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Help Planning Part 1 of Trip

Ft Lauderdale, FL
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135 posts
187 reviews
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Help Planning Part 1 of Trip

Thanks to all the great feedback and amazing depth of information in this forum. I am one step closer to planning our Costa Rica trip. We will either end or begin with a stay in Uvita at the Rancho Pacifico. Lots to see and do in the area and a dive trip for my husband to Isla del Cano. Whew!

Now the hard part... I am torn for the first half of the tour. I know I want to stay two nights in Monteverde but what else? We live in Florida so we're looking for things that we can't get at home like waterfalls, monkeys and adventure. I love horseback riding. I am thinking about:

1) Poas Crater and La Paz Waterfall area - the volcano looks amazing. Will get up at 7am and hope for no clouds. What else to do in that area?

2) Rio Celeste and Tenorio National Park - Love the blue waters!

3) Montezuma - the ferry ride, the beach bungalows, the laid back remote vibe, the waterfalls. Kinda love it all

3) 3 day/2 night Pacuare tour - Or maybe just one night. Could I hook that to Poas?

Travel agent had us going over to Tortuguero. We have sea turtle nesting and the EVerglades here so...meh.

Fire away!

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Level Contributor
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1. Re: Help Planning Part 1 of Trip

The things you have chosen are pretty spread out. Tenorio and the Rio Celeste are 4.5 hours from the San Jose area, Montezuma is 5 hours from the San Jose area and 6 hours from Tenorio.

The Pacuare tour is fine - whether you do one or two nights is really up to you.

You could do the Poas/La Paz one day, the Pacuare for 3 days, on to Tenorio, Monteverde and Montezuma and from there to Uvita and then back to Alajuela for your trip home. Since you live in Ft Lauderdale and you are not interested in seeing Tortuguero because you think it's similar to the Everglades (which it's really not) then why two beaches?

If you want to do this whole itinerary, figure two weeks minimum.

This might help: www.yourtravelmap.com for distances and travel times

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Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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17,280 posts
60 reviews
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2. Re: Help Planning Part 1 of Trip

How many days are "first half"? Will you have a car or not? Which airport will you arrive and depart?

Edited: 09 March 2014, 20:00
Ft Lauderdale, FL
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135 posts
187 reviews
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3. Re: Help Planning Part 1 of Trip

The numbered items are choices. I am certainly not looking to do them all.

Hattie - I agree but that's what the travel agent gave us so I would hope that she didn't give us a bad itinerary. I thought going out to Tortuguero when Uvita was already confirmed seemed FAR. Thanks a million for the link! We wouldn't do all of these things. I would pick 3. Fair question on the beaches. Still thinking and from the sounds of it I should reconsider Tortuguero, yes? Sounds like we skip Montezume if we are doing Uvita right? Pick one beach would be your recommendation?

Xelas - am flexible on airport. We want to have a car but I imagine we would need to book through a tour operator for Tortugueros because there is a boat transfer. Same goes for the one night stay at Pacuare Lodge white water rafting. I imagine we would base out of San Jose and get a car after the "tour company" portion of our tour (which I am frankly not thrilled about. I hate being a on bus with a group of people. Same reason I dont cruise. Hate following a man with a little flag. I like to experience the country!)

Thanks all!

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Level Contributor
25,653 posts
25 reviews
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4. Re: Help Planning Part 1 of Trip

Tortuguero: No, you don't need a travel agent. You can book a shared van shuttle that includes transportation to the boat landing and the boat trip to Tortuguero. This will give you more information: www.tortuguerovillage.com It is an area of canals and rivers through a jungle and not really that similar to the Everglades. But you can do some reading and decide for yourself whether it's something you would like to do. Note that it's difficult to get there from Monteverde so bear that in mind.

And yes, pick one beach would be my recommendation. I would pick Uvita because I think of the two you mention, it is the least like Florida beaches.

You can include an overnight stay as part of your rafting the Pacuare: riostropicales.com/index.php/adventure-trave… so really no need to book a separate stay at Pacuare Lodge.

If you don't like organized tours, why are you going on one? If you can cancel it, give that some thought and just book a trip yourself. You can do it pretty easily with some help from this forum.

Flying into SJO: Arenal (with day trip to Tenorio), Monteverde, Tortuguero, Uvita -- all are good possibilities.

Flying into LIR: Rincon de la Vieja, Tenorio, Arenal, Bahia Salinas (on the Nicaraguan border) are some of the possibilities.

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Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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17,280 posts
60 reviews
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5. Re: Help Planning Part 1 of Trip

Although you have not indicated the number of days you will have, here is my suggestion: fly in SJO; get a rental car and overnight in or near Alajuela. Drive to Poas early, then La Paz, then Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. Stazy 2 nights here. Then drive to La Pavona for Tortuguero. Next stop Siquirres and rafting, same day drive to Turrialba, overnight. Next day a long one via Cartago, San Isidro de el General to Uvita. Realy for the rest of your holidays. First part can be changed according to the number of days to use and activities to do. No little flag to follow on this itinerary.

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Ft Lauderdale, FL
Level Contributor
135 posts
187 reviews
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6. Re: Help Planning Part 1 of Trip

Thank you xelas. Death to the little flags!

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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17,280 posts
60 reviews
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7. Re: Help Planning Part 1 of Trip

If you hate them, then avoid St.Marco Square in Venice in high season! Yet, from a photographic point of view, it is scenic. Almost as from Kurosawa movies.

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Marco Island
Marco Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
8. Re: Help Planning Part 1 of Trip

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