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week long trip to Costa Rica in June



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 9th, 2004, 10:45 PM
Serge80
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Default week long trip to Costa Rica in June

Hello, I'm planning a budget trip to Costa Rica this summer.
1st.
Since it's rainy season during summer I was hoping to catch some nice
weather and lower prices in the beginning of June. Can traveling to
Costa Rica in June turn out as bad decision weather-wise?

2nd.
I do not like most of the trips offered online. Seems like most of the
time I will spend shaking in the tour bus and meeting locals. However
I only wish to spend some time snorkeling, relaxing on the beach
(maybe boat trip) and visit some of country's nature spots, even if
that means I won't get to see whole country. Ofcouse downside is I
have make the right choices.

I was offered by my travel agent to spend few days in MonteVerde
followed by several more days at Sugar Beach. Should I change
MonteVerde to see Volcano instead? How about Sugar Beach resort? For
beach activities which coast is prefered? I know that I will miss
Tortugero park on Carribean side, but I've read nice comments about
Sugar Beach Hotel.

and finally 3rd question!
Should I reserve hotels on day by day basis and get a rental car and
freely roam the country? Or would money be better spent on activities
where I will be staying? Like jet skis, park tours, etc..

I'd really appreciate if someone with past experience would reply to
me or maybe even send me instanta message on AIM: InstantIam is my
screenname.

Thanks

Serge
  #2  
Old March 10th, 2004, 01:37 AM
Jason G
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Posts: n/a
Default week long trip to Costa Rica in June

(Serge80) made obeisance before Us and spake thusly:
Can traveling to
Costa Rica in June turn out as bad decision weather-wise?


Yes. It can. But it can also be just fine. It often only rains for an hour
or two in the afternoon. The roads, however, are affected, so ask around
before heading out by car.

2nd.
I do not like most of the trips offered online. Seems like most of the
time I will spend shaking in the tour bus and meeting locals. However
I only wish to spend some time snorkeling, relaxing on the beach
(maybe boat trip) and visit some of country's nature spots, even if
that means I won't get to see whole country. Ofcouse downside is I
have make the right choices.


Don't bother with tours, especially for a week. You'll only have time to see
two places even on your own, why waste it with a tour that might spend time
doing things you don't care about?

I was offered by my travel agent to spend few days in MonteVerde
followed by several more days at Sugar Beach. Should I change
MonteVerde to see Volcano instead?


Arenal? No, not with such a short time, and during that part of the year.
The Arenal area is very nice, but the volcano itself will likely be clouded
over most of the time. I went in dry season and it rained one day, was cloudy
for two, and was gloriously clear for two, my arriving and departing days.
Though the hot springs at Tabacon are fantastic, even in the rain.

Are you interested in birds and (small) wildlife and virgin forest? Because
that's pretty much the whole point of Monteverde. I loved it. Definitely get
a guide for a 4 or 8 hour tour. You will see ten times as many things with a
guide, and they carry nifty spotting scopes.

IMO, it's better to stay closer to Santa Elena than to the park itself.
You'll probably only hike the park one day, and I spent a fortune on taxis
going into town. If you see Tatiana at Villa Verde, tell her I'm still in
love with her. :-)

Try the SkyTrek in Monteverde, it's a gas.

How about Sugar Beach resort? For
beach activities which coast is prefered? I know that I will miss
Tortugero park on Carribean side, but I've read nice comments about
Sugar Beach Hotel.


I don't know anything about Sugar Beach hotel, but I'd do the Pacific side.
For one thing, it's easier to get to from Monteverde, especially in the rainy
season. But the road to Monteverde is an adventure even in the dry. I'd take
a 4wd taxi/charter bus, but that's just me.

If you can get a flight at a reasonable time/cost, maybe fly to Manuel
Antonio. If not, Tamarindo, Jaco, or many of the other Pacific side towns can
be fun. Next time I go I want to check out the Golfo Nicoya and Golfo Dulce.

Should I reserve hotels on day by day basis and get a rental car and
freely roam the country? Or would money be better spent on activities
where I will be staying? Like jet skis, park tours, etc..


I'd pick two destinations, say, Monteverde and Tamarindo, then book your first
and last night hotel stays near the airport. I liked Las Orquideas Inn in
Alajuela.

Then just show up in your destination town in the afternoon or early evening
and find a hotel, there will be no problem finding a nice place, especially in
the wet season.

Be aware that if you rent a car, the roads are horrible in the wet season.
And you'll probably spend a lot of time lost, since there are very few road
signs. It's up to you whether that's a problem.

Have fun! I can't wait till my next trip, hopefully in December.

--
Jason G
[Sig closed for remodeling. We apologize for the inconvenience.]
  #3  
Old March 10th, 2004, 04:48 AM
news.charter.net
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Default week long trip to Costa Rica in June

There is one tour that I would highly recommend to anyone to take their
first full day after arriving in San Jose, CR, just to get a good overview
of the country. I just happened to run across this info again, and thought
I'd pass it on. This tour is called "The Highlights Tour" and it is
operated by Ecoscape nature Tours. Their telephone number is (506)
297-0664/FAX 297-0549 and their e mail is: This
tour is allllll day long. They pick you up at your hotel in an
air-conditioned
mini bus and you see: Poas Volcano and Cloud Forest, La Paz Waterfalls, ride
through the Braulio Carrillo National Park, take a jungle boat cruise up the
Sarapiqui River (you will see all kinds of wildlife--howler monkeys, caiman,
bats, sloths, etc.), breakfast at a beautiful bed and breakfast overlooking
the Central Valley and coffee fields in Alajuela. Lunch is at Selva Verde
Lodge where you can see some beautiful birds and wildlife. They also stop
along the way to see a place that has huge numbers of hummingbirds--all
kinds of varieties--that come up close. They also have tarantulas on
display. Oh, also there was a stop at a coffee plantation. You get back to
your hotel around 7 in the evening. Makes a very full day and you see so
much. The price of this is $79 per person, and worth every penny.

