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itinerary

tavira
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itinerary

we are a family of 4 traveling to Costa Rica for 20 days in February, we were thinking of (from san jose) la fortuna then nicoya penisula (maybe samara) then manuel antonio then puerto vieja (Caribbean coast) or surrounding, is this do able? seems difficult to get around, and is it worth staying our first night or 2 in San Jose or on the way back or not at all?

11 replies to this topic
Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: itinerary

Yes, you can do this. You have almost three weeks. You only have to stay near the airport if your flight arrives in the afternoon or if you depart before about 2 PM.

tavira
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2. Re: itinerary

Thank you, does that mean San Jose is not worth a Visit? Also what is the best way to travel around? Should we arrange transfers in advance or sort it our when we get there? Thanks in advance

Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: itinerary

I would not spend any time in San Jose. although there are a few museums and a theater. It's just not what most travelers are interested in when they visit Costa Rica.

You must definitely make arrangements for transportation before you arrive. I prefer to rent a car but you must have a way to navigate. If you rent from Vamos, they will provide a cell phone with Waze.

You can arrange for private transfers or group shuttles but you must do this in advance. Some people rely on public buses but they are the least convenient.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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4. Re: itinerary

The best you can do…hire a driver maybe for the first leg of your trip…than you can see how we drive, roads , etc…the rent a car…it is 100% possible to do what you are planning to do…GO FOR IT

roadadvisor

Ontario, Canada
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5. Re: itinerary

You do not really need to rely on a rental car that much in S. Caribbean. See Transportation - https:/…transport-to-puerto-viejo.php . There is a direct bus from San Jose (city, not the airport), for only US$10 pp, goes about every 2 hrs. The schedule is on the above site. It is a long drive. There are also shared shuttles. We used Interbus and Pleasure Ride. For 4 ppl, since you will be paying per person, you might be better off hiring a private transfer. Ask your accommodations what they offer or can arrange for you, There are also links for private drivers if you look under the Top Qns about CR on the right side of the screen, under What options are there for travelling ...?

When we needed a private transfer to S. Caribbean after our afternoon arrival to SJO, the quote we got from our hotel ended up the least expensive, so we went with that. When the time allows and there are up 3 travellers, prepaid hotel to hotel shared shuttle vans are convenient and much less expensive, though of course still more $ than a public bus.

When you are in S. Caribbean, we like staying in Cahuita, near Cahuita NP. If needed, there are inexpensive local buses in between Cahuita, Punta Uva, Puerto Viejo, The Jaguar Animals Rescue Centre near Puerto Viejo, Manzanillo, + you can also walk or rent bikes, so you do not really need a car there that much.

We did not like Manuel Antonio, as we found the park small, touristy and crowded, both trails and beaches inside the park. Just wondering why you are not going to Arenal. It is not a beach destination, but we found it beautiful. E.g., see https://www.arenalobservatorylodge.com . We took Interbus shuttle from Cahuita to that hotel near La Fortuna (under 2 miles away from the volcano!), and it took us almost 7 hrs, which included 2 stops. Very inexpensive transportation per person, especially if you take into consideration the distance.

Good site for researching transportation options between various areas of CR: https://geckotrail.com/transportation/ . It is a 3rd party, so you can read their Terms and book through them or book with each Transport and service provider directly.

If you decide to rent a car, there are a lot of prior, recent, threads about recommended and not recommended companies and matters of car insurance, as well as safety. You might also like to read https:/… .

San Jose, Costa Rica
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6. Re: itinerary

Manuel Antonio National Park is a most…do yourself a favor and do not miss it…for some reason is one of our most visited parks…and still more monkies than people…

roadadvisor

tavira
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17 posts
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7. Re: itinerary

Thanks very much for all of the info, we will visit la fortuna and arsenal....first stop.

tavira
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8. Re: itinerary

That's great, thank you

Tampa, Florida
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9. Re: itinerary

You must mean the Arenal volcano. La Fortuna is the town there - they are the same place.

I agree that after being driven around for a while you might look into getting your own car. You'll enjoy the flexibility and you may actually save money over reserving transport for four people. You would just want to make sure that you have a GPS or cell phone with Waze.

tavira
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17 posts
7 reviews
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10. Re: itinerary

yes, predictive text!

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