Planning to spend all of January, 2015 in Costa Rica....I have no idea what area/part of the country I should stay in and make my "base." I would certainly like to explore the country some, but mainly want to relax, enjoy the area I'm living in to get a feel for the day-to-day, and be able to walk/bike most places. I'm a 34-year-old single gay man. LOVE the beach and want to be close to one. Love dining. Love running, hiking and the outdoors. Love sailing. Love live music. Love people, but need my personal space--often. Don't necessarily care about the bar/club scene, though a night or two during my stay wouldn't be out of the question. I would definitely like to be able to meet others and/or have a couple beers/cocktails here and there. Essentially, I want to be around enough people--not isolated--but don't necessarily need downtown San Jose for 30 days either. Mainly using airbnb.com and vrbo.com for my rental search....not interested in a "resort." Something local, comfortable, and relatively safe for the solo traveler. Any thoughts or suggestions on cities/areas to focus my search? Any help is MUCH appreciated. Thanks! --Jacob
I am a single traveler interested in finding a travel partner companion. So many places that I would like to visit penalize the single traveler and I am wondering if there is a source that is available for people like me?
Hi. My boyfriend and I are staying the night of the 5th in San Jose as our flight arrives late, but from there I get a bit overwhelmed as to where we should go. The only thing we have figured out is to stay on the Pacific coast. He's been to Costa Rica before and spent time in Tamarindo/Liberia/Montezuma, so we're aiming south.
Initially my thought was to rent a house/cabin (or whatever) in the Mal Pais or Santa Teresa area for the entire time and just take day trips, but the more I look into it I'm leaning towards Manuel Antonio, or splitting the time between the 2 places (Manuel Antonio and Santa Teresa). Is it feasible to do the latter? I've never been to Costa Rica so I think my perception of distance is a bit off.
We're looking to mostly enjoy the outdoors on this trip (hike, surf, see some cool wildlife, relax, etc.). The ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera sounds like fun. Ideally if I could roll out of my bed and land directly on the beach that would be great. But we are in our late twenties and wouldn't mind some night life to socialize and make some new friends to party with a bit. That being said making Jaco our "home base" sounds too intense for us.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Has anyone stayed at this hotel? It seems quite nice, and a good option (ie. meaning it's well reviewwed, around the $100 range and close to the beach).
We're trying to decide between Coconut Grove and Villas Rio Mar, which seems like another great option.
Hello, VTers! We have decided that we're doing 4 nights and 5 days in the Dominical / Quepos / Manuel Antonio area.
We're trying to do it without a car, but I'm not sure if it would make things very inconvenient for us, and it's just not worth it do that area without a car.
We arrive in Quepos via shuttle on the morning of Day 1, and we plan to go straight to Dominical. Would you recommend taking a public bus, or taxi down to Dominical from Quepos, if we don't have a car?
Then we were planning on spending the day in Dominical and Uvita on Days 1 and 2. For Days 3 and 4, we were planning on moving up to Quepos and MA, and then we fly out to San Jose on Day 5.
Would you recommend staying in Quepos / MA for the entire 4 nights, and doing day trips down to Dominical and Uvita? Or is a good idea to spend 2 nights in Dominical, and then 2 nights in Quepos? Do you recommend a car to do this? Or do you think that public transport is adequate? The bus from Quepos to Dominical seems to take 2 hours.
Even in Dominical, it seems it's advisable that we have a car. We were hoping to find accommodations (around $100 per night) in Dominical, but I can't seem to find a good place right in town. The good places seem to be either over $150, or pretty shabby. The places that are reasonable and well rated seem to require a car, as they're just outside of Dominical (ex. Villas Rios Mar).
What are your thoughts in trying to do this area without a car?
Many thanks in advance!
I will be volunteering at a school in Nosara from September til mid November and am looking for a place to stay. I like having people around. A shared apartment or anything like that would be great. Any ideas on how to find one?
Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this airline?
how do you get from Heredia to Corcovado? Is there a some kind of trip possible? Since im travelling alone i would not mind a booked tour for 4 days or something.
Thank you very much. I would not want to miss Corcovado but its very hard to get there.
Hi guys, I have planned a trip to Costa Rica end of May. Unfortunately I have ruptured my ACL in left knee. Till end of May my knee will recover but I won't have enough time for a surgery so I would have to travel without ACL. That means I'll be able to walk normally and taking stairs. But any non flat surface or unstable surface (as hanging bridges) could be a real problem.
I will obviously remove all physical activity from the trip. The main thing for me is to see the nature. Do you think it still worth to go? Would I be able to visit all natural parks and volcanos?
Thanks a ton!
Hi all, I know that there are hourly buses from San José to Ciudad Quesada. I need to go early in the morning from Alajuela to Los Chiles to catch the bus to Caño Negro at 14.00. When and where does the bus leave in Alajuela? I will travel on a sunday, are there fewer buses?
I'm looking for someone interested in sharing a shuttle or taxi on March 27th 2014 from LIR to Samara. I land around 12:30 and plan on traveling straight to Samara. Thanks, Stephen
Hi, All! Our flight arrives at 10:45am, and there is a shuttle (Interbus) that leaves from San Jose to Arenal at 2:30pm. We have set plans to go to Arenal after landing in SJO.
We would like to buy our tickets for the shuttle, but are concerned that our flight may be delayed or something. We are thinking we'll just buy our ticket when we arrive at the airport, but do you think the shuttle will sell out? Is it advisable to purchase shuttle tickets beforehand?
where to go in costa rica for 2 couples who want to rent an affordable place near the ocean
Does anyone have thoughts on doing a day trip to this Reserve from La Fortuna?
I've done some reading and would like to try and squeeze this into an 11 day trip to CR at the end of April.
Thanks! The VT members have been so very helpful!
My name is Anna (29), I'm from Latvia.I'm very interested in scuba diving (I have never done it before,only in aswimming pool) and I'm studying now in order to get NDL certificate. Could you,experienced divers, help me!
On the 26th of June I (without my husband because he cannot swim) would like to dive with scuba at Cano Island. As I will dive in tropical waters for the first time in my life (I'm honestly afraid), I would like to have a personal diving instructor who will dive with me, help me and show me everything. Could you please advise me an appropriate and good diving center in Drake bay /u(may be together with a hotel) and diving instructor or even several instructors in case one of them is busy.
Besides, I have read that near Cano Island ther are a lot of tiger-sharks...I'm really worried about this fact. Are these sharks really dangerous, are they many? What is their usual bahaviour towards scubadivers?Was there any case when a diver suffered somehow from a shark in Costa Rica and especially at Cano Island?What could you advise so that diving would be less dangerous (where exactly at Cano Island would be better to scubadive, how deep and how far from the shore? What to do if a shark is coming closer and wants to attack (I have heard that one should go closer to the reef and then start continuously swimming up, but as far as I can see when one will be on water surface, the shark can easily attack)?
I have heard also that there exist a special repellent against sharks (copper acetate).Is it possible to buy it, where; do you use something like that?
What about diving equipment,is it safe? Is high-pressure hose often torn?
What about coral reefs at Cano Island?Are they very sharp? What if I accidentaly be pressed to them, will I be seriously injured?
May be you could also say about dolphin watching at Cano Island. What firm would you advise to choose for that (what about http://www.drakebay.info/1.htm)? What kind of boat do they sail with (is it big,comfortable and safe)? Do they offer lifejackets?
Thank you for answering in advance
Does anyone know how long the drive from Dominical to Quepos is, and how long the drive from Dominical to Drake Bay?
We will be in Costa Rica from April 17-27. I know the turtle nesting season is more during the summer months, but is there any opportunity to see the turtles during this time period?
My friend and I are arriving and leaving in San Jose, and have 12 days total. Our first 4 days are in Arenal, then we have 3 undecided days, then 5 in Puerto Viejo before we leave.
