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8 Days in Manuel Antonio Area too much?!

Madison, Wisconsin...
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8 Days in Manuel Antonio Area too much?!

We are now beginning to lean towards just staying in Manuel Antonio area for our whole trip. We don't want to spend too much time traveling from place to place. Are there any cloud forests, hot springs, waterfalls, to explore within a reasonable distance from here? We want a beautiful beach with a jungle back drop to walk and swim as well. We just want to enjoy nature!

Dominical, Costa...
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185 posts
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1. Re: 8 Days in Manuel Antonio Area too much?!

You may want to consider establishing a base location further south in Dominical or as far south as Ojochal and then spend a couple of day trips to Manual Antonio. You will find the lodging to be less expensive and if you prefer places that are more laid back and not crowded you will be pleased with the decision to go a few more miles south. We are just 35 minutes from the park but a completely different feel compared to staying in MA. We do not have the number of places to eat that are up there but we have our share here. There is lot to explore and see in both areas, just depends on how many people you like around you.

~~~
Destination Expert
for Richmond
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2. Re: 8 Days in Manuel Antonio Area too much?!

I will be staying in Manuel Antonio for a week for the third time in March (bringing 9-11 Costa Rica first timers...).

Between possible excursions, fishing trips, beach time, rainforest visits, etc, you can EASILY occupy yourself for 8 days in Manuel Antonio.

Also, at the end of you trip, you will fee a lot more relaxed when you aren't jumping around and traveling from location to location.

JENSEN BEACH
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11,060 posts
51 reviews
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3. Re: 8 Days in Manuel Antonio Area too much?!

I think you already made a great decision ditching your original All Inclusive Plan! We are spending a week in Dominical and can't wait. Close to Manuel Antonio for the park and "tourist options". Closer to more beaches so we can explore a new one daily. That is if we have time between the Waterfall horseback riding and hiking (I have 3 waterfalls we hope to visit), less crowded Nat'l Parks, river tubing and hopefully whale watch/snorkel at Cano Island. If you want to stay right in MA maybe spend 3 nights there and the other 5 in Dominical or Uvita. Google pictures of Whale's Tail, Uvita etc. The empty beaches and jungle setting is what helped us decide. I have read that since the area is less crowded it also has some more casual and less pricey restaurant options as well. Certainly more places than we will be able to visit in a week. One thing is for sure, the warm sunny days will be a welcome break from Madison in March. Run into a lot of Wisconsin folks in Costa Rica!

JENSEN BEACH
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4. Re: 8 Days in Manuel Antonio Area too much?!

Natalie...are you planning on a rental vehicle or shuttle type transport? I just read your original post. Depending on the time of day you fly into SJO you can decide where to stay the first night. Dominical-Dave has some rental properties if you want to stay in a more private setting than the hotel options in Dominical area. You can send him a PM for info. VRBO.com also has some really neat options. It isn't a bad drive from SJO if you rent a car but don't plan to drive after dark! And it gets dark by 5:30 pm. One option I like is to take a shuttle from San Jose area to where you will be staying. Then rent a vehicle locally for your time there to explore. Return the car the afternoon before you lv to save time and $. On the day you fly out take a shuttle or private transfer back to the airport. Much less stressful and if there is an unexpected road closure/delay they are likely to know ways around it! I think staying in one place as a home base will make for a much more relaxing holiday!

Manuel Antonio
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5. Re: 8 Days in Manuel Antonio Area too much?!

In my humble opinion, 8 days is barely enough to enjoy all the fun stuff to do in Manuel Antonio, as well as still have time to relax and enjoy your vacation. There are not convenient hot springs here, but there is just about everything else, so many great tours from relaxing to pure adrenaline to things like spice farms. If you like spas, there are great spas In the area as well. If you have a rental car, it is easy to explore some other nearby parks like Ballena and Carara. Honestly though, you don't need to go anywhere to easily have fun for 8 days. Enjoy!

waterloo,ON
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282 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: 8 Days in Manuel Antonio Area too much?!

Obxpat, you mentioned river tubing near Dominical. Do you have any details on that? Location, cost?

Will be in MA for a week and Uvita for 2.

Thanks!

JENSEN BEACH
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7. Re: 8 Days in Manuel Antonio Area too much?!

I am trying to get more info. I found one place Osa Mountain Village with some activities offered including river tubing. I am trying to get more info. We have enjoyed tubing in other places. Lots of white water rafting options but that is not what we are looking for. This would be south of Dominical closer to palmar norte from what I can determine.

Madison, Wisconsin...
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8. Re: 8 Days in Manuel Antonio Area too much?!

That would be neat to run into some fellow Wisconsinites in Costa Rica! Thank you all for your ideas on the subject! Obxpat, what are the names of the waterfalls you are planning to see?

JENSEN BEACH
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9. Re: 8 Days in Manuel Antonio Area too much?!

We actually ended up staying at MA only one night. Insanely crowded over the Holidays. We stayed a wk down an hour S in Dominical at Villas Alturas. Awesome choice. We had daily visits by monkeys, coatis, toucans, parrots and even a couple of macaws....all sitting on the front porch of our little villa! Great place. The BEST trip we did was Diamante Verde ATV private tour. We saw a 700 ft waterfall far away from any development, passed 2 other falls and swam in the "pools". I can't say enough about this off the beaten path tour. Only 20 min drive inland from Dominical. Ck the TA reviews. Karl there can also arrange whiitewater rafting and more. We also visited some other Falls on our own at Uvita and Ojochal which were easy to fnd. The one in Ojochal was across the street from a fantastic open air tilapia farm/restaurant.

Playa del Rey, CA
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10. Re: 8 Days in Manuel Antonio Area too much?!

There's a guy portalonsunny@yahoo that does river rafting near Dominical. He's a real warrior and loves adventure.