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Considering return trip to Costa Rica, need advice please

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Ontario
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Considering return trip to Costa Rica, need advice please

We had a wonderful trip to Costa Rica in April . So fabulous, that we are thinking of going again next April. Last time we split the trip between Nayara and the Westin Playa Conchal. We wished we had stayed at the Nayara the whole time, but we were afraid it would be too long so we split the trip. Now we feel that we missed many exercusions we would have liked to do in Arenal and we need at least another 3 days in Arenal to explore. Again, we are thinking of splitting the trip because we definately would like to see more of Costa Rica . We love the Ocean but realized after last year's experience, that the ocean is not a priority. Any other regions and accomodations that anyone can recommend for a split trip would be appreciated.

La Fortuna de San...
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1. Re: Considering return trip to Costa Rica, need advice please

Yes there is a TON to do in this area of La Fortuna & the Arenal Volcano. :-) For a second place to visit, I would check out either the Osa Peninsula (for example-Drake Bay) or Tortuguero as these are both amazing places to visit! Just do some research on these two areas and you'll see why. :-) Enjoy!

Edited: 8:34 pm, September 08, 2013
Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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2. Re: Considering return trip to Costa Rica, need advice please

Not as upscale as Westin Playa Conchal yet Puerto Viejo de Talamanca has a lot to offer, and some very good lodges. Osa has luxury eco lodges like Bosque del Cabo and Lapa Rios. Etc., etc. You will need to return more times.

Ontario
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3. Re: Considering return trip to Costa Rica, need advice please

Thank you. We are hoping to find a second destination that isn't too far from Nayara. We are hoping for a 4 hour drive or less if possible. Will sacrifice a few more hours for the right spot. We actually didn't find Westin very upscale, however Nayara was exceptional! We definately have to return more times. Seems odd when there is so much of the world to see,but this is one country that we feel we have to go back to!

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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4. Re: Considering return trip to Costa Rica, need advice please

Sarapiqui and Tortuguero are within your driving time limits. Sarapiqui is often overlooked as the second best wildlife area, and Tortuguero is a special ecosystem. As they are close to each other so you could do both, in say 3+2 days.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: Considering return trip to Costa Rica, need advice please

I'd second the recommendation of the Osa. At the level you're traveling, I wouldn't worry about the drive. Take a Nature Air flight from Arenal to SJO and connect to another flight either to Drake Bay or Puerto Jimenez... I'd go either Bosque del Cabo, La Paloma or Playa Nicuesa....

Ontario
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6. Re: Considering return trip to Costa Rica, need advice please

Thanks you so much! I will be researching for a while I think. Any recommendations on accomodations? Nayara was so beautiful ! Is there anything comparable in any of the above mentioned areas? For comparison, we did not enjoy Westin Playa Conchal.

Brooklyn, New York
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for Sarapiqui
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7. Re: Considering return trip to Costa Rica, need advice please

Which excursions in the Arenal did you miss out on? It could be that there are better options than Arenal for them.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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8. Re: Considering return trip to Costa Rica, need advice please

All of the places I mention, I'd consider on a "similar" level to Nayara. All are more intimate/smaller. All are in much, much more "wild" locations and much closer to wildlife and primary rain forests. None have TVs in the room, and usually the WiFi is only in the main lobby. None of those I mentioned have A/C, but I don't think you need it.

Nayara, depending upon how you count, has 3 or so restaurant, dining options. All of these places have one kitchen/restaurant/main dining area and most serve family style. But the food, service, variety and dining are great.

All are top of the heap in terms of luxury, remote, nature lodges....

If you want more contemporary comforts and amenities, I'd think more on the line of Arenas del Mar, or Flor Blanca...

Ontario
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9. Re: Considering return trip to Costa Rica, need advice please

We did the Penas Blancas river tour (this wasn't very good because the company was overbooked and confirmed later that we had an experienced guide and for that reason wasn't informative), the Hanging bridges tour (wonderful) and the Natural springs (OK) . We would have liked to do the volcano tour, celeste waterfall and the boat to the cloud forest. Maybe that is enough for one trip since we only have 5 full days and the rest are really travel days. However this will probably be our last time to visit for many many years so I want to try to get in as much of this lovely country as I can. It's our 35th anniversary trip this year so we thought we would treat ourselves to somewhat of a "repeat" of our wonderful vacation last year.

Playa Guiones...
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for Nosara
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10. Re: Considering return trip to Costa Rica, need advice please

If you like Nayara, you would also like Rio Celeste Hideaway. It was built by the same people as Nayara and the rooms are the same as Nayara. It's beautiful. From there you could hike to the waterfall, visit Palo Verde National Park, Cano Negro Boat tour, Tenorio Safari Float or Rafting... it's quite a haul to tour Rio Celeste from Nayara.