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itinerary-2 weeks in July or 2 separate trips in Feb or Apr

Boston...
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itinerary-2 weeks in July or 2 separate trips in Feb or Apr

I'm in early stages of planning our first trip to Costa Rica for 2015. A family, the youngest will be 11, used to hiking and roadtrips, don't care about night life/restaurants or entertainment parks. Main goal will be seeing wildlife in natural environment, but we will probably include a coffee tour, a beach for a couple of days.

If it were sunny year round :), I would do this in July-Aug (two weeks trip): fly into SJO, do a 3 days/2nights trip to Tortuguero for the turtles, then spend a couple days in the Arenal area, then another couple days in Monteverde hiking the reserves, then move south to Puerto Jimenez for a 3 days/2 nights tour to Corcovado NP. Split the drive by spending a day in Uvita and the drive back in Manuel Antonio, or reverse. What I'm afraid of, even after reading quite a few trip reports about summer travel: 1. how much possible is it that in two days we won't have a chance to see Arenal volcano because of the rain? 2. bigger concern: It will be raining the whole time in Monteverde and we won't be able to see any birds. 3. To be caught in a heavy rain in the car, I understand the rain will be different than what we have here in New England.

Other options: use school vacation, go around April 20, or mid-February. That would be for one week or 8 days, and probably only for Arenal-Monteverde-Manuel Antonio(Uvita). Then some other time to Tortuguero-Corcovado. So here is the question: would you keep fingers crossed about the rain and go for July, or would you take 2 separate 1-week trips?

If the collective choice is Feb, I would have to buy plane tickets soon...

Thank you!

Slovenia
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1. Re: itinerary-2 weeks in July or 2 separate trips in Feb or Apr

July/August is really fine to travel in Costa Rica. July is a dry period in otherwise rainy (aka green) season - yet this is not like a monsoon season in SE Asia. Afternoon showers, and if really unlucky, a rainy day in south Pacific (Osa peninsula). OTOS the Caribbean is almost dry.

<<to be on the safe (and drier) side, start your trip with 2 days in Monteverde, then head to Arenal for 3 days, continue to Sarapiqui for another 3 days, 2 days at Tortuguero and 4 days in Puerto Viejo. I am sure you will enjoy some splendid weather and have great time observing wildlife and lush nature!

Boston...
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2. Re: itinerary-2 weeks in July or 2 separate trips in Feb or Apr

xelas, is your advise to stay on the Caribbean site after Arenal? So my real "rain" concern should be about Corcovado, not Monteverde if we decide to travel in summer, is that correct? I would really like to go to Corcovado. I would have to research Sarapiqui, didn't think about it yet.

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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3. Re: itinerary-2 weeks in July or 2 separate trips in Feb or Apr

Yes, my advice is to stay on the Caribbean side, and to skip Corcovado. I know is a beautiful place, yet much rainier in August. And between Sarapiqui, Tortuguero and Puerto Viejo, you will have plenty of wildlife to see.

If you are determined to go to Corcovado, then after Arenal drive to Cerro de la Muerte, then Osa peninsula (Corcovado), Uvita and back to SJO. If time allows, you can start or end with Monteverde.

Personally, in July/August I would opt for Caribbean side.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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4. Re: itinerary-2 weeks in July or 2 separate trips in Feb or Apr

Well Corcovado has a big National Park and lots of attractions inside the wildlife.

5. Re: itinerary-2 weeks in July or 2 separate trips in Feb or Apr

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