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"Adventure-ish" Honeymoon Advice

Which Manuel Antonio National Park hotels are on sale?
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Chicago, IL
posts: 2
reviews: 10
"Adventure-ish" Honeymoon Advice

First of all, I'd like to say that this forum has provided me with a LOT of great info; and I'd like to thank all that continue to post great advice. Some of these questions may have already been answered elsewhere, for that I apologize.. I tried to do my research first.

My fiance and I are going to Costa Rica for our Honeymoon. We are flying into SJ on July 7th, 2013, and after our first night in town we are planning on spending the next 4 days on the Rios Tropicales 4 day rafting trip.

The trip should get us back early evening on the 11th, and then we plan on taking our adventure to Manuel Antonio through Sunday, the 14th. Here's where I'm trying to figure out our best options on what to do with our time. We are a pretty adventurous, relatively in-shape couple who are looking to combine relaxation, nature, and trying to learn how to surf a bit. I guess I'm just looking for suggestions along those lines, and I'll post some initial thoughts to see if anyone wants to offer some advice:

1. I'm trying to figure out if I should see if there's bus service on the 11th from SJ to MA that late in the evening; or if I would be better off just renting a 4x4 and having access to a vehicle for our stay. (I've checked websites and some just say "every 2 hours", which I know can't be 24/7)

2. For hotels, I'm bouncing between La Posada or the Cocomar Residences (which appear to be a bit further away). We would like to stay close to restaurants and activities, but not too close to where we can't enjoy some quiet time together (cake and eat it too, i know). Any other hotel suggestions for this would be appreciated as well.

3. Any advice for newbie surfers? We're both accomplished snowboarders, however I don't know how much that will help us on the waves. This is one of the activities we're looking forward to the most. (rental companies, lessons, etc...)

3. Probably want to do a boat tour to perhaps see some sea life, as well as snorkeling too. Do you think we'd be better off separating these activities, or combining them into one boat tour?

4, Hopefully you get the idea of what we're after, so any other advice is totally welcome. Thanks guys.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,844
1. Re: "Adventure-ish" Honeymoon Advice

Nice idea...and congratulations in your honey moon...try to dealt directly with services providers now days even want to be travel writers trying to get you hard earned money...

Let me try to answer your questions...

1. I'm trying to figure out if I should see if there's bus service on the 11th from SJ to MA that late in the evening; or if I would be better off just renting a 4x4 and having access to a vehicle for our stay. (I've checked websites and some just say "every 2 hours", which I know can't be 24/7)

Mostof the time they do not late at night...you are correct no 24-7...you really do not need a 4x4...another option shuttle buses like Interbus...

2. For hotels, I'm bouncing between La Posada or the Cocomar Residences (which appear to be a bit further away). We would like to stay close to restaurants and activities, but not too close to where we can't enjoy some quiet time together (cake and eat it too, i know). Any other hotel suggestions for this would be appreciated as well.

La Posada is a great location...simple but nice...you can also check The Falls a little up from the public beaches but nice...most of the people we drive there they really like the place...

3. Any advice for newbie surfers? We're both accomplished snowboarders, however I don't know how much that will help us on the waves. This is one of the activities we're looking forward to the most. (rental companies, lessons, etc...)

You can check once you are in Manuel Antonio with...MASS..Manuel Antonio Surfing School...they are located on the way from Quepos to Manuel Antonio at your right hand side...

3. Probably want to do a boat tour to perhaps see some sea life, as well as snorkeling too. Do you think we'd be better off separating these activities, or combining them into one boat tour?

Do the sunnset tour...you can e-mail...avenatura@racsa.co.cr...they can send you some information...I work very close with them and so far so good...nice people!

