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birding, hiking, snorkeling 2 week trip

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35 posts
1 review
birding, hiking, snorkeling 2 week trip

Well, we had such a great time in CR last year ( see zeezer 2011)that we want to go again. We'd be going around the last week in January and staying around 14 days. This time we're looking into flying into Liberia and staying in Ocotal for a few nights, then traveling down through Nosara, and then to Montezuma. Where in the peninsula is there good birding, hiking and snorkeling? What hotels do you recommend? We like out of the way places ( added plus if there's a pool on site), laid back-not interested in the bar/night-life scene. We love birdwatching, hiking and snorkeling (in calm water).

Last year some of you suggested going up toward Puerto Limon. Any ideas about a possible itinerary in that area would be appreciated as well.

Looking forward to hearing from you folks again,


Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
4,575 posts
92 reviews
1. Re: birding, hiking, snorkeling 2 week trip

Not a lot of great birding in Nicoya--Curu reserve probably the best option.

Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
343 posts
4 reviews
2. Re: birding, hiking, snorkeling 2 week trip

Palo Verde National Park or Rancho Humo are great for birding.

Montezuma, Costa...
Level Contributor
538 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: birding, hiking, snorkeling 2 week trip

Tortuga Island is probably your best bet for snorkeling, although I have heard there is a less touristy place near Cabo Blanco reserve that is also good. Ask at Zuma Tours, Montezuma, they'll be able to tell you .

For hotels in Montezuma it sounds like Los Mangos might suit you, 5 min out of town, pool or if your budget stretches maybe a bit further out at Frangipani Nice place, pool, great view(1 km on a steep hill from town)

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
4,575 posts
92 reviews
4. Re: birding, hiking, snorkeling 2 week trip

Ylang Ylang Beach Resort is a fantastic, secluded place about 500m north of Montezuma on its own stretch of beach. Not cheap (figure something between $200-250) but that includes breakfast and dinner.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
6,175 posts
22 reviews
5. Re: birding, hiking, snorkeling 2 week trip

If you're working your way south along Guanacaste and Nicoya beaches, be sure and check out Playa Pan de Azucar and the Hotel Sugar Beach on a quiet secluded cove. It's just north of Potrero and roughly 1.5 hours from the airport in Liberia.

You could use it as a base for a few days to hike and visit Las Baulas, a marine refuge established to protect nesting sites for the leatherback turtle, Rincon de la Vieja national park with active volcanoes, waterfall, and lots of wildlife, as well as adventure activities, Santa Rosa National Park with its dry tropical forest, wildlife and significant number of resident and migratory birds. Miravalles and Tenorio volcanoes, NE of Liberia are also worth a visit, particularly Tenorio, with its wildlife and hiking trail to the Rio Celeste waterfall. You might want to actually detour from beach hopping to spend a couple of days there.

If you already have plane tickets into Liberia I would forget about Limon and the Caribbean coast as the driving time from Liberia to the Caribbean coast is horrendous and would eat up 3-4 days of your trip. Much easier to visit the Caribbean coast from San Jose than Liberia. Limon itself is a port town and not worth most visitors' attention. The Caribbean is well worth a visit however to check out Tortuguero, Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, Punta Uva and Manzanillo, as well as a visit to Bocas del Toro across the border in Panama, but better saved for another trip.

Edited: 11:00 am, November 10, 2011
Playa Guiones...
Destination Expert
for Nosara
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1,818 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: birding, hiking, snorkeling 2 week trip

Rancho Humo is good for birdwatching and is an easy day trip from Nosara, and San Juanillo is a beautiful beach with some decent snorkling, also a good day trip from Nosara.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3 posts
5 reviews
7. Re: birding, hiking, snorkeling 2 week trip

We highly recommend Hotel Amor de Mar. It's walking distance to Montezuma, is situated on it's own beach and has breath-taking views of the ocean. They also have an awesome breakfast menu and its served outside on their terrace. They have lots of hammocks on their property, great for reading and relaxing. This place doesn't have a pool, but the rooms are very nice, and the great value.

8. Re: birding, hiking, snorkeling 2 week trip

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