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Should we skip Monteverde & just do Manuel Antiono??

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Should we skip Monteverde & just do Manuel Antiono??

We only have 8 days & I just really would like to see some monkeys, wildlife, rainforest.

We will already be going to Arenal & I know that is on the way to Monteverde, but with the time constraints, does anyone think it would be worthwhile to skip Monteverde to go to M.A.?

Whats your advice?

Thanks!

houston
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1. Re: Should we skip Monteverde & just do Manuel Antiono??

Hi

You haven't said what time of year you are planning to go?

I didn't make it to Monteverde last year, my trip was Alajuela (Outskirts of San Jose) on to Arenal then down to Manuel Antonio. Arenal was perhaps the biggest dissapointment of them all - I went in May and it rained, rained rained. I got to see the Volcanoe for all of three seconds, it was a marvellous three seconds, but still a long way to go!

M.A. is a good base for activities - you can zip line from here, white-water raft, go to the rainforest, boat tours, horse-riding and definitely lots of wildlife.

The drive to Arenal does take you through some minor cloud forest en-route and for me once I had seen one I had seen them all! If you are an avid bird-watcher etc. then Monteverde would be a must. Hope this helps you.

Shrewsbury
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2. Re: Should we skip Monteverde & just do Manuel Antiono??

Had you thought about Tortuguero? Easy access, plenty of wildlife - we saw the three larger monkey species plus sloths, bats and raccoons as well as iguanas, turtles and various lizards. The NP is my idea of a tropical forest.

There are plenty of packages for a couple of nights inclusive of transfers, meals and guided tours. They seemed to be pretty good value for money. Check our trip report on avengerpenguins.com for some info on what you might see and do in a couple of days.

Bend, OR
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3. Re: Should we skip Monteverde & just do Manuel Antiono??

We went through Monteverde in Lat Oct I believe and it rained the whole time. I met some great people, but if you only have 8 days I would say go to MA. It has a great park and tons of wildlife not to mention a great beach.

beverly hills, ca
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4. Re: Should we skip Monteverde & just do Manuel Antiono??

MA is VERY over-rated. Quepos is the only town nearby and is very dirty and just plain trashy. You can see monkeys just about anywhere else. Try the Villa Blanca up in the cloud forest on your way to Monteverde. It is a high end eco hotel and has great service. You can do the zip lines without the crowds of backpackers. If you are looking for a premium adventure I would hit Guanacaste afterwards...it is the new Costa Rica.

Ottawa, Ont.
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5. Re: Should we skip Monteverde & just do Manuel Antiono??

Personally, I like Manuel Antonio as a beach destination, without the large resort hotels like you find in Tamarindo, and it has a far better beach than Jaco.

While there are eco-tourist stuff to do out of MA, it that's the main reason for the vist, then I'd recommend staying closer to the central valley (but not in San Jose). Getting in and out of Monteverde makes it less of a useful base for activities.

Bend, OR
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6. Re: Should we skip Monteverde & just do Manuel Antiono??

Holly crap 90210. You all really are like the TV show eh?! The eco lodge in Monteverde has such great clean snooty people away from all those dirty backpackers blah blah blah. Are you kidding!!??? Get a life ya looser. You need to go do some time in a soup kitchen ya wanker. You are the fear of the rest of us that love what Costa Rica is all about. The "New" Costa Rica??? Are you kidding me you posh little punk b***h!! Save everyones time and don't post on this site. Sorry sftraveler. The truth is the village of MA is small and has some great places to stay up on the hill overlooking the ocean, and you can have anything from a small clean room down closer to the village for about $35-40 or up on top of the hill for in a gated community for as much as you'd like to spend, and everythin inbetween. I reccommend the Villa Nina if it's still there. Very private with only about 8 rooms and costs about $65 or so a night. As the previous post said though, you might think about another part of the country if your mission is to see some great wildlife. We spent 10 weeks in CR and the best wildlife we saw was in Puerto Viejo and Cahuita on the carribean side. It is a lot less exspensive, but if you do relate to miss silk and lace, they unfortunatly do have AI's in that area now as well. The culture is very different there from the rest of the country and the amenities are not as many, but the road less traveled is where you'll find the abundance of wildlife.

Charlottesville, VA
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7. Re: Should we skip Monteverde & just do Manuel Antiono??

There is a town near the park in Manuel Antonio that is distinct from Quepos (taking the public bus, you go through Quepos and change to the short Manuel Antonio bus). Manuel Antonio isn't trashed...it's more touristy than some other towns, but the park itself is very nice and postcard worthy. The beaches are great and there are enough hiking trails that you can end up alone on a trail (take shoes, not flipflops). There is a public beach at Manuel Antonio also that looked nice, but that I didn't spend time at. (I went spring 2004.)

San Francisco
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8. Re: Should we skip Monteverde & just do Manuel Antiono??

I have the same question. I will be traveling in late Febuary with my 12 year old daughter. How should we get around?? Bus rent a car??

Thanks, my

Seattle, WA
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9. Re: Should we skip Monteverde & just do Manuel Antiono??

I am also contemplating where to go with only 9 days at the end of April..Would like to do Arenal-Monteverde-Manuel Antonio. After hearing from several sources (here also) MA sounds really over-rated! If Monteverde is not worth the trip and Arenal is disappointing...why am I going to Costa Rica? Are there any nice beachs? The reviews have some dirty, some touristy, some overrated. I want clean, pretty and safe. Is this too hard to find?

Shrewsbury
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10. Re: Should we skip Monteverde & just do Manuel Antiono??

roadtrip

There are plenty of clean, pretty, safe beaches. The nicest we found were in Bahia Drake, although they tend to be a little more costly to get too. Those at Tortuguero are clean and pretty but bathing is hazardous (and it depends on your definition of clean - these are remote beaches with no development, so what washes up stays there, but the sea itself is failrly clean). Further south the beaches at Cahuita and Puerto Viejo seemed nice - to be honest we're not too bothered about beach holidays per se - but from PV an hours walk into the Gandoca-Manzanillo (sp?) will bring you to tiny empty sand coves that are completely pristine. Just take food and water.

Arenal over-rated? Well it's the 2nd most active volcano in the world, so the only way to over-rate it would be to call it the most active. It's a natural phenomenon, though, and a mountain in a country that gets lots of cloud, so a free fireworks show isn't guaranteed.

We loved Monteverde too - we could have just spent the whole day at the hummingbird gallery.

We've visited about 25 countries so far in 4 continents and I think we both agree that CR was the best destination we've been to so far.