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Best possible 2 weeks, itinerary suggestion?

Houston, Texas
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Best possible 2 weeks, itinerary suggestion?

Hi all,

I am looking at a possible 2 weeks for 2 families (8 pp age between 18 - 60) to travel to CR for the first time. We are looking at either Dec 25 - Jan 7 or last 2 weeks of May. Most likely we will purchase an open-jaw ticket, outbound into SJO and outbound out of LIR, and will rent 2 vehicles. We certainly like to do ziplining, snorkeling and visit sandy beach. Other than that we are opened for your suggestion and would like your help to organize time in the most efficient way to avoid spending to much time on the road or backtracking.

How is the road condition?



Destination Expert
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1. Re: Best possible 2 weeks, itinerary suggestion?

One potential itinerary could be SJO-Manuel Antonio-Arenal-northern Guanacaste-LIR. Depending on your arrival time you should probably stay first night near the airport. Divide the rest of your time between other three locations equally.

Road conditions are mostly good, roads paved in and out of most touristic locations, Monteverde being a notably exemption.

2. Re: Best possible 2 weeks, itinerary suggestion?

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San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: Best possible 2 weeks, itinerary suggestion?

Lots of potential itineraries and routes.

With 2 weeks, you certainly have time to hit the Osa peninsula/Golfo Dulce region. If flying into SJO and out LIR, you'd be best to hit that area first. Although to do it right, I'd budget at least 4 days for the Osa/GDulce.

I agree that given the choice I'd avoid the Xmas/New Years period.

Brasilito, Costa...
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4. Re: Best possible 2 weeks, itinerary suggestion?

Ok, just trying to help here and I get flagged! Try again.

If you have a choice, avoid Dec 25 - Jan 7. Just about everything in Costa Rica goes up in price for this stretch. Hotels, rental cars, even restaurants and grocery stores.

With two weeks, you don't really need an open jaw. Save yourself some cash and in/out SJO. I recommend SJO to Arenal (for 3 days), down the Nicoya Peninsula (3-4 days-Flamingo/Tamarindo or Samara), to Montezuma (2 days), Ferry back to the mainland, and down to Manuel Antonio area (3-4 days) With a final day close to SJO - Atenas or Grecia.

Costa Rica
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5. Re: Best possible 2 weeks, itinerary suggestion?

Away: Probably you got flagged for "self-promotion" etc. Just so you know.

Albi: If you are wanting to go to the northern Pacific area, flying into SJO and out of LIR makes a lot of sense. From Tamarindo to SJO is 5 hours; from Tamarindo to LIR is under two hours.

If you are wanting to be close to SJO for your last day, I would just choose Alajuela rather than Atenas or Grecia.

Road conditions on major highways are good. Some secondary roads are gravel but mostly in good shape.

If you are flying out of LIR, here is a list I put together for someone else of "Things to do Near Liberia":

1. Do the One Day Adventure Pass at Guachipelin. www.guachipelin.com

2. Visit Rincon de la Vieja National Park for hiking, volcano, waterfalls, hot springs, mud pots, etc.

3. Go horseback riding, fishing or boating

4. Visit Santa Rosa National Park and see the old farmstead known as "La Casona" - now a museum - it figures prominently in Costa Rican history. There are several nearby trails to choose from and one longish trail ends at a deserted beach.

5. Take the boat trip through Palo Verde National Park. www.paloverdeboattours.com

6. Take the boat to Witch's Rock for surfing or just visiting a beautiful beach.

7. Visit the town of Guatil where you can see authentic Chorotega pottery being made.

8. Head to the Tenorio National Park for the hike to the Rio Celeste.

9. Go to Llanos del Cortes waterfall. Huge waterfall with small swimming area. There are often monkeys in the trees overhead.

10. Visit Las Pumas Wildlife Rescue Center in Canas where you can see all sorts of animals, including big cats.

11. Arrange a sailing trip with the Sea Bird out of Playas del Coco. Snorkeling or just a quiet sunset cruise.

12. Take a whitewater rafting trip on the Tenorio River or a float trip on the Corobici River. www.rinconcorobici.com

Brasilito, Costa...
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6. Re: Best possible 2 weeks, itinerary suggestion?

Hattie knows.

San Francisco
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7. Re: Best possible 2 weeks, itinerary suggestion?

I'm going to CR for two weeks in June/July. I am flying in and out of SJO and renting a car. I am staying the first 5 nights in Uvita- using it as a home base to visit corcovado, manuel antonio, and marina ballena. Then I am driving to Puerto Viejo and staying there for 3 nights. After that I am going up to Tortugero for 2 nights, then finishing it up with 3 nights in La Fortuna and 1 in SJ before flying home. Hope this helps!

Houston, Texas
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8. Re: Best possible 2 weeks, itinerary suggestion?

Thanks you all for your valuable information.

I use your inputs and try to outline an itinerary. Flying into SJO and out of LIR is not cost much more for us, approximately $37 more per person, definitely worth while if we can save time on the road, but not sure about 1 way drop off fee for rental car. At first, I think about inbound to LIR and outbound from SJO, but it is much more to fly into LIR because there is only 1 flight a day and it is a late afternoon flight compared to 3 flights to SJO. That being said, if we plan to visit the following destinations, what would be our best order to minimize time on the route:

Round trip to SJO or open jaw SJO, LIR

Arenal/Fortuna - Volcano

Monteverde - cloud forest

Tamarindo - sandy beach, snorkeling, surfing

Adventure park in Rincon de la Vieja - for tubing, ziplining, natural hot springs. Or should we do this in other destinations?

Is Manual Antonio worth the drive since it is south of SJO?

Mid May is definitely less expensive but it is the beginning raining season. How much rain in beginning of season?

Thank you


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9. Re: Best possible 2 weeks, itinerary suggestion?

May is a great time to travel to Costa Rica, the country will be all for you, great rates and the weather is very nice.

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10. Re: Best possible 2 weeks, itinerary suggestion?

Hi, your itinerary looks like it is just what we would like to do. We are going to CR in April. Please let me know how it all went and if you would change anything or if you found some other places that are not to be missed.