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Where to stay on 1st trip to CR?

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Rockwall, Texas
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Where to stay on 1st trip to CR?

I've never been to CR, but we are considering a vacation there. We are beach lovers, and hubby will want to rest more than explore :(. Where would you suggest? I've thought about Dominical and the Marina Ballena area, Manuel Antonio, Punta Uvita on the Caribbean coast, or the Conchal area. I love to snorkel so that would be a huge plus! Monkeys would be fun to watch! I like laid back. Thanks!

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1. Re: Where to stay on 1st trip to CR?

I am a novice to CR myself but have been once before and we are returning this April. My last trip was spent in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area and we spent a day in Jaco on the way there and a day in Domincal mid-trip.

Manuel Antonio is beautiful! It's a quaint town with the national park on one end and restaurants/shops/hotels all around. We stayed on the Quepos end, directly on the bus route. We could walk to Quepos and bus to Manuel Antonio. While we went to Quepos every day, it's not a pretty, quaint town like Manuel Antonio is. We found plenty to do and my friends have spent more time there since then. They love it.

We travel with a national (Tico). His opinion of Jaco is not pleasant after dark. Not a pretty beach right in town. i don't remember much about it.

Dominical is a cute little surfer town with dirt roads, hotels and restaurants. While it was too quiet for us back then, we will be staying 5 nights in Dominicalito (2-3 KM away) this upcoming April for some relaxing fun in the sun, beach time and surf lessons (hopefully).

We are also spending time in Tamarindo and Monteverde this upcoming trip as well. A little more hustle bustle in Tamarindo with day trip beaches all around and a larger town. Monteverde is the cloud forest, hiking and zip lining.

I saw no one replied to your post, so I thought I would let you know the little I know:) Hop it was helpful.

Tampa, FL
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2. Re: Where to stay on 1st trip to CR?

I've never been to Dominical, but am going this summer. I spent a lot of time looking for a place to stay for one night somewhere between San Jose and Puerto Jimenez and found Villas Alturas - place looks amazing and the reviews are showing that the hospitality and food are awesome. If I would have found this place earlier, I would have scheduled my stay in Costa Rica a couple days longer. Looks like a beautiful place to relax. I can't wait!

Rockwall, Texas
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892 posts
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3. Re: Where to stay on 1st trip to CR?

Thank you! Dominical is near Marina Ballena and I was interested in the dolphins and snorkeling. I don't need a lot of "nightlife" and hubby would really like to be able to rest. I tend to want to explore more than he does. I understand, though, that CR snorkeling is not great compared to places like St. John.

Uvita, Costa Rica
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for Uvita, Ojochal
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4. Re: Where to stay on 1st trip to CR?

There is a lot more to the area than the small surf town of Dominical, great beaches further south like Marino Ballena park and the whales tail and past Uvita Ventanas beach. For a list of tour operator websites have a look at this article: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g635755-s4/Uvita:Cost…

Bahia Adventures are my first choice and do Whale & Dolphine watching, Caño Island, Corcovado NP. Nauyaca Waterfalls not to be missed as well as the private Nature reserve at Hacienda Baru.


Hudson, Iowa
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5. Re: Where to stay on 1st trip to CR?

If you are interested in Manuel Antonio, La Posada would be a good place to stay. Very laid back, you can have visits with the monkeys right on the grounds since they are right next door to the National Park. They are also very close to the beach, like others have said, snorkeling isn't real great anywhere in Costa Rica though. The employees there are so awesome they can set you up with any adventure you want, and your hubby can lay around in the hammock if he wants.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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6. Re: Where to stay on 1st trip to CR?

UVITA lovely area...check TIKIVILLAS incredible nice small place...lovely people run the place...great views...you can even see Ca;o Island from the front desk!

Some great waterfalls around!


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7. Re: Where to stay on 1st trip to CR?

Dominical area is one of my favorites and Hacienda Baru is fantastic. The beach there is absolutely beautiful and with the new road you can be in Manuel Antonio within 35 minutes. Also visit the beach at Uvita - spectacular!

Plenty of monkeys in both Dominical adn Manuel Antonio and my favorite beaches in all of Costa Rica.

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8. Re: Where to stay on 1st trip to CR?

Westin Conchal is a very good AI but it has many attractions in the area. Plus there is good snorkeling in the area. Lots of areas with animals, like Palo Verde where you will see lots of monkeys and birds and alligators.

9. Re: Where to stay on 1st trip to CR?

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