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Crete, Greece
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I am researching Costa Rica for a holiday early next year.can someone tell me what is the best area to stay out of these please

1) uvita

2) playa naranjo

3) atenas

4) Manuel antonio

We will have a car hire so no problem about getting around

Would really appreciate anyone's comments.

Thanks in advance

Edited: 22 January 2013, 19:42
Brooklyn, New York
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for Sarapiqui
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1. Re: Help

Depends on what you want to explore. I would cross Playa Naranjo off the list (known for its proximity to the ferry, which isn't a good thing).

Uvita has the ocean, whereas Atenas is inland but offers a jumping off point to explore either Arenal or Manuel Antonio.

Crete, Greece
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2. Re: Help

Many thanks.

I have found nice villas in all of these areas the most expensive being playa naranjo!!!

We will spend time on beaches,do some organized tours maybe a bit of diving.we will drive all over I'm sure because we like to explore.

Any more ideas after all that? :)

Thank you

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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3. Re: Help

Uvita is a great area to visit, convenient to beautiful beaches, rainforest and wildlife but a 4-5 hour drive from San Jose. You will need a 4WD to explore this area which is very spread out and hilly. Most visitors don't make it here on a 1st trip but it is a beautiful area - just off the main tourist route.

Manuel Antonio is roughly 75 minutes north of Uvita and is the most visited beach destination in Costa Rica or maybe it's the most visited national park in Costa Rica. Lots to see and do in this area with a beautiful beach inside the park and another great public beach right outside the park entrance. Tons of activities and restaurants in this area.

Atenas is a beautiful area west of the airport, very hilly and quiet. A few good restaurants but not really a tourist destination. You could use it as a base to visit MA or Arenal but both are really far for daytrips. I would only suggest using Atenas as a base if you were spending 3+ weeks in Costa Rica and wanted a "home base" to come back to after overnights in other corners of the country.

Everything in Costa Rica is really spread out so most visitors don't try to pick a single base as they would then spend 1/2 their time in the car on daytrips. Much better to assume you will travel around spending a few days in each destination (or a week or more if you prefer).

Punta Uva, Costa...
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for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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4. Re: Help

How long do you plan to stay in Costa Rica? You might want to consider Arenal/La Fortuna area and Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side of the country.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: Help

Uvita is a beautiful and quiet place, the nature is great, it has very nice beaches aswell. You have the chance to see whales during a tour right off the coast (during whale season) and from Uvita you could also easily go to Corcovado or visit Cano Island where you can go diving.

I personally don't like Manuel Antonio too much because it is very crowded.

Crete, Greece
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6. Re: Help

Hello all and thank you for your replies.we will probably do at least two weeks.I thought maybe a week in each place rather than two weeks in the same place.

Adrenatura iim bussing I can see whales jan/feb time? Is Feb the best month to visit?

I'm thinking uvita for one week and undecided about the other week

And do I need a 4 x 4 or just a bigger more powerful car?

Thank you all again

Edited: 23 January 2013, 01:47
San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: Help

Yes, there are 2 whale-seasons during the year. One is from July to October and the other one from December to March. This is because the whales (mostly humpback whales can be seen in this region) migrate from the Arctics to the warm tropical waters at that time.

An unforgettable experience!! The tours that are offered in Uvita are with small boats in the Marina Ballena National Park. You do not only get to see whales and dolphins but will see some beautiful places along the coast and have the chance to go snorkeling during the tour. February is a great time to visit, the whales can be seen, it is the dry season but - its also high season.

When we drive through Costa Rica with our guests we usually rent regular cars, no 4x4. But if you are planning to visit places a little bit off the regular roads it can be very useful and more comfortable to drive 4x4.

I think its a good idea not to spend the whole time in just one place.

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