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Off-the-beaten-path ideas?

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Pennsylvania
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Off-the-beaten-path ideas?

My husband and I have set a TENTATIVE itinerary as follows, and would like to "fill it in" with some appropriate things to do while in the different places we've chosen to visit. We would LOVE some suggestions for off-the-beaten-path things to do, as well as for the [usual] touristy things to do! So, here goes!

Saturday: Fly int SJO, arriving at 9:00 pm. We have rented a Suzuki Jiminy for two weeks, and will pick it up at the airport and drive to the Costa Rica Marriott (only a 5 minute drive, they say!) where we will stay for one night.

Sunday-Monday: Check out of Costa Rica Marriott in San Jose and drive to the Poas Volcano on our way to the Tree House House in San Carlos. By online calculations, it will be at least a 2 hour drive to Poas, and another hour and a half to the Tress Houses Hotel, located on the main highway #141 between Ciudad Quesada and La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano. We plan to stay at the Tree Houses Hotel for 2 nights. While there we are not sure what we should do, so we are looking for suggestions.

Tuesday-Thursday: Drive to Drive to Hotel Arena Manoa, in La Fortuna. We hope to visit the Baldi Hot Springs, see the volcano, do a Sky Tram & Sly Trek tour (1/2 day) and do another 1/2 day tour of the Arenal hanging bridges. There are lots of other things to do, but which are the best choices?

Friday: Check into the Adventure Park & Hotel in Miramar, Puntarenas for only one night. They offer a lot of tours/options, but we're not sure what to take advantage of....

Saturday-Tuesday drive to Los Suenos Marriott in Jaco - three nights/four days, with absolutely NO IDEAS - help!!

Wednesday-Saturday: Here is the real challenge. While we are interested and excited about MA, I am also excited about Dominical. From what I read on TripAdvisor and what I can see on YourTravelMap, it might be a better idea to stay in Dominical and do day-trips to MA and Uvita. The accommodations that are recommended on this site that appeal to us is Costa Paraiso in Domincal.

There are so many options in this location alone: In MA there is the rainforest spice tour, the wonderful beaches outside the part, the trip to see the Dama Island Mangroves....that I am confused now about what there is INSIDE the Park!

Then, in Dominical, there are horseback-waterfall tours, whale-watching....and surfing in Uvita (not that we plan to surf, but would love to watch!).

Saturday: Check out of wherever we stay and head back to the Costa Rica Marriott in San Jose to return the rental car and take an early morning flight back to the US the next day.

Remembering that we are in our mid-60s and in "reasonable" physical shape, we would really appreciate any guidance/suggestions you can make. Without this forum, I'm not sure we would have even considered doing this kind of trip as independent travelers, so thank you all so much for any suggestions you can give!

Jyll

Uvita, Costa Rica
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for Uvita, Ojochal
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21. Re: Off-the-beaten-path ideas?

Glad! Hacienda Baru is a great place and a fantastic example of Sustainable Tourism that I greatly respect and is an example to other Lodges and tourism projects. Jack is definitively one of the fathers of eco Tourism in Costa Rica. Hacienda Baru is about 1 mile north of Dominical or 10 miles from Uvita just of the Coastal Highway. (TA classify it incorrectly in Quepos, its practicaly in Dominical)

Cano Island is one of the best spots for snorkeling or scuba in Costa Rica if that’s what you are into. Corcovado National Park is the largest and most remote of Costa Rica & Central Americas National Parks and one of the most Biologically Diverse Places on Earth its very remote and untouched. A day trip just gives you a taster, been on it two times and definitively would recommend it, you can get to spot Whales (during season) on your boat ride. The only down part is that the boats are small and bounce for an hour on the waves as they go quite slow.

Edited: 24 January 2012, 00:52
San Jose, Costa Rica
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22. Re: Off-the-beaten-path ideas?

Caño Island is a lovely island...a lot of our history coming from there...a lot...

roadadvisor

Pennsylvania
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168 posts
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23. Re: Off-the-beaten-path ideas?

As I've been looking at the different suggestions for things to do in the Dominical area, I've noticed that some of the most popular things to do are also some of the most expensive. People have raved about Adventure Dining and it sounded great - until I checked the website and realized that the cost is $95/pp!! Can you recommend some things to do that are more off-the-beaten-path, a LOT less expensive, but with the charm of the "real" Costa Rica?

Uvita, Costa Rica
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for Uvita, Ojochal
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24. Re: Off-the-beaten-path ideas?

Hi, Adventure Dining is in Manuel Antonio about 1 hour north of Dominical.

For Uvita/Dominicalhave a look at Nauyaca Waterfals http://www.cataratasnauyaca.com/ great tour and definitivly worth it for $60pp you get typical Costa Rican breakfast and lunch at a small farm house owned by the family runing the tour, the horses, guides.

Also there is a small waterfall in Uvita with a swiming hole accesed by turning towards the mountains at Banco de Costa Rica in Uvita, follow the dirt road and at the cemitery turn left about 300 yards up (cascada). Its a small Costa Rican soda restaurant offering local food if you just want to visit the waterfal entrance is $1 pp.

Villa Leonor Beach Club (closed tuesdays) about 8 miles south of Uvita gives you access to a nearly deserted beach in front of the 3 sister islands in the Marino Ballena Marine NP. They have safe parking and showers you can use. Don´t charge an entry fee but ask you dine at the soda, generaly fresh fish or other local food with meals runing about $10 to $15 per person.

About 30 min South of Uvita just past past Ojochal in Coronado for lunch "Talipias Pavon" you get to fish your own taipia fish at this rustic restaurant and they will cook it for you on their wood burning stove served together with salad, rice, beans, plantain. Cheap, fun and yumy!

Pennsylvania
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25. Re: Off-the-beaten-path ideas?

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! These are exactly the kinds of ideas I'm looking for - some local food, fun and adventure, all rolled into one!! :-)))

Pennsylvania
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26. Re: Off-the-beaten-path ideas?

Just had an interesting experience with rental cars. I had an existing reservation with Alamo, but after reading some of the posts I decided to go ahead and comparison shop.

Alamo's rates were mid-line - several other rental companies offered the same price for the same car (a Suzuki Jimny), but with less amenities. After trading emails and talking with several other companies recommended on TA posts, I chose to rent via Vamos4x4 - not only is their rental price cheaper by a few dollars, but they include an emergency use cell phone, a GPS navigation system for less than the other companies (only $8/day), a small cooler (which will probably come in handy) and on top of that, we chose the full insurance coverage (also as recommended on TA). Our total for 13 days is $802, as opposed to the $1516 (+ GPS charges) quoted by Alamo. We're pretty happy with the outcome, so thanks again!

We booked the trip to Nauyaca Waterfalls, and we are happy to have an additional experience to look forward to!!

Costa Rica
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27. Re: Off-the-beaten-path ideas?

JyllFoy - You did a great job with that comparison shopping! I wish everyone would be as thorough as you and there would be a lot fewer problems.

Vamos will do right by you, I think - they get good recommendations. Have a great trip!

Pennsylvania
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28. Re: Off-the-beaten-path ideas?

Thanks Hattie! Because I plan so far ahead, I am able to spend time to do all the research and comparisons before we travel. I rely A LOT on TA reports, and without suggestions from posters our vacations would be dull, Dull, DULL! I am so grateful for all the suggestions!! ;-)

Costa Rica
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29. Re: Off-the-beaten-path ideas?

JyllFoy - It's a pleasure to help you! Please let us know when/if you have more questions.

30. Re: Off-the-beaten-path ideas?

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