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1st timer to Costa Rica - Q's about tours/hotels

Calgary, Canada
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1st timer to Costa Rica - Q's about tours/hotels

Family of 3 - perhaps 4 - first timers to Costa Rica with a couple of questions.

We've decided it's Costa Rica this year. 2 weeks.

Thinking about the end of October, beginning of November - good time to go? End of the rainy season correct?

We also decided that we'd do our "big tours" first, so we'd do perhaps 3 days - is that enough time to do all the most popular tours? - Volcano, cloud forest, etc.

Do all the hotels / places to stay in the interior offer the same basic tour packages? Other than what they have to offer, how does one choose the tour operator?

How does one choose "the" hotel to stay in while doing the tours? There are so many - obviously there are no all inclusives which is fine.... two adults at least one 13 year old.... decent, clean hotel with a pool, things to see and do during the day and perhaps in the evenings, food of course, beverages, a/c, maybe even two bedrooms - but we'd like somewhere that we can tell everyone that it was just the most awesome experience at this hotel... any suggestions?

Then to the coast for an all inclusive holiday for the rest of our vacation.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer any suggestions or even first hand experience.

Gailie in Calgary, Canada.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: 1st timer to Costa Rica - Q's about tours/hotels

You can do Arenal Volcano...around October it is summer there...many nice hotels with great prices...low season...

At the ebach...you can check...Paradisus Playa Conchal or RIU...or even Barcelo Playa Langosta...3 AI....

roadadv isor

Calgary, Canada
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2. Re: 1st timer to Costa Rica - Q's about tours/hotels

Thank you Roadadvisor:

And thanks for telling me it's low season.... may save a few dollars that way.

We have chosen two AI's - Hilton and the Occidental Grand, still trying to decide which is the one we're suited for.

No suggestions on great and neat places to stay in the volcano area?

Brooklyn, New York
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for Sarapiqui
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3. Re: 1st timer to Costa Rica - Q's about tours/hotels

In terms of unique experiences, the Arenal Observatory Lodge is one of a kind. Rooms are nothing special, but the lodge is very remote and very, very close to the volcano--it's on a ridge about one mile away, separated only by a small river. Well, I lied--the rooms are special in that you get a full view of the volcano from your window.

The views are breathtaking, and the wildlife is some of the best we've seen in the country--not only birds, but kinkajous and even wild cats like jaguarundi and ocelots. Great hiking too.

The trade off in being in such a remote and wild location is that to get anywhere else takes more time and effort. Also, the food is not the greatest there (but supposedly it is improving). Breakfast is always good there, though.

Edited: 03 February 2011, 02:22
Calgary, Canada
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4. Re: 1st timer to Costa Rica - Q's about tours/hotels

thank you Racandee !

5. Re: 1st timer to Costa Rica - Q's about tours/hotels

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