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Costa rica confusion

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Costa rica confusion

Please please help me...the more I read the more confused I get. I will be in CR for 9 nights in Feb. Air fare is booked. So far I am planning on Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio.

I have not booked rooms yet, I want as nice a hotel as possible without spending wildly. Am leaning towards Lost Iguana Resort in Arenal, HOtel Sapo Dorado in Monteverde, and Condos Villa Nicolas in Manuel Antonio, and a last night in Vista del Valle Plantation to be near airport.

The 2 main questions I have are whether or not to rent a car, we are just 2 people,

(40ish with some travel experience) my companion speaks spanish. I'm worried about road conditions, poor signs, etc. I wonder if a car and driver would be so much more relaxing, and helpful so as not to miss local flavor, which we love.

The second quandry is how long to stay in each of these areas. Am I trying to cram too much in, do I eliminate something, if so what?

Any advice on these or anything else you think I should know would be greatly appreciated.


Fort Collins
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1. Re: Costa rica confusion


Just recenly from Costa Rica, did about the same trip: San Jose, Arenal, Monterey(Jaco area), Manuel Antonio.

We actually stayed 2 nights in San jose, and bought a day trip to Arenal. I wish we stayed a at least a night in Arenal and Tabacon resort Hot Springs seems to be a must to visit.

It cost 80$ to hire a taxi from San Jose to Monterey, and only 30$ from Monterey to Manuel Antonio. The road was not too bad and simple to find directions, so the rental car might be another option. We just didn't want to get lost knowing no spanish, but it ended up that I was actually showing directions to taxi driver....

I remember Villa Nicolas, it looked like a good place, but for our taste it's located too far from ocean and most important - tophill. To hot to climb... Basically you have to use a car or taxi, which is only 2$, if you want to go to ocean or Quepos. We stayed in cheaper place, but only 50 yards from the beach. As a matter of fact, we didn't use that beach too many times, but went into national park - walking distance, less people, smaller waves (good for my wife), entrance fee is 7$/person, good for entire day.

Another option to move back to San Jose - air. Two local airlines serve multiple flights from Quepos to San Jose, one of them flights directly to international airport. Takes only 25-30 minutes.


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2. Re: Costa rica confusion

Just returned from there. The hotels you picked are ok. Good option is Montana de Fuego

in Arenal. El Establo in Monteverde. Tulemar bungalows much nicer (private beach) than villa nicolas. Advice, we had a driver to

transport from place to place. You don't want

to be driving from arenal to monteverde on your own. Don't need full time driver. take

taxis when on location.

Have a great time we did