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first time to Costa Rica in Mar 2013? help

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924 posts
34 reviews
first time to Costa Rica in Mar 2013? help

We purchased airfare for 3wks now looking for a place to hang our hat. We are flying into Liberia.

1. we are looking into renting a condo for 2 couples (clean. safe updated and nice grounds and good location) Suggestions please

2. to hire tours or rent a car

3. do we purchase water or is water safe to drink from tap at condos

4. We fly in late and arrive at 9pm. Best place for picking up groceries and having breakfast out till we can get our groceries.

//This will certainly help us start out.


1. Re: first time to Costa Rica in Mar 2013? help

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Level Contributor
187 posts
11 reviews
2. Re: first time to Costa Rica in Mar 2013? help

1. Tamarindo, Coco, Hermosa, Flamingo are all possibilities and vrbo a good place to look for rentals

2. Most tours pick up at your accommodations and tours for hire are often things you can't do on your own (unless you're packing a zipline cable, some horses and bunch of ocean kayaks) so they don't really enter into the decision on a car. Get a car if you want the freedom to explore up and down the coast, go to the next town up for dinner or head to the city.

3. The water is safe to drink and most people do but if you're more comfortable with bottled please buy the big (5 gal or more) jugs instead of hundreds of little ones

4. Arriving that late you may want to stay by the airport. The Hilton Garden Inn has a great breakfast. Groceries can be had at the intersection of Hwy 21 (the road the airport is on) and the Pan American highway in downtown Liberia.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
44,976 posts
28 reviews
3. Re: first time to Costa Rica in Mar 2013? help

Many nice beaches to stay...check...Samara...Nosara...Coco´s...Hermosa...Potrero...Conchal...Brasilito...Flamingo...La Penca...Tamarindo very nice...Avellanas...

Depending on the ebach you are going...you will find nice markets...some even better than many in USA and Canada...liek the ones around Cocos and Tamarindo beach...

We all drink our tap water...if you feel better just buy bottles of water...

Once here shop around for tour...you really do not have to prebook them...or pay anything in advance...try to bring a GPS...most rent a cars companies will give you a FREE road map...you do not have to buy any map prior arrival...some ridiculous prices for a simple map...the best mapping of Costa Rica by NAVSAT!


Level Contributor
924 posts
34 reviews
4. Re: first time to Costa Rica in Mar 2013? help

thank you thank you as your info was so welcomed. I unfortunately might have more questions.

Level Contributor
924 posts
34 reviews
5. Re: first time to Costa Rica in Mar 2013? help

Friends are staying in a place called Valle del Sol and Greenlife near Playas del coco. We would like to be in that area. We want to surprise them as they have left for CR already. However, due to our budget we are looking for a nice place in that area that would meet our budget.

Being we come in late at 9pm it would be better to stay at airport than find transport to a condo. If groceries are the same price in Playas del Coco would not need to purchase in Liberia.

We would look for tours at CR and perhaps rent a car for a day or two if required.

the location is important to us especially coming from the prairies we would like to walk the beach and walk for groceries, shop, liquor, etc.

In that regard I am wondering about the prices for the above -mentioned including tours for 4 people.

Thank you.

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
75 posts
24 reviews
6. Re: first time to Costa Rica in Mar 2013? help

Hazzle-free, sounds like your friends may be staying in the property next to a property we visited while vacationing in Costa Rica back in June. We had family traveling with us that stayed in the Condovac la Costa condos located next to Villas del Sol. The Condovac was a nice, safe property and the restaurant on site was very good! (The ceviche was delicious and the chef prepared our freshly caught Amberjack for us which was absolutely phenomenal!) Condovac is within walking distance to the beach and the property is very hilly with steep inclines in some areas but a shuttle is available if needed. I believe this property may be closer to Hermosa though.

Rent a car if you can; we were very glad we did. (We rented from Vamos; older vehicles but great service, good price.)

We booked all our tours once we arrived in CR, no pre-arranged tours. (We booked with Spanglish Tours, Herson Segura; terrific guide, outstanding service, all-around phenominal guy!)

If you want to walk to restaurants, shops, beach etc, staying in Playas del Coco is a good place. It's a more "lively" town versus Hermosa- Hermosa is more tranquil, laid-back.

The water in Costa Rica is safe to drink. I am not stomach-sensitive and I drank the tap water every day I was there and was fine. Actually, I found that the tap water tasted better the bottled water.

The Liberia grocery store is big and has several items you cannot find in the smaller stores in some towns. The store is located in a shopping center; there is a restaurant/bar in the shopping center named "Lib," good food, great service.

Another note about CR, it gets very dark at night- there is little to none street lighting and the locals walk along the road (no shoulder either), even late at night. If you rent a car, drive carefully at night. Staying in a hotel near the airport until morning might be a good idea.

25 miles north of...
Level Contributor
91 posts
6 reviews
7. Re: first time to Costa Rica in Mar 2013? help

Hola, My wife and I are from north of Winnipeg and also are going to be in Coco from mid Feb.to mid March. This is our first time there also. We are arriving late in liberia (9pm flight) and have arranged airport pickup through this website. www.airporttransfercostarica.com The person we rented our condo from said he is great and professional. The cost from liberia airport to the door of our condo is $50us for both of us. We are also booking some tours with him as you will see on his website he has alot to offer. Adios for now

Level Contributor
924 posts
34 reviews
8. Re: first time to Costa Rica in Mar 2013? help

That would be so cool if we crossd paths, unexpectedly. Enjoy your first time to CR and will keep posted for our tours (which we have not decided as of yet). The cab fare arranged for us by the owner of condo is $35.00 for the four of us! That sounds good for us as we are on a budget. so far everything was in our price range and even the airline tickets was a great deal compared to a friend who travelled in Mar 2012. We arrive at 9pm too. We leave Mar 6th and cannot wait. I hope groceries, liquor will be not too expensive. Thank you for replies.

Edited: 10:45 am, November 09, 2012
25 miles north of...
Level Contributor
91 posts
6 reviews
9. Re: first time to Costa Rica in Mar 2013? help

We had a couple that had sent us a private message thruogh TA from Yorkton that said they were staying at Valle del Sol about the same time you are going to Coco. They were in there early 50s, he was retired from some computor business and his wife was close to retirement after 30 some years as a teacher. Maybe your friends????

Playas del Coco
Level Contributor
4 posts
1 review
10. Re: first time to Costa Rica in Mar 2013? help

Hi Hazzle Free!

I live in Coco and I believe that Valle del Sol is a condominium complex in Playas del Coco, in the area refered to as Ubranizacion Las Palmas. It is an area right by the beach and just a few minutes walk to the main part of town. There are TONS of great vacation rentals in that area. If you are still looking for a place, try Tropical Felgate (http://www.tropicalfelgate.com/) (I've never used any of the rental agents, but I know that Tropical Felgate has a lot of listings, including at Valle del Sol) and definitely try vrbo.com. Things in that area will be listed as in the 'Las Palmas' area... some people refer to it as 'Mapache' as well.

If you want to book some tours I recommend waiting until you're here. I highly recommend Costa Rica Unique. They are located on the main road of Playas del Coco, across the street from Rich Coast Diving Center. They do not do a huge markup on tours, like some operators do. They offer pretty much everything and are super nice.

Any local tips you're looking for, just ask and I'll tell you! Where to get the best produce, which market has the best prices, best food,coldest beer, etc.