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Help me fill in the middle.

USA
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Help me fill in the middle.

I'm dragging kids on a 15 day trip through Costa Rica next summer. We'll start at the Poas Volcano Lodge the day of our arrival and then go to the Arenal/Montverde area for five or six days. We will need to be back near SJO for our last night.

So we've pretty much taken care of the Cloud Forest Volcano part of the trip, how can we add a bit of Jungle and Beach to the experience? I've checked into various remote "Jungle Lodges", bu getting to them is prohibitive in either time or money. Tortuguero is a bit out of the way (and will probably be very rainy in August). The Osa Pennisula sounds great, but it is quite far from San Jose, given that my wife and kids hate long drives and that flying 5 people down there from San Jose would be prohibitive (roughly 65% of what it is costing to fly from Washington D.C. to San Jose). Also, the lodging costs for staying in an all-inclusive Lodge when you have three kids runs at least $500 a day so that is out for any length of time.

I could go to Manuel Antonio for a small taste of the Jungle and the beach, I suppose, but it's not really going to have the remote "wild" feel that I'd like to have. Also, the beach there, while nice, reputedly has very dangerous rip tides.

Anybody have any ideas? Are there any affordable solutions that I am not aware of?

Or do I just want too much? (Actually, I know I want too much, but that's just who I am!)

St. albert,Alberta
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1. Re: Help me fill in the middle.

The beach inside MA park is actually quite calm......lots of kids in the water, including mine (lots at the beach in town also, if you're with your kids, its fine)

Even though MA is quite touristy, its also very much a "jungle experience". We stayed at La Posada (wonderful place) and had 20 to 40 squirrel monkeys at the pool everyday. "Bambi" the deer comes to visit almost everyday.........the kids loved it!

Hiking thru the park, we saw monkeys, soths, lizards, frogs.....all kinds of critters.

You can also stop at Tarcoles River and see the crocs along the way.

MA is still a great experience and its also easy to get to if your time is limited.

USA
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33 reviews
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2. Re: Help me fill in the middle.

How much time would you spend there? Is a week at La Posada too long?

St. Petersburg...
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3. Re: Help me fill in the middle.

I think a week at MA would be too long but that's just me.

You could check out somplace like Selva Verde, no beach as it's inland, but a really great deal (all meals included) and a real nice place to stay a few nights.

FYI - the new schedules for Nature Air have been released and there are low, low rates available right now you may want to look into. I just booked my round trip tickets for next May for SJO - Puerto Jimenez and the total was only $84 - which is less than what I usually spend just going one way.

St. albert,Alberta
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4. Re: Help me fill in the middle.

We did 5 days at La Posada at the start of a 3 week vacation in CR. It wasn't too long at all, and we really didn't do a whole lot while we were there (mostly hiking thru the park and swimming) This was our "relax time" so it was perfect for us.

If you want to be busy in MA you can be. There are several day tours you could do (rafting, ziplines etc)

So it really depends on you, and how qiuckly you get bored. Personally I could spend a week in MA and be very happy!

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Help me fill in the middle.

Having been to Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side I don't know why people don't recommend it there for beach and nature. I guess most people opt for the Pacific Coast. But, if you want beach time and some relaxing combined with a few outings and great food and people (and less tourism and built up hotels) you should check out the area. It's more affordable than the Pacific Coast (at least MA) and well worth a visit. You can take Interbus from Arenal to Puerto Viejo fairly economically if you don't have a car.

USA
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6. Re: Help me fill in the middle.

Soooo....how does this sound for an itenerary? (sp?)

Arrive day one to SJO at 11 a.m. Get rental car and drive approx. 2 hours to:

Day 1 to 3: Selva Verde Rain Forest Lodge for three nights.

Day 4 to 6: Leave Selva Verde and drive 2 hours (is that right?) to Arenal and stay at the Arenal Observatory Lodge for 3 nights?

Day 7 and 8: Drive to either Monteverde or Los Angeles Cloud Forest for two nights at a nice lodge to be determined.

Day 9 to 14: Drive to Maneul Antonio (stopping at the bridge to look at the crocs) and stay at La Posada Jungle for six nights.

Day 15: Drive to hotel near SJO for 12 noon flight home.

I could shorten the Cloud Forest to one day (if it's the Los Angeles Cloud Forest) and lenghten either the Selva Verde or Arenal portion--or add a first night at the Poas Volcano Lodge so I have only a short drive the first day.

7. Re: Help me fill in the middle.

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