My family and I are thinking about a 1 week trip to CR in either April or May. We would be taking our two children, 6 and 12. The 12 year old has quite severe autism. I am torn between Manuel Antonio and Montezuma.
We are on a budget and we generally like low key and not a lot of tourists. This is the first time we are doing a trip like this with him.
Is Manuel Antonio "packed" in late April/early May? All the activities seem to be part of a tour. Tours, unless they are private, will not work for us. Are there any "free" hikes you can just do on your own? If in Manuel Antonio we would probably rent a house. Although above our budget, we also thought about the Bungalows at Tulemar because of the private beach and shuttle.
I love what I read about the Montezuma area. Much more off the beaten track, more laid back, much less expensive and more things to do on our own. But I am concerned about the safety of the beaches. If you are just wading, or into about waist level are the beaches safe for swimming? My son usually does not go into the ocean past his knees. But he has only been to the beach a few times and there woud be no way to explain to him how to act in a rip tide. Another issue, although not as important, is the extent of brown versus green at that time of year. Is the area really dry and brown? Is there any green? Some of the pictures I have seen look like Southern California at the end of the summer. Can you still see wildlife?
Has anyone ever traveled with a special needs child? How were you treated both by other tourists and by the locals?