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Itinerary Help

chicago, illinois
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Itinerary Help

Me and my Gf are planning our first trip to Costa Rica in September and would like any feedback on the itinerary below. We are planning on renting a car to give us some flexibility on traveling around and seeing sights on on own. We will be there total of 11 days - >

Day 1 - Arrive San Jose around 12:00 , pick up rental car and drive to Arenal

Day 2 - Arenal

Day 3 - Arenal

Day 4 - Leave Arenal and drive to Sarapiqui, probably staying at Selve Verde

Day 5 - Sarapiqui

Day 6 - Depart to Punta Uva , at Korrigan Lodge

Day 7 - Punta Uva

Day 8 - Punta Uva

Day 9 - Punta Uva

Day 10 -Leave Punta Uva and drive to Alajuela

Day 11 - Fly home

I wasn't sure about Sarapiqui but I figured it would break up the drive from Arenal to Punta Uva. We are probably renting a house in the Nuevo Arenal area. I also figured we could use Sarapiqui to vis La Paz the day we arrive there , and then spend the second day checking out the river , doing some rafting.

For the time in Arenal area, I was looking at visiting both Tenorio and Arenal National Parks, could someone spend a full day in each of these ? Looking to do some hiking and exploring the areas.

While in Punta Uva would like to visit the the the coastal towns (manzanillo, puerto viejo, cahuita) and maybe some of the waterfalls. Relax a little and do some additional hiking in the area. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

Slovenia
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1. Re: Itinerary Help

Do stay in Sarapiqui but do not bother going to La Paz. Not only it is overpriced, there are so many better places to explore in Sarapiqui. Already Selva Verde will give you plenty of trails. Then there is La Selva OST, and Tirimbina NR were a Chocolate Tour is great.

Might be that upper part of Rio Sarapiqui is OK for rafting, lower part was very tame, and better suited for boats. Not nearly as interesting as Cano Negro or Rio Sierpe boat tours.

Tenorio - Rio Celeste is a full day excursion, while Arenal Volcano NP can be hiked in 1/2 day. Maybe start that day with early morning hike at Arenal Observatory Lodge and on the way back stop at AVNP.

Coastal towns Cahuita and Manzanillo are in reality tiny villages; exploring them would take about 45 min top. In Cahuita hike the National Park; with only one trail following the coast it is easy to do on your own. In Manzanillo, the Gandoca-Manzanillo NP is much wilder, so a guide is obligatory. Early morning wals between Punta Uva and Manzanillo is good for birding and howlers (just don?t stop under the tree with howlers on).

Edited: 17 March 2014, 09:59
Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Itinerary Help

All sounds good but I hope you realize that Nuevo Arenal is far from Arenal & the excursions and activities centered around the volcano and the town of La Fortuna. We're talking about at least a 45 minute drive into La Fortuna. Are you sure you want to be that far out? http://www.arenal.net/lake-arenal.htm

chicago, illinois
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3. Re: Itinerary Help

Xelas , thanks for the reply and the information! I think we can skip La Paz then, as far as the villages we were thinking of checking them out and walking around the various beaches each one has along with sampling some of the restaurants. We are kind of just winging this last leg of the trip and kind of go with what ever we feel like each day.

Crfan , well my thought was that it was situated nicely between AVNP and Tenorio , 45 minutes is not really a long drive as long as my assumptions are correct that we can spend a full day at the park. Then driving 45 minutes in the morning and afternoon wouldn't seem to cumbersome. I wouldn't want to drive 45 minutes each way if AVNP was only a 1 or 2 hour adventure ? It sounds like we can combine the observatory with AVNP all in one day according to Xelas ?

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Itinerary Help

AVNP is a 2 hour hike but if you also visit AOL for a hike you can make a 1/2 day of it. The La Fortuna waterfall is nowhere near AVNP trails. Hanging Bridges is just off the main road near the Arenal dam before you get to the volcano. The hot springs are past the national park entrance on the road toward La Fortuna. You really should check out the hot springs late one afternoon or evening.

5. Re: Itinerary Help

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