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What beach for us?!?

Boston...
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What beach for us?!?

I think we've settled on Guanacaste. What is a good beach area to stay in? I'm so confused! We are a family of 5 (3 kids ages 7, 13 and 14), plus grandmother (67 and active). We'd like a nice beach, no huge waves.

Please let me know your faves, and why. Are they near any towns? How far from the airport? Thanks!

Fort Worth, Texas
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1. Re: What beach for us?!?

you plea for help sounds so sad and frustrated!! i know it's very confusing to try and plan a trip from another part of the world. i only spent time in jaco beach and south. i've heard tons of great things about the quepos / manuel antonio area. i know there are good 'family' resorts/hotels - the wildlife is incredible and there are a lot of day trips that originate from that area. you can check out my posts and see if what we did sounds like something you'd like to do. feel free to drop me a line. i wish i could be more help. scott

New England
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2. Re: What beach for us?!?

I keep finding myself recommending the Lonely Planet Guide to Costa Rica and I think it may serve you well also. The section on Guanacaste Province lists all the beaches, north to south, describes them and their good/bad points, gives you some information on the difficulties (if any) in reaching them and lists a variety of places to stay. It contains a considerable amount of useful information. The guide is by no means definitive but gives you a very good head start. The beaches all have their own, very different, personalities. It is wise to research the one you pick as much as possible because the ocean currents at some beaches can be quite dangerous. Beaches that sre popular with surfers, for example, are said to be generally bad for swimming.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: What beach for us?!?

With the diversity of your group, I'd suggest Playa Flamingo or Playa Grande/Tamarindo.

costa rica
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4. Re: What beach for us?!?

My husband and I live and work right next to Tamarindo at the Monte Fresco Mountain Suites. From Tamarindo there are some very secluded beaches that you could enjoy privacy. Playa conchal is a shell beach with great snorkeling! Tamarindo is also a good spot because of many restaurants, shops, and tour activities. We are an American couple working here and we know the difficulties of planning from so far away. I would love to give you, or anyone else, more info about coming down to this area. Our contact info is on our web site, www.montefrescocr.com. Thanks.

Playa Hermosa...
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5. Re: What beach for us?!?

Another area you can consider is Playa Hermosa/Playa del Coco. Only 20 minutes from the airport.

Hermosa has a good swimming beach, lots of activities as kayaking, snorkeling, fishing, boogie boarding. Not that commercialized... a few restaurants along the beach.

Playa delo Coco is a 10 minute drive from Hermosa where you will find grocery stores, bank, restaurants and shopping for handi crafts.

Much quieter than Tamarindo.

I can email some pictures if you contact me.

discovercostarica@yahoo.ca

San Francisco...
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6. Re: What beach for us?!?

Playa Coco would be a good choice. Actually there are four Playas that make up Las Playas Cocos, Panama, Hermosa, Coco and Octal. Among the four Coco offers the most services while all offer a wide variety of places to stay. Grupo Mapache ... grupomapache.com ...has built a nice condo development and some of their properties are avaialable to rent. We're going down in July and renting a two bedroom, two story unit with a roof deck from which you can see the ocean a few hundred yards away. They have kitchens as well and if you go this route, you'll get a kick out of the glassed in "Gourmet" section at the large local mercado next to a bank which has an ATM. (Check with your bank before you go. Most foreign ATMs work with PINs no longer than four characters or numbers.)

nowhere
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7. Re: What beach for us?!?

We faced much the same problem and selected and quiet place between Playa Octal, which has a nice all inclusive and Playa Flamigo called Bahia Potrero. We choose www.potrerobay.com A small, recently rennovated hotel that has rooms and 1-2 bedroom suites. on the beach that good for swimming There were plenty of places to choose from that fit the budget. We're driving and wanted a place far enough to the north that we could drive to Santa Rosa Park and the volcanos in the northern area. It's about 3 hours from Monteverde where we'll be immediately before going there. The website gives time from the Liberia airport.

West Palm Beach...
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8. Re: What beach for us?!?

I had my three children 10-12-15 plus a 14 year old friend with us in Feb. We actually stayed in Samara at Villa's playa Samara. We had a gorgeous two bedroom, two bath villa, with a kitchenette equipped with microwave frige stove and all necessities. the sofas converted to a bed, we were 6 comfortable, we had huge windows and a hammock and rocking chair with our villa. No phone or t.v but did have AC. I didn't cook however, hey this was my vacation too! But with Kids we used the full size fridge for ice cream and drinks that we purchased up the road, and the microwave to heat up left overs for snacks. The beach water was very calm, we were right on the beach the beautiful resort had two pools, with a tiki bar in the middle, hot tub, pool tables, gym and a full service delicious restaurant. the town of Samara had many little restaurants and stores which we had great experience with. My husband, a native of costa rica took me to the beach one night, we laid out our blanket and layed down to watch the stars. I had never seen so many.. and get this we must have seen 15 shooting stars. I was so excited, I had never seen one in my life...now 15 in one night. The beach in Tamarindo had more waves, and for some reason the water was cooler than it was in Samara during our trip. But.. Tamarindo had the most beautiful shells! We spent hours walking and collecting. The town of Tamarindo has more upscale modern restaurants than Samara. The villas in Samara are a few miles up the road from the quaint town, so it was more peaceful to me. Tamarindo has way too much traffic, and hustle and bustle...but the kids loved both!

San Francisco...
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9. Re: What beach for us?!?

Not sure if anyone has answered the last part of your question, but if you decide to go to the beach towns in Guancaste or Nicoya, consider flying into Liberia rather than San Jose. Some of the beaches are within a half hour drive from the airport while most are within one hour.

If you opt for Jaco or Manuel Antonio, San Jose would be the better choice of airports with the beaches three to four hours away.

guanacaste
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10. Re: What beach for us?!?

The whitest sand beach in Guanacaste is Flamingo but the waves do get pretty big there. Up further north near Coco, Ocotal, and Hermosa the beaches are dark sand and the water is calmer. I would suggest Ocotal because the water is calm, and even though the sand is dark the beach is very beautiful and quiet. The water can be quite clear near some of the rocks and great for snorkeling. www.jandctours.com has some photos and info from all the popular beaches in Guanacaste. I hope this information helps and have a great trip!

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