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Beach recommendations

Denver, Colorado
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Beach recommendations

Our family of 3 adults (ages 56, 56, and 21) will be spending 9 nights in January. The first portion of our stay will be near La Fortuna for the Arenal Volcano hike, Cano Negro Wildlife Tour, hanging bridges, and zip lines. After that, we'd like to relax on a beach. Would you suggest the Guanacaste area (if so, which resorts) or the Manual Antonio are (again, which resorts)? Also, we have our plane reservations, but nothing else. We're somewhat nervous about getting from place to place. Would you recommend making bus and plane reservations in advance (from here)? Are "package deals" through a travel agency much more expensive than making reservations on your own? Thanks! Maureen and Family

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3,091 posts
46 reviews
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1. Re: Beach recommendations

If you are renting, driving is OK, drive during the day from place to place and around the towns that you will be staying driving at night is perfectly OK.

Guanacaste, AI Hilton or Westin. or regular hotels, like Flamingo Beach, Bosque del Mar, Capitan Suizo or Cala Luna.

In Manuel Antonio, Parador is the best option.

If you want transportation, Ecotrans or Tucanlimo can assist you.

Enjoy costa Rica.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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8,833 posts
24 reviews
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2. Re: Beach recommendations

1. Package deals through a travel agent are usually the same price as making reservations directly yourself. The hotel simply pays a commission to the travel agent.

2.Whether you should look at northern Guancaste beaches or central Pacific beaches depends on 2 things: Do you need and all-inclusive and what airport are you flying home from? If flying out of Liberia, you want to find your perfect Guancaste beach as most are within an hour of the airport. If you want an all-inclusive you are much better off flying out of Liberia to avoid the long drive back to SJO. The Westin Playa Conchal is the best of the AIs but its pricey.

If flying out of San Jose you can save hours on the road by looking at central Pacific beaches - Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and Uvita from north to south. Jaco is the closest to SJO and it's a great surfing beach but it's gray sand and not as scenic as beaches further south. The Los Suenos Mariott is a great resort just north of Jaco but it doesn't have a good beach. Manuel Antonio has a beautiful calm beach inside the national park and a great public beach right outside the park entrance with bigger waves. There are lots of lodging options in this area at all price points but few are beachfront - most are on the ridge road overlooking the coastline. Arenas del Mar and Tulemar/Buena Vista Villas have direct beach access if you hike down their hillsides. Si Como No is a great choice on the ridge road. This area is heavily touristed so there's lots to do but also a lot of tourists. It's a 3 hour drive from San Jose. If you want to get away from the crowds head 1 hour south to Dominical/Uvita with spectacular beaches, many good for surfing, and the Marino Ballena National park with swimmable beaches. Great lodging options in Dominical and Uvita but they're not "resorts" and most are located in the hills overlooking the ocean. Need a 4WD rental car to enjoy Dominical and Uvita.

3. To get around you have 3 options: rent a car and drive yourself, hire a private driver (lots of recommendations if you do a search on this forum) or use 1 of the shared shuttle services like interbus or grayline. With shared shuttle services you should book in advance before you arrive in Costa Rica. You could also mix it up and hire a private driver to take you to Arenal, sue taxis while there and then use s shared shuttle services for transport to the beach. Its all up to you.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,011 posts
32 reviews
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3. Re: Beach recommendations

GUanacaste resorts...Westin Playa Conchal...Hotel Tamarindo Diria...how much are you willing to pay per night?

Manuel Antonio...Si Como No...Mariposa...El Parador...SUU...Los Altos...same question ...how much are you willing to pay??


4. Re: Beach recommendations

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