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just beginning....

Maple Ridge, Canada
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just beginning....

Confirmed my vacation today....Yeah!! Heading to Barcelo mid Jan 2010. Had trip booked to Roatan first but after much debate and persistence, Costa Rica it is...

Have been scouring this forum for ideas and such and trying to get a feel for the location itself and proximity to areas of interest ext.

We are young 40 somethings and enjoy hanging out,snorkelling,swimming,me (shopping) lol and want to try some new adventures ie white water rafting,mudpools? turtle nesting,see a sloth(whatever that is ?) anteater, monkeys and so on.

We have been to Hawaii and enjoyed the volcano/crater,zip lined,lava pools(could do that again) saw a sea lion. Very cool. That being said are these worth repeating in Costa Rica?

We enjoy the cat snorkle adventures but wonder if the snorkelling in this region is worth it?

We dont however boogie board or long board or short board or any other kind of board...lol so surfing is out. Fun to watch tho.

Altho our resort is AI (price was right) we like local bars with live bands,that kind of thing.Any suggestions for that sort of experience?

Are there current recommended travel guide books for this area?

Will narrow down choices for excursions in the weeks to come, need travel estimates as well as pricing from that area. Dont want to overload hubby either so down time a necessity. Day one maby..

Finally thanks to all of you who keep answering these same questions over and over again. I mean that sincerely,


Pensacola, Florida
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1. Re: just beginning....

Hi Sue

Frommers also Fodors has a lot of good info on


food night life excursions etc.

you are correct beaches better for surf than snorkel

still lots of fun stuff to do

Barcelo is a nice AI choice

Have fun,

Tamarindo, Costa...
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2. Re: just beginning....

You sound like our kind of visitors! Leaving from Tamarindo, there are all kinds of Day Tours that can be booked in advance, at your hotel or local tour companies. Here is a link to orientate yourself to the neighboorhood. It has activities, maps, orientation, events, etc.


The cat snorkle sunset/cruise adventures are totally worth it, and are the highlite of many vacations. The water visibility is not as good as Hawaii, but often you can see a lot of fish.

Surfing... humm! Don't rule out surfing so quickly. Watch the surf lessons from the beach. Hang out in a surf shop for a few minutes. I've seen people from 5 years-old to 80 years old with no experience standing you during their first lesson.

Often I talk with visitors in the lobby of the Barcelo Hotel (I live next door) and the ones having the best time are the ones who leave a lot of time for just hanging out and meeting people. Tamarindo is a community, so you definitely have the right idea about it.

A funny, efficient way to get to know people is through Facebook. Its amazing! Do a little corresponding and some people will even say hello on the streets when they recognize your Profile Picture.

A Tamarindo vacation is a community-style which means the other half of you vacation will be involved with interaction with people. While I recommend the Day Tours, just siting in the lobby waiting for the next one will not lead to the best vacation.

One of the nice things about Tamarindo is that things are constantly changing. This year is no exception. We have several new bars opening up, and for some reason several high-end cafes. It is a 15-minute walk to town, and once there, you can pretty much walk anywhere in town.

We have a road that is only paved on one-side! The locals are buzzing about that one! In other words, we have a very different feel from than Hawaii! A small town feeling.

Don't necessarily look for "The Place", look for the people you enjoy, "current events", private parties, live music, etc. Help with our Recycling Project, join Poker Night at the Langosta Surf Club go to our local gym! This is the place not to do the same old tourist thing!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: just beginning....

A lot of great books about my country ...terrible ones from FODORS...FROMMERS offer a great guide book...

Tamarindo is a great area...and basically everything you are looking for...

For mud baths...Rincon de la Vieja!

We are not famous for snorkeling...but some areas are not bad at all...like Bajo de los Tiburones by the new RIU...you can get there by boat from Tamarindo!

Just buckle up and enejoy the ride in PARADISE!

Tamarindo, Costa...
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4. Re: just beginning....

It sounds like you want to do everything... and that's great. You will definitely see monkeys, iguanas and birds. January is turtle nesting season, just ask at the hotel reception for reservations. You can also try the estuary boat trip. You may have the chance to see crocodiles and who knows what else.

Ask for the snorkeling express that goes every morning, it's the best snorkeling trip around, if you want a little more fun and to finish with a nice sunset, then the catamarans are the way to go.

For volcano/zip line, hot springs try Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. It's just two hours from Tamarindo.

There is a horseback riding tour that takes you to the mountains to observe great views of the ocean and finishes on the beach.

Vooddo Lounge and Laguna del Cocodrilo restaurants often have great live music. Ask at the hotel if there are any concerts or special events in town during that particular week.

Have a great vacation

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5. Re: just beginning....

You guys are going to have a blast...there is so much to do in Tamarindo. Right out back of your hotel is the San Francisco estuary where you can do some great kayaking...watch out for the crocs.

Yes, the catamaran sunset sailing trips are worth it! The scenery is stunning and it is very peaceful sailing out into the Pacific. There is plenty to see while snorkeling...rays, turtles, eels... The food is great and there is an open bar...Good Times!

You also mentioned turtles...Well you are in luck, the Leatherback are still nesting in January. There are tours to go see them every night. These turtles are huge...it is amazing.

For more info check it out at: http://www.crparadise.com/tours/catamran.html

There are also great canopy tours, wildlife tours (Palo Verde boat tour), beautiful beaches, fantastic restaurants, great people and much more.

Maple Ridge, Canada
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6. Re: just beginning....

Thankyou everyone for your suggestions and the links. They were really good ! This sounds like our kind of place...!!


7. Re: just beginning....

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