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Staying in Quepos for a week, visiting Carara and San Jose for a day - suggestions?

by UberRudo Online Now Apr 28, 2010 at 2:53 PM

We are staying at a time share in Quepos for a week so of course we are spending most of our time at Manuel Antonio Park, but we also want to go see some Macaws at Carara and will be spending our last day in San Jose and we're looking for suggestions of great trips, hikes, excursions, etc.

We've been told driving isn't the easiest, so at this point we are thinking we will only rent a car from Quepos to San Jose so if you have any suggestions of places to check out between the two, or any places to visit in San Jose, that would be much appreciated. From the bit of reading I've done it sounds like Carara isnt a place we can kill a whole day - should we stop off at Jaco? How easy/affordable is it to find somebody to drive us to both places.

We're primarily interested in wildlife, birds, beaches, kayaking, hiking (mild to moderately strenuous) - any excursions in Manuel Antonio you'd recommend or recommend we stay away from?

Thanks in advance for the info - we're leaving in a few weeks and getting very excited about finally going on our honeymoon!

Sean

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4 Answers
  • Re: Staying in Quepos for a week, visiting Carara and San Jose for a day - suggestions?

    by UberRudo Online Now Apr 28, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    Another question for ya'all - I'd reealy rather not be stuck on a tour bus to get to any destinations like Caracara - is the drive really that bad?

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    Re: Staying in Quepos for a week, visiting Carara and San Jose for a day - suggestions?

    by Lurchizo Online Now Apr 28, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    The rumors of driving being treacherous in Costa Rica are grossly exagerated or the people making the comments don't drive much outside their own parking lot. I was in Costa Rica and drove all over Central and Northern Costa Rica including some of the roads to take you out around Jaco. I recommend a 4x4 but only for the extra ground clearence - I never put my vehilce in four wheel drive once.

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    Re: Staying in Quepos for a week, visiting Carara and San Jose for a day - suggestions?

    by Winkie Online Now Apr 28, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    We've taken a rental car all around the country twice, and while a 4x4 would be preferred it's not necessary. Considerations would be whether you are traveling in dry season or not, and how primary the road is. If it's rainy season then you'll run into a lot more problems with the roads, otherwise you just take your time as occasionally you'll run into an area where part of the road was washed out. The rental agreement we signed included NOT driving on dirt roads, which we ignored but I suppose if you had a problem it could cost more. They recommend a 4x4 if you go to Monteverde. We didn't see anything of interest in Jaco, if you like wildlife then you're probably better off heading to the mountains or south of Quepos (just a guess). Poas would be a nice day trip from San Jose. Have fun!

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  • Re: Staying in Quepos for a week, visiting Carara and San Jose for a day - suggestions?

    by phantasm72 Online Now May 9, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    Driving isnt that hard, as long as you stay out of the cities!
    Id recommend a 4x4, as the secondary roads (the ones leading to the parks with all the hiking and stuff) can be very, very rough.
    Id definately recommend getting a vehicle. Going on one of those paid for excusions will cost more than a car will for a week...

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