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Puerto Viejo to Arenal

East Sandwich...
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Puerto Viejo to Arenal

I need some guidance on fitting in a trip to PV- We'll be flying into San Jose and then was planning to head to Arenal/Monteverde then Manuel Antonio but since I had initially planned the trip, I

've read a lot on PV- here are some questions-

1. Good for two 12/15 active teens?

2. How can I reasonably fit this in- should I drop a destination?

3. What order?

We/ve got flights from Cape Cod to Costa Rica from 16 April until the 26th.

4. We will be renting a car.

The kids have never been in a warm ocean before- here on Cape it runs 58 on a great day so I am hoping that the waters will be a little warmer in CR!

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Puerto Viejo to Arenal

With 10 days you do not have nearly enough time to fit in two beach destinations on opposite sides of the country and also see Arenal and Monteverde. While I particularly love Puerto Viejo, you might be wise to do the typical 1st timers circle tour: San Jose/Arenal/Monteverde/Manuel Antoni/San Jose, spending a night in San Jose or the Central Valley at either end of your trip, 3 nights in Arenal and Manuel Antonio and 2 nights in Monteverde.

If you want a second option my idea of a perfect trip would be a little different and I think ideal for your teens: San Jose/Pacuare River overnight/Puerto Viejo(4 nights)/Arenal(3 nights)/San Jose. Much less time in transit and more time to enjoy each destination. The added value is a great whitewater rafting excursion. The downside is you miss the cloudforest.

Puerto Viejo, Costa...
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2. Re: Puerto Viejo to Arenal

If you want some more information on whether you think Puerto Viejo is for you or not, check out these photos blogs of people who have recently traveled here.


PV is not for everyone, but many like it.

Puerto Viejo
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3. Re: Puerto Viejo to Arenal

Crfan makes a lot of sense. Do the Pacuare if you can. A day trip will cost $65 each if you are driving, and an overnight trip satying at a riverside indigenous camp (very cool) will cost you $185, or at least $285 for a riverside lodge. That overnight trip is what sucked me into living here.

Happy Planning - John at Aventuras Bravas

san diego
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4. Re: Puerto Viejo to Arenal

I did a 10 day trip, my advice goes against the grain, but I would say skip any nights in San Jose unless you have a very early arrival or departure.

If you arrive before 3pm you can hire a shuttle up to Monteverde. You'll arrive late and tired, but you'll awake to utter beauty and have a full day to explore the cloud forest and have a nice dinner in town. Spend a second night there and then hit the road again if beach is your preference. If not, stay another night and explore the town or take another adventure tour. On our trip our second stop was Mal Pais. If you aren't surfing I wouldn't recommend going there - instead go east to Puerto Viejo, spend 3-4 nights. You can fly from Limon to Quepos (I think) spend 3 nights in the Manuel Antonio area and then head north a bit toward Playa Hermosa or Jaco for your final 1-2 nights. A taxi to the airport in San Jose from Jaco will take you less than 2 hrs. The nice thing about Costa is that if you're flexible you don't need to make reservations beforehand. You might fall in love with one destination and decide to stay longer than anticpated. We didn't care much for Mal Pais so we cut our stay there short by 2 nights and travelled onto Playa Hermosa. It's all beautiful, enjoy!

5. Re: Puerto Viejo to Arenal

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