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12 Nights in Costa Rica

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12 Nights in Costa Rica

I wonder if anyone could help me decide on an itinerary for Costa Rica?

We (30s couple) have 13 nights (but will have to spend the first night somewhere near the airport due to late arrival) in early March next year. Any thoughts on my itinerary would be really, really helpful.

2 nights in La Fortuna - giving 1.5 days hopefully to see volcano, hot springs and something else?

3 nights in Monteverde - national park, zip wires, sky walks etc

3 nights somewhere on Nicosia peninsula - beach

3 nights Manuel Antonio national park - wildlife / beach?

I am assuming it is faily easy to travel between these destinations. What is key for us is to see a lot of the natural sights and do some active things but also to have a few days of relaxing / sunbathing.

Thanks for your help in advance

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1. Re: 12 Nights in Costa Rica

Sounds good...very doable itinerary! You will see plenty of nature and Nicoya and Manuel have great beaches to relax. If you haven’t booked your hotels yet I would recommend Nayara in Arenal (Amazing) and depending on what you are looking for Costa Verde in Manuel Antonio (decent price all around good hotel). Have fun... Pura Vida!

La Fortuna de San...
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2. Re: 12 Nights in Costa Rica

Looks like you've done your homework. If it were my trip, I would make a couple slight changes. The first would be 3 nights in Arenal and 2 in Monteverde as there is more to do in Arenal. I would also change the order to starting on the Nicoya Peninsula, then Monteverde, Arenal and end in Manuel Antonio. This would break up your beach time and allow you to start and end at a slower pace. Samara and Montezuma are great beach towns on the Nicoya Peninsula with plenty of activities if you choose to partake.

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3. Re: 12 Nights in Costa Rica

What do you mean by "easy" If you mean quick, then no. That makes 5 destinations with San Jose. Doable, but not for a relaxing type vacation IMO. You may want to cut out one of your destinations. Your current route will have you on the road for 20+ hours. If that isn't a big deal to you then you will be fine. I also find checking into and out of hotels to be time consuming. Travel days are not my favorite, some people don't mind them. Half your trip is travel days.

Telluride, CO
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4. Re: 12 Nights in Costa Rica

This itinerary looks pretty good. You will do a lot of traveling between some of these destinations, for example, La Fortuna - Montever is about 4 hours on a good day by car, throw a public bus into the mix and you are sitting for a little longer. I would suggest looking at Interbus, they are a shared shuttle transfer company which stops at a lot of places.

Lots of people break up their trips with multiple destinations, if you want to be on the go then by all means this is a perfect itinerary. If it were me I would do 3 nights La Fortuna and 2 Monteverde. La Fortuna is a pretty awesome place, with a lot to do. It also is a primary and seconday rainforst so you get a much more diverse range of animals that habit that area.

Consider starting somewhere in the Nicoya like explorinCA said. The first day will be a really long day, I would recommed maybe a private transfer that day (if you have the budget for it), but in the end spending $300 or so bucks(depending where you are going) might be worth it. It comes down to what is your time really worth on vacation. 6 hours versus 10 hours. I think if you work it backwards it will flow a little easier for you. Or even starting in Manuel Antonio and ending in the Nicoya would be good.

Hope this helps!

Santa Teresa, Costa...
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5. Re: 12 Nights in Costa Rica

I think your itinerary is fine....only spend more time in Arenal if you want to spend more money (I find it is more expensive for the activities in relation to the other places you want to visit), and I would spend only 2 nights in Monteverde, unless you like doing a lot of hikes.

You can do the boat trip across Lake Arenal to get to Monteverde to save a bit of traveling...(you did not mention your mode of transportation).

If you are going to the Nicoya Peninsula, consider staying in Montezuma and then catch the boat-taxi across to Jaco to get to Manuel Antonio. Much of what you can do for activities (zip-lines, butterfly farms) are available at all of these destinations....only the hot springs are available in the La Fortuna area.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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6. Re: 12 Nights in Costa Rica

I love your itinerary...very complete and nice...GO FOR IT!


7. Re: 12 Nights in Costa Rica

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