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Costa Rica
Old 07-25-2007, 06:00 PM   #1
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Costa Rica

I am planning a trip to Costa Rica .What are the must see sights ? Should I take a package tour ? What is it like driving in Costa Rica ? Any other hints ? How many areas of the county would you visit in ten days ??
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:06 PM   #2
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I had planned a trip there in August but because I'm kicking out the ex-girlfriend, I am stuck at home to care for animals for a while and I'm too cheap to pay the neighbour to tend four cats and one gerbil due to a change in plans, I'll have to cancel my trip this time. No great loss, as the airfares were dirt-cheap (bought back in the winter for < $100 r/t). Anyway, do tell us how your trip goes. C.R. is supposed to be beautiful, is/was one of the top retirement countries in Latin America, although I understand it got pricey in recent years.
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:18 PM   #3
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I just returned from Costa Rica. I guess it depends on if you are a beaches or cloud forest type of person, but I really enjoyed Monteverde.

The roads are poor and it takes a long time to get anywhere (4 hours to go 100 miles from Monteverde to San Jose). You can rent a car or SUV and drive yourself, but it is expensive to rent vehicles. You can also take a shuttle or taxi if you are not going to too many different locations and save over renting. The country is modern for Central America with little corruption. One can use a Visa card just about anywhere.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:05 PM   #4
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I have visited Costa Rica 5 times.I would try to visit the following three places in this order-
Arenal - an active volcano in the North central,
Tamarindo -Guanacaste Penninsula northern pacific coast , Jaco or Quepos- mid southern pacific coast
If you drive, this will give you a pretty good tour of the nation. If you are into thrills, the white water rafting in CR is top notch and there are dozens of great tours for very low cost. Have fun! PURA VIDA!!!
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:33 AM   #5
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I went there on a vacation several years ago in Guanacaste. Many of the roads were terrible. Although, the people seem nice. They are having problems with illegal immigration from Nicaragua. Apparently in San Jose, Expats (and others) have problems with theft from immigrants that go to CR seeking jobs and cannot find one.

What always strikes me as odd is seeing houses with barbed wire around the top of a large wall to keep thieves out.

I think the government is reasonably stable. Largely Agricultural Economy that is trying to move into other industries.

IMHO - It is a typical LA country with the wealth concentrated in a few Spanish heritage families (all the way back from the Conquistadors and early explorers/settlers).

As far as vacations go: It was OK. I would not go back. There are better destinations (IMO). BUt then again, it depends on what you are looking for in a vacation.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:14 AM   #6
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[quote BUt then again, it depends on what you are looking for in a vacation.[/quote]

I'm looking for a place for sightseeing and a little adventure .Since I live on a beach ,my vacations ( are they still called vacations if you are retired ?) are for sightseeing.Costa Rica looked like a good choice .Several different areas to visit ,reasonably priced ,four hour plane ride and several touristy things to do .
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
I'm looking for a place for sightseeing and a little adventure .Since I live on a beach ,my vacations ( are they still called vacations if you are retired ?) are for sightseeing.Costa Rica looked like a good choice .Several different areas to visit ,reasonably priced ,four hour plane ride and several touristy things to do .
Leaving Sarasota/Ft.Myers to go to Costa Rica is like leaving Manhatten to go to Newark.

Though it is a change.

Ha
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Old 07-27-2007, 04:29 AM   #8
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[quote BUt then again, it depends on what you are looking for in a vacation.
I'm looking for a place for sightseeing and a little adventure .Since I live on a beach ,my vacations ( are they still called vacations if you are retired ?) are for sightseeing.Costa Rica looked like a good choice .Several different areas to visit ,reasonably priced ,four hour plane ride and several touristy things to do .[/quote]


There was nothing wrong with Costa Rica. We stayed at a resort.


IMHO - the price is reflective of the overall experience. Of course, we usually go to those places for the beach. CR in Guanacaste was a disappointment for that.

My experience is limited... but It has some national parks (wilderness), volcano, white water rafting, etc. I personally thought the Oregon and Washington area or California were much better for national parks (or anywhere in Western USA).

What type of vacation do you want? What are you looking to do?
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Old 07-27-2007, 08:45 AM   #9
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Leaving Sarasota/Ft.Myers to go to Costa Rica is like leaving Manhatten to go to Newark.

Though it is a change.

Ha
Is Costa Rica really that bad ? I lived in new Jersey before moving to Sarasota so I know Newark (YUCK ,Double YUCK ).
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Old 07-27-2007, 08:51 AM   #10
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[.

