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Advice - Puerto Viejo or Montezuma??

Massachusetts
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409 posts
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Advice - Puerto Viejo or Montezuma??

Hi -

I've been trolling the forum for a bit. My family which includes 3 kids ages 10-13 and a 69-year old grandmom will be flying into San Jose late on a Saturday nite in February. We will have 7 full days before flying back out on the 8th day.

I want to go to Fortuna and Arenal but then I'm confused about which beach to go to. I don't like isolated or inclusive resorts. My husband and I drove around the country 17 years ago and I figure things can't be worse!(?) especially with GPS. So we'll be renting a car and exploring a bit.

Hotel Banana Azul is the type of lodging we like but they have an over 16 policy. Any other similar recommendations in Puerto Viejo? I do not want to rent a house or condo. Also does anyone know what is being done at the Ylang Ylang over in Montezuma? What kind of renovations are taking place?

Any suggestions are welcome - while in Montezuma I figured we could drive up the coast to Samara, Carillo, etc., boat over to Isla Tortuga and horseback to the to El Chorro waterfall. In Puerto Viejo, I am looking forward to rafting the Reventazón River which I think is suitable for a 10-year old and maybe daytripping to Panama.

The big question - Should I choose my location choice solely on my tour preference or is there more to it than that?

San Jose
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1. Re: Advice - Puerto Viejo or Montezuma??

I'm not an expert but I have done the reventazon and Pacuare rafting and the trip starts in Cartago or Turrialba which is not near Puerto Viejo. Altought the trip ends in Siquirres which is a district in Limon province and from there, go to Puerto Viejo, but I don't know if that's what you are looking for. Also, you don't specify where are you planning to go to Panama, but I believe you can go to Bocas del Toro for a Daytrip but Panama downtown is very far away for a day trip.

Reventazon and Pacuare are an easy daytrip from SJ downtown (starts arround 7:30 and ends arround 5:00) so you can go to Montezuma, return to SJ, take the ride and then go to the airport next morning

Punta Uva, Costa...
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2. Re: Advice - Puerto Viejo or Montezuma??

Great idea to hit Arenal/La Fortuna area first then head out for Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side, from there you can book a rafting tour with Exploradores Outdoors and also due a Bocas tour for 1 overnight trip.

PV area offers lots to due for your family, great places to stay are Costa de Papito In Cocles, Pachamama and Korrigan Lodge in Punta Uva area, one of the best beaches in Costa Rica is Punta Uva.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: Advice - Puerto Viejo or Montezuma??

Nice family vacation...thank you for coming!

As you may already know it will take about 3 hours from San Jose to Arenal...good road all the way...from there you can drive to Limon and then to some nice beach like Puerto Viejo...Cocles...Punta Uva...Manzanillo...I also like the idea of Costa de Papito...

Another can be drive from Arenal to Manuel Antonio...about 4 hours...a lot of hotel choices ...a LOT!

Yes Reventazon can be a nice river for the family...

The best is to "design" a route that make sense...even that our country is small...if you do not plan your itinerary correctly...you will end up driving a lot and wasting a lot of the expensive priceless vacation time!

Just buckle up and enjoy your ride in PARADISE!

nyc
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4. Re: Advice - Puerto Viejo or Montezuma??

Last year I went to both puerto viejo and montezuma, both are great places to visit, there is much more hills, and hiking, waterfalls in montezuma, on the caribbean it seems more lush, and flat, which is easier to get around with children and puerto viejo has more resturaunts and such, either way bth places are wonderful, enjoy

Puerto Viejo, Costa...
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for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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5. Re: Advice - Puerto Viejo or Montezuma??

My main concern for you in your travel plans is your 69 yr old grandmom. Puerto Viejo is a great destination, but looking at our guests at a glance, it is obvious that older people do not enjoy the area as much.

Many find it hard to deal with humidity and also that time of the year, you might have some rain. Your kids might have issues with that. Much of the accommodation on Caribbean side is more on the basic side and many elder people really need some creature comforts.

Where ever you go, you might want to make sure that you have a place with AC and good beds etc. I recently had an elderly couple check out of Banana Azul and stay at Cariblue. They expressed they were much happier there.

Anyway... just my feedback. I know that traveling with a family can be hard.. don't want to make it harder.

Massachusetts
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6. Re: Advice - Puerto Viejo or Montezuma??

Thanks for the excellent advice - Colinsito, I have a hard time allowing my mother to get old. She's a "trooper" and goes along with anything but it may be time to start staying at more upscale places. Thanks for the reminder.

Turndog23 - is the Montezuma area much more difficult then Puerto Viejo to get to from Arenal? I read a couple of posts from people who got stuck in lines for the ferry and spent time waiting around.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: Advice - Puerto Viejo or Montezuma??

Getting to Montezuma from Arenal is about the same than getting to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca...

From Arenal...you may drive by San Ramon...take Pan Am Hwy...North...all the way to Puntarenas...then to Ferry...in Feb...you may find some cars on line but my advice...just get there at least one hour or more ahead from departure...and you will have no problem...nice ferry ride!

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!

nyc
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56 posts
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8. Re: Advice - Puerto Viejo or Montezuma??

I believe the highway from arenal to the ferry in puntarenes is an easy 3-4 hour drive, they have a few ferries you do have to wait in line for leaving at 12 pm, 3pm, and i think last one at 5 pm, i've never had a hard time getting on the ferry, I do think montezuma is a good choice for you, yang yang hotel on the beach is nice my boyfreinds family stayed there, if you have a car to get around which i do recommend an suv for suspension montezuma is a nice place for the whole family, its safe, with a great vibe and nice hotels on the beach.

Pensacola, Florida
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9. Re: Advice - Puerto Viejo or Montezuma??

www.ylangylangresort.com is great closer more suitable for all ages.

so for me in 6 days

www.arenal.net

www.monteverdeinfo.com

www.playamontezuma.net

Carib side will be rainier

also lots farther away...

10. Re: Advice - Puerto Viejo or Montezuma??

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