Can anyone recommend a place to go that would be nice to see, in between Arenal and Puerto Viejo, but wouldn't add a lot of travel time?
I have been doing a bunch of reading on Costa Rica, and it seems that the beaches in CR are nice, but I shouldn't expect Caribbean beautiful beaches. My frame of reference is the beaches in Barbados were stunningly beautiful, and the beaches in Tobago were nice (but not as beautiful as Barbados).
If anything, people come to CR for the wildlife, flora and fauna, not necessarily the beaches.
Is this a correct assessment?
If not, what are the most beautiful beaches in CR that you would recommend for beginner surfers or snorkellers?
where to stay for a reasonable price and drive time between the two places?
My boyfriend and I have 10 days in CR, and had the following very loose itinerary in mind:
-1 day in San Jose
-2 days in La Fortuna/Arenal
-2 days in Monteverde/Santa Elena
-2 days in Manuel Antonio
-not sure about the remaining 3 days. Perhaps Montezuma, Cabuya, Guanacaste, Tortuguero, Samara, Cahuita or Jaco?
We're thinking of flying into San Jose and out of Iberia back to Canada to maximize distance and time.
We've got 2 questions:
1. How would you suggest we get around (ie. transportation (including how long it takes to drive, fly or bus), and which order would you visit the places in?) to the various places we've listed?
2. What do you suggest for 3 days, based on the other places we plan to visit? We really enjoy outdoor activities, we hate resorts and overdeveloped cities, don't really plan on laying on beaches (although we would like to see beautiful beaches, if available. We understand that the beaches do not rival those of the Caribbean), love places with character, we're in our 30's, and it'll just be the two of us.
Thank you in advance!
Hello Travel Experts, Just looking for any relevant feedback for our plans in Costa Rica as part of a RTW trip starting in Feb of 2015. Because our time in Costa Rica is part of a 6 month world trek our budget is limited. Here is our planned itin.
Day 1 – Depart for Detroit Airport to San Jose Costa Rica
Take free shuttle to nearby hotel – Hotel Brillo sol.
Day 2 – Time to Explore the nearby city of Alajuela or into San Jose
• Las Musas waterpark, Teatro Nacional – tickets.
Day 3-6 – Either rent car or take public bus to Tree Houses Hotel (Frog, Sloth, or Toucan – includes breakfast for $85-98 per night for 3 nights stay).
• Day trips to Arenal national park
• Proyecto Asis – animal reserve
• Alberto’s horeses tour
• Ecoglide Arenal park, paradise hot springs, Rio Celeste falls and hike
Day 4-6: Rent car if haven’t already done so and make drive around Lake Arenal to Monteverde for 2 night stay.
• Cloud forest hike and explore with guide
• River float tour and/or zipline, hummingbird gallery
Day 7 – 10: Transfer to Manuel Antonio for last three nights
• Boat tour Damas Island sanctuary, Hike trail loop around cathedral point, beach
Depart from San Jose
Like the idea of taking a public bus to La Fortuna from Alejuela or should we just rent a car for the whole trip?
From Cost perspective we do need to fly into San Jose but we could leave from Liberia so should we go to Guanacaste area instead of Manuel Antonio?
Our kids will be 10 and 12 years old. Any feedback is very welcome.
How do I get from Tamarindo to Playa Brasilito by public bus
Hi to all!
I’m working on a solo, low budget trip to Costa Rica, flying there after 3 weeks, and plan to travel around, about 10 days (before/ after I cross to Nicaragua, for a couple of weeks+ there also).
This is a revised plan, after an earlier question, now focusing to jungle - volcano destinations and limiting the initial area, to make it more realistic – so in 1 month I’ll travell between San Jose and SW corner of Nic/a, up to Leon. Regarding CR, Sarah, Emily and more VTers gave me some good ideas earlier for Manuel Antonio and for various beaches, I hope not to overload the information capacity here by asking now!
