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First time to CR, trip planning help!

Colchester, VT
Level Contributor
46 posts
44 reviews
First time to CR, trip planning help!

My boyfriend and I are planning a CR vacation from May 28-June 11th. We are lucky enough to have two weeks but want to make the most out of it without moving around all the time. This is our first time to CR, our priority is jungle relaxation and beaches. We would like a lot of down time at a 4-5 star resort with a good mix of adventures, day trips, and great food. Access to a little nightlife or local culture would be a bonus!

I would like to base in or around Uvita or Manuel Antonio for 9 days of the trip. After days of research, I am thinking Uvita is the perfect location to spend the majority of our time, possibly 9 nights. It seems to meet our needs for privacy, romance, great views, wildlife, beautiful beaches, proximity to adventure, waterfalls, less tourism, and great food. Am I on the right path? We plan to rent a 4x4 car for getting around the area. I originally planned for Manuel Antonio, however after reading so much about crowds we realized we are not looking for touristy for a long stay. We would love to do a day trip or two into MA from Uvita. Also, it seems I might get more for my money in terms of luxury and amenities in Uvita. As for accommodations, the new Golden Pineapple Villas with private infinity pools is calling my name. It is new as of Dec 2017, not many reviews except 5 stars all the way. Also considering Rancho Pacifico, about the same in price. Any insight into these two resorts? Best food? Are the beaches down here good for swimming? And is Uvita safe? I've heard mixed reviews.

We would like to split our time with 5 days after arrival in San Jose near a cloud forest/ volcanic region that has hot springs and waterfalls, but not overcrowded with tourists. We want to do an adventurous zip line through cloud canopies. We are having a difficult time deciding where to spend these 5 days. Any ideas on what area would be most accessible for traveling to Uvita? We are willing to drive 5 hours, or fly local. Considering all the new volcano closures, I'm interested in the La Fortuna/ Arenal region or Rincon if the park is still accessible, or Monteverde. I also am intrigued by the area near Poas, in particular Bajos del Toro at the Silencio Lodge & Spa. We are not adventurous hikers but we do love moderate nature hikes and wildlife, just seeing the volcanoes from afar and exploring waterfalls and hot springs will be wonderful! If we want to see a crater, was thinking of driving up Irazu if we stay in Bajos or the morning after arrival in San Jose. Anyone been to Bajos region and can compare to other national parks?

Is it crazy to expect any sort of nightlife around either region? We don't go out a lot but while on vacation we like to go out a couple nights dancing and also would like to experience some authentic Tico culture in local towns or beach communities. Willing to drive and explore a little, we are pretty open minded.

Thank you!!!

Edited: 2:51 pm, March 12, 2018
5 replies to this topic
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
9,439 posts
70 reviews
1. Re: First time to CR, trip planning help!

Golden Pineapple only has a total of 23 reviews on TA, in all languages, and quite a few of those - "1-post wonders", giving it excellent ratings. Up to you if you want to count those. https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g635… .

Looks like you have done some research re safety in Uvita. Have you seen this few page-long thread going between May 2017 and now? https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g635755… . There are a lot of ppl giving different opinions...you can decide.

Colchester, VT
Level Contributor
46 posts
44 reviews
2. Re: First time to CR, trip planning help!

Thank you, yes I did see the page about crime in Uvita. It is making me a little hesitant, it seems they have caught some of them and are watching the situation. But there are a lot of people still going here without a problem with the right precautions. We are pretty familiar being in crime ridden areas both in America and abroad, but we know as a tourist we become a target. It seems it can happen anywhere these days, I will watch this page to make sure this is not becoming a recurring issue there.

Playa Guiones...
Destination Expert
for Nosara
Level Contributor
2,557 posts
6 reviews
3. Re: First time to CR, trip planning help!

You might also want to look at Kura Design Villa's. It's been around awhile so won't have any 'new opening kinks' that Pineapple might have.

Escazú, San Jose...
Level Contributor
2 posts
31 reviews
4. Re: First time to CR, trip planning help!

Hi, look for JaymoJourneyman in FB, he has specilists in Costa Rica that may help you...

Colchester, VT
Level Contributor
46 posts
44 reviews
5. Re: First time to CR, trip planning help!

Thanks for the suggestions, I will look into those! I just came across the Mal Pais area which also looks nice for beach seclusion, in particular Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas. Any comparisons to Uvita?

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