Costa Rica on my mind ...

Old Mar 3, 19, 8:40 am
  #1  
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Costa Rica on my mind ...

Planning to take a 15 days vacation to Costa Rica. Two families - 4 adults in good shape, 2 teenagers, 2 9yo, and one 2.5yo.

Would like to see a volcano, cloud forests, enjoy some time at the beaches near the end of the trip and maybe a turtle conservatory.

Food is not an issue as we love to eat and eat everything. We will not be renting a car since I donít want to drive with all that noise in the back.

Would like some advice on how to go about planning this?
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:59 am
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If you're not driving then you will either need to do some really long public bus rides to get everywhere you want to or book a good tourist agency. I don't know of any (because I'm local and do it myself) but I'm sure there's good ones recommended elsewhere that have good plans and established routes with buses. Note that they're likely to be extremely expensive.

Driving here isn't bad except in the capital (traffic). If I wanted to do all those things, then I would rent a car and get a good map and plan it out.

Some ideas:

Volcano - Volcan Poas. Do this first or at the end, it's near the airport (like an hour)
Cloud Forest - Parque Nacional Braulio Carillo - Near the capital
Beaches - White Sand then Santa Teresa - Black Sand and Caribbean Vibes then Puerto Viejo
Turtles - Not sure, likely on the Caribbean side.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 12:04 pm
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If you want to cover entire Costa Rica and not drive, I suggest hiring a vehicle with a driver. Or like what @Redwood839 said, you'll have to take loooong public commutes. Route-wise, you may want to cover all the provinces (total of 7) and start from north . There's something to see in each province, so your visit won't be wasted. Well, that's only if you want to cover everything. But if you want a more laid back trip, here's a rough itinerary I could suggest:

1. La Fortuna Hot Springs
2. Arenal Volcano
3. Boat ride in Monteverde
4. Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
5. Explore Beaches in Tamarindo
6. Osa Peninsula

I'm sure you would enjoy all the activities with your kids. But also remember to orient them about being eco-friendly while you're touring around Costa Rica (it is very important). I'm sure there will be orientations for this during the trip but for basics, you can refer to this article: https://www.costaricarealestates.com...ly-tips.5.html

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Apr 19, 19, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by jamcoley View Post
Route-wise, you may want to cover all the provinces (total of 7) and start from north . There's something to see in each province, so your visit won't be wasted.
I would never use the provinces as a basis for planning my trip to Costa Rica because the boundaries are so artificial. The provinces exist only to provide legislative apportionment. There aren't even provincial governments. Checking off Costa Rican provinces is not like checking off U.S. states you've visited.

The only province that welcomes you with a sign is Guanacaste. Otherwise, you barely know where one ends and the next one begins. You pass through three provinces just driving from SJO airport to San Jose itself. Alajuela and Heredia provinces extend from the San Jose suburbs to the Nicaraguan border. Puntarenas province strings along most of the Pacific coast and includes both Monteverde and the Osa peninsula.
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Old Apr 23, 19, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
I would never use the provinces as a basis for planning my trip to Costa Rica because the boundaries are so artificial. The provinces exist only to provide legislative apportionment. There aren't even provincial governments. Checking off Costa Rican provinces is not like checking off U.S. states you've visited.

The only province that welcomes you with a sign is Guanacaste. Otherwise, you barely know where one ends and the next one begins. You pass through three provinces just driving from SJO airport to San Jose itself. Alajuela and Heredia provinces extend from the San Jose suburbs to the Nicaraguan border. Puntarenas province strings along most of the Pacific coast and includes both Monteverde and the Osa peninsula.
In my mind I was just thinking of having a navigator, pinning one province to the next, and then going on a roadtrip to have that "full" experience. But yes, with your explanation I totally agree it could be really confusing. Thanks!
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Old Apr 23, 19, 2:56 pm
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Old Apr 23, 19, 2:58 pm
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There's a point just outside of Dominical on the south Pacific coast where the beach is in Puntarenas province, but you cross the road that fronts the beach and you're in San Jose province. Like I say, totally arbitrary.
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