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First time to Costa Rica- San Jose or Liberia ?

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Rockwood, Canada
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First time to Costa Rica- San Jose or Liberia ?

Good morning

I have done some research on Costa Rica. 4 to 8 adults will be travelling for the first time to Costa Rica at the end of Nov or beginning of December. We will be going for 10 days and have chosen for our first time to stay at an all inclusive resort. We plan on doing several day trips (zip lining tours and volcano are 2 we want to see and do). We have the resorts almost down to what we want. Liberia = Barcelo Playa Langosta and San Jose=

Double tree by Hilton.

As we do not know tons about Costa Rica though we are learning we really do not know what place we should travel too. The few people we know that have gone to Costa Rica seem to have travelled to Liberia.

We do like to go off resort and see the local towns stores and restaurants.

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Katie

Costa Rica
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1. Re: First time to Costa Rica- San Jose or Liberia ?

If you decide on the Barcelo Langosta, fly into Liberia LIR

If you decide on the Double Tree by Hilton, fly into SJO.

The advantage of flying into Liberia is that from most of the northern Pacific beach towns, you have access to any of three National Parks, 2 hours or less travel time.

Some other all-inclusives:

Flamingo Beach Resort - located on a Blue Flag beach

Occidental Grand Papagayo - 160 rooms of various kinds, spread out

Occidental Allegro Papagayo

Hilton Papagayo - 202 rooms

Villas Sol - Rooms or condos or villas in Playa Hermosa

Capitan Suizo - in Tamarindo, offers an all-inclusive option, walking distance to the center of Tamarindo.

For any of these, you would fly into Liberia LIR.

Note that Liberia LIR and San Jose SJO are about four hours apart to picking the right airport for your location cuts way down on your travel time. Most of the all-inclusives are in the northern Pacific area.

Rockwood, Canada
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2. Re: First time to Costa Rica- San Jose or Liberia ?

Thanks for your reply

I have looked into some of the other all inclusive hotels but from toronto these two looked great and were pretty reasonable. We travel enough to know we do not have to go 5*, we want a nice home base and want to enjoy the area

I guess we really want to know what part would best suit us for tours

I said I am sure we would be happy at either but since we have time to research that is what I am doing. A nice way to spend a snowy family day morning.

Katie

Miami, Florida
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3. Re: First time to Costa Rica- San Jose or Liberia ?

Well 10 days is a lot, you can manage to visit lots of places in those 10 days, if you really want to go to Liberia, then you are in the north region and you can see amazing beaches and then move on to San Carlos, La Fortuna for example, you can do tons of things there, canopy tours and Visit Arenal volcano, an active freaking volcano! :D It's amazing really.

If you don't know how to get around you can check sites like http://www.vacationscostarica.com/ they babysit you there, take you to amazing places too! (I'm a costa-rican and I used that site to plan some local tours :) )

San Jose is also nice, although there's nothing much over there aside from a city, it's close to the pacific coast, so with a 2 hour drive you can visit places like Manuel Antonio too.

Rockwood, Canada
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4. Re: First time to Costa Rica- San Jose or Liberia ?

Marco

Thanks so much. That is what I was wondering. What side has more for us to do? Thanks for the link I am heading over to my neighbors for a coffee we are the 2 planning this trip. We will take a look at the link you gave me.

It is fun to just plan.

Anymore tips please send them my way

Katie

Punta Uva, Costa...
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for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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5. Re: First time to Costa Rica- San Jose or Liberia ?

I think 10 day at an AI is too long, I would spend three days around Arenal/La Fortuna area, no AI there that I'm aware though, and then head for your AI in Guanacaste, leave from Liberia.

Costa Rica
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6. Re: First time to Costa Rica- San Jose or Liberia ?

cathlaur: you wrote " What side has more for us to do? "

If you are talking about the different coasts, there are no AI's on the Caribbean coast. Both Doubletree and Barcelo Langosta are on the Pacific coast. You will probably find more to do from the Barcelo since it is closer to several National Parks - but it depends on what you are interested in doing. The Barcelo Langosta is in the northern part of the Pacific coast and the Doubletree is in the central portion, not far from Puntarenas.

I totally agree with Cubanon. I would definitely split up your trip between one of the beach locations and some place in Arenal. No AI's, but some really nice places. Take a look here: www.arenal.net

Tamarindo, Costa...
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7. Re: First time to Costa Rica- San Jose or Liberia ?

I think you are asking about suggestions on some tours. If you stay at the Barcelo, make to get out and do a Canopy Tour and a Sunset Sail. We like Pura Aventura for the canopy and Marlin del Rey for the sailing and snorkeling, although we do work with Blue Dolphin and Hibiscus as well. If you want to do it all, try the combo tour at Buena Vista Lodge: hiking, water slide, hot springs and mud bath, horsebacking riding and canopy with lunch.

guanacaste
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8. Re: First time to Costa Rica- San Jose or Liberia ?

Maybe he is using double tree Cariari for San Jose and Langosta for Guanacaste,

try Villa Sol as an option, well located and many things to do around there,

Rincon de la Vieja is the closest volcano, about 60 km away from Villas Sol.

by the way Arenal is not active any more, just to keep that in mind,

now maybe you can overnight somewhere else , places like Monteverde and Rincon de la Vieja could be part of your trip.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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9. Re: First time to Costa Rica- San Jose or Liberia ?

Also even nice for you to fly In SJO and Out LIR...or the other way around...

SORRY but Arenal even that is AMIZING is not ACTIVE...at the moment...

To get around you do not need any middle person...most of the time you can plan and book directly with services providers...some people will recoomend a tour operator just because they are part of them...honestly you can plan everything...

Manuel Antonio is about 4 hours from LIR and 3 hours from SJO...

roadadvisor

Rockwood, Canada
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325 posts
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10. Re: First time to Costa Rica- San Jose or Liberia ?

Thanks everyone

We are def flying into Liberia as we have researched and had such great feed back from the people on TA. Thanks so much

Yes tour suggestions are great.

We look forward to our trip though it is far away. It is nice to research when the weather is so snowy here.

Cheers

Katie

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