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Planning a trip Sept 8-17. HELP!

Pittsburgh...
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Planning a trip Sept 8-17. HELP!

Hi,

I know there are a million forms on here that I could probably get all of this info, but I just figured I would go the direct route and ask!

My boyfriend and I are planning to visit costa rica from Sept. 8-17th with his sister and her husband. While his brother in law would prefer to just go to one place and stay on the beach all week I would like to see it all! I am hoping that if I plan well enough I could persuade him.

I was thinking that we could fly into San Jose and head to Arenal region for a while- should we rent a car or get a shuttle? I know there is a lot to do there: explore the volcano, zip line, cloud forest, canopy tours, waterfalls... sounds great! I thought while we are there we should probably rent a car to get around. How many days do you think we need to stay here to see all of this stuff? Can you recommend locations/tours we should see while we are here? Any other tips??

Then, we want to head to a beach- any beach with crystal blue waters will do! We were thinking we should head to the Caribbean side since it is the rainy season and we don't want to be rained out. So here is the big question- where should we go? And how should we get here? Is the rain very bad on the Caribbean side in mid September? While at the beach we would love to snorkel, so somewhere that has good snorkeling is a plus. Anything else we can do/ shouldn't miss close to the beach?

I would appreciate ANY advice at all!!!

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1. Re: Planning a trip Sept 8-17. HELP!

This is relevant to my interests.

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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2. Re: Planning a trip Sept 8-17. HELP!

The two locations you have mentioned would just fit the bill. Firstly, rent a car. For a group of 4 that would be the best solution. Arenal is good for 3 full days. you have already listed all the activities there. Caribbean side, Puerto Viejo, for the rest of your holidays. Nice beaches around Punta Uva and in Manzanillo. For more wildlife Cahuita and Gandoca-Manzanillo. Snorkeling is good in Cahuita (off-boat with guide only), Punta Uva and far end of Manzanillo (off-beach). However even in dry season snorkeling in Costa Rica is not one of country's highlights.

Puerto Viejo de...
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3. Re: Planning a trip Sept 8-17. HELP!

The Caribbean side is NOT in rainy season in September. We have a different weather pattern than the rest of the country. And actually September is one of the most beautiful months of the whole year. I would suggest skipping Arenal and just taking the private shuttle Interbus out here. There is SO MUCH to do. Find a nice place to stay near the beach, stay put and relax rather than trying to go go go all the time and stay in various different places. Then you can swim, snorkel, dive, fish, go boating, horseback riding, zip line, hike to waterfalls, eat good Caribbean food, hear great live music and really enjoy yourselves in one place. That's my advice.

Grecia, Costa Rica
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4. Re: Planning a trip Sept 8-17. HELP!

September is about the best time to visit the Carib side. The weather should be pretty good for you in Arenal and up and down the Caribbean coast. Check out Banana Azul - http://www.bananaazul.com/ awesome little hotel over that way.

Renting a car is the best way to go IMO. You have the freedom to move around as much as you want, great way to see more while you are here. Have a blast.

Cheers

Puerto Viejo de...
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5. Re: Planning a trip Sept 8-17. HELP!

Agree with most of what has been said before and think that all four would enjoy Arenal for 3 nights before heading to Puerto Viejo. I am very much a car person and think the freedom it gives ways up to the costs. This destination is basically a stretch of about 16 kms between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo, where the road ends and there are several great beaches to explore and restaurants to be found. We have had guests staying for a week and wanting to come back because they had not seen everything and not done all there is to do.

And yes, September and October are generally great months here!

www.puertoviejosatellite.com is a good site to see what accommodation is available (from renting a hammock to luxury) and what there is to do.

Edited: 21 May 2012, 18:42
San Jose, Costa Rica
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6. Re: Planning a trip Sept 8-17. HELP!

The Arenal Volcano and the Caribbean beaches would be a nice combination. It is a 6 hour drive from Arenal to the Caribbean beaches. Check the Puerto Viejo Limon Area in the Caribbean. Do not expect deluxe hotels in the Caribbean area of Costa Rica.

Puerto Viejo de...
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7. Re: Planning a trip Sept 8-17. HELP!

Altough the luxury side is limited on the Caribbean side, there is Hotel Le Cameleon and there are other options beside hotels.

Cahuita, Costa Rica
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8. Re: Planning a trip Sept 8-17. HELP!

September is usually the best month of the year to bve on the Caribbean coast, as the sea is very calm, the skies are blue and there are almost no other tourists. Cahuita has much to offer with the coral reefs in the National Park a real treat if you want to snorkel. The beaches in the National Park are golden but the black sand beaches are volcanic and glitter so don't be put off by the name.

While you won't find teh Hilton in Cahuita, there are plenty of very high quality hotels and Band Bs or houses to rent. You can expect to find a swimming pool and other facilities but most hotels are small family run affairs and so provide a more friendly atmosphere than a big chain. The Caribbean coast is far less developed than the Pacific and that has to be good!!!

The bus service is regular, the shuttle will take you door to door but has less trips daily, car hire would obviously give you much more freedom to go where you want when you want.

A waterfall trip is Bri Bri is great and white water rafting is cool too.

Hope you have some good ideas from everyone to start planning your Costa Rican adventure!

guanacaste
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9. Re: Planning a trip Sept 8-17. HELP!

The caribbean has a better chance , so look into puerto viejo and tortuguero,

now if you consider the Pacific, think of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, which is active and is easy to explore, plus there is a lot of adventure options on the area, waterfalls and more. As for a nice beach nearby, Flamingo could be an option. White sand , nice views. You could try to fly in/out of Liberia if that is the option that you choose.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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10. Re: Planning a trip Sept 8-17. HELP!

Great idea,,,Arenal at the Caribbean side plus a visit to some of the great beaches ...September is summer at Caribbean from Arenal is about 5 hours drive nice road all the way!

Rent a car and hit the road...!!

roadadvisor

Edited: 24 May 2012, 02:36