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First Time to Costa Rica -11 nights, arriving 1/15/10 at SJO

los angeles
3 posts
1 review
First Time to Costa Rica -11 nights, arriving 1/15/10 at SJO

my wife and i are planning a trip to costa rica for 11 nights beginning 1/15/10, arriving at SJO airport. i'm having a hard time deciding what region of the country we'd like to visit (Guanacaste, etc?). we'd for sure like to spend a couple of nights at Arenal (perhaps at the beginning of the trip?). any suggestions on where else to visit? like most people, we're looking for a mixture of relaxing by the beach/pool as well as some adventerous activities. any input would be GREAT, including specific hotel recommendations, etc. thanks!

Tamarindo, Costa...
Level Contributor
411 posts
1. Re: First Time to Costa Rica -11 nights, arriving 1/15/10 at SJO

A common intinerary is San Jose - Arenal - Tamarindo - San Jose...

Arenal will offer you all the adventure / zip lining / hot springs / wildlife experience... hotels....check o Tabacan Resor, Arenal Kioro, Ovservatory Lodge and Arenal Lodge....

Then drive to Tamarindo for the beach, pool, relaxing, sailing, experience...

There are also many ocean activities....

In Tamarindo, you may want to trya condo instead of a hotel, there are awesome places in town.. perhaps Sunrise, Bocaraca or Naxos... if you prefer a hotel then look at the Capitan Suizo, Pueblo Dorado or Diria... or if you look for an AI then check on the Barcelo Langosta...

Hope this helps...

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
Level Contributor
8,253 posts
44 reviews
2. Re: First Time to Costa Rica -11 nights, arriving 1/15/10 at SJO

Depending on what time of day you get in I would think about maybe spending the first night in Alajuela. The drive to Arenal is nice by day. Once in Arenal you have host of hotel options. For Luxory The Springs http://www.thespringscostarica.com/ My favorite hot springs are at Tabacon Resort. http://www.tabacon.com/ You can check with CR Referrals for hotel discounts http://www.crreferrals.com/TravelExperts.html

From Arenal you are

4 & 1/2 hours from Tamarindo,

5 & 1/2 hours from Manuel Antonio

5 hours from Nosara

3 hours & 45 Min to Ocotal

All of these are great Beach locations. Food for thought, you will be here during the Leatherback Turtle Season in the Tamarindo area. This is truly a magnificent sight and one of those "once in a lifetime" moments.

More food for thought, If you could fly into San Jose and fly out of Liberia, that would make the Arenal - Tamarindo trip flow nicely

Hope this helps

Cheers

Inca

I travel, therefore I am...

Antigua, Guatemala
Level Contributor
2,958 posts
23 reviews
3. Re: First Time to Costa Rica -11 nights, arriving 1/15/10 at SJO

Hi,

For that length of time you can easily fit in three locations.

These are some of the recommended destinations.

Arrive San Jose - Tortuguero- Arenal- Manuel Antonio- San Jose

Or

San Jose- Arenal- Monteverde- Manuel Antonio or Tamarindo/Flamingo- San Jose

Hope this helps,

Marina K. Villatoro

Potrero/Guacamaya
Level Contributor
147 posts
4. Re: First Time to Costa Rica -11 nights, arriving 1/15/10 at SJO

The easiest driving will be in the northen part of the country, and you will not sacrifice natural beauty. The arc from San Jose, to Arenal, to north pacific beaches (Tamarindo/Flamingo) has every element of the best of Costa Rica. You can see an active volcano, high elevation lake, rainforest, hot springs, animal tours, zipline, white sand beaches, ocean sunsets, surfing, and never drive more than 3.5 - 4 hours at one stretch.

Looking forward to your detailed questions.

Have a great time!

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
52,346 posts
119 reviews
5. Re: First Time to Costa Rica -11 nights, arriving 1/15/10 at SJO

I think every body like beach, mountain, rivers...good itinerary...San Jose..Arenal...Manuel Antonio...San Jose

But if you like to visit Guanacaste...maybe somenthing like...San Jose-Arenal-Tamarindo-San Jose...

San Jose if you have to stay...Grano de Oro hotel...

Arenal...Arenal Nayara...Lost Iguana...Los Lagos..Silencio del Campo...Arenal Lodge....Hotel La Fortuna...Kioro

Tamarindo...Tamarindo Diria...Best Western Tamarindo...Capitan Suizo.

roadadvisor

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!

los angeles
3 posts
1 review
6. Re: First Time to Costa Rica -11 nights, arriving 1/15/10 at SJO

thank you for your reply! here is an itinerary we are considering. we arrive at SJO on 1/15/10.

Arenal (3 nights) - Jaco (2 nights) - Manuel Antonio (4 nights) - San Jose (2 nights)

or

Arenal (3 nights) - Tamarindo to see Leatherback Turtles (3 nights) - Manuel Antonio (3 nights) - San Jose (2 nights)

what do you think about these options? also, do you have accomodation recommendations in these areas? thanks!

Antigua, Guatemala
Level Contributor
2,958 posts
23 reviews
7. Re: First Time to Costa Rica -11 nights, arriving 1/15/10 at SJO

Hi,

I would go with the second plan, skip Jaco. Tamarindo is a much better place and way more fun.

In Arenal hotel ideas:

Arenal Paraiso

Silencio del campo

Los Lagos

Nayara

In Tamarindo:

Villa Alegre

Captain Suizo

Diria

In Manuel Antonio:

Tulemar Gardens

Si Como No

Costa Verde

Bye,

Marina K. Villatoro

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
52,346 posts
119 reviews
8. Re: First Time to Costa Rica -11 nights, arriving 1/15/10 at SJO

I like better the second itinerary...you will see a lot of my country...plus amybe some great turtles pictures!

Merryxmas

Roadadvisor

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!

9. Re: First Time to Costa Rica -11 nights, arriving 1/15/10 at SJO

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