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What to do on way to Samara

Pleasanton...
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What to do on way to Samara

My family of 5 (kids ages 5, 8,10) is flying into Liberia at the beginning of June, and heading to Samara for 2 months. We are thinking about taking a couple days to see some other sites "on the way". We actually don't mind taking a detour, and thought about heading toward La Fortuna. What would you do for a couple days in northern costa rica with 3 young kids? We will have plenty of beach time, but if there is an awesome beach we should check out we are open. Some hot springs might be fun. Obviously they might enjoy seeing the volcano (for about 3 seconds). . The kids spent 6 weeks in samara a couple years ago, but didn't see any other areas. My husband and I went to Arenal/La Fortuna, La Paz, Monteverde, and Montezuma on our first trip. Open to any and all suggestions....

Thanks!

La Fortuna de San...
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1. Re: What to do on way to Samara

There really is nothing directly on the way worth staying overnight. Arenal seems like the obvious choice as there are the hot springs you expressed interest in and then all of the activities for your family. Any way you look at it, the volcano is a fascinating back drop for your adventures.

Monteverde is a fun area for a couple days. You have the cloud forests, canopy and birdwatching.

If you are open to another beach area, Manuel Antonio has it all for families. There are plenty of activities available, loads of wildlife and beautiful beaches. Hacienda Baru is located a little south of Manuel Antonio and is a great place for families seeking wildlife and family friendly activities. If you went to either of these areas, you could take the ferry from Puntarenas to Naranjo and then continue on to Samara.

Rincon de la Vieja would be another possibility. The only potential problem is your 5 year old may be too young for most activities there. I would check with Hacienda Guachipelin for age restrictions before going if you are interested in the area.

Nowhere
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2. Re: What to do on way to Samara

ataylor - Arenal is out of the way but well worth it. If you don't want to make such a big detour, I'd probably spend a few nights at Hacienda Guachipelin at Rincon de la Vieja. I can't remember if you've been, but if you haven't, it's a great spot for the kids, too, since they offer tons of different activities for a variety of ages.

I think two nights would do it so that you can dedicate one day to the National Park and the other perhaps enjoying the activities at the hotel.

Then, the morning that you are leaving for Samara, perhaps you could stop at Llanas de Cortez for a few hours. It's only a brief detour from Liberia but I am sure the kids would like it.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: What to do on way to Samara

Arenal would be a great area as there is so much to see and enjoy. Another option that you might t o consider and a lot closer to Liberia is the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano area. You can find hot springs there and many activities like hikes, horseback riding to waterfalls etc.

Pleasanton...
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4. Re: What to do on way to Samara

Thanks everyone. Right after I posted this I started to look into Rincon de la Vieja. It looks like to do anything you need a guided adventure? When they charge pp, it ends up being like $150 for us to do a waterfall hike. Can we not do any hikes to waterfalls on our own?

I think the 5 year old (actually he doesn't turn 5 until the end of June) is too young for the tubing, long hikes, etc. but some small hikes he could do.

Are there any self guided tours/hikes in the park?

Pleasanton...
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5. Re: What to do on way to Samara

Just looked up Llanos de Cortez, that sounds exactly like I am looking for. The only problem I foresee is having a car full of all our stuff that we won't want to leave unattended. We would probably have to stay overnight somewhere nearby so that we can explore without our luggage. Are these waterfalls right by Liberia? Or is there another town worth staying in?

Nowhere
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6. Re: What to do on way to Samara

Hacienda Guachipelin has several waterfalls - you can go to quite a few on your own and it's free to do so. At least I have never been charged and nobody has ever bothered to ask me for anything when I went.

You also do not have to purchase individual guided trips but can opt for a day pass - they run $85 adult, $75 kids, but you can do as many activities as you'd like.

Another option is to simply visit the National Park - there's a fairly short hike, although it could be too long for your youngest one. You do not need a guide for this hike. It's interesting and quite beautiful. There are also a few inexpensive hotels in the area - although I have absolutely no recollection of their names.

If you simply want to go to Llanos de Cortez, the closest town would be Liberia but I would not stay there. Frankly, you'd be better off just going to a near-by beach town such as Hermosa or even Coco (although I don't like the beach in Coco).

Pleasanton...
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7. Re: What to do on way to Samara

Thanks Framptonian. always a wealth of information.

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: What to do on way to Samara

If your kids are into animals at all you could spend an hour or two at Las Pumas rescue center: http://www.laspumas.net/ It's in Cañas. Not what you were looking for as far as a 2 day detour, but might be of interest for a short stop along the way.

guanacaste
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9. Re: What to do on way to Samara

I would recommend to see other areas on the way. Costa Rica is about many different climates and different wildlife zones.

Arenal , Monteverde, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, and even a turtle refuge close to Samara.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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10. Re: What to do on way to Samara

You are defenetely missing Rincón de la Vieja area, you have seen many other areas, and here you will get the chance to experience beautiful waterfalls, witness the avtivity of the active volcano, do the tubbing down the river, canopy following the canyon of a river, open air serpentarium, great for the kids, all in one place. Your kids will thank you forever, so much fun.