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1st timeTrip to Costa Rica for Xmas 12/20-1/1/13

San Francisco...
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1st timeTrip to Costa Rica for Xmas 12/20-1/1/13

My husband and I will be traveling with our 24 yr old daughter for Xmas. We have never been to CR and wondering how we should spend our time including the best sites. We have a budget of about 4,000 dollars for the three of us. We would like recommendations for clean nice hotels and are considering all inclusive hotels. Should we rent a car? We currently live in the San Francisco Bay and also have a home in Southern California. We dont spend alot of time at the beach so beaches are not a priority. We are trying to have the trip planned by the end of this month (9/13) as Xmas is just around the corner. Should we consider a specific airport? Is there a tour guide agency we should contact. Please Help. Thank You

Slovenia
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1. Re: 1st timeTrip to Costa Rica for Xmas 12/20-1/1/13

First about budget: 4000 US$ for 3 persons for 3 weeks should be OK for lodging, food, car and gas; but then there are all paid activities. Entry to any national park is 10 US$ pp. A guide is about 25 US$ per hour. Etc.

Costa Rica has only a handful of AI resorts, and also these are located on the northern Pacific coast, far away from most attractions. Luckily, organizing and booking accommodations in Costa Rica is easy and safe, thus you could save on tour agency fees.

With 3 weeks and a car, you will be able to explore most of nature and wildlife of Costa Rica. San Jose (SJO) airport is best arrival/departure point. Sarapiqui, Tortuguero and Puerto Viejo on Caribbean side. Manuel Antonio, Dominical/Uvita and Puerto Jimenez on Pacific side. And Cerro de la Muerte, Monteverde, Arenal and Central Valley in between, are locations to be considered.

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2. Re: 1st timeTrip to Costa Rica for Xmas 12/20-1/1/13

Thank You so much for the information. Would you recommend any hotels?

Newport Beach...
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3. Re: 1st timeTrip to Costa Rica for Xmas 12/20-1/1/13

La Mariposa in Manuel Antionio - rooms 8 9 10 it has a great pool good location and best viewa. Hotel Presidente if you spend a night downtown San Jose and La Esquina Buenos Aires restaurant you need reservations.

In Arenal Tabacon Springs and Hotel Daria if you go to Tamarindo

Temecula, CA
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4. Re: 1st timeTrip to Costa Rica for Xmas 12/20-1/1/13

We are there from 12/15 to 12/24. We will be at the hotel arenal for 4 nights then fly to ma to stay at the Gaia. We are using ado nay to book everything.

JENSEN BEACH
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5. Re: 1st timeTrip to Costa Rica for Xmas 12/20-1/1/13

We are going to be there at the same time. Looks like you have 12 nights? We have 14. We will go directly from SJO to La Fortuna/Nuevo Arenal. You truly need to book NOW. Every resort area hotel will be full those weeks. We'll drive to Quepos/Manuel Antonio and then spend a week over New Years between Dominical/Uvita. In 12/20 and fly home from SJO 1/3. We got one of the last 4x4 rental vehicles avail from Vamos Rental Car last week. I wanted a larger vehicle than was avail but procrastinated thinking I had time. At least get your vehicle rental confirmed asap. Hotels we considered and or booked: Silencio Del Campo, Villa Decary, Las Posada (right next to Natl park at Manuel Antonio), Mykanda, Villas Alturas, Tiki Villas. Endless lodging options once you decide on your destinations. We like to have a kitchenette. With your adult daughter you might consider options on VRBO.com. Great private places providing more space than a hotel. usually 2+ bedrooms and baths, kitchen, patio etc. Have used the site many times! A private apt/home for less $ generally than hotels with amenities still very nearby.

jv we have friends who stayed at Gaia last week. Raving about the views, food and staff! Enjoy

Edited: 12 September 2013, 14:25
nebraska
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6. Re: 1st timeTrip to Costa Rica for Xmas 12/20-1/1/13

Since you are going at one of the 2 busiest times (Christmas/ Easter) I would suggest you check hotel availability in a couple of areas first and then work you plans around what is available.

Xelas has good advice on locations to check out.

7. Re: 1st timeTrip to Costa Rica for Xmas 12/20-1/1/13

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