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First Time Couple Trip to Costa Rica March 2015

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First Time Couple Trip to Costa Rica March 2015

Hello all,

I am here asking for advice on the following:

1. Places to visit based on information below

2. Places to stay at based on information below

3. Tour company vs. independent based on information below

Trip goals / information

1. My boyfriend and I (I am a Venezuelan American who speaks Spanish fluently) are in our late 20s / early 30s

2. Budget per person: $1500 including plane tickets, hotel, meals, etc

3. Interests: beaches, authentic Costa Rican experience (not Americanized i.e. going to sodas vs. American restaurants), parasailing, hiking, seeing wildlife, seeing a volcano, waterfall, hot springs

4. Cities: we are pretty open so long we can experience what we are interested in in just 7 days (may seem like a lot, I know..)

5. We like doing things on our own, want to relax but also do some exploring, we love the outdoors, and I do speak Spanish fluently so that shouldn't be a problem

6. We won't be there for Easter weekend incase you're wondering... I know it falls in March

Please be specific and any details / links will help.. list of budget but tasty Costa Rican restaurants, we aren't picky about where we stay if we can enjoy the Costa Rican beauty (i.e. we don't need a TV in our room, although warm water would be nice).

Thank you for your help!

philadelphia, pa...
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1. Re: First Time Couple Trip to Costa Rica March 2015

Not sure where you are flying into CR from - plane fare can eat up a lot of the $1500 budget.

We have been to CR 4 times and we are going for our 5th time in March 2015 also. Last time we went to Dominical, Uvita and Osa peninsula - hotel was in Dominical (we stayed in the Cuna del Angel hotel using luxurylink.com - nice hotels with some nice deals - we used them to stay in the Cuna del Angel hotel in Dominical - very nice) and if you have a rental car it was easy to drive to Manuel Antonio - lots of tourists but it is worth a day visit. That area was a bit less expensive than some other areas on the Pacific coast. This trip we are doing in March is to southern Nicoya and we also rented a house further up the coast in Playa Portero. Domestic flights and car rentals in CR can be pricey. Can not really help with specific hotels at budget prices but there is lots of info on this forum so search around. Beach towns like Tamarindo and Jaco will be more expensive as they get lots of tourists and they would probably be considered more Americanized. South Nicoya has some nice little beach towns - Santa Teresa, Montezuma and a bit further up is Samara. Hope this gives you a place to start your search

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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61 reviews
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2. Re: First Time Couple Trip to Costa Rica March 2015

7 days are really short to get anything but just the brief experience of Tico life. You should concentrate on 2 locations only. With volcano, waterfall and hot springs, Arenal should be one. More authentic and less expensive yet no parasailing or other motorized waterspouts you will find in Puerto Viejo. Or go to Manuel Antonio. Lot of activities but also lot of tourists.

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3. Re: First Time Couple Trip to Costa Rica March 2015

We are flying either from Charlottesville or Richmond VA- whichever price we find cheapest.

Thanks for all the info!

Edited: 20 June 2014, 21:09
Grecia, Costa Rica
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for Province of Alajuela
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4. Re: First Time Couple Trip to Costa Rica March 2015

I think Uvita would get my vote for the beach portion. That or something in the Puerto Viejo area to stay off the more traveled areas. Agree with Xelas that Arenal should be in the mix. There are hotels in each area to suit different budgets. You can search the TA reviews on hotels and see what folks are saying.

As far as planning on your own or going through a company I do a bit of both in my travels. All my most successful trips have been a mix of planning myself and using local companies. Costa Rica is easy to plan on your own but there are also some great agencies here in C.R. If you use a company make sure they do not charge for the service, should be free IMO and most are. Here are some good ones I like here.

Horizontes – http://www.horizontes.com/eng/ - Very green company, offers packages, involved with community programs, good company & good folks

Crreferals – http://www.crreferrals.com/ - Good for custom planning, has packages, involved with animal rescue, good company & good folks

Actuar - www.actuarcostarica.com/app/cms/www/index.php Off the beaten path rural tourism, involved with community programs, good company, good folks.

Costa Rica Birding Journeys - http://www.costaricabirdingjourneys.org/ - Specializes in guided birding excursions. Great guides, very knowledgeable, good folks

You can get some ideas of distances here http://yourtravelmap.com/

Bus schedules if you take public transport thebusschedule.com/cr/index.php#.U6SUOLFDr6U

good luck, ask any specific questions you have here in the forum and you will get more insights.

Cahuita, Costa Rica
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for Cahuita
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5. Re: First Time Couple Trip to Costa Rica March 2015

Wow, Incabod! I thought I would have something to contribute but I am guessing that you have enough to work with right there Sirena. You can do Costa Rica cheaply. Eat like a local and you will save a small fortune. You may find the Caribbean coast cheaper than the Pacific and more authentic in that it is less developed. You can find double rooms for $20 to $25 nightly in Cahuita with warm water and a decent bed. Skip the cities and consider Arenal and down to the Caribbean as Xelas suggests.

Bedford, Virginia
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6. Re: First Time Couple Trip to Costa Rica March 2015

We also live in VA and travel to Costa Rica on a budget so I can offer a few tips. Don't fly from Charlottesville or Richmond. Washington Dulles tickets usually are around $550 on Avianca and if you can, fly Spirit out of BWI for around $300! I know, lots of folks hate Spirit for the extra charges but if you travel with only a backpack (totally doable), don't check a bag, and don't pick seats, you will save enough to rent a car in Costa Rica. You should be able to rent a car for about $50/day including insurance and it will definitely add to your experience. No need for a 4x4. I suggest you split your time between Arenal and Puerto Viejo. Plenty of places to stay in the $25 to $50 per night range. You can eat in typical sodas for around $5-$7. That leaves plenty of money for excursions.

7. Re: First Time Couple Trip to Costa Rica March 2015

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Removed on: 16 January 2015, 16:35
Costa Rica
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8. Re: First Time Couple Trip to Costa Rica March 2015

Jennifer: You need to read the Community Guidelines. Self-promotion or solicitation is not allowed on this forum. Thanks,

9. Re: First Time Couple Trip to Costa Rica March 2015

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Removed on: 16 January 2015, 19:35
Silverthorne...
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10. Re: First Time Couple Trip to Costa Rica March 2015

I found Airbnb to offer the cheapest accommodations. Especially for two people. You can rent whole bungalows for $50-60 per night in Puerto Viejo, even in March. Not to mention if you are interested in sharing a house and having your own private room and bath for $20/night.

If you are on that tight of a budget, Airbnb is the way to go IMO.