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10 days in costa rica - Any advice?

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10 days in costa rica - Any advice?

Hi, We are a family of 4 (mom, dad, and two 8 year old twins) traveling to costa rica. We are arriving to Liberia on aug 15 and leaving on aug 25. Any advice on best places to stay and things to do. Kids love animals and outdoor. We were thinking of staying at the westin (conchal) and The Springs Resort & Spa (La Fortuna). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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1. Re: 10 days in costa rica - Any advice?

These two locations are very reasonable choices logistically, and also excellent by the way of comfort of hotels. Start with Arenal (La Fortuna), and end on the beach. The Springs would never be my choice but your kids might love it. As for activities, there are much more of them in Arenal area, so you should stay longer there.

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2. Re: 10 days in costa rica - Any advice?

I would look at some alternatives to The Springs. It's far away from La Fortuna and the volcano and parts of it have a kind of "Disney" atmosphere with fake rocks and colored water, etc. Arenal Nayara would be a good alternative - but there are others. Check www.arenal.net and www.fortunawelcome.com There is a handy map at arenal.net that will show you the location of hotels as well as the volcano and La Fortuna and some of the activities.

Here is a list of some things to do in the northwest area:

1. Do the One Day Adventure Pass at Guachipelin. www.guachipelin.com

2. Visit Rincon de la Vieja National Park for hiking, volcano, waterfalls, hot springs, mud pots, etc.

3. Go horseback riding, fishing or boating

4. Visit Santa Rosa National Park and see the old farmstead known as "La Casona" - now a museum - it figures prominently in Costa Rican history. There are several nearby trails to choose from and one longish trail ends at a deserted beach.

5. Take the boat trip through Palo Verde National Park. www.paloverdeboattours.com

6. Take the boat to Witch's Rock for surfing or just visiting a beautiful beach.

7. Visit the town of Guatil where you can see authentic Chorotega pottery being made.

8. Head to the Tenorio National Park for the hike to the Rio Celeste.

9. Go to Llanos del Cortes waterfall. Huge waterfall with small swimming area. There are often monkeys in the trees overhead.

10. Visit Las Pumas Wildlife Rescue Center in Canas where you can see all sorts of animals, including big cats.

11. Arrange a sailing trip with the Sea Bird out of Playas del Coco. Snorkeling or just a quiet sunset cruise.

12. Take a whitewater rafting trip on the Tenorio River or a float trip on the Corobici River. www.rinconcorobici.com

13. Take a whitewater rafting trip on the Cucaracho River riostropicales.com/index.php/…cucaracho-river

Edited: 8:51 am, August 04, 2013
Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: 10 days in costa rica - Any advice?

Wow, those are some great suggestions, Hattie. Looks like I'll be expanding my must-do list. ;-)

Brooklyn, New York
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4. Re: 10 days in costa rica - Any advice?

For animals and outdoors, best option is Arenal Observatory Lodge, which is more basic than the upscale resorts but has fantastic bird, animal, hiking, and volcano views. Lost Iguana would also make a good option--better wildlife than Springs, Nayara etc.

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5. Re: 10 days in costa rica - Any advice?

Another option a little closer to everything is Arenal Oasis. Set in a rainforest, about 800 meters off the "main" highway, it's beautiful location with trails through the rainforest and a butterfly conservatory. There are several bird feeders at the breakfast area and I counted 12 species the morning we had breakfast there. Very friendly and helpful staff.

I love Arenal Observatory Lodge but for something a little less isolated, I would recommend Arenal Oasis.

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6. Re: 10 days in costa rica - Any advice?

I think the Springs would be fantastic with kids if you can afford it. They will love the water slide and will be absolutely thrilled with Club Rio. The views of the volcano are amazing.

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7. Re: 10 days in costa rica - Any advice?

Las Pumas Wildlife Rescue Center is a good option and for a good cause.

Also Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park is a must see.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: 10 days in costa rica - Any advice?

Cigarette smoking tolerance at Rui Guanacaste. Has anyone been there recently. My group wants to book a vacation there but I have a few smokers, would they experience a problem?

9. Re: 10 days in costa rica - Any advice?

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