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Do we need a car? One thing not to miss...

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Novato, CA
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Do we need a car? One thing not to miss...

We will be spending 10 days in Playa Flamingo in August and we are finding a rental car for the entire time to be very pricey. Do we (5 people) need a rental car to get around? We want to travel to Tamarindo for surf lesson and the Monkey Park in addition to doing some organized tours. What other forms of transportation are available and what are the approximate costs? Do most of the tours pick people up in Playa Flamingo?

Also, what one tour would you recommend as the 'one not to miss' for an adventure/beach/water loving family with teenagers.

Edited: 29 June 2011, 05:36
San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,269 posts
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1. Re: Do we need a car? One thing not to miss...

Yes most tour companies will pick you up at Flamingo...but for some tours ...like Palo Verde...you can save up to $ 40.00 per person if you drive to tour location...if you are 5 people...that will be $ 200.00 savings...nice amount of money to be use for somenthing else...

Rent a car at least a few days ...do not give your hard earned money to middle people...

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Toronto
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2. Re: Do we need a car? One thing not to miss...

How large are your 5 people? If you can fit into a Nissan Tilda (like a Corolla), it's only $234 for 10 days at Dollar Rent a Car (the Costa Rican website, not the U.S. one). If you have to move up to a Suzuki Vitara, it's $405. Both are reasonably priced. When you consider that you don't need a taxi or shuttle to get to the hotel, it's actually a good deal.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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189 posts
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3. Re: Do we need a car? One thing not to miss...

Don´t miss the adventure activities near Rincón de la Vieja Nataional Park, they are a must from where you are.

Atlanta, Georgia
5 posts
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4. Re: Do we need a car? One thing not to miss...

I would say the one tour, not to miss is the Miravalles Adventure by Avispa’s Adventures. …typepad.com/miravalles_volcano/ It is definitely the “must do” tour and Avispa’s Adventures is the best that you will find.

Also, I would not recommend trying to drive the Palo Verde tour on your own as we learned and experienced so much on the way, and way back from the tour on the boat, that you would be missing half of the experience. This is one of the tours where it is well worth the extra money to have an experienced guide spot things and point out everything you are seeing/experiencing.

I think it is possible to drive to the different beaches on your own, and even to go white water rafting but spend the extra money and get a guide on the Palo Verde and Miravalles Adventures.

Amy Lentz and Jose (Avispa) Moreno

Owners/ Operators

Avispa’s Adventures

Costa Rica: (011-506) 8-372-3094

US Dial Direct: 410-753-2440

Donegal;PA
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323 posts
174 reviews
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5. Re: Do we need a car? One thing not to miss...

Try looking at rentals here http://www.carrentals.com/

I found them to be very reasonable. We alwats rent an SUV or 4-Wheel drive, but we also like to be adventurous and drive everywhere.

Costa Rica
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6. Re: Do we need a car? One thing not to miss...

Consider renting a car for part of your time in Flamingo. Having a car for a few days will allow you the freedom to do some things.

From Flamingo, you can visit any of five National Parks: Santa Rosa, Rincon de la Vieja, Miravalles, Tenorio and Palo Verde. There are organized tours to any of these but you might want to spend some time exploring on your own. You can rent a car at the airport in Liberia or rent one in Flamingo.

Otherwise, you can use organized tours, taxis, public bus or shuttles. It's pretty easy to get to Tamarindo either by taxi or by shuttle or by bus. For shuttles - check here www.anywherecostarica.com For public bus, www.thebusschedule.com/cr/

Your hotel can probably help you out with some transportation suggestions also.

You can try renting a smaller car but don't rent from a "Mom and Pop" company with heavily discounted prices. Their prices are low for a reason and it's usually because they have older and less reliable cars and don't have good customer service in case you have problems.

Some good rental agencies that come recommended are Service, Solid, Adobe, Alamo.

Brasilito, Costa...
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7. Re: Do we need a car? One thing not to miss...

I would absolutely rent a car, the amount that transport will cost you is generally at a per person rate and it is expensive, or you'll have to rent a private taxi and that is expensive too. If I were you I would make a point of going to Rincon de la Vieja, my family loves the one day package at Buenavista Lodge with horse riding, canopy tour, mineral pools, and water slide. (I have two girls age 8 and 12 and we also took my dad (70) for his birthday, and everyone loved it.)

Tamarindo, Costa...
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8. Re: Do we need a car? One thing not to miss...

Tourists tell me the tours they like the best are:

Catamaran sailing, sunset tours

Sunset estuary dinner tour from Tamarindo to the Great Waltin Restaurant inside the Bula Bula Hotel at Playa Grande

Jet skiing in front of the Flamingo Beach Resort

Gyrocopter flights from the Tamarindo Airport

Liberia, Costa Rica
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13 posts
16 reviews
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9. Re: Do we need a car? One thing not to miss...

Taking an escorted tour with transportation included is a very relaxing way to see the Country. You need to determine if budget is your main concern. Renting a car is easy enough to do if you decide that is what is best for you.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,269 posts
35 reviews
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10. Re: Do we need a car? One thing not to miss...

If you like to try Palo Verde...do it as many other people...the local company will meet you in Santa Cruz...and then you follow them in your own car...How can you get lost?

Nice to save around $ 200.00 ...some people lovet to push tour comapnies for different reasons...but like in this case...why waste your money...?

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