Another place I would not want to miss is Arenal Volcano. I've stayed at
the Arenal Observatory Lodge twice. It is quite rustic, but gives you a
"National Geographic" feel--which is the group that originally built this
place. Reservations phone # is (506) 257-9489. The Lodge number is (506)
257-5033. Fax number is (506) 257-4220. e mail is

We got the tour office at the Balmoral to hook us up on a day tour that goes
up to Arenal. Since the tour was round trip, we only paid half the price
and got the benefit of a couple other stops including Sarchi, where they
make the painted ox carts. When you go to Arenal, don't pass up the free
morning hike (except I think it is $1 to get into one area, but the guide
doesn't charge. Your guide will take you up to the old lava flow and also
through the forest pointing out animals, birds, and insects that you would
otherwise walk right by without him pointing them out. He is a walking
guide book of knowledge. He literally will tell you what page of the guide
book a certain specie can be found on! (then he
proves it!) Take some of those little mini binoculars with you to view birds
and wild life.

In the same area as Arenal is the town of La Fortuna where Tabacon Hot
Springs Resort is. You can go to for the day even without staying at their
hotel. It is a beautifully manicured "park" with multiple naturally heated
hot springs. The volcano is what heats them up. Some areas are hotter than
others. There is a clean, modern locker room where you can rent towels,
change clothes, take a shower, etc. Don't worry about being "in shape" to
enjoy it. You'll see all kinds of people from all over the world enjoying
the springs. You can also have spa treatments done there if you want. They
have a nice restaurant there as well.

"Serge80" wrote in message
om...
Hello, I'm planning a budget trip to Costa Rica this summer.
1st.
Since it's rainy season during summer I was hoping to catch some nice
weather and lower prices in the beginning of June. Can traveling to
Costa Rica in June turn out as bad decision weather-wise?

2nd.
I do not like most of the trips offered online. Seems like most of the
time I will spend shaking in the tour bus and meeting locals. However
I only wish to spend some time snorkeling, relaxing on the beach
(maybe boat trip) and visit some of country's nature spots, even if
that means I won't get to see whole country. Ofcouse downside is I
have make the right choices.

I was offered by my travel agent to spend few days in MonteVerde
followed by several more days at Sugar Beach. Should I change
MonteVerde to see Volcano instead? How about Sugar Beach resort? For
beach activities which coast is prefered? I know that I will miss
Tortugero park on Carribean side, but I've read nice comments about
Sugar Beach Hotel.

and finally 3rd question!
Should I reserve hotels on day by day basis and get a rental car and
freely roam the country? Or would money be better spent on activities
where I will be staying? Like jet skis, park tours, etc..

I'd really appreciate if someone with past experience would reply to
me or maybe even send me instanta message on AIM: InstantIam is my
screenname.

Thanks

Serge



  #4  
Old March 10th, 2004, 04:11 PM
Serge80
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default week long trip to Costa Rica in June

This is just was I was looking to find out. My gf is animal science
major and she is taking latin studies as well, so the inland part of
costa rica is for her, while the beach is for me. So really I am
looking for two locations: most active wildlife park and most relaxing
beach.
BTW I think sugar hill hotel is in Playa Del Coco area. I've done some
searching on Tamarindo, it seems that area is "americanized", while I
would like to get more authentic experience (a hut, a boat and
snorkeling gear)
The Highland tour sounds like a great idea. Hot springs sound
intriguing too. and I believe Santa Elena is between arenal and
monteverde and there is horseback trip offered between both. So many
things to do, so little money.
  #5  
Old March 10th, 2004, 05:31 PM
Jason G
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default week long trip to Costa Rica in June

(Serge80) made obeisance before Us and spake thusly:
This is just was I was looking to find out. My gf is animal science
major and she is taking latin studies as well, so the inland part of
costa rica is for her, while the beach is for me. So really I am
looking for two locations: most active wildlife park and most relaxing
beach.


Most active wildlife park would be Corcovado down in the Osa, but that's
probably too far to go for a short trip with another destination.

searching on Tamarindo, it seems that area is "americanized",


All the surf towns are. Though I saw more Europeans when I was there. Maybe
check out Playa Zancudo. I've been wanting to go there but haven't yet. Do
you speak Spanish?

intriguing too. and I believe Santa Elena is between arenal and
monteverde


Actually Santa Elena is the town right next to Monteverde. About 7km from the
park entrance. If you go, I'd stay in or close to Santa Elena. Take a look
at monteverdeinfo.com, they were *great* in getting me info and setting up
just the specific things I wanted, didn't have to do a whole tour. They work
out of the Pension Santa Elena, which is the backpacker hangout, and they seem
to be hooked into the entire local scene there and at Arenal. (They are also
arenal.net.) Stop by and talk to them a day or two before you want to go, or
you can set it up online.

I did the horseback ride from Monteverde to Arenal, and really enjoyed it.
Would have enjoyed it more if I had had a pair of jeans! The horse trip is
actually taxi/horse/boat/taxi, but they arrange it all and drop you wherever
you want in La Fortuna.

Be aware that it gets COLD in Monteverde, especially when the wind is blowing
and at night. Take a lightweight fleece and a rain slicker and long pants.
I froze my butt off in my tropical-weight long shirt and pants, ended up
wearing almost my entire wardrobe simultaneously just to stay somewhat warm.


--
Jason G
[Sig closed for remodeling. We apologize for the inconvenience.]
 




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