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1st time in Costa Rica, would like some help?

Minnesota
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221 posts
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1st time in Costa Rica, would like some help?

Hello,

I normally prefer all-inclusive on vacations and realize Costa Rica may not be the best place to do an all-inclusive. I am looking at Riu Guanacaste, Barcelo Playa Langosta or Allegra Papagayo by Occidental and if I chose one of these all inclusive, which of these will be closest to the normal tourist sights? And if I did chose one of these all inclusives, will they have tours that I can book once I am there to see the volcano area, the hanging bridges & zipline tours & mud tours etc. ? Or are they all pretty far away & not have the all-inclusive worth it being we will be traveling to and from each tour we book? Or is a car rental and explore on our own the route to go? If somebody can give me an itinerary of places to stay like bed & breakfasts or to rental places for 10 nights and break it down into 3 nights in each of the tourist areas I would appreciate it, being I have never been, I am kinda clueless! Thank you... Sparky

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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1. Re: 1st time in Costa Rica, would like some help?

Of your 3 choices the Barcelo Playa Langosta is less isolated than the other 2 and closer to most activities including the town of Tamarindo for nightlife. Excursions from there should be less expensive if you check out the many tour operators in Tamarindo for the best deals.

The problem with picking one AI spot on the beach is that it means daytrips to enjoy adventure, wildlife and volcanoes tend to involve a lot of time in a car and Arenal and Monteverde are really to far away to make much sense as daytrips (4 hours each way).

If you have 10 nights I would suggest you consider a split with 3 nights Arenal, 3 nights Monteverde and 4 nights at a beach spot. In Arenal you can check out the volcano, hot springs, waterfall hike, whitewater rafting, hanging bridges, canyoning and more. In Monteverde you can check out wildlife in the cloudforest reserves and enjoy some of the best ziplines in the country.

If you fly into/out of Liberia take a look at northern Guanacaste beaches: Playa Hermosa, Brasilito and Flamingo.

If you fly into/out of San Jose take a look at Manuel Antonio. Depending on your flight arrival and departure times you may need to spend the 1st or last nite near the airport.

Once you pick destinations it is very easy to select hotels or B&Bs in each location using tripadvisor reviews for that destination.

Good luck planning.

Minnesota
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221 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: 1st time in Costa Rica, would like some help?

Thanks CRfan! :)

I will research into the split you recommended as that sounds like a better option! Thank you :) Sparky

Ottawa, Canada
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22 posts
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3. Re: 1st time in Costa Rica, would like some help?

I concur, having stayed at the Riu Guanacaste. It is a bit more isolated than some of the other resorts - however, we had no problem finding excursions that we wanted to do. They run day trips to the Palo Verde National Park, where you go on a boat and see all sorts of wildlife - we saw monkeys, crocodiles, jabiru storks (of which there are only around 30 left) and a scarlet macaw. There's also a day trip to Nicaragua, which I've heard good reports about. And we saw a rodeo - Guanacaste is cattle-ranching country. Most of the more typical CR excursions are more easily accessed from other locations though. For our next trip we're planning a split vacation as well, along the lines of crfan's suggestions.

The extra time spent getting to CR is well worth it. Enjoy! :-)

Minnesota
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221 posts
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4. Re: 1st time in Costa Rica, would like some help?

Regarding the Barcelona playa langosta, is their a

Iink that shows what type of excursions that are available from here and prices?

Also, I've read a car rental is basically the same price as a hired, is that also true?

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,225 posts
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5. Re: 1st time in Costa Rica, would like some help?

For Palo Verde you can conatc direct the tour operator...you will save about 40% you need to have a car....

info@paloverdeboattours.com

roadadvisor

6. Re: 1st time in Costa Rica, would like some help?

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