What type of vacation do you want? What are you looking to do?[/quote]


I want a place with some sightseeing ,waterfalls,volcanos ,are all good .I don't need beaches since I live on one .I've been to europe several times and the west ( love california ) .So I'm open for suggestions .
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:57 AM   #11
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IMHO - It is a typical LA country with the wealth concentrated in a few Spanish heritage families (all the way back from the Conquistadors and early explorers/settlers).
Actually Costa Rica has a large middle class, good universal health insurance, a higher literacy rate than the US and coincidentally, no military.

Costa Rica - Costa Rica Culture: an Overview

https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...k/geos/cs.html
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:03 AM   #12
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For a taste of some jungle adventure check out Lapa Rios Rainforest Ecolodge a Private Nature & Wilderness Reserve next to Corcovado National Park Osa Peninsula Costa Rica . My wife and I spent 9 days in Costa Rica about 18 months ago. We spent some time in B&Bs outside of San Jose, a few days at the beaches on the west coast in Santa Teresa, and 4 days at Lapa Rios. It was all very nice, but we really enjoyed staying at Lapa Rios. Check it out. Loved the food, bungalows, and staff. I'd go back first chance I get, but I wouldn't stay more than 3-4 days before checking out another part of the country. Also, you might want to look at flying around the country rather than drive. The small communter airplanes, airports, and taxis make getting around cheap and relatively easy. Tickets for air travel inside Costa Rica between the areas we visited were about $100 each. We also booked all of our travel through an agent which made arrangements a snap.
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Old 07-27-2007, 01:04 PM   #13
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Thanks Just Ducky ,
That place looks fantastic .I'm going to add it to my possibilties .
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Old 07-27-2007, 02:01 PM   #14
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I was in CR for a week last June. Stayed mostly in the San Jose area but took a trip to the southwestern coast for a day.

The weather was hotter and muggier than I prefer; probably similar to New Jersey the same time of year from what I recall.

The beach I went to was no great shakes I went to Quepos. Apparently there is a better beach in Manuel Antonio State Park, which is only a few miles down the road from Quepos. I like the beaches in the Bahamas and Grand Cayman better. If you're a cheapskate you can take a public bus from the San Jose city bus terminal to Quepos for about $2.00 US. There are private buses which are apparently nicer and possibly air conditioned but they are ~$35.00 US. I like traveling with the locals.

I did like the higher country -- visited a coffee plantation north of San Jose as well as the Irazu volcano up there. I would recommend both of those, but the Arenal volcano looks like a better choice.

San Jose itself is a large, spread out city with lots of poor areas.

I didn't see any evidence of crime, but a friend who went on the same trip had her passport stolen.

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Old 07-27-2007, 08:50 PM   #15
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Actually Costa Rica has a large middle class, good universal health insurance, a higher literacy rate than the US and coincidentally, no military.

Costa Rica - Costa Rica Culture: an Overview

https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...k/geos/cs.html
Yeah... reading an article probably would make you think so. But... then again, define middle class!

When I was there... The standard of living was not anywhere near the US or what we would classify as middle class.
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:22 PM   #16
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Yeah... reading an article probably would make you think so. But... then again, define middle class!

When I was there... The standard of living was not anywhere near the US or what we would classify as middle class.
This is true. But it is also true that socioeconomically Costa Rica is way ahead of say Guatamala or El Salvador or any other Central American country save Panama.

I suppose that if you have traveled almost everywhere else, why not go to Costa Rica? It's just that it isn't unusually spectacular or beautiful, not unusually charming, not anything that in my mind at least that would make you want to make the effort to go there. A guy who used to post here -Dougdo- promoted Costa Rica and he mentioned some particular beach area that he found charming. I believe it was Manuel Antonio State Park.

Ha
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:50 PM   #17
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i really really want to go to CR too! take a picture of a sloth or two for me and post when you get back! i love beaches, volcanoes, cloud forests and sloths! heheh

i'm excited for you!

i had some friends take the zip line tour in the forest and enjoy it...
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Old 07-28-2007, 09:21 AM   #18
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[quote It's just that it isn't unusually spectacular or beautiful, not unusually charming, not anything that in my mind at least that would make you want to make the effort to go there. ]


Yes,but is it better than Newark That's scenic in a scarey way .
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Old 07-28-2007, 09:53 AM   #19
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a higher literacy rate than the US....
Not according to source you linked:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...k/geos/cs.html
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Old 07-28-2007, 10:02 AM   #20
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Not according to source you linked:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...k/geos/cs.html

You got me - literacy is quoted as only 96% CR vs US at 99% in 2003. But then, everyone know the CIA lies.......
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