Costa Rica Mini Trip Report
Nov 15, 2012 1:38 PM
Costa Rica Mini Trip ReportI've written more about our travels on my blog - http://molly-on-the-road.blogspot.com/ - but thought I'd share a few quick recommendations/observations about our recent 10-day trip to CR.
- We did 2 nights each in Arenal, Monteverde, Liberia & Tenorio, and one night in Alajuela before a morning flight. We definitely moved around a lot, but we didn't feel rushed because we planned our drives well. Liberia was actually an add-on because we spent less time in Arenal than expected (it was really overcast).
- In dry conditions, we found that having a car with a higher profile/clearance was more important than 4WD (which was good, because apparently the 4WD on our rental didn't work . . .). You can easily bottom out on unpaved roads driving a car lower to the ground, especially if you have multiple passengers or lots of luggage.
- I cannot stress enough how much we loved La Carolina Lodge at Tenorio. $75pp for a cabin, 3 homemade meals a day and horseback riding? Why am I not still there!?!?
- My favorite tour-type excursion was the night tour we did at Monteverde (Santa Maria Night Walk Tour, $23pp). Our guide, Javier, was great, and we saw all sorts of animals, insects, and birds - including a keel-billed toucan, the thing I most wanted to see on this trip.
- The park at Rincon de la Vieja ($10pp) was our best place for spotting wildlife without a guide (overall, we saw a lot less wildlife on this trip - apart from the night tour - than we did in Nicaragua, Belize & Guatemala). We really enjoyed Rincon - but use the Las Pailas entrance. Pretty sure the Santa Maria entrance is a mirage.
- At Santa Elena Reserve ($13pp) in Monteverde and Tenorio Park ($10pp), they are actively working on the trails. We had no need for the rubber boots on offer at Santa Elena . . . though you might want to consider finding some if it's raining at Tenorio, especially if you're doing the back half of the trail after the waterfall. Muddy.
- If you have the 9th edition CR Lonely Planet guide, be aware that most of the food and lodging info for Liberia is outdated. Many of the hotels and restaurants listed have changed name or are no longer open.
Islita AreaBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$303.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$153.39 per night
Guatemala CityBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$15.00 per night