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First time to Costa Rica, is October ok????

Long Island, NY
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First time to Costa Rica, is October ok????

My girlfriend and I are planning our first trip to Costa Rica, most likely 10/26-10/31.

We're both in our early 30's, very laid back and open to doing just about anything Costa Rica has to offer.

I have read that the Caribbean coast is dry in October, I've seen Puerto Viejo mentioned.

Where should we look exactly?

Where to go and what to do???

Paris, Canada
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1. Re: First time to Costa Rica, is October ok????

That is not much time. Are you arriving early, leaving late? October is one of the wettest months on the Pacific coast and one of the most consistently dry months on the Caribbean coast. The southern Caribbean coast is a beautiful laid-back area. You could go to Cahuita and Puerto Viejo (it takes 30 minutes by bus to get from Cahuita to Puerto Viejo). The National Park in Cahuita is amazing: great beaches, rainforest trail and lots of wildlife. The beaches south of Puerto Viejo are beautiful wild natural beaches bordered by rainforest. Lots of wildlife in that area too. We stayed in Manzanillo, a small village at the end of the road with a wildlife refuge. The last day you could consider the rafting on the Rio Pacuare (the tour company picks you up in Puerto Viejo, takes you rafting and drops you off in San Jose).

Ontario, Canada
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2. Re: First time to Costa Rica, is October ok????

Great site for everything on S. Caribbean, incl. Puerto Viejo and other towns, transportation, etc. - https://www.puertoviejosatellite.com .

We are not fans of Puerto Viejo itself, but we returned to Cahuita two yrs in a row, because we enjoy wildlife and being near a beach.

One of the places we stayed at in S. Caribbean is https://www.congo-bongo.com , located about 15 min on foot from the tiny village of Manzanillo at the end of the road, closer to Panama. 40 km N. of it is Cahuita and Cahuita National Park. We stayed there twice. In simple cabins of albylodge.com/Home_Java_Version/…cabins.html .

Both the above places are different, but charming in their own way.

What we like about Cahuita is that you can stay within a walking distance to the park, go there more than once, as admission is by donation (vs lots of other CR parks, which can be quite pricey), swim in there, often see monkeys, sloths, etc., incl. without a guide, there are also places to eat, a few small groystores, a bank with an ATM, bus terminal, so you do not really need a car that much. Between the towns there, you can use an inexpensive bus. Or rent a bike. Or walk. Along the beach or the road. We saw monkeys, toucans, just walking along the main road. Not all the time, but we did.

You have a short time in CR. So the fact that to get to the above places takes a long time, might be smth to consider. We had a private transfer take us from SJO to Manzanillo, and it took 5 hrs of very fast driving, which we would not have done like that ourselves, not on that Hwy 32... With a shared shuttle we had prebooked from Cahuita to a hotel closer to SJO, it took 5 hrs 45 min. There are also public buses, but they go to a terminal in the city of San Jose, not to / from the airport.

Lots of visitors to CR go to Arenal/La Fortuna area. We really enjoyed the views of the volcano and the surrounding area at https://www.arenalobservatorylodge.com , but October can be quite rainy there, and we did not see as much wildlife there, nor there are beaches, obviously. Some ppl say they stayed in Arenal area for a number of days and never saw a volcano, as it can be hiding behind the clouds. We got really lucky at the end of Aug., which is also rainy there: out of the 3 full days, we had a clear view of the volcano for most of our 2nd day. We found the property beautiful, with own hiking trails, waterfall, etc. But you might be better of with own car there, if you want to go out and about to do ziplining, hanging bridges (besides the two small ones located within the property of the above hotel), and all sorts of adventure things ppl do in Arenal, as the hotel is 25-30 min away from La Fortuna, where most tours start. Alternatively, stay in one of many hotels closer to La Fortuna. Many tours go rain or shine, unless there is lightening, so consider carefully if you will be ok to be doing things in the rain and mud, and if you only see thick fog, clouds and rain, you won't see the volcano and most animals hide in the rain, because it can happen, too.

3. Re: First time to Costa Rica, is October ok????

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