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Costa Rica/Nicaragua with teens

(19 Posts)
bigTillyMint Sun 09-Mar-14 20:39:27

DH has just booked our flights!

Any recommendations for hotels/where to go and what to see?

MrsSquirrel Mon 10-Mar-14 12:01:14

I went to Nicaragua a while ago. There are 2 places that are most memorable for me. San Juan del Sur - the beach there is absolutely beautiful. Eating fresh seafood in a cafe on the beach watching the sun go down = bliss. Also the Masaya Volcano, very impressive. It's the closest volcano to Managua and within a national park.

bigTillyMint Mon 10-Mar-14 13:36:03

Oh thanks for that - they sound fab! Did you travel independently? Any hotel/places to stay recommendations?

MrsSquirrel Mon 10-Mar-14 15:02:50

We did travel independently, but I don't really have anything useful to say about hotels. My BIL & family were living in Managua at the time, so we mostly stayed with them.

bigTillyMint Mon 10-Mar-14 15:05:21

What is Managua like? Worth a visit or better to go elsewhere? We will be in Nicaragua for about a week, maybe a little more. Did you travel by bus?

Weegiemum Mon 10-Mar-14 15:11:17

Volcan Masaya is brilliant - little green parrots nest inside the crater!

It's 20 years since I went (!eek I'm old!) but can recommend Matagalpa, wonderful old colonial city in the north, also Leon, and the beach at Poneloya is brilliant - black volcanic sand burns your feet though!

I'd love to go back to Central America, last there 9 years ago when we took the dc backpacking in Guatemala/Honduras for 3 weeks (literally in the case of dd2 - she was 16 months and in the backpack!)

In more rural areas, it really helps to speak some Spanish!

CelticPromise Mon 10-Mar-14 15:14:47

We went to Costa Rica not long ago, it was bloody brilliant. I only have a 4yo but I think it would be perfect for teens. We went to Monteverde, Arenal, Sarapiqui and Cahuita. All fab in different ways. What sort of things do you like to do?

bigTillyMint Mon 10-Mar-14 15:23:41

Weegiemum, DD will HAVE to put her Spanish into action then - Dos cervezas, por favor is all I know!

Celtic, that sounds great - will google! We are fairly fit (DC and DH are very sporty, I try!) and we all like experiencing different cultures. I would also like to fit in some R&R beach-stylie! Might work well with them doing some surfing whilst I watch?!

MrsSquirrel Mon 10-Mar-14 15:45:07

Managua is big, busy and dusty. I wouldn't bother tbh. Nicer cities are Granada and Leon, they still have their old colonial buildings. Nearly everything in Managua was destroyed in the 1973 earthquake, so it's mostly suburban sprawl.

I travelled by bus and it was fine. Weegiemum is right that speaking Spanish is useful.

lessonsintightropes Tue 11-Mar-14 00:22:44

Carribean coast of Costa Rica is utterly beautiful and pretty unspoilt (unlike the lovely but over touristy Pacific coast). Manzanillo in particular is gorgeous, we stayed at an eco-lodge there for a couple of nights when we did a houseswap with some friends who live in the mountains.

bigTillyMint Tue 11-Mar-14 10:56:12

Ooh, that sounds great, thanks!

I think we will avoid Managua!

Weegiemum Tue 11-Mar-14 21:42:40

I wish it was me going ......

We're currently scouting India for 1-2 years time, but my heart is in Latin America!

MichaelFinnigan Tue 11-Mar-14 22:03:34

Ooo luckeeee Costa Rica is my favourite place on earth

I'd recommend the Osa peninsula down in the south

And zip wiring in Monteverdi

bigTillyMint Wed 12-Mar-14 10:34:37

Weegie, we did Kerala a couple of years ago - it was fab!

Michael, zip wiringshockshockshock

CelticPromise Wed 12-Mar-14 11:28:29

Zip wiring is really popular in CR, it's well organised and safe. We didn't do it because DH doesn't like heights and DS is too little but it would be perfect for teens.

bigTillyMint Wed 12-Mar-14 11:31:18

They have done it quite a bit in France but that was in those Go Ape type places - is it in similar sorts of places in CR or more "exciting" like over a gorge?!

MichaelFinnigan Wed 12-Mar-14 12:51:10

Over massive valleys and through the rainforest

I had to take two Valium but I couldn't not do it. It was ammmmmmaaaaazing

chemenger Wed 12-Mar-14 13:18:57

I have done the zip wires at Monteverde, they are amazing, the last one is around half a mile (from memory, very long). I hated every second but the rest of the family (DD's 10 and 14 at the time and DH) loved it. You can also do a walk on suspended tree-top walkways which put you nose to nose with howler monkeys - magical.

I would love to go back to Costa Rica.

bigTillyMint Wed 12-Mar-14 15:39:43

Michael, I think I'd need a lobotomy, never mind two valium! I think I might just about manage the suspended walkways. For the sake of my family!

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