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Tell me about Costa Rica

Old 04-13-09, 12:26 PM
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Tell me about Costa Rica

Tickets from ATL are $258 for dates in the summer. Sounds like a good reason to go.

We're talking about doing a canopy tour, maybe some canyoneering and trying some surfing.

What else?

Where should we stay? What should we do?
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Old 04-13-09, 03:02 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

Spent a week there last Feb. Stayed at the Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort in Playa Herradura (West Coast). The ride from the airport (in San Jose) was pretty treacherous, but the driver was cool and we were drinking the whole way anyway. Just don't look out the window at the guardrail (or lack thereof). I think the ride was about 90 minutes, but the whole thing is a little hazy. This will give you an idea:


The hotel was great...probably the nicest in the area. Breakfast was included, so we gorged and basically skipped lunch. Several restaurants within walking distance. Here's a scouple of shots from the top floor of the hotel:




Jaco, a small town, is a 5-10 minute cab ride from there. Jaco is a small beachbreak... Good if you are a beginner...nice and glassy when I was there. You can rent a board on the beach for 10-20 bucks. Bring a credit card and ID. There is a nice surf shop on the main drag owned by an American dude (Chuck at W.O.W. Surf). I rented from him the day I forgot my credit card.
Bigger waves can be found at Hermosa or Escondida, which are nearby.

Warning: beaches are not white sand..plenty of rocks. You will need a chair for sunbathing.

Jaco bars are pretty fun, and loaded with cold beer and attractive Costa Rican and Colombian hookers. (they even fly them in for the weekends) You'll think you died and went to heaven. Ai papi! Best bets: Beatle Bar, Monkey Bar. Food is so-so. There is a great beachfront bar where you can hang out after surfing.

Hotel booked a canopy/zip line tour for us, which included a stop at a locals-only beach that was pretty nice. If you have a fear of heights I wouldn't bother---in some spots it was about 100 ft off the ground.

Sportfishing is reportedly great but we ran out of time...will have to try next time. Lots of charters in the area.
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Old 04-13-09, 03:12 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

What were the costs for the canopy tour? You remember?
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Old 04-13-09, 03:26 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

I'm pretty sure it was under $100 a person.
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Old 04-13-09, 04:18 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

I went for 2 weeks in 2005. I was exclusively in the North West: Tamarindo, Arenal, Monteverde.

Simply put, Costa Rica is not Mexico and it's not Hawaii (I expected it to be a mix of both, but it was neither). The people are friendlier and better educated than Mexicans, there is less crime than Mexico, the food is healthier but more bland than Mexico. CR beer is shit compared to Mexico, but it's acceptable.

Costa Rican beaches are large and have no crowds. Visibility for snorkeling is poor, surf is highly seasonal.

Costa Rica is for you if you want the following: rain forest, animals, bugs, hiking, zip lines, crazy dangerous roads

Costa Rica is not for you if you want: white sand beaches, crystal clear water, safe recreational activities, modern infastructure (roads)

Costa Rica is the real thing, it's not a "Rain Forest experience" it's a fucking jungle. Even if you stay at the Four Seasons you must realize you are in a country that is a bit "untamed" and travel should be taken with a little more preparation.

I loved it, but I wanted an adventure and that's what I got. If I'd wanted to lounge on the beach all day and read a book, I would have been happier in Cabo San Lucas, Hawaii, Fiji, Bahamas, etc.

I went on hikes and encountered sloths, tarantulas, monkeys, and all kinds of insects. I ate lunch while watching boulders the size of Volkswagens roll down the side of Mount Arenal. I stayed up till 2:00am to watch leatherback turtles crawl from the sea and lay their eggs in the sand. I spent all day on a beach where the only other living thing was wild dog that sat next to me.

Last edited by Mabuse; 01-20-10 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 04-13-09, 07:47 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

Love the post Mabuse.

Especially:
"Costa Rica is the real thing, it's not a 'Rain Forest Experience' it's a fucking jungle.
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Old 01-20-10, 11:39 AM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

Looks like we're reviving the CR plans. Probably go in March as a bachelor party type thing for a friend. Any new recommendations?
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Old 01-20-10, 11:57 AM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

How to extract 3 Costa Rican Bot Fly larvae from your leg:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/sli...n_bot_fly.html
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Old 01-20-10, 12:02 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

