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Playa Hermosa - Itinerary Help Please

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Tampa, FL
posts: 9
reviews: 34
Playa Hermosa - Itinerary Help Please

My husband and I are planning a trip to Costa Rica, May 11 - 19. The main objective of our trip is to get some rest and relaxation; however, we are also looking forward to seeing the beautiful sites that Costa Rica has to offer. We are looking for some advice on our itinerary...

We were thinking about staying all 8 days at El Velero in Playa Hermosa (near Liberia). Then taking day trips to various excursions.


The other option would be to spend a few days at Playa Hermosa (near Liberia), then spend a few nights at Arenal and Monteverde Cloud Forest.

We are hoping to receive some suggestions on the following:

1. What are your thoughts on an 8 day stay at El Velero? Will we get bored with Playa Hermosa for 8 days or should we travel to another beach area for a few days?

2. We've read lots of negative comments about driving in Costa Rica; is it better to illicit the help of a tour company/travel guide for trips to Arenal / Monteverde? If we go to Arenal/Monteverde, is it better to stay overnight? Or is a day trip sufficent to see the higlights?

3. Avispas comes highly recommended on the forums and offers a Miravalles Volcano Adventure. Is this comparable to Arenal?

4. It is my undertsanding that May is the beginning of the "rainy" season. A few people have indicated that the rains pass quickly each day. What can we expect?

Any information/feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

Thank you!

costa rica
posts: 647
1. Re: Playa Hermosa - Itinerary Help Please

El Velero is my choice, well run great BBQ on Weds and Sat night and right on the beach!

think 8 days may be too much, depends what you want to do.

it's a lovely beach, good safe swimming, good sportfishing.

The best tour to do locally is Rincon de la Vieja.

Wildlife, hot mud springs, volcanos- mini- and waterfalls:


Papagayo Vargas Tours work with the El Velero and do tours there.

This is Miravalles Volcano:


This is Arenal Volcano:


and in Arenal/ La Fortuna you've also got a beautifull waterfall"


Hot Springs:


and lots of good restaurants:


I'd do 5 nights Playa Hermosa, 2 nights in La Fortuna.

OR, if you want to visit Cano Negro Reserve from La Fortuna- i recommend you do- then spend 3 nights in La Fortuna!

Tampa, FL
posts: 9
reviews: 34
2. Re: Playa Hermosa - Itinerary Help Please


Thank you so much for your recommendations. What is the best way of traveling to/from La Fortuna/Arenal? Arenal.net indicates that there is a shuttle from Playa Hermosa to Arenal for $29/person. Is this the easiest way of traveling there if we do not have a rental car?

Thank you!

costa rica
posts: 647
3. Re: Playa Hermosa - Itinerary Help Please


4. Re: Playa Hermosa - Itinerary Help Please

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Nova Scotia
posts: 1,914
reviews: 21
5. Re: Playa Hermosa - Itinerary Help Please

I think it is worth every penny to hire a guide, even for the drive to Arenal. They see so much and point things out to you that would be lost otherwise. You can do Arenal as a day trip, or even Nicaragua.

Tampa, FL
posts: 9
reviews: 34
6. Re: Playa Hermosa - Itinerary Help Please

Does anyone have any insight on the following:

1. Driving conditions from Liberia (Playa Hermosa) to LaFortuna

2. Driving conditions from LaFortuna to Monteverde Cloud Forrest

We appreciate all of the helpful suggestions provided!!

Thank you!

posts: 16
reviews: 1
7. Re: Playa Hermosa - Itinerary Help Please


My wife and I were in CR in November and I can't say enough about Amy Avispas. The Miravalles Volcano adventure was the highlight of our trip, but the volcano was nothing like Arenal.

Going on a trip with Avispas is like having a family friend that can set up a private tour of anything you want. On the Miravalles tour we were joined by one other couple and spent the entire day swinging through trees, riding horses, and playing in hot mud. Want to stop and make a picture -- no problem. See a store you want to investigate just ask.

I've never had a tour operator call the night before to ask what beverages I prefer so she can stock a cooler. On the way up to the rain forest we stopped at small bakery, and Amy brings out a bag full of goodys straight from the oven. The horseback ride was just me and my wife following a trail through the jungle -- not the typical view of fifty horses rears I expected.

We enjoyed our trip so much that we asked her to set up a river cruise the next day and it was great too!.

The one thing you need to understand is that Arenal is an all day trip to spend an hour or so looking at a genuine volcano with smoke/lava coming out the top. (If it isn't socked in with clouds.) Miravalles is smoke, steam and bubbling mud that you can get really close to.

Hope your trip is as good as ours. If you talk to Amy tell her I said hi.


posts: 16
reviews: 1
8. Re: Playa Hermosa - Itinerary Help Please

Almost forgot. You can see a few photos from our trip at www.pbase.com/tnskidude. Hope you have a great trip.

Tampa, FL
posts: 9
reviews: 34
9. Re: Playa Hermosa - Itinerary Help Please

Thanks so much of the input MarkB!! It sounds like you had a fabulous trip! We are so excited!

So, this is what we ultimately decided for our itinerary:

We are going to stay at Playa Hermosa for 3 days. While we are there, we plan to do the day trip with Amy to Miravalles. Everyone has such positive feedback about their experiences with Avispas.

Then we are going to travel to LaFortuna and stay there for 2 days so we have plenty of time to see the sights.

We will wrap up our trip at Hotel Bula Bula in Playa Grande.

Did you rent a car while you are there? I think we've come full circle and are now leaning towards renting a car. I like the flexibility of being able to venture out and explore.

Tampa, FL
posts: 9
reviews: 34
10. Re: Playa Hermosa - Itinerary Help Please

P.S. The pictures are spectacular. They look like they are straight from a professional travel journal. Great shots!

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