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Help Me Choose Where to Go! Thanks!

Which Manuel Antonio National Park hotels are on sale?
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Destination Expert
for Richmond
posts: 1,543
reviews: 136
Help Me Choose Where to Go! Thanks!

I have been to Costa Rica 3 times in the past 10 years... twice for a week, and once for a month.

My friends and I just turned 30 so we are planning a group trip for 2014. It will be anywhere from 6 to 15 of us renting a house. I know how to find a good house (I usually use vrbo) so that's not a problem. We will most likely be making it a 6-7 day trip.

I want to know where I should go this time.

I will probably get some eye rollers on this one, but I really loved taking people to Manuel Antonio- you get a small town in Quepos, restaurants and bars spread throughout Manuel Antonio and Quepos, a beach outside the park and small beaches inside park, and great wildlife (Monkeys, Sloths, Toucans, etc) all around the houses and park. In my opinion, a trip to Costa Rica isn't a trip to Costa without seeing some wild monkeys! You also have water excursions out of Quepos and zip lining nearby.

I am not against getting a house in Manuel Antonio again.... but I am up for suggestions!

We want a place with a nice beach, located "in"/"near" a rain forest where you have a good chance of having wild monkeys and animals come by, and are close to zip line excursions, etc. We also want the area to have restaurants and a few bars nearby. An area that makes you feel like you are in wild, beautiful Costa Rica!

Is there a place that has all of this that is "better" than Manuel Antonio?

Thanks for your help!

Manuel Antonio...
posts: 639
reviews: 38
1. Re: Help Me Choose Where to Go! Thanks!

I agree with you.....Manuel Antonio has what you are looking for.........plus it is still small with a very eclectic mix of people......from locals to tourists.....artists....surfers.....back packers.....sports fishermen......a little bit of everything.....casual and friendly.....lots of wildlife too!

Tulemar Dave

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 5,355
reviews: 21
2. Re: Help Me Choose Where to Go! Thanks!

I'd take a look at rental houses located between Dominical and Uvita if you;re looking for an area that feels like you are in wild, beautiful Costa Rica. Surfing beaches and a few swimming beaches farther south near Uvita, spectacular coast views, tons of wildlife in the area, plus horseback rides to Nauyuca waterfall, ziplines,whitewater rafting nearby, rainforest tours at hacienda Baru and did I say serious surfing? From the beach in Uvita you can daytrips into Corcovado to explore serious rainforest. Also a fraction of the tourists around Manuel Antonio. Plenty of great places to eat and dink - you just have to look a little harder as they're not lined up along the road. Also easy to visit Manuel Antonio for a day as it's just an hour up the road. Only downside I see is that you can't rely on taxis to get around but need to rent your own vehicles.

Charlotte, North...
posts: 59
reviews: 22
3. Re: Help Me Choose Where to Go! Thanks!

I think Manuel Antonio is perfect! If you want something different, try Nosara, but the jungle doesn't come onto the beach. I had a great time there, but I also went to Monteverde and Arenal for a few days. Have you considered that?

~~~
Destination Expert
for Richmond
posts: 1,543
reviews: 136
4. Re: Help Me Choose Where to Go! Thanks!

Scampy,

I've been to Arenal and IMO, its not worth crossing your fingers, hoping it won't be foggy or rainy. I spent 5 days there and it was nothing but fog and rain- couldn't even see the volcano.

I love ALL parts of Costa Rica, and the month I spent in CR, I explored all over. I have been to Manuel Antonio twice, each for a week. I am bringing Costa Rica "newbies" and just want them to have the experience of good swimming beaches, monkeys/wildlife, and restaurants and bars. I also don't want to have to travel too far with the group. Just want a week relaxing in the same area.

It's funny, but the monkeys are a big deal for these people! They have been around the Caribbean, Virgin Islands, etc, but have never been to a place with wild monkeys. Honestly, the first time I saw the wild monkeys in CR I LOVED it (I still do) so I understand.

Basically, I was just wondering if anyone recommended another location that has all the MA has to offer.

Manuel Antonio
Destination Expert
for Manuel Antonio National Park
posts: 2,164
5. Re: Help Me Choose Where to Go! Thanks!

Well, I am definitely partial to Manuel Antonio, but I agree, you could easily stay in the Dominical or Uvita area and have more everything you describe, and only a 30 min or so drive to the MA area to have more options for restaurants and tours. There are many other options along the Nicoya or Osa Peninsulas, but they are quite a bit more remote and longer to get to and may not have the selection of easy restaurants and variety of tours you seek. Enjoy!

Philadelphia...
posts: 91
reviews: 17
6. Re: Help Me Choose Where to Go! Thanks!

If your friends have never been to Manuel Antonio ........ take em there ...... just dosen't seem to get old ....... everything you mentioned is there ...... rent a casa or house in Tulemar , private beach, loaded with monkeys , personal concierge service , multiple pools ...... they will be blown away !

~~~
Destination Expert
for Richmond
posts: 1,543
reviews: 136
7. Re: Help Me Choose Where to Go! Thanks!

BigMike

That's exactly how I feel

Philadelphia...
posts: 91
reviews: 17
8. Re: Help Me Choose Where to Go! Thanks!

Yeah , I think thats what I would do .... go with your gut on that ..... stick with MA

9. Re: Help Me Choose Where to Go! Thanks!

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