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Help required for 8 night stay 2 adults

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bishops stortford
posts: 19
reviews: 35
Help required for 8 night stay 2 adults

We have decided to take a break 4th Ocotober for 8 nights at short notice we normally plan at least a year ahead and I have always wanted to visit Costa Rica.

We can get great flights from the UK with United and my plan was to fly into Liberia stay in Papagayo for 8 nights as base leave the bulk of our luggae at the main hotel and visit Arenal & Monteverde night in each and then a day trip to Rincon de la vieja.

For this I was not sure if we should hire a driver from Papagayo to drive us round the loop and the day trip to Rincon or to hire something like a Ford Explorer and drive , we do not want to be part of a larger organised group.

I now have another dilema it has been suggested to fly into San Jose and take a loop from there just covering Arenal & Monteverde.

I know we will only scratch the surface with this quick break but this eats all of what is left of our holidays!

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 5,461
reviews: 52
1. Re: Help required for 8 night stay 2 adults

You could stay at Papagayo and do day tours to nearby National Parks (Hattie will most probably give you a full list of what to do, or check one of her posts) but going to Arenal and Monteverde just for a night is not even scratching the surface (but you will scratch a lot of road surface for sure). With 8 days you should divide your holiday in two parts: a beach part and a rain forest part. Thus I am suggesting you to stay 4-5 days at Papagayo and 3-4 days in Arenal. Skip Monteverde as it requires at least 2 nights / 2 days.

If willing to drive by yourself then a Ford Explorer is an overkill ... for 2 persons best car for Costa Rica roads is a Daihatsu Terios (Bego). Or hire a private driver. In Arenal most of the companies will pick you from your hotel.

Edited: 1:07 pm, March 18, 2013
Costa Rica
posts: 19,473
reviews: 23
2. Re: Help required for 8 night stay 2 adults

Good advice from Xelas.

Here's my list:

1. Do the One Day Adventure Pass at Guachipelin. www.guachipelin.com

2. Visit Rincon de la Vieja National Park for hiking, volcano, waterfalls, hot springs, mud pots, etc.

3. Go horseback riding, fishing or boating

4. Visit Santa Rosa National Park and see the old farmstead known as "La Casona" - now a museum - it figures prominently in Costa Rican history. There are several nearby trails to choose from and one longish trail ends at a deserted beach.

5. Take the boat trip through Palo Verde National Park. www.paloverdeboattours.com

6. Take the boat to Witch's Rock for surfing or just visiting a beautiful beach.

7. Visit the town of Guatil where you can see authentic Chorotega pottery being made.

8. Head to the Tenorio National Park for the hike to the Rio Celeste.

9. Go to Llanos del Cortes waterfall. Huge waterfall with small swimming area. There are often monkeys in the trees overhead.

10. Visit Las Pumas Wildlife Rescue Center in Canas where you can see all sorts of animals, including big cats.

11. Arrange a sailing trip with the Sea Bird or Marlin del Rey out of Playas del Coco. Snorkeling or just a quiet sunset cruise.

12. Take a whitewater rafting trip on the Tenorio River or a float trip on the Corobici River. www.rinconcorobici.com

bishops stortford
posts: 19
reviews: 35
3. Re: Help required for 8 night stay 2 adults

Thank you both for your advice , we are going to base ourselves in Playa Panama and sightseeing around that area , any thoughts on a private driver for day trips?

guanacaste
posts: 2,928
reviews: 31
4. Re: Help required for 8 night stay 2 adults

I think that is better to fly directly to Liberia, there are connections via Panama, Salvador and USA.

bishops stortford
posts: 19
reviews: 35
5. Re: Help required for 8 night stay 2 adults

We have the flights booked now and have opted for 2 weeks as we have changed another trip cutting a few days , we fly into Liberia on 28th September for 2 weeks and are going to use the Bahia Vista as a base.

I am finding a lot of conflicting information about driving but I am also struggling to find a private driver we can use during our stay as we want to take about 7 trips out and about , any advice?

I have no probems with driving but there seems to be alot of site's advising tourist's not to drive

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 4,948
reviews: 20
6. Re: Help required for 8 night stay 2 adults

I hope you are aware that September and October are the height of rainy season and it can be extremely wet in Arenal and Monteverde at this time of year. While Guanacaste beaches also see rain in September and October this may not affect you as much because these beaches are in the extremely dry NW corner of Costa Rica.

In order to find a long list of recommended private drivers just do a search on this forum. Alternatively you could likely get a good price by contacting your lodging ask them to recommend a driver based nearby.

guanacaste
posts: 2,928
reviews: 31
7. Re: Help required for 8 night stay 2 adults

here is a small private company close to the hotel where you are staying

http://www.crunique.com/inicio2.htm

bishops stortford
posts: 19
reviews: 35
8. Re: Help required for 8 night stay 2 adults

Excellent thank you for your advice

Costa Rica
posts: 19,473
reviews: 23
9. Re: Help required for 8 night stay 2 adults

You don't have to make the decision about driving until you arrive. Use a private driver for a couple of days and see what you think. Then you can rent a car and drive yourself.

I really don't see what the big deal is with driving in Costa Rica-- but then again, I live here! If you drive on country roads where you live, then you will be fine in Costa Rica. Of course, it's a lot easier to just sit back and let someone else drive if you can afford it. But having your own car will give you a lot of freedom and flexibility.

bishops stortford
posts: 19
reviews: 35
10. Re: Help required for 8 night stay 2 adults

Thank you Hattie we are glad to see your comments we have booked to pick up a Bego at Liberia airport and take ourselves around if I managed to drive across Manahtten in rush hour I am sure I will be ok :)

We have now planned to start with a night in Liberia at the aiport as we have a 20 hour journey to get to Costa Rica then we will drive to Arenal for 2 nights then 3 nights Monteverde and then back to Playa Panama for 8 nights and we will take day excursions out from there.

Thanks to you all for advice.