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Costa Rica vs. Hawaii

St. Louis
2 posts
2 reviews
Costa Rica vs. Hawaii

Me and my fiance are planning to go on our honeymoon Nov. 5, 2007 - Nov. 15, 2007. We are split between spending our honeymoon in Costa Rica or spending it in Hawaii. We are looking for comparisons between the two to help us make a decision: costs, activities, beaches, etc. Any input would be appreciated.

Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
2,234 posts
1 review
1. Re: Costa Rica vs. Hawaii

I'm betting that if you post this question in the Hawaii section and post it here I'm betting that in general you'll get two entirely different type responses. In fact since you have only 2 posts, I'd also bet that's what you've just done. We all have our own personal biases and preferences and you can guess which way those run here in the CR forum.

This question has been asked before. You might want to run a search for "Hawaii" together with "compared" (or for "Costa Rica" "compared" over in that section. If you do you'll find this thread among a few others:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g309293-i1208-k693…

Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,749 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Costa Rica vs. Hawaii

Have you ever been to Hawaii or Costa Rica? I have been to both and would definetly do CR over Hawaii. The people are much friendlier in CR. I thought the snorkeling was superior, alot more coral. You can go from the rain forest and volcanoes to the coast and be on the beach. Check out the Costa Rica attractions to the left on this site. Good luck and congratulations!!!

yucaipa, Ca.
Level Contributor
123 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: Costa Rica vs. Hawaii

I've been to both with my daughters and we all agree CR is by far the best

Winnipeg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
8,061 posts
35 reviews
4. Re: Costa Rica vs. Hawaii

Congratulations.

Do you really want to decide on your honeymoon based on the opinions of a bunch of strangers out here in cyberspace, who know nothing about you and have no idea what your expectations and requirements are? Who knows what our personal agendas may be!!!!

I have visited both places many times. However, I go to each place with different expectations and for different reasons.

Furthermore, in each place, depending which area(s) you choose answers will be different. In Hawaii, Waikiki is different form Maui or Kuai or the Big Island. In CR - Guanacaste is different from the Central pacific or the Caribbean or Monteverde....

Costs: It all depends on you. In Costa Rica you can stay at a place like the new Gaia Resort in Manuel Antonio, or the Four Seasons in Guanacaste and pay $300 a night or more or stay in a cabina on the beach for less than $30.00 (which you probably wouldn't want to do on your honeymoon) - or of course various levels in between. Hawaii also has various degrees - however for lower end and middle budgets, I think Costa Rica could be cheaper. However it definitely is not a supercheap or even cheap destination.

Activities: Costa Rica is about nature and outdoors. Hiking, ziplining, horseback riding, cloudforests, volcanoes, whitewater rafting, National parks, monkeys, birds, other wildlife, beaches etc. Or you could just sit at an all inclusive resort and experience very little of the flavour and local colour the country has to offer.....

Beaches: In CR they are varied. One thing for sure, you still won't find a beach lined with hundreds of high rise hotels - even in the most touristy areas.

Will it bother you that not everyone around you will speak or understand English? Or that the internet service, although available pretty well everywhere, is usually not as good as you are used to? Or that the shopping may not be that great? Costa Rica still is a developing country.

I personally won't recommend anywhere - especially to people I don't know without lots of qualifications. . I took a friend who I thought would appreciate Costa Rica on one of my trips. We saw lots of wildlife, vegetation, beautiful beaches etc. She nearly freaked out when a little frog appeared in the shower. And then later when reminiscing about the trip the thing that made the greatest impression on her was "that really nice hotel near the airport" - which was the Hampton Inn which is devoid of any character and Costa Rican flavour and like any Hampton in the US or Canada and some Tex Mex restaurant near the hotel. I just cringed because to me it was the whole experience wasted... but to each his own.

I have digressed. However, the point is: Do research about each place. Zero in on the things that appeal to YOU and that trouble YOU for each destination. Weigh them and then make your decision.

Pura Vida

raquel

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
13,716 posts
49 reviews
5. Re: Costa Rica vs. Hawaii

Raquel what a great post. Couldn't agree more with your sentiments. So well put.

I have been to Hawaii and will be going to CR early next year. I certainly expect (and hope) that the two will be very different. I did love Hawaii though - especially the north coast of Kauai.

Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,749 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Costa Rica vs. Hawaii

I think we are all mature enough to take in information posted here and on other sites, digest it, and make decisions that suit our needs. Kniley is just looking for some insight, helpful information that will give them some ideas to plan the best honeymoon possible. kNILEY, keep posting and asking questions, that is how me educate ourselves, become well informed, and make choices that are best for us!!!

Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
2,234 posts
1 review
7. Re: Costa Rica vs. Hawaii

I agree Kniley is doing exactly the right thing by posting the question in both places. My point is that the people who post regularly here have already pretty much voted and shown where they stand by where they do their posting. Oh sure, they may do an occasional post elsewhere, such as in Mexico or Argentina, but by in large the folks that answered the question here, post here and as might be expected prefer CR while those that answered the question in the Hawaii section post mostly there and, surprise surprise, preferred Hawaii. The best answers in both sections gave pros and cons of both places before stating those preferences and from that Kniley should read in between the lines and decide what might be best for him(her). BTW, I must also add that the help offered so far by everyone here kicked butt over the answers given so far by the posters in the Hawaii section (yeah, go guys!), but I might just be showing my bias again.

Whereever you finally decide to go, I hope you have a wonderful time.

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
13,716 posts
49 reviews
8. Re: Costa Rica vs. Hawaii

Actually PVE I know from reading thousands of posts on the Australia TA forum that people do make very expensive decisions about their travel arrangement based on what they read on TA and some have come back and said "i didnt like it - wasn't good as you said etc"...

Nothing can beat your own intensive research or the advice of people that you know and trust. If Kniley is using TA as just one of his/her research points that's fine -- but if depending solely on advice here that is fraught with danger I think. In my opinion travel forums can be a lazy persons way of attempting research and soemtimes the results will be what a lazy person deserves.

Winnipeg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
8,061 posts
35 reviews
9. Re: Costa Rica vs. Hawaii

PVE,

I really did not want to sound unhelpful or flippant in my post. My main point is that Kniley provided us no information about their budget, likes and dislikes, the kind of travellers they are, whether they wanted a relaxing holiday where they stayed mainly in one place or a more diverse and adventuresome time..

Without more specific information, a question like "compare Costa Rica to Hawaii is far too open ended. I personally spend most of my time in Manuel Antonio. Prolijo on the other hand has recently stated that he has recently tried to avoid MA. So even if we both did come out in favour of Costa Rica, our advice on where to go, how the beaches are, how to get there, what activities to reccommend, and even the costs would be alot different...

Costa Rica is not for everyone.

yes - Kniley should continue to ask questions. However, she would get alot more useful answers if she first did some independant research and then asked more specific questions in the forums.

When considering Costa Rica at the beginning of November Kniley should realize that it is still the green or rainy season. But again, the amount of rain will vary with what part of the country they choose. I personally like that season in the Manuel Antonio area. However, I have several times "wimped out' of going to Monteverde at that time as I was afraid it would be too wet and miserable.

Pura vida

raquel

elmhurst, IL
Level Contributor
106 posts
17 reviews
10. Re: Costa Rica vs. Hawaii

Hello...congratulations on your upcoming marriage! I think one of the deciding factors on where you go might be how much you have traveled before. I have been to and loved both, but I have traveled extensively for many years. There are challenges that you will find going to Costa Rica that you won't find going to Hawaii.

Three or four of Hawaii's main islands are served by nonstop jet service from the west coast of the US. Although you can get to Costa Rica via jet service from a number of places in the US, you are not getting to Manual Antonio (which is beautiful) unless you take a commuter flight from another airport in San Jose or you drive. Liberia in Costa Rica now does have nonstop jet service from the US so you wouldn't have to fly into San Jose if you are going to that part of Costa Rica.

Also, although I speak very little Spanish and I got around just fine, you will find it more challenging to go to Costa Rica if you don't know any Spanish than if you do.

Additionally, you don't need a passport to go to Hawaii if you are both US citizens. You definitely need one to go to Costa Rica.

Personally, because I do my own trip planning and don't use a travel agent, I know that planning a trip to Hawaii is much easier than planning a trip to Costa Rica. Which ever decision you make you won't regret it because they are both beautiful, but unless you have done extensive traveling before you might want to consider using a good travel agent for Costa Rica.

Good Luck!