First time going to Costa Rica!
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Mar 9, 2012 7:36 PM Last Post By: JACKYL01
Mar 7, 2012 8:57 PM
First time going to Costa Rica!Hi everyone,
This is my first time going to Costa Rica and I was looking for some advice on where to stay. I'm looking to definitely steer clear of anything at all touristy, but would like to find some nice small places, something kinda lively but relaxed, close to beautiful beaches and wildlife. I'll be there from March 17th to the 31st. Any ideas? East coast, west coast? North, south?
Mar 7, 2012 10:22 PM
1Everything on the Pacific coast that we saw was pretty touristy..but still cool. You should prob steer clear of Jaco, even though we had a good time there (tons of bars/clubs and a lot of Tica's from San Jose) Tamarindo was cool on the Pacific. What I'd really reccomend is a trip out to Witches Rock near the Nica border. That was an unforgetable experience. Rent a 4x4 in SJ. If you have a week or more you can do both the Withces Rock trip as well as a couple of nites in Puerto Viejo. They are at opposite ends from eachother but my two favorite spots in CR (Witches is in the North West and Puerto is on the SE Coast). The Carribean vibe is way cool and really laid back. Everything is stunningly gorgeous! The drive South from Puerto Limon is absolutely breath taking. That was my first taste of the Carribean and I was awestruck by all of the gorgeous lagoons and bays, islands and rivers. Have Fun!!
Mar 8, 2012 4:26 AM
2Thanks so much for your response. When you say, "everything on the pacific", had you been to Montezuma, Mal Pais, or Santa Theresa? I haven't heard too much about those places and am interested to get more info. Thanks
Mar 8, 2012 4:41 AM
3some helpful websites:
you will have 13 or 14 days in country and should plan on visiting no more than 4 places. look here for distances and driving times. http://www.yourtravelmap.com
you can fly into sjo (san jose) or lir (liberia). you could consider flying into lir and out of sjo (or vice versa) to make it easier to see more of the country. the two airports are about 4 hours apart.
do you have any ideas about transportation? you will need to pick your destinations before getting any good recommendations for transportation. of course, if you are just going to rent a car, then that's it.
i have to say - i am kind of amazed that someone would book a 14 day trip to a foreign country and not know where they are going in that country 8 days prior to the trip.
there are many many choices for your visit and you will need to look at the websites, especially the one with the travel times, and do some planning yourself. most people plan on visiting a combination of volcano and beach destinations.
the osa peninsula is highly recommended if you are into hiking and wilderness and wildlife.
Mar 8, 2012 8:58 AM
4It all depends on your interest, budget and mode of transport.
Its best to move about in CR, as the national parks and highlights are very spread out, and many are inland away from the beaches..
As #2 say, why are you going to CR?
With two weeks, the focus as far as wildlife, eco systems and bio diversity, as well natural beauty are:
Arenal volcano is not active at the moment, though a lot of activities in the area.
The three most visited and touristed areas on the tourist circuit, are Arenal, Monteverde Cloudforest, and Manual Antonio, due to access from San Jose.
The NW Pacific beaches are the most developed and touristy as well, with Papagayo the most, and then Tamarindo/Coco/Flamingo.
Best to avoid Jaco.
Great beaches for surf lessons, chilling and relaxing nightlife, is Samara/Nosara, Montezuma/Mal Pais, Dominical area, and on the caribe, Playa Cahuita, Pt Viejo and beaches south to Manzanillo.
Get the MOON or LP guidebook for all the ins/outs, must see by region, cool lodges.
It also is important to know if you plan to rent a car, take public transport, or shuttles.
You can do a combo of oneway car rentals, flights, boats/ferries, busses, shuttles, even river boats or rafting to get somewhere.
Put adventure first, and beaches last. I would pick one coast to enjoy at end.
Mar 9, 2012 4:51 AM
Mar 9, 2012 7:36 PM
6I should have been more clear, sorry I have not been south of Dominical. I went to Montezuma and ended up skipping it, wasn't too impressed. It is pretty touristy. I have heard that Osa is really cool, uncrowded and unspoiled. I am the kind of guy that doesn't usually mind people, I just don't dig resorts. With 14 days you have PLENTY of time to do both coasts. There really isn't a whole lot that you can do on the Caribe anyway if you are driving or busing it. Really there is just South of Limon...I would skip Limon all together and head to Puerto Viejo.
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