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Costa Rica Itinerary Advice

Costa Rica Itinerary Advice

Old Mar 11, 16, 5:51 pm
  #1  
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Costa Rica Itinerary Advice

Hi all,
We are planning at trip for 4 adults to Costa Rica in early May. We will be flying into Liberia and flying out of San Jose. Our trip is 11 days total.

I could use some advice on where to go. I have been trying to plan and think I have at least 20 days worth of activities, which obviously isn't going to work!

I think we will be renting a car. For health reasons, having air conditioning nearby will be important for us. We can definitely go out into the heat, but need to be able to take a break somewhere cool when necessary.

Other than that we like reasonably active things. We'd like to see rainforest, cloudforest, and animals. We would like a day or two of scuba diving and my preference would be for beach days to be at the end of the trip (which I know isn't ideal, since the better beaches seem to be near LIR so suggestions on this would be appreciated). We would definitely prefer non-tourist traps when possible.

I'd love to hear what people think are the must sees and best places to stay.
Thanks in advance!
WombatCA is offline  
Old Mar 12, 16, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by WombatCA View Post
Hi all,
We are planning at trip for 4 adults to Costa Rica in early May. We will be flying into Liberia and flying out of San Jose. Our trip is 11 days total.

I could use some advice on where to go. I have been trying to plan and think I have at least 20 days worth of activities, which obviously isn't going to work!

I think we will be renting a car. For health reasons, having air conditioning nearby will be important for us. We can definitely go out into the heat, but need to be able to take a break somewhere cool when necessary.

Other than that we like reasonably active things. We'd like to see rainforest, cloudforest, and animals. We would like a day or two of scuba diving and my preference would be for beach days to be at the end of the trip (which I know isn't ideal, since the better beaches seem to be near LIR so suggestions on this would be appreciated). We would definitely prefer non-tourist traps when possible.

I'd love to hear what people think are the must sees and best places to stay.
Thanks in advance!
If you want good beaches near the end of the trip, I would plan on doing Quepos/Manuel Antonio Park right before heading to San Jose for your departure. Frankly, the beaches in and around Manuel Antonio are, to me, nicer than the ones near LIR - although near LIR, I think that Playa Flamingo is much the best. Manuel Antonio is like any other nice tropical beach, except that you'll be sharing it with aardvarks, sloths, several types of monkeys, and other prolific wildlife, which to me, makes the place somewhat magical.

Personally, having done CR a few times, I'd actually skip the Nicoya Peninsula entirely, and spend my time on a combination of Arenal/Monteverde, Other volcanos like Poas, and then hit Carrara NP and Manuel Antonio NP for the best wildlife and beach portions of your trip, and then head to San Jose for your departure. Also, by far the best sport fishing, if you're into that, is out of Jaco and Quepos.

A major issue with Costa Rica is that lots of the parks are somewhat similar, but a logistic haul to get to. For example, there's not much in Rincon de la Vieja that you can't just as well see or do in the Monteverde/Arenal area, but the tourism infrastructure is much better developed around Monteverde/Arenal. Similarly, Irazu is not too different from Poas, except that Poas is a much more accessible volcano park.

I'd hate to think that, out of a 10-11 day trip to CR, nearly half of it was wasted traveling poor roads to get to parks that aren't all that different from parks that are more easily seen, like Monteverde/Arenal, Poas, and Manuel Antonio.
lhgreengrd1 is offline  
Old Mar 15, 16, 5:10 am
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Originally Posted by lhgreengrd1 View Post
...I'd hate to think that, out of a 10-11 day trip to CR, nearly half of it was wasted traveling poor roads to get to parks that aren't all that different from parks that are more easily seen, like Monteverde/Arenal, Poas, and Manuel Antonio.
C'me on! You get to see the nature, the country! Isn't that part of visiting a different place?
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Old Nov 16, 16, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by lhgreengrd1 View Post
If you want good beaches near the end of the trip, I would plan on doing Quepos/Manuel Antonio Park right before heading to San Jose for your departure. Frankly, the beaches in and around Manuel Antonio are, to me, nicer than the ones near LIR - although near LIR, I think that Playa Flamingo is much the best. Manuel Antonio is like any other nice tropical beach, except that you'll be sharing it with aardvarks, sloths, several types of monkeys, and other prolific wildlife, which to me, makes the place somewhat magical.

Personally, having done CR a few times, I'd actually skip the Nicoya Peninsula entirely, and spend my time on a combination of Arenal/Monteverde, Other volcanos like Poas, and then hit Carrara NP and Manuel Antonio NP for the best wildlife and beach portions of your trip, and then head to San Jose for your departure. Also, by far the best sport fishing, if you're into that, is out of Jaco and Quepos.

A major issue with Costa Rica is that lots of the parks are somewhat similar, but a logistic haul to get to. For example, there's not much in Rincon de la Vieja that you can't just as well see or do in the Monteverde/Arenal area, but the tourism infrastructure is much better developed around Monteverde/Arenal. Similarly, Irazu is not too different from Poas, except that Poas is a much more accessible volcano park.

I'd hate to think that, out of a 10-11 day trip to CR, nearly half of it was wasted traveling poor roads to get to parks that aren't all that different from parks that are more easily seen, like Monteverde/Arenal, Poas, and Manuel Antonio.
@lhgreengrd1
I have a variation on the OP's scenario. I am flying into SJO at the end of November and I have two days to try and visit unique places like a volcano, rain-forest, national park, white-water rafting, and perhaps horseback riding.

Is the distance from San Jose so far that I need to spend a night near the volcano rather than returning to San Jose? I will have a 4x4 with two passengers.
Xeno is offline  
Old Jun 15, 18, 6:21 am
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Costa Rica
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Playa Flamingo Costa Rica

Hi All,

I would like to advise to take a catamaran tour like morning catamaran tour and sunset catamaran tours while at playa flamingo costa rica. Private charters are also good to hire!

Thanks
Lazylizardsailing is offline  
Old Jun 27, 18, 8:23 pm
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Volcanoes

Oh! Definitely you need to meet a volcano! There is not to much to do, but volcanoes are something very representative of CR, and you have to visit one, and make a picnic in the nearby, or visit a volcano museum.
also I could recommend to meet Manuel Antonio nature park, is a good way to spend the day in a beach with monkeys and racoons.
Also, if you like to ride bike or do a good activity with a local, check out the Yoplan.com page
joao_elportu is offline  
Old Jun 29, 18, 1:53 pm
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You must take a tour around San Jose, visit Poas volcano and Guanacaste beaches. They are really beautiful places whit lots of things to do!!
vfland63 is offline  
Old Jul 14, 18, 6:52 am
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Question

Originally Posted by joao_elportu View Post
Oh! Definitely you need to meet a volcano! There is not to much to do, but volcanoes are something very representative of CR, and you have to visit one, and make a picnic in the nearby, or visit a volcano museum.
also I could recommend to meet Manuel Antonio nature park, is a good way to spend the day in a beach with monkeys and racoons.
Also, if you like to ride bike or do a good activity with a local, check out the Yoplan.com page
I have seen this page and I have friends who have used it but for trips to Mexico, Cuba and Dominican Republic, but not for Costa Rica, I wanted to know that such activities are given there.
Sebas Candia is offline  

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