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Reality check for first timer.

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Las Vegas, Nevada
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Reality check for first timer.

Going on a Caravan tour March 19 thru 28. Flying in a day early and leaving a day late. I did most of my reasearch after booking and paying for the tour and hotel (and I am still doing research). I am asking mostly for opinion; and a little info.

1. Flight arrives at 7:50 PM on a Tuesday. After getting through airport, taxi to hotel (Holiday Inn (ya I know; reasearch after booking; remember)), and checking in the time should be between 9 and 10 PM. Should I just eat dinner at the hotel or take a taxi to one of the many restaraunts I have seen recommended in the forums?

2. What is a realistic amount to plan for spending money (not counting souviniers)? How much cash in pocket for walking around money?

3. I noticed the ATV day tour. Picks you up at the hotel and you spend the day on private trails. Anyone done this or have any advice? Seems like a great way to spend my first day before the tour starts.

4. PARANOID: My flight leaves at 7:00 AM. Will I have any problem getting a taxi to the airport at 4:30 or 5:00? Just how early should I get to the airport?

Thank you to every one posting in the forums. I loved the day by day report of the Caravan Tour itinerary. I have picked up a lot of information and tips.

Determined to make this a smooth, enjoyable, and remarkable vacation.

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Reality check for first timer.

1. Not sure on this one - I'd probably just want to eat at the hotel and then go to sleep. You will be getting to your hotel at around 10pm. I don't think that late night is the best way to get acquainted with San Jose

2. Meals typically range $4-15. So I'd budget $60/person/day. I usually keep about $40 in my pocket when walking around and the rest in the room safe. There are plenty of ATMs around if you need more cash.

3. Remember that ATV tours are only good as long as you are looking for deaf wildlife

4. Where are you spending your last night? If you stay in Alajuela, you can sleep for another 30 minutes and still be able to get a taxi at 5am

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Reality check for first timer.

Ugh. That's an early flight. You should check out Hotel Villa Bonita just 5 min from SJO. It's a B & B in a family owned colonial home and is inexpensive, but warm and friendly. They can arrange for a taxi for you for your flight.

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3. Re: Reality check for first timer.

1. Which Holiday Inn - take a taxi - there are great restaurants but keep an eye on all things that can walk away - camera - wallet.

2. Costa Rica in general is very cheap unless you are in Escazu. There are ATM machines everywhere. Do not bring travelers checks - use your credit card when in doubt and most places do not like to take AMX.

3. Do the ATV - fun stuff.

4. You should arrive at the airport 2 1/2 hours before departure for a 7 AM out.

Enjoy Costa Rica

Las Vegas, Nevada
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4. Re: Reality check for first timer.

Thank you for the input. I changed the first and last days to the Best Western. I know it is a chain hotel but it is my first time.

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5. Re: Reality check for first timer.

Just stay at the Costa Rica Tennis Club and then go next door to the American Bar for a couple cold ones and a bite to eat.

No problem getting a taxi but make arrangements the night before and don't count on the hotel for a timely wake up call so bring a travel alarm. Get to the airport at 5:00 and pay your airport tax before you line up to check in your luggage!!!

Spending money? Go to the ATM beside the American Bar and take out 100,000 Colones. That will keep you going for several days.

ATV trip? Too loud and obnoxious. Try a kayak and you will see things.

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6. Re: Reality check for first timer.

If you're staying at the Best Western Irazu they have free shuttles that will take you to the airport. I can't remember what time the first one leaves though.

7. Re: Reality check for first timer.

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