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Family trip in January-help please

San Diego...
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Family trip in January-help please

Hi there. My hubby and I (early 50s) are on our 2nd visit to CR, but we are bringing my 80+ year old parents and my sister & friend with us this time. We are not planning on going too hard, as my parents get tired. Our itineray is this:

Day 1 -everyone arriving at different times, stay at an airport hotel

Day 2 to 5-receive rental van, drive to Arenal area, stay at El Silencio del Campo for 4 nights

Day 6 & 7 Hotel Conchal (which we love!) Playa Brasalito area for 2 nights

Day8-12 Villa Kamar at Villa Kalimba in Playa Samara

Day 13 airport hotel, return van

Day 14 go home

Any suggestions for activites? Or tour companies to contact? My folks can walk about a mile, and then they're tired. They have ziplined before, and we will probably do it again on this trip.I'm thinking hanging bridges, proyecto asis, maybe zipline, and a mild river float/ rafting for Arenal. Any other suggestions?

I would love to see the turtles, either laying eggs or hatching. Ostional, perhaps? Who do I contact?

Any day trip recommendations? Especially from Samara? We can do a sunset cruise, walking the beach is always wonderful,the turtles, but what else do you recommend? I think Rincon de la Vieja is too far (isn't it??)

Can't wait to go to Costa Rica again. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!


La Fortuna de San...
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1. Re: Family trip in January-help please

For the La Fortuna area (where I live) here are my suggestions that I think will make everyone happy:

Sky Trek-they can do the gondola ride up and if they choose-zip line down OR just take the gondola back down. :-)

Hanging Bridges will be way too much for them! If you want to do a hike, the best one would be the National Park as the paths are quite flat and easy.

Proyecto Asis-absolutely! I've been volunteering there for over 3 years and it's always amazing to see the intelligence in the monkeys' eyes and the other wonderful animals there. :-)

Safari Float is a great trip and I'm sure they'll enjoy that...a little paddling but that's it. Another option is the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge...the only complaint sometimes is that it's a) a looong day and b) it's all sitting (1.5 hours in a car and then the boat and then back). You usually leave Fortuna @ 7:30am and don't return until about 4pm.

Check out the boat trips on Lake Arenal which are close and there's something for everybody-kayaks, fishing, just sitting and watching the views: http://www.VolcanoLakeAdventuresCR.com...I've gone several times and even took my family-it was great.


Edited: 27 April 2013, 15:02
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for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
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2. Re: Family trip in January-help please

We really love the Cano Negro tour that Villa mentioned; we've done it several times and have seen so much wildlife there including monkeys, caimans, sloths, and cool waterbirds. It's great for taking photos, including the stop they make at the Iguanas restaurant where there are huge iguanas in the trees. If that's too long of a day, the Penas Blancas river float is really nice, and we've seen wildlife there too, although not as much as at Cano Negro. Both Sunset Tours and Desafio are good companies to use. Sky Trek is great for ziplining. I got jerked around pretty good on that one, so not sure if 80 year olds might like something a little milder. The waterfall hike is fantastic if your folks can handle a lot of steps. The Hanging Bridges is quite long, so agree with Villa that it might be too much for them. If you go, hire a guide to up your chances of seeing wildlife. Proyecto Asis is always great.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: Family trip in January-help please

Nice itinerary...lovely idea to bring your parents...they will love our country and Silencio del Campo is a great place for all of you guys...even enjoy the Hotel Hot Springs there or go next door...any way Eco Termales and Silencio are own and run by a couple of local sisters...Mireya and Kattya...incredible kind proffesional people...friends since we were kids...many years ago...please support local people...thank you!

Maybe nice to drive with the whole group to El Silencio look out...great view of an old lava float...also the drive to LA Fortuna waterfall is a nice ride...of course not nice to even try to go down with your parents way to much for them...and can be sleepery...please do not try that with them...

The Caño Negro boat tour is a good alternative as well...nice tour to see a lot of wild life...but take in consideration that maybe way to long for them..maybe a nice ride to El CAstillo...nice road by the lake...

On the way to Conchal...if you take the Liberia way...just by Corobici river is a lovely place...with great food...Hotel Restaurant La Pacifica...and next door The Pumas Sanctuary...a real animal sanctuary...no for the explotation of poor orphan animals...I have had been stoping there maybe for about 40 years...incredible kind people run the place...the founder still around ther...great person from Switzerland...see RAFAEL the nicest rain forest jaguard you will ever seen...

Try a good casado at La PAcifica...great steaks...and the best home baked bread...but if you like to keep going...maybe El Bramadero Hotel and Restaurant grea steaks as well and the best coconut flan in Costa Rica...

The Ostional ride can be nice but I´m afraid that maybe the road condition could be a little to rough for your parents...maybe good idea is to check once in Samara since that roada can change overnight...nobody that is serious can not said the condition of that road...it can and will change any time...but if you guys can make it to Ostional...that will be one of the few places in our Pacific coast that have turtle arrivals almost in a daily basis...I was there a few days ago with Mr. Nelson Marin...director of MINAET for the Tempisque area.....and we had the chance to see a lot of turtles...

The road from Nicoya to SAmara is better than ever...just observe speed limits and driving distances....if not signs for speed limits please keep no more than 55 mph...some funny curves in that section of the road..

Also a drive to Playa CArrillo is a lovely beach and no more than 20 minutes from Samara...

Buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!


Edited: 27 April 2013, 18:46
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4. Re: Family trip in January-help please

wow , the previous post says it all !!!

try renting a medium size 4x4 and check Ostional, it is worth the drive.

Maybe cut short the trip to Arenal and check Rincon de la Vieja for 1 day, so you can enjoy the National Park and the volcanic activity.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Family trip in January-help please

Excellent advice all of you, thank you!! Luis, I'll give you my dates a little closer to time, If you're anywhere nearby, stop and say hi. I'll bring some Jimmy Buffet :) It would be fun to see you again. I think the folks would love the Cano Negro boat tour. We've done it, and that might be a great day for us to do some SUP or kayaking that the parents don't want to do. The hike to the waterfall - how steep is it? They would love that, if it's not too strenuous. I've walked the hanging bridges and don't remember it being strenuous. Is my memory bad? Or is it just too long that you're thinking it will be too much? Is it one way? I mean can they go part of the way and then turn around and walk back?

Villa thank you for the link to boating on Arenal - sounds wonderful!

We would LOVE to do Ostional and see the turtles. We'll have to find a way.

All the suggestions are so great. El Silencio lookout sounds wonderful and I appreciate the restaraunt recommendations too. I'm hesitant to stop on the way from one area to the next with a van full of luggage. Would it be safe to do that at the Puma Sanctuary?

Any other suggestions? I think we'll find we have more options than we have time, but that's why we keep coming back. Love Costa Rica!!!!

Pura Vida


6. Re: Family trip in January-help please

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