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Costa Rica
Old 11-22-2009, 03:21 PM   #1
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Costa Rica

My single daughter has a landmark birthday coming up and we (my wife and I) offered to take her on a cruise to celebrate. She said she'd rather go to Costa Rica. We checked with our local travel agent and got some brochures. We're thinking about a 7 - 10 day trip but not an "on-the-bus/off-the-bus" type. I have some idea what we might like to do, but wonder if there are any folks out there who have done a Costa Rica trip who might have recommendations. (Although a couple of days at a beach resort would be OK, none of us want to spend the whole time sitting on a beach sipping tropical drinks.)


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Old 11-22-2009, 04:42 PM   #2
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After the beaches - we made our way to the Arenal volcano.

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Old 11-22-2009, 05:21 PM   #3
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Definitely see Monteverde cloud forest. We rented a house just outside the reserve quite cheaply that was gorgeous - all hardwoods throughout.
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:51 AM   #4
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Never been but heard good reports about Lake Arenal in the interior. It was a windsurfing mecca in the late 90s - probably kite sailing now.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:19 AM   #5
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Smart Daughter!!! CR is way better than 95% of cruises IMHO.

I've done what you are proposing with my brother who lived in Costa-Rica for a few years and I have returned many times (actually be there in a few weeks for xmas). First, not sure if I would do the bus thing. You can esaily rent a small SUV and drive around.

You can kinda do a loop and get to see the most in 10 days. Here is what I would do.

-Fly into Liberia, rent a car and drive to Arenal Volcano, spend a couple of days there seeing the volcano, hot springs, swiming in the big water falls, etc. There is lots of good places to stay and tourist info. Note that the volcano itself can be under cloud cover for days

-Next onto Monte Verde national park (1/2 day drive). You can easily spend 3 days there visiting the sites like the rain forest, cloud forest, zip lining, etc. Lots of good places to stay along with great restaurants. Be sure to dress for it as it is cool and rains a lot (hence the term Rain Forest).

-Then to the Pacific coast. If you are not into crowds, I would skip Jaco & Tamarindo and go to Nosara Beach and rent a house for a few days. Rent one in the hills overlooking the ocean, not close to the beach. No bugs, no air conditioning & great views and spend a few days Great safe beach, not many tourists, good restaurants. It's a little hard to get to (long dirt road drive of about 45 minutes), but well worth it! This is a good site for house rentals in Nosara Vacation Rentals in Nosara, Costa Rica:

Have a great trip!
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:42 AM   #6
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I did a [mostly] scuba trip 10-15 years ago in Playas el Coco which is an easy 1/2 hourish drive from Liberia. At the time, it was a sleepy little beach community with few non-tica tourists. But, it did have a hand full of inexpensive hotels, bars, restaurants, etc.

The Arenal Volcano area was great; but, be careful if anyone in the group has even a hint of asthma: Lots of sulpher compounds in the air.

I don't think I've every heard from anyone who had a bad vacation in Costa Rica.

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Old 11-27-2009, 08:47 AM   #7
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I have two friends who are riding through Costa Rica right now. Here's their blog with CR photos.

Cancun to Panama City: Costa Rica: Land of monkeys and potholes
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:37 PM   #8
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I was in Montezuma for several days on the Pacific side. Nice town. Also went to Monteverde. Roads to Monteverde are bumpy, though. I took the bus and it was going like 15 m/h. I think if you rent an SUV your time will be better spent, since you don't have to fit the bus schedules.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:29 PM   #9
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We were there in Feb. for our 25th anniversary. We divided our time between the Arenal region mentioned earlier and the Nicoya peninsula on the Pac. coast.
We stayed at the Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens in La Fortuna and the Harmony Hotel in Nosara.
Both were great. We had drivers to and from, which was ok, but we will rent a car the next time, even though the roads range from fair to terrible.

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Old 01-01-2010, 06:12 PM   #10
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Wife and I did 10 days in Costa Rica in summer of 2008. Loved it. Highlights included:

Rafting Pacuare river and overnighting in jungle.
Arenal area including canyoning (Rappelling down waterfalls) and Zip lining on Skytrek
Great country and lots of fun if your active.

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Old 01-13-2010, 01:44 PM   #11
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Did you ever go? Came back from a relaxing couple of weeks. Here's my favorite picture from the trip...
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by friar1610 View Post
(Although a couple of days at a beach resort would be OK, none of us want to spend the whole time sitting on a beach sipping tropical drinks.)
Surfing lessons. If you can swim then you'll probably be standing up on a 10'0" longboard within the hour.


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