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Itinerary for 1st CR visit. Looking for feedback and opinion

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Edmonton, Canada
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Itinerary for 1st CR visit. Looking for feedback and opinion

I am currently planning a trip to Costa Rica for 16 days and this if the itinerary I have come up with thus far. I am looking for feedback and opinions on whether a place I have chosen is redundant or not an easy location to visit.

1)Fly into San Jose and spend a day touring the city, then whether by ourselves or with a tour group, move northwest to the Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna

2) then onto the city of Monteverde and the central highlands of Costa Rica

3)then northwest to the Guanacaste Region of Costa Rica which includes the cities of Tamarindo, Playa Grande and Playa Del Coco.

4)then south down the Pacific cost to Montezuma and the Nicoya Peninsula Region of Costa Rica.

5) once in the tip of the Peninsula a ferry or boat ride back to the mainland and onto the city of Jaco.

6)One hour south of Jaco to Manual Antonio - Quepos

Then I have come upon an issue. The final destination we want to see in Costa Rica is the Caribbean Coast; Especially Puerto Viejo and Tortuguero. However, it is on the exact opposite side of the country from our second-last stop of Quepos. I google mapped it, and it's a 6 hour milk run all the way back through San Jose, through Limon, and then south to Pueto Viejo.

It would be such a shame to miss the Caribbean Coast but I don't know of an easy way to see it with this itinerary.

As well, I was told that when seeing the Arenal Volcano and in Monteverde it is wise to be with a tour group, does anyone have any reputable tour companies they can recommend? As well. what have you found to be the easiest way to get around since we will not be renting a car.

Thank you for any help you can give!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Itinerary for 1st CR visit. Looking for feedback and opinion

Humm another dupe...


Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: Itinerary for 1st CR visit. Looking for feedback and opinion

Not a dupe. I posted this via smart phone and it posted replicas. I'm looking for legitimate input and feedback so please don't taint this thread. Thank You

Dearborn, Michigan
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3. Re: Itinerary for 1st CR visit. Looking for feedback and opinion

You posted it in many (6-ish) different areas of the Trip Advisor forums asking the same question. That would be many duplicate. You posted pretty much the same questions in reply to some other posts too. Some of the original posts were 20 minutes apart, I can't believe your phone app did that.

That said:

Don't trust Google maps for time estimates when driving. Everything will take WAY longer than you think it will.

Knowing when and how long you are staying at each location would be necessary to know to give you an opinion on it. It looks pretty overly ambitious, you've got a LOT of cites listed on the peninsula. Check out Montezuma and do some day trips from there. You'll love it. Tamarindo is a metropolis compared to Montezuma (which is less than two city blocks big).

Skip the east coast, it's too far for the trip you have planned and if you love Costa Rica you can catch it next trip. I like the west and north portions the best.

I use Montezuma Expeditions and similar companies to get around (ME is my favorite) and they can get you around to most of the destinations on your list, they can also hook you up with hotels near the airport as part of a discounted package. The San Jose airport is not in San Jose, it's in Alajuela, 25+ minutes away from the touristy areas.

When going from Montezuma to Jaco, use a Taxi boat NOT the ferry. The taxi boat is an hour or so and takes you to a town just north of Jaco, the ferry route is probably 5 hours(?), it's not the ferry that's slow it's the driving to and from the ferry, while the taxi boat is direct.

All national parks are closed Monday, some (many?) are closed Tuesday.


Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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4. Re: Itinerary for 1st CR visit. Looking for feedback and opinion

With 16 days you should stay (after the cental part of Monteverde and Arenal) or on the Pacific side (Tamarindo, Montezuma, Manuel Antonio) or on the Caribbean side (Sarapiqui, Tortuguero, Puerto Viejo).

Easiest way to get around is using shared shuttle transportation.

5. Re: Itinerary for 1st CR visit. Looking for feedback and opinion

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