelling with a 4 yr old....1st timer

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