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Which is better: Monteverde or Manuel Antonio?

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Manhattan Beach, CA
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Which is better: Monteverde or Manuel Antonio?

We are traveling to CR for our honeymoon on August. We want to do as much as possible, but relax and enjoy each others company as much as possible.

Here is our itinerary:

Arrive and Depart from Liberia

5 nights in Tamarindo

4 nights in Mal Pais

2 nights in Monteverde or Manuel Antonio

4 nights in La Fortuna

Fly home:(

We are renting a 4x4 and actually think the driving will be fun. We both surf and are interested in all CR has to offer.

Thanks so much.

NY
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1. Re: Which is better: Monteverde or Manuel Antonio?

Personally, I would choose Monteverde. It's a very different environment from all your other destinations. I think you will already spend enough time in the beach areas in Tamarindo and Mal Pais. And you can do rainforest hikes from Mal Pais. Monteverde is famous for beautiful hikes in the amazing plantlife of cloud forests - definitely part of "all CR has to offer".

On the other hand, you can fit both Monteverde and Manuel Antonio if you change your itinerary slightly:

3 nights in Tamarindo

3 nights in Mal Pais

3 nights in Manuel Antonio

3 nights in Monteverde

3 nights in La Fortuna

But it's really upto you - what are you really interested in?

By the way, the drive from La Fortuna to San Jose airport is much shorter and easier than to Liberia, so if you can change your departure airport do it.

You will have fun driving around. And with such itinerary be prepared for some drives to be 4-5 hours and some 6 or maybe 7. August is part of the rainy season and that will affect the road conditions, although the amount of rain differs in the different parts of the country. Here are some links to weather averages:

http://www.costarica.com/Home/Weather/Temperature_Rainfall,_%7Damp;_Humidity/By_Cities_%7Damp;_Towns

costa-rica-guide.com/Weather/WeatherMap.html

Manhattan Beach, CA
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2. Re: Which is better: Monteverde or Manuel Antonio?

Thanks so much for your quick response. I had another question, which may sound silly. Is it ok to wear my jewelry or should I leave it at home?

Durham, Connecticut
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3. Re: Which is better: Monteverde or Manuel Antonio?

Wedding rings, watches-why not?

Tiara, 1ct diamond studs--why?

Whitby, ON Canada
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4. Re: Which is better: Monteverde or Manuel Antonio?

Congratulations on your up-coming marriage. You've picked a truly amazing, wonderful place for your honeymoon!!

Jewellery? I'm not sure whether muggings for rings or necklaces ranks higher crime-wise compared to vehicle break-ins, pick-pocketing, hotel room thefts or similar things where the victim is usually not present or aware to sound the alarm. I suspect the latter are probably much more prevalent, but even then I was shocked and saddened today to read on this forum about Butchhall's 21-year old daughter's recent assault in Manuel Antonio. (Butchhall had been keeping us all posted on their recent travels there while their daughter was attending spanish language school.)

A sad reminder that you just can't ever be too careful, anywhere! Even if no-one goes after your jewellery, why broadcast that there might be even more goodies in your vehicle or hotel room? It's the same as going through your camera bag or wallet in any public place, or carrying a purse when a secure pocket would do. At best, wear cheaper costume jewellery when you're out and about, but even that can prove tempting so why even bother?

I know this will be a very special trip for you both and you'll be tempted to wear your new rings with pride, but why take the chance of ruining your honeymoon? My wife has a pretty tempting rock on her finger too and shared your concern. Our solution (and my advice to you) was simply to pick up simple, cheap plain bands for you both before the wedding to wear on your trip. Everyone can still see you're married, and you'll have the peace of mind knowing that the 'real thing' is safe at home waiting for you.

If you still insist on taking your good stuff (for those special romantic dinners, etc.), just make sure your hotel has a room safe or a vault at the front desk for safe-keeping your things. Never leave those important things tucked in your luggage in the room or your vehicle. One tip on room safes though...some allow you to simply code in your own 4-digit PIN, but most will likely just have a key. On our trip we met pair of English lads who left their vehicle on the beach for two hours of surfing. They hid the hotel key under one of the rear floor mats, and the vehicle was very neatly broken into. Even though the simple key fob didn't specifically name the hotel, it was obviously recognized by the thief. With the room number engraved on that key, they arrived back at the hotel to find the safe already cleaned out! So if you really, really want to be careful, use the hotel safe and also leave your key at the front desk when you go out!

Don't mean to preach...just want you to have a safe and wonderful honeymoon!! All the best!!

San Isidro de El...
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5. Re: Which is better: Monteverde or Manuel Antonio?

Personally, I would go to Monteverde to give you a more rounded view of the country. It is a long drive to Manuel Antonio and then back up and over to Arenal. It is about 5hrs just from MA to Arenal. All that driving really wouldn't be relaxing and you are already looking at quite a bit.

Jewelry....I leave mine home. I have a thin gold band that I wear as a wedding ring period. I don't need to impress anyone down there with what I have. It can cause more trouble than it is worth. I thought about buying some fakes and got to thinking that I would hate to be robbed and possibly injured over a piece of glass.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Which is better: Monteverde or Manuel Antonio?

Agree with the others about dropping Manuel Antonio in favor of Monteverde. You could drop one of the other beach destinations in lieu of dropping MA, but then you'd lose two prime surf spots.

Question why you'd want to wear a lot of jewelry on an adventure trip? Full disclosure: Ex-girlfriends have told me that I don't understand bling...

Manhattan Beach, CA
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13 posts
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7. Re: Which is better: Monteverde or Manuel Antonio?

Thank you all so much for your help! We decided on Monteverde, I wish I would have asked sooner so that we could fly out of San Jose!

misterjosh: Since we have been engaged I have been so attached to my ring (I know it is silly and materialistic, I will leave it home).

Thanks again everyone and take care.

West Palm Beach...
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8. Re: Which is better: Monteverde or Manuel Antonio?

Glad you chose Monteverde...try Cafe Bromelias...wonderful food (although it is a limited menu)....fire pit burning in front, lots of locals and ex-pats (now locals, I guess). On Saturday night they have live music in an outdoor theatre.

9. Re: Which is better: Monteverde or Manuel Antonio?

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10. Re: Which is better: Monteverde or Manuel Antonio?

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