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Costa Rica

What to do when you are there...


View Costa Rica March 2004 on GregW's travel map.

I spent two weeks in Costa Rica. Went to San Jose, Monteverde (in the mountains), Montezuma (Nicoya peninsula) and Manuel Antonio (Pacific coast).

If you fly into San Jose and are looking for a place to stay, The Hotel Aranjuez (Aranjuez Hotel) is very nice. We had a superior room for $38 (Double) and that includes a TV. Free breakfast with someone making you omletes in the morning. They take reservations, but are VERY strict on them - make sure you call to reconfirm when they say. A cab from the airport is $10 - $ 12.

By far, Manuel Antonio was the best destination. Lots of wildlife, both in the national park and just outside hanging around. I saw both capuchin and squirrel monkeys, and my friend saw a few sloths (including a mother and child). It's a little more expensive to eat and drink than some of the other locations, but still very worth it.

GJWStElana.jpg

I stayed at the Cabinas Piscis. Highly recommended hotel. $43 / night for a double room with private bath. Very basic, and cold showers, but it's only 100 meters to the beach, and the beach is near deserted. The beach and sea bottom are all sand. The surf is good - not too big that you can't swim, but big enough that you can pull out a surfboard or boogie board for some fun.

manuelantoniobeach.jpg

From 4:30 - 6:30 go to the Marlin Restaurant for 2 for 1 drink specials. For dinner, head to the Costa Verde restaurant for excellent BBQ (it's pretty pricey though, so save up a few bucks). Eat breakfast on the beach at one of the sodas for a few bucks.

Based on what I heard from other travellers, there are a couple of places that I didn't get to that I would have loved to have seen.

The Arenal Volcano (which I saw from afar in Monte Verde) is supposedly quite impressive. If I go back to Costa Rica, I would for sure dedicate a day to the Volcano.

As well, Corcovado is supposed to be jam packed with wildlife. There are some nice tent camps in Corcovado park, where you sleep in a "tent" (which is really a wood floor with a canvas covering). These are supposedly REALLY nice, and go for $80 or $90 a night. A little pricey (compared to a hotel), but you get to sleep right on the beach.

If I were doing my "dream" two week itinerary, it would probably go something like this:

Fly into San Jose, stay at the Hotel Aranjuez for 1 night, leave the next day for La Fortuna.

Spend the night in La Fortuna, go to Arenal Volcano the next day (day 3), leave La Fortuna on day 4 for Manuel Antonio.

Spend 3 days in Manuel Antonio (day 5, 6, 7). One day for the national park, one day as a beach day and one day to do some fishing or some other activity. Leave day 8 for Corcovado.

I'd spent days 9, 10 and 11 in Corcovado hanging around. Probably do some of the zip-line / canopy tour thing, a day in the park looking for wildlife, and a beach day.

Day 12 travel Corcovado -> San Jose.

Day 13 is open for you to do whatever - white water rafting or seeing the sights in San Jose (which really only takes about two hours).

Day 14 leave.

Posted by GregW 16:44 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged backpacking

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Great post Greg; another featured entry me thinks :) What a great country Costa Rica is to travel in by the way. Reading the post brought back some good memories!

by Sam I Am

Arenal Volcano is by far the most active volcano in Costa Rica and as well one of the most active in the world with its daily eruptions. This makes the area of Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna a fascinating tourist destination that attracts foreigners as well as the residents of Costa Rica.
The Arenal Volcano . Regardless if you want you to stay in a two or four star hotel, go on an adventurous tour or spend the day in a relaxing and luxurious resort, you can find it in this beautiful part of Costa Rica. Whether you decide to stay in a hotel in La Fortuna Town like the San Bosco Hotel, Arenal Jireh Hotel, Luigi's Lodge, or near the volcano like the Arenal Volcano Inn hotel, Arenal Observatory lodge, Arenal Paraiso hotel or the Tabacon Resort Hotel, memorable time in one of Costa Rica's most beautiful regions. Get to know the volcano and the area before your visit by looking at the maps and the pictures of the Arenal Volcano and read its history in our general section.
www.arenalvolcano.com

by castellon1

Hey Greg,

Just read your post on my Costa Rica thread and followed the link here. Thanks so much for the info, and the time it took to record it. Manuel Antonio was tentatively on my list, but you've helped me push it up to a "must see" priority.

Many thanks.

Reid

by reidfoster

Arenal Volcano is the most active volcano in Costa Rica and one of the most active in the world with its daily eruptions. This makes the area of Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna a fascinating tourist destination for foreigners as well as residents of Costa Rica.
www.arenalvolcano.com

by castellon1

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