4, You are Welcome...feel free to ask any question any time here at the forum...

roadadvisor

Manuel Antonio
Destination Expert
for Manuel Antonio National Park
posts: 2,125
2. Re: "Adventure-ish" Honeymoon Advice

Congrats on your honeymoon! I recommend getting to MA on the afternoon Interbus or Grayline Tours shuttles. They are around $40 per person, very comfortable and much safer and easier than the public bus. They will drop you right at your hotel. Speaking of which, La Posada is great, but if you want to be a little more private you need to know that this hotel is located right at the park entrance. Depending on the time of year, it gets really busy around that entrance. As mentioned by roadadvisor, you might want to consider a hotel further up on the hill and take a short public bus ride to parks and beaches as needed. (The public bus in our area passes every 1/2 hr and only costs 50 cents for the short ride to the beach/park/Quepos/ect.) Taxis are also cheap around $6-$8 to go anywhere (not customary to tip). Some hotels you might like depending on your style and budget are Falls, Costa Verde, Hotel Byblos, Mango Moon, or there are many others. Those are all easy walks to many excellent restaurants, bars, souveniers, etc.

Surfing is easy by going with MASS surf school (they will pick you up at your hotel), or on the main public beach you will see boards lined up for rent and they will also give you classes. It is easy to find once you are there.

For snorkeling I like Planet Dolphin for a medium size catamaran with great food, good guides, etc. There is a new boat called Ocean King with great slides and very comfortable, but it is huge and sometimes more than 100 people on it. Both have a limited open bar, so if you want to really party...go on the bigger boat, if you want a more intimate ride, go for the other. For other tours, well you really should do a zipline tour and we also have great horseback riding, atv tours, mangrove boat tour, and many more options. Most are easy to arrange up until the evening before you want to go, so don't be afraid to have your hotel help guide you as to what and which company fits your travel style the best. Enjoy!

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
posts: 3,648
reviews: 75
3. Re: "Adventure-ish" Honeymoon Advice

La Posada is very private once you actually get inside the gate. The bungalows are set back deep in the grounds, and the next door neighbor is indeed the national park, not another hotel. Expect to see wildlife in the hotel grounds on a daily basis.

Chicago, IL
posts: 2
reviews: 10
4. Re: "Adventure-ish" Honeymoon Advice

This is some really good advice, I appreciate it and will take it all into consideration!

LivNLarge, you mentioned that you recommend getting on " the afternoon Interbus or Grayline Tours shuttles", however the problem with that is we don't get back from our first trip (by their own bus) until 5:00pm. Would you not recommend renting a vehicle to drive down at that point? I know we could probably stay the extra night in SJ that night and drive out in the morning, but I would sure love to wake up in MA and have the whole day to enjoy..

Manuel Antonio
Destination Expert
for Manuel Antonio National Park
posts: 2,125
5. Re: "Adventure-ish" Honeymoon Advice

Hi Duo. Sorry, I did not think about arriving that late from your rafting trip. You are right, you would not make the connection for the shuttles. Also, I have done the rafting trip and honestly, it is tiring when you get back in the evening to SJ, so you may want to consider staying the night in SJ and heading out the next morning. However, if you do feel up to it, then your only options are to rent a car for the 3 hr drive, or have a private driver take you to Manuel Antonio. The public bus is possible, but just not high on my list of recommendations when you are tired and lugging around your baggage. IF you decide to take the bus, be sure to take the Directo, as the collectivo will stop at every person, town, etc along the route and take more around 5 hrs to get to MA. Roadadvisor on this forum can help you with transport if you need it. Enjoy!

Manuel Antonio...
posts: 11
reviews: 54
6. Re: "Adventure-ish" Honeymoon Advice

Hi duotone,

La Posada definitely is the way to go. The owner, Mike, is super personable and his guests return year after year. I recommend Todd for surfing lessons. Although you'll be staying elsewhere, I have his information on my site at

www.discoverybeachouse.com/surf-lessons . He's a great guy. Our guests rave about his lessons and he gives you related information about the area as well. Congratulations! Costa Rica is the perfect place to spend your adventure-ish honeymoon.

7. Re: "Adventure-ish" Honeymoon Advice

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