General Question

syz's avatar

Costa Rican travel suggestions?

Asked by syz (35587points) April 27th, 2009

We’re starting to plan our trip and would welcome any referrals from folks who have been there. We like active, nature related trips (and snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, rafting, and so on, but we’re not extreme athletes, either.) Anyone have any experience with a particular travel company or group? Anyone we should avoid?

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6 Answers

kevbo's avatar

My knowledge is based on a Fodor’s book and having spent a week there. From reading, it seems most of the whitewater opportunities are in the Central Valley (around San Jose). La Fortuna is a base for many other types of adventure tourism (zip lines, etc) although we only did a rainforest hike that included hanging bridges. Also, we descended to the waterfall (Las Cateratas de La Fortuna), which was nothing short of spectacular and lovely—go midday and you can swim and sun for a few hours. If you are going to do a horseback ride to Monteverde do not take one over land from La Fortuna. It’s too dangerous. Instead take the Jeep-Boat-Jeep across the lake and replace the last Jeep leg with a horseback ride along the lake. I forget the name of the outfitter, but they’re in the Fodor’s book.

If you’re going to Manuel Antonio, the book recommends picking up a snorkeling guide on the beach (unless you decide to go with an outfitter). The park there also provides plenty of hiking and swimming (at Manuel Antonio beach). You can hire a naturist guide (they hang out outside the park) or just sort of tag along loosely with any other guided group if you’re satisfied with spotting the wildlife without too much naturalist explanation about habitat, etc.

I also don’t know exactly when the turtle hatching begins, but that would be a worthwhile activity if it works with your itinerary.

asmonet's avatar

You could be awesome and stay at my aunt’s ecolodge. :)

Mar Y Selva
Ha! You can see half my extended family in the pictures section. :P

This is a bunch of reviews from TripAdvisor.

asmonet's avatar

Damn it, of course I linked the ONE bad review on there. Haha, ignore him. He’s silly.

Deepness's avatar

I’m probably too late to this discussion but I’ve been to CR twice. Great place for nature lover’s. Don’t stay in San Jose. It’s dirty and crime is abundant and there’s nothing to see there.

We did our trips there without the assistance of any travel agent. We like to “rough it” slightly. This trip I suggest is for a 7 to 8 day trip.

First stop should be La Fortuna. A bus with the locals from San Jose is about a 4 hour ride. It’s cheap. Only about 3 dollars per person but be careful of pickpockets and your belongings. You other transportation option is to take private small bus lines. They have nice mini-vans. They cost about 30 bucks person. I’ve travelled Costa Rica using both methods, depending on what was convenient for me. La Fortuna has a gorgeous active volcano there and thermal water parks for your enjoyment. At night the views of the lava flowing from the top will leave you in awe. You can spend 2 or 3 nights here and then move on to the cloud forests of Monteverde. It’s a great place for bird-watching. From here, you can take another 2 hour ride down to Manuel Antonio for at least 2 or 3 days.They’re natural park is amazing. Monkeys and sloths and little tapir by the dozens. Get a guide. It’ll cost about 10 bucks. The beach is also very beautiful here. Have fun!

Deepness's avatar

I’m probably too late to this discussion but I’ve been to CR twice. Great place for nature lover’s. Don’t stay in San Jose. It’s dirty and crime is abundant and there’s nothing to see there.

We did our trips there without the assistance of any travel agent. We like to “rough it” slightly.

First stop should be La Fortuna. A bus with the locals from San Jose is about a 4 hour ride. It’s cheap. Only about 3 dollars per person but be careful of pickpockets and your belongings. You other transportation option is to take private small bus lines. They have nice mini-vans. They cost about 30 bucks person. I’ve travelled Costa Rica using both methods, depending on what was convenient for me. La Fortuna has a gorgeous active volcano there and thermal water parks for your enjoyment. At night the views of the lava flowing from the top will leave you in awe. You can spend 2 or 3 nights here and then move on to the cloud forests of Monteverