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Old Mar 6, 05, 11:40 am   #1
 
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Anyone done Costa Rica recently?

Back from Argentina last week. Now to Costa Rica in May using Distancia (transferred LP miles).

Can anyone give me info on:

Where to go and stay for a quiet, relaxing Beach vacation?

Where to stay in SJO for a couple of days before / after trip to beach?

Advice on Rental Cars?

Thanks.
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Old Mar 7, 05, 3:55 pm   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAPMAN
Back from Argentina last week. Now to Costa Rica in May using Distancia (transferred LP miles).

Can anyone give me info on:

Where to go and stay for a quiet, relaxing Beach vacation?

Where to stay in SJO for a couple of days before / after trip to beach?

Advice on Rental Cars?

Thanks.
Not recent, but probably useful: Take a look at my writeup on Costa Rica on the travel part of my website, The Personal Travel Experience of Gary Steiger.
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Old Mar 9, 05, 12:18 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAPMAN
Back from Argentina last week. Now to Costa Rica in May using Distancia (transferred LP miles).

Can anyone give me info on:

Where to go and stay for a quiet, relaxing Beach vacation?
I've only been to Manuel Antonio, and loved it Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree has a section on
Americas - Central America which seems to cover mostly Costa Rica, including Rental Cars.

Here's a link I found useful when looking at
Manuel Antonio Area

Where to stay in SJO for a couple of days before / after trip to beach?

Lots of places in San Jose, depending on your budget. There are some American type hotels fairly close to the airport, but I'm more of a budget traveller since I travel on my own dime. Last time I just showed up without a reservation and found a decent place downtown for $30 taxes included (Hotel del Boulevar).

Advice on Rental Cars?

Don't - though many people do it. You can fly to Quepos, which is very close to Manuel Antonio, and bus (like I said, I travel cheaply) or taxi it from there. Perhaps the more expensive hotels have shuttles.

Thanks

Hope this helps
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Old Mar 9, 05, 1:31 pm   #4
 
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Try the east coast - perfect beaches !
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Old Mar 9, 05, 1:32 pm   #5
 
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rental cars

I heard Adobe has a good reputation. We tried AVIS and it was fine. Although you should invest in a 4x4
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Old Mar 9, 05, 1:33 pm   #6
 
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Beaches

BTW. does anybody know if the weather situation has calmed down in the east?
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Old Mar 9, 05, 1:34 pm   #7
 
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Uups, I just saw that the question is rather old - maybe the answer are anyhow useful ....
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Old Mar 9, 05, 1:35 pm   #8
 
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as beaches don't change that fast.
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Old Mar 9, 05, 1:48 pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAPMAN
Back from Argentina last week. Now to Costa Rica in May using Distancia (transferred LP miles).

Can anyone give me info on:

Where to go and stay for a quiet, relaxing Beach vacation?

Where to stay in SJO for a couple of days before / after trip to beach?

Advice on Rental Cars?

Thanks.
Agree that Manuel Antonio is a nice area to stay with good beaches. I wouldn't stay in SJO for more than a night if you're getting in early or late. There are a couple of Hilton properties close to the airport - I think I used the Four Points, which was perfect for the few hours we were there, close to the airport and had a fine breakfast buffet. We flew from SJO to Quepos and rented 4WD from Adobe. Worked out fine.

Here's my trip report from November, which might be of use.
Costa Rica w/P.Hilton, M. Gibson, a 6.4 shaker and swimsuit-stealing monkeys
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Old Mar 9, 05, 4:30 pm   #10
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letiole,
I think you meant Hampton Inn by Hilton. If Im correct SPG doesnt have any props at all in CR
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Old Mar 9, 05, 4:38 pm   #11
 
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I was in SJO, Manuel Antonio and on the east "Caribbean" side last December. I agree with letiole, don't stay in SJO unless you have to. If you do, be very careful. It seems safe in the downtown area, but my friend got knifed at night (yes, he was stupidly walking back to the hotel himself) and ended up going to the hospital for six stitches. Manuel Antonio is beautiful with nice beaches. Although the beach we went to was very crowded as it was just after Christmas. I suppose it depends on the season. We also went to Cahuita on the Caribbean coast. A nice little town, far away from pretty much everything. The Cahuita Nat'l park is beautiful, but when we were there it was raining so much, 1/2 the trails were flooded and we had to turn back like everyone else. The water was also very, very rough and brown due to all the rainfall. Not a good time of year to go, as we found out later. The Caribbean side gets most of their rain during December/January! They had terrible floods a week after we left in January. We stayed at the "Atlantida Lodge" which is very nice and peaceful. We also got to see a sloth up close while staying at the lodge. If the weather were nicer, it would have been perfect. But it was beautiful just the same. We didn't rent a car, we took "Interbus" (http://www.costaricapass.com/) all over the place. They are cheap, efficient, clean friendly and safe (as safe as driving goes in CR!). I wouldn't have enjoyed driving a car because on the Caribbean side there were MASSIVE potholes everywhere!

Good luck! Ciao!
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Old Mar 9, 05, 4:41 pm   #12
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Hotels

Intercontinental and the Costa Rica Marriott are both really nice properties, both just outside of SJO. We stayed at them while doing day trips to volcanoes, rain forest, white-water rafting, etc.

Down near Manuel Antonio, we stayed at Hotel Si Como No, which was a very nice property. Great room, nice pools, great food in the restaurant. It's higher up on the hill, and has a shuttle down to the beaches. I would go back in a second.

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Old Mar 9, 05, 5:01 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craz
letiole,
I think you meant Hampton Inn by Hilton. If Im correct SPG doesnt have any props at all in CR
You're absolutely right. Thanks. Must wake up brain.
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Old Mar 9, 05, 11:28 pm   #14
 
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Thanks everyone for the advise and personal opinions. I also travel on the cheap much of the time - so do take buses.

By the way, anyone going to Argentina in the near future, let me know as I just returned from a month long vacation.
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