Costa Rica(8 Posts)
Anyone who's been able to offer some advice? It's our 10th anniversary next year and we've decided to splash out a bit and go to Costa Rica. We will be taking our daughter who'll be 8 by then. I'm not a big package holiday fan so will be booking everything myself. I always struggle to find a balance between a lot of travelling around (that suits me!) and flying & flopping which is generally what my husband wants! Thoughts so far - 2 days in San Jose, 7 days in Manuel Antonio. Any advice or suggestions folks?!
I'm jealous! I went before I had a child, years ago, but I remember getting a tiny plane out of San Jose to Tortuga Lodge which was amazing. You can kayak everywhere. Also Arenal, to the volcano. Why 2 days in San Jose? I don't remember it being very nice but we were only there for one night.
I would want to stop off half way and go to the Cloud Forest At Monteverde. Maybe spend a night there. It's meant to be very different from the rain forest at Manuel Antonio.
Ive never been to Costa Rica but did research a big trip as we were going to go before the school holiday rules changed. I did read that the quicker you can get out of San Jose the better.
I was planning Arenal (hot springs and volcano), Monteverde (cloud forest tree top walks and zip wires), Manuel antonio (rain forest stuff and beach)
Thanks for the advice on San Jose - have read different (some saying it was nicer than expected) reports on it and was thinking of doing a days walking trip in San Jose and then a day trip out of San Jose to Arenal. My husband isn't going to be up for more than a 2 centre holiday so I kind of see it as an initial base stop!
We went last summer with 11 year old dd and had a fantastic time. We flew into Panama and travelled along the Caribbean coast (Panama first then Costa Rica) - Puerto Viejo, Cahuita and Tortuguero.
Try and persuade your husband to be a bit more adventurous. It's a long way to go if you're only going to visit 2 places, especially if one of them is a big city.
We as for other honeymoon 7 years ago. I wouldn't plan to spend too much time in San Jose but do visit Monteverdi Cloud Forest and the Parque Nationale Manuel Antonio which beautiful. They limit the amount of visitors per day to 600 on weekdays and 800 on weekends so you can almost feel like you have the place to yourself.
I would not spend time in San Jose, we drove through it and apart from one church I don't remember anything that looked particularly interesting. It is not a pretty city and it is not very big. We dropped off our hire car in a slightly dodgy suburb, I would not have been comfortable walking around. We did coast to coast, starting in Tortuguero, which would be my do-not-miss location. We went by boat which was pretty cool. We went on a couple of boat trips from there and saw loads of wildlife. Monteverde is also very nice, the zip wires and rope bridges are another must do, again lots of monkeys and birds to see. We stopped at Arenal, it was cloudy so we did not see the volcano, but we did visit an amazing hot spring complex with many pools in beautiful gardens.
We went on an package tour (booked through the Guardian, the one and only time we have ever been on a package) and I really think we saw much more than we would have done by ourselves. Our guide was amazing, he knew so much about the history and flora and fauna but also took us to things that were not in the guidebooks. Every stage of the journey had a few extra stops to look at things that we would never have spotted. We ended with three days on the Pacific coast in a resort, which was fab and drove back to San Jose to come home. If you want a beach holiday that is the coast to go to. You can't swim in the sea at Tortuguero for a reason that escapes me - crocodiles maybe?
I should say that friend of ours used a company to set up a custom tour for them in Costa Rica so they had the advantages of everything being pre-booked without being on a tour as such. There seem to be quite a few such companies.
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