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Is a week in Parrita too long?

Boston...
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Is a week in Parrita too long?

My husband and I and our two teenagers (17 and 18) have a week to spend in Costa Rica in late December/early January. I've reserved a villa in Parrita for the week, and a car (4-wheel drive) to get us there from SJO. I was thinking we could use Parrita as a base and make day trips elsewhere (nearby beaches, Manuel Antonio, Arenal?). Does that make sense, or should we stay somewhere else part of the time (La Fortuna or elsewhere)? We're looking for a relaxing vacation, not manic sightseeing. And my husband and I have been to Monteverde and Poas before, and rafted the Pacuare (albeit 20 years ago!), so we don't need to repeat those adventures (although I'd be happy to, if only we had unlimited funds!). We all appreciate beautiful scenery and wildlife, and I'm sure the kids would enjoy something like ziplining, but we're mostly interested in low-key, low-cost activities: relaxing at the beach, off-the-beaten-path hiking, maybe horseback riding. Is it reasonable to spend a week in Parrita doing those kinds of things? Would you recommend an alternate destination? And any special thoughts on where/how to celebrate New Year's Eve? Thanks so much!

11 replies to this topic
Dominical, Costa...
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1. Re: Is a week in Parrita too long?

i have driven through there many times but not familiar with what activities are right there but my impression is there is not a lot to do. It will be interesting if you get some responses from people knowledgable of that immediate area. If the number of postings for this forum is an indication of how popular a place is (yours is the third one) then I would say that you might be in for a long week or a lot of driving if that is going to be your home base the entire week. Further down the coast you will find a lot of things to do between Quepos (Manual Antonio) to Ojochal. You can easily do day trips to these places or even backtrack for one of the days. If you want to split it up, try a couple of days at the Arenal Observatory Lodge. Parrita could be a good place to relax but your kids might find it too slow.

Boston...
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2. Re: Is a week in Parrita too long?

Thanks so much, D-D. I really appreciate your input. Parrita seems to be about 12 miles from Quepos, so I was thinking the drive might take half an hour. Does that sound right to you?

Still hoping to hear from others who have spent time in the area. Thanks!

Dominical, Costa...
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3. Re: Is a week in Parrita too long?

From the town center of Parrita it seems like it takes me 25 minutes to get to Quepos. I will be driving through there this evening and will double check for you but it is not significantly off this amount of time. There is a nice sized grocery store whee the highway urns to go to Dominical for your initial stock of food. I know on one person that stayed in that are for about a week after a month here in Dominical. She got a good rate there and was just wanting to chill out for that week.

Boston...
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4. Re: Is a week in Parrita too long?

Thanks for your super-speedy reply! And would you estimate that Ojochal is another hour beyond Quepos?

Manuel Antonio...
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5. Re: Is a week in Parrita too long?

Hello! I live in Quepos and Parrita is about 20-25 minutes away. There is definitely not much to do there as it is mostly just a local town going about its daily life. If you can cancel your villa, I would suggest doing so and renting a place in either Quepos or Manuel Antonio for part of the time and then in any other places you wish to go. There are plenty of things to do here, but it can also be a relaxing vacation with you doing as little or as much as you would like to.

Boston...
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6. Re: Is a week in Parrita too long?

Thanks for the advice. Yes, we can still cancel the villa in Parrita. I reserved it partly because I was having trouble finding properties in Quepos or Manuel Antonio that were appealing, affordable, and available for our dates. That holiday week around New Year's is a very busy time! Would Dominical be a good alternative? (Dave, maybe you'll weigh in on this! Best bet there looks like Villas Alturas; are you familiar with it?)

Playa Hermosa...
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for Manuel Antonio, Jaco
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7. Re: Is a week in Parrita too long?

If you plan on doing day trips, ie: Carara NP, Manuel Antonio NP, points south to Dominical etc., Parrita is not a bad option actually. It is centrally located. Parrita is not heavily touristed. It is, however, more of a traditional CR town which is appealing if you want to rub elbows with locals, restaurants, shops and such. (Unfortunately, Arenal is not a viable option from Parrita, just too far.) I'm guessing you have a great rate in Parrita for just this reason and the beach towns popular w/ tourists will up the price for your rental. The Christmas/New Years holiday is generally booked several months in advance so if you choose to change destination, don't cancel until you have something else secured. All the beaches will be very crowded at that time of year with Tico's enjoying friends and family on their holiday. (A few months ago, there was an individual with close ties to Parrita. If you can find that post, maybe a PM would be a good idea for some more first hand knowledge.) Hope it helps!

Manuel Antonio...
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8. Re: Is a week in Parrita too long?

I suggest you check out Pueblo Real Condominiums in Quepos. They are affordable 2-bedroom condos that still have availability for the holiday dates. Hope this helps!

Costa Rica
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9. Re: Is a week in Parrita too long?

I would say Ojochal is a better bet! :)

Very very nice village. About 30 minutes south of Dominical.

Uvita, Costa Rica
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10. Re: Is a week in Parrita too long?

hi, travellingdolly!

i would say that for that time of the year parrita is one of the best choices you can get!!! like somebody before already mentioned the beaches, towns, hotels will be so crowded and if you come for nature and relax - this is it! It is perfect for one day trips to: Carara National Park to see the Red Macaws among other animals, to Manuel Antonio National Park or just to one of the many nice restaurants for the evening, ... to Uvita to visit the Marino Ballena National Park for Whale Watching (!), to Sierpe for a Mangrove Tour, to Isla del Caño National Park for diving, snorkeling, to Dominical for surfing, ... and even to the Corcovado National Park (one day tour from Parrita) among many other activities, like zip lining in Osa, Rafting, Rappeling, many beautiful waterfalls to visit (and swim), many options for horseback tours at the beach or in the mountains, even going a one or two day trip to visit Indian Villages or the Esferas (big round balls made of stone done by some ancient people) ... soooo many beautiful things to see and explore. if i was you, i wouldn't change.

Edited: 12:42 pm, October 15, 2013
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