Costa Rica...if you are tall watch out, especially if you get away from the place you stay. I swear all the furniture is 2 inches off the ground...not for tall guys....also, they give the worst directions of all time...I found the food to be a bit bland as mentioned above....but it is probably healthier. They don't refrigerate their food....as said above maybe the most bugs I have ever seen...don't leave anything sweet out in your room...oh and be careful near cars or you will get run over.
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Old 01-20-10, 12:04 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
Sounds like a blast! My lady and I have discussed this occasionally (going to CR), but your post may have clinched it. I wanna go!
Do lots of research. Figure out what you want to do and then look into the weather and seasons. The turtles for example only happen in November.The rainy season can be a bummer, but I went right at the end of the rainy season (in November) and we had clear skys every day.
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Old 01-20-10, 12:04 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

Originally Posted by tdirgins View Post
Jaco bars are pretty fun, and loaded with cold beer and attractive Costa Rican and Colombian hookers. (they even fly them in for the weekends) You'll think you died and went to heaven. .
Hmm I'm intrigued, tell me more...any snaps?
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Old 01-20-10, 01:39 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

Went there in December for a week, loved the country. Stayed a few days near San Jose, saw Volcan Poas, and went to La Paz waterfall park up in the mountains.

Then we flew via Nature Air to the Osa Peninsula and stayed at an awesome resort called Bosque Del Cabo. Saw many monkeys, macaws, parrots, and various wildlife.

Costa Rica far surpassed my expectations.
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Old 07-08-10, 06:21 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

Venusian: An update?

Anyone that's traveled to CR get any pre-trip vaccinations? My gf and I are leaving for a two week trip to CR and Nicaragua in a couple weeks and just dawned on me that I might need shots. Advice?
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Old 07-08-10, 06:58 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

Originally Posted by Venusian View Post
What were the costs for the canopy tour? You remember?
Screw that, what were the costs for the hookers?
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Old 07-08-10, 10:56 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

Originally Posted by Jason View Post
Screw that, what were the costs for the hookers?
and do you need shots after?
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Old 07-08-10, 11:59 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

CR has crazy squatter laws.
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Old 07-09-10, 08:08 AM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

I went back in March, a lot of fun. We didn't get any vaccinations.

We rented a car in San Jose - had Alamo or some big name company and they tried to screw us by adding on all this crap and said it was mandatory so we went next door and talked them down. Drove to Tamarindo, went surfing (tried to). Sunset was at 6pm or so so we had to find stuff to entertain us at night. We went to the next town over (Valareal) that was having a local festival and ended up jumping in a rodeo ring and running from some bulls. We drove to Arenal and went to hot springs and hiked the dormant volcano. We were there two days and couldn't even see Arenal because of the cloud cover. Took an excursion up to Cano Negro for a boat ride to see animals. Saw all kinds of monkeys and birds and stuff. It was cool but I'm not a huge animal person so not worth a whole day. Then we drove to the east coast to Peurto Viego. Very cool little town. Carribean feel and everyone was very laid back. Only spent half a day there but would have liked to spend more. Then drove back to San Jose and flew out. Lot of driving but got an overview of the whole country. Overall a fun trip.
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Old 07-09-10, 03:06 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

You don't need vaccinations to visit CR. Renting a car for 10 days was the most expensive part of the trip. Where a 10 day rental might cost you $200 in the US it cost over $600 in CR. Most of that cost is this "insurance" which acording to all the research I did was mandatory. If you found a way to get around it that's awsome.

Venusian: Not to brag, but check out how clear Arenal was when I went there:Photobucket
Photobucket

Last edited by Mabuse; 07-09-10 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 07-09-10, 03:10 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica



Not sure if that shows up or not but that was the visibility in the crater of the extinct volcano next to arenal
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Old 07-09-10, 03:17 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

Originally Posted by TimeandTide View Post
Venusian: An update?

Anyone that's traveled to CR get any pre-trip vaccinations? My gf and I are leaving for a two week trip to CR and Nicaragua in a couple weeks and just dawned on me that I might need shots. Advice?
I've been to Casares in Nicaragua. It's about as authentic as you can get, as I think the only "tourists" there are from Diriamba.

I liked Nicaragua but had the unfortunate mishap of being there as a sullen teenager so I didn't get out as much as I would've wanted.
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Old 07-09-10, 06:23 PM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

Any thoughts on this (very rough) itinerary? Planning on spending a couple days/nights around Monteverde, a few on Ometeppe, a couple in Grenada, and a handful of days in Montezuma. We're doing the trip on a very, very tight budget, pretty much backpacking and hostel-ing it. Ziplining and visiting a coffee plantation are the only must-dos on the trip...focusing more on just experiencing local life and hiking.
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Old 07-10-10, 01:43 AM
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Re: Tell me about Costa Rica

If you have time for a side trip, this looked interesting:

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