After the initial research, it seems then, that CR is not generally a low budget paradise (!) to suit well my wallet, but I’d still like to see something good from it, so I’m looking for nice spots with forest and/or volcanoes, to get a good and true feeling of the country (nature, people) without the expensive eco-lodges, river rafting agencies, taxis, packages of any kind…. These amenities could make a great trip also, no doubt, but cannot do it.
So, best would be, if possible, to get at places by public transport, hike around independently (where it is safe and have clearly marked trails), hear the birds, see the animals, smell the forest, ride (public) boats …
Adrenaline sports, adventure parks, nightclubbing and drinking are not my thing, anyway.
Some ideas I’d think to try, are: Poas, Sarapiqui, Tortugero, Manuel Antonio… so many others…
I’d go for areas relatively easy to fit in the limited timeframe where/if effective public bus or boat transport exists, and more near to the central - upper part of the country, so, to be closer to Nic/a. The famous Corcovado is too south for me, and more expensive than before, with the new rules for obligatory guides.
C.R. has obviously many superb destinations, and I’ve got tempting recommendations from guidebook and forum, but seems they many times involve obligatory use of expensive services (travel agencies, guides, private transfers, upmarket accomodation etc), and venturing solo, makes things even more expensive. So I’m looking for some more relaxed situations, backpacker friendly….
Sleeping in hostels / simple hotels, eating at average (still, safe) restaurants, etc, is definately fine.
A budget of about $ 300-400 /week would be good news for my pocket…
It goes without saying that the trip wouldn’t worth, if it was an exile to an insignificant place, just to achieve the low budget aim… The idea is to see some good stuff, yet the small budget, if could be done.
Your recommendations would be … gold to me!!
Many thanks, happy travels !
I'm trying to plan a trip in a few months, but have no idea what part of Costa Rica I should visit? I'd like to be around beaches, diving, and general site seeing, excursions. I'd like to just be in one major area and not have to pack up and move about.
Hello, in two months I will go to Costa Rica for holiday. Below are places that we will visit. Hotels and transfers between cities are booked, but we are looking for excursions in those places. Can anyone recommend nice excursions or places to visit? We travel by shuttle bus, so it has to be on walking distance or tours that we can book.
- San Jose (night + morning)
- Monteverde (full day + next morning)
- Arenal (full day + night)
- Cahuita (afternoon + night)
- Bocas del Toro (2 days, three nights)
- Puerto Viejo (afternoon + night)
- San Jose (afternoon + night)
In San Jose we will walk around in the city and do some sightseeing. I guess I will find some interesting things on internet.
For Monteverde we are thinking about a full day canopy tour + hanging bridges and hummingbird or butterfly garden. And perhaps a night tour, although I don’t know if this is similar to the walk near the hanging bridges.
Arenal is completely open. Could be a volcano hike with visit to hot springs, but which of the hot springs? Or perhaps a visit to Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge.
Cahuita: no idea yet
Bocas del Toro: I red about a day trip to Dolphin’s Bay, Coray Cay and Red Frog Beach.
Puerto Viejo: no idea yet
I hope someone can give some advice or has other good suggestions.
I am going to spend the month of march in CR..should I pack some jeans, a sweatshirt or a jacket for the evenings/nights?
I am a woman in my mid 50s, i have traveled in tropical countries before and I know 19C at night can be pleasant or sticky depending on the humidity.
I am planning to visit CR by April with my wife.
We are senior citizens from India interested in exploring the history and culture and need guidance from fellow VTs the best itinerary for 3 days.
Thanks in advance
We are planning a trip to Costa Rica-arriving March 29, 2014 for 12 days and 11 nights. I have received tour options (rental car trip) from a few agencies. One suggests Tortuguero for 2 1/2 days with Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio. Another agency says that this is not a good time of year to visit Tortuguero. Please share your thoughts and suggestions. This is our first visit to CR. Thanks.