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Itinerary HELP!!!!

Which Manuel Antonio National Park hotels are on sale?
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new york
posts: 90
reviews: 92
Itinerary HELP!!!!

My husband and I have travelled a great deal and are currently planning a trip to CR for December. We are currently thinking we'll spend 2.5 days at Arenal (Tabacon) then spend 5 days relaxing on the beach in Guanacaste (Westin) and then 3 days in Manuel Antonio. This is a little more complicated as we will be visiting the latter half of December which gets pricey in certain hotels which has been effecting some of our planning. My biggest concern is that I'm not sure it makes sense to add in Monteverde as well. While it looks beautiful and I'd love to see it, it seems like quite a drive and I'm wondering if it is worth it if we'll be able to do the rain forest in Manuel Antonio and by Arenal? Is the zip lining and wild life viewing that much better? What are we giving up if we don't get to go there as well? We are really excited about the trip and appreciate any suggestions/opinions!

Telluride, CO
posts: 82
reviews: 10
1. Re: Itinerary HELP!!!!

Adding Monteverde wouldn't be that hard, plus it's not an average rainforest like you would see in Arenal or Manuel Antonio, it's completly different. It's home to a lot of birds and pine trees. Arenal has a primary and secondary rainforest which is why you see a wide diversity or animals. If you have the time I would totally hit up Monteverde, it's a wonderful little gem. Spending two nights is just enough time to explore the cloud forest.

The drive from the Westin to Manuel Antonio is going to take you a pretty good amount of time. I would consider starting off your journey in Manuel Antonio, then to Arenal, Monteverde, finishing at the Westin. Flying into San Jose and out of Liberia. That is how I would set up the itinerary if I were to do it.

new york
posts: 90
reviews: 92
2. Re: Itinerary HELP!!!!

Thank you for the quick feedback. The issue is that prices basically double for Tabacon & Westin if we flip the order, so that is why we were starting by flying into Liberia and starting at Tabacon. Plus, we are thinking of ending the trip in Nicaragua so we would need to fly from San Jose. Would you add Monteverde in before Manuel Antonio? Or does it make sense to leave something out instead? If you had to choose 2 out of the 3 (Arenal/Monte Verde/Manuel Antonio) given that we want to see wildlife which would you choose? If we do Monteverde, where should we stay? Thanks again!

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 41,138
3. Re: Itinerary HELP!!!!

Arenal in some areas offer very much the same as Monteverde...of course Monteverde is highlands...but in your case I think you can visit Monteverde next time...

I will leave out Monteverde even that I love it!

roadadvisor

Edited: 6:01 pm, September 05, 2012
San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 3,527
4. Re: Itinerary HELP!!!!

Monteverde is totally different than Arenal and Manuel Antonio as trvkid stated. It is a Cloud Forest with great nature. If you are flying into Liberia and out of San Jose to avoid back tracking and save hours on the road I would go to Westin First then Arenal, then Monteverde and finish in Manuel Antonio Some nice hotels are El Establo, Fonda Vela, Ficus, Poco a Poco.

Manuel Antonio
Destination Expert
for Manuel Antonio National Park
posts: 2,141
5. Re: Itinerary HELP!!!!

Monteverde is beautiful and has much different, though all areas you are traveling to are going to have great tour options, so that is not a big issue. However, I think you would enjoy your time more if you leave that destination out (or switch it with another), as you are trying to do so much in so little time during one of our busiest times of the year. Relax a little more, and add Monteverde on your next visit to this beautiful country! Enjoy!

Houston, Texas
posts: 9
6. Re: Itinerary HELP!!!!

I agree with LivNLarge Monteverde is very pretty and is a great place to visit but you are trying to fit to much into to little time. The thing I would be worried about with traveling that late in December is hotel availability. That will be high season and not only are prices higher but they sell out faster. I would figure out an itenerary and try to book the hotels you want within the next couple of weeks to ensure that your trip is everything you want it to be.

guanacaste
posts: 2,928
reviews: 31
7. Re: Itinerary HELP!!!!

If you had to choose 2 out of the 3 (Arenal/Monte Verde/Manuel Antonio)?

I would leave Arenal out.

If you would have a chance to do a day trip to Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, it will not disrupt your plans, and it has lots to show, as for nature and adventure and vocanic activity.

Aylmer, Canada
posts: 3
reviews: 7
8. Re: Itinerary HELP!!!!

For Monteverde you have to take the 145... it isn't a dirt road but a rock road, you can't go faster than 20-30 kph and you better get a 4x4 if you don't want to loose parts of your car! As far as scenic road, this one is hard to beat.

Aylmer, Canada
posts: 3
reviews: 7
9. Re: Itinerary HELP!!!!

For Monteverde you have to take the 145... it isn't a dirt road but a rock road, you can't go faster than 20-30 kph and you better get a 4x4 if you don't want to loose parts of your car! As far as scenic road, this one is hard to beat.

new york
posts: 90
reviews: 92
10. Re: Itinerary HELP!!!!

Thanks for all the input. I think we're going to save Monteverde for our next visit!!