We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Just starting my research

Basingstoke...
Level Contributor
1,095 posts
250 reviews
Save Topic
Just starting my research

Hi Everyone,

I am just starting to look at the idea of booking 7 nights away to costa rica... papagayo. Would be an all inclusive resort anytime from september - november. I know its the rainy season but we are looking to go for the activities and to see the area so would the rain affect these activities at all?

My questions are what kind of excursions / tours are available? I have seen a canapy tour / zipline tour mentioned which sounds amazing.. does the area offer any rafting or tours around the forest area?

I really want to see and experience the area but with only 7 days would need to be excursions that we can do.

Thanks in advance!

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
633 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Just starting my research

Rainy season in CR is a great time to go, from April to Sept, as everything is lush and green and in full bloom. But once Sept hits, and October, the true advent of rainy season peaks, though each year this varies, depending on El Nina/Nino, this past season was dry overall, but lot of rain late in Nov and early Dec, oddly enough.

Overall, I have been to CR 2 times in Oct, ughh, its a big mess usually, and most the parks are too wet, rainy or muddy to enjoy. Also, the run off from the rivers pollutes the coast with muddy ocean waters, so the beaches are not to pretty either.

Papagayo, though very nice, is very touristy, and also very isolated from the main parks one would want to enjoy IMO. It really is best to move about in CR to see the highlights, you have just 7 days, time for a few places and beach time, rent a car and enjoy what interest you, Arenal Volcano, Rincon, etc.

But Monteverde/Arenal are 4 hours from Papagayo, and other beaches too for the most part. So you need to stay at these venues, not day trip.

Monteverde will be a mess, its wet, damp and misty in dry season, as a cloudforest, a true mess in those months IMO.

Personally, if you want a beach vacation, consider the Caribe side of CR in those months, there is also a lot more to see and do nearby, nature wise, with Tortuguero, raft the Rio Pacuare, and the Cahuita NP and also Manzanillo-Gonduca.

But Oct/Nov in CR for a beach vacation is really hit/miss, as a surfer, never again for me.

Basingstoke...
Level Contributor
1,095 posts
250 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Just starting my research

Thanks for the post.

In the case we may stick to September for our trip.

I dont want to go for a beach vacation.. not interested if I dont get on the beach the whole time I am there... all I am interested in is what there is to see and do there?

I have always wanted to see a rainforest and the animals etc so that would be amazing, we are also quite active and like exciting activities / tours - hence the questions on what kinds of tours and excursions there are to do?

If anyone has any ideas on tours / excursions let me know please :0)

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,654 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Just starting my research

Seven days in the Papagayo area would work fine. It's really beautiful there.

I don't think you should have any concerns about day trips from there. You can easily visit Santa Rosa National Park, Rincon de la Vieja National Park and there's a great boat ride through Palo Verde National Park on the Tempisque River where you see a lot of wildlife.

In addition, you can take a boat trip to one of the deserted beaches of Santa Rosa National Park (difficult to get to by land).

Two other great day trips would be to the Miravalles Protected Area (it's like a National Park but without the "official" designation) and Tenorio National Park. These two are a little further - about 2 hours away - but quite a few tour companies visit them.

September would probably be better than October for your visit.

Some helpful websites: www.costarica-nationalparks.com

www.acguanacaste.ac.cr/1997/principaling.html -- look in the left hand column and click on "Visit the ACG"

www.rincondelavieja.net

www.paloverdeboattours.com

Another option is a float trip on the Corobici River or a whitewater trip on the Rio Tenorio. Check www.riostropicales.com for more information.

Your lodging can provide more information on tours - or - you can rent a car and go on your own.

Some good tour operators include Xplore Costa Rica, Papgayo Vargas Tours, Maleku Tours. The "top notch" tour operators are Swiss Travel and TAM - both excellent but quite a bit more expensive.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
9,296 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Just starting my research

I am somewhat confused by your question as the major thing there is to see and do in the Gulf of Papagayo is to enjoy the beaches. If you're not a beach person you probably would be happier in some other corner of Costa Rica. There are ziplines and daytrips to the volcano (Rincon) and adventure activities at Hacienda Guachipelin near Rincon de la Vieja. Also boat trips to Palo Verde to enjoy wildlife and whitewater rafting on the Coribici.

September to November is the height of rainy season and if that were my timeframe to visit I'd much rather spend it on the Caribbean coast which paradoxically has its best weather in September and October. There's plenty to do on the Caribbean coast including ziplines, whitewater rafting, ocean kayaking, waterfall hikes and tons of wildlife, but there are no all inclusive resorts.

Basingstoke...
Level Contributor
1,095 posts
250 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Just starting my research

Thanks for all the info :)

I do like beaches, but this is not why I have picked Costa Rica.. I want to see a rainforest and do some exciting activities in beautiful surroundings... such as rafting, hikes, and zip wires etc..

My situation is somewhat limited as I already have a trip to America booked for next year as well as an 18 day tour around south east asia and so I am limited on when I can travel but also on how much I can spend. I can book Papagayo all inclusive for less than 2k for 2 people which is why it was my first choice, I can then use extra money for tours.. This trip is an after thought and me trying to squeeze one last trip in to the year and so I may be cutting corners slightly.. however it looks like there is plenty to do in Papagayo by the looks of those links so thank you!

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
633 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Just starting my research

Some very good options from Hattie. But I see no need to use a tour operator. This branch for CR is really limited with people suggesting the most touristy areas, and the most expensive ways to get around. Maybe its just me, but I have been going to CR for 11 years, over 37 trips, been to almost every park multiple times, rafted all the rivers, which you do need rafting company that is safe and licensed like anywhere.

But you can do everything else on your own, with a rental car, or shuttles, or public busses on many routes, save big $$$. Unless you are hiking Corcovado the LOOP, you really dont need a tour or agency for anything, Sept to Nov is low season, everything is cheap, go by seat of pants, and take in the country at your pace, and interest, and relax.

7. Re: Just starting my research

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 28 December 2012, 21:05
8. Re: Just starting my research

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 29 December 2012, 00:05
Edited: 29 December 2012, 00:05
Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,654 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Just starting my research

I would hope that we "regulars" on this forum can respect what people want to do and not overlay it with our own wants/needs.

There are some of us who like to "strike out" on our own and there are some of us who like to go with a guided or organized tour. There's nothing wrong with that.

People who are paying for their vacation are allowed to make the choices that fit them.

I'm kind of reminded of a bumper sticker I used to see in Florida: "We Don't Care How You Did It Up North!" So funny. Maybe we should change that to "We Don't Care How You Did It on Thorn Tree"

Edited: 28 December 2012, 15:21
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
80 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Just starting my research

I would stay away from all-inclusives in Costa Rica. Renting a car and spending a few days here and there in small local owned B&Bs is the way to go and you'll spend much less time sitting in a van going back and forth.

Not sure why some of the "regulars" on this forum are opposed to different opinions other than their own.

Yes Hattie,people who are paying for their vacation are allowed to make choices that fit them, they are also allowed to look at options other than yours.

Edited: 28 December 2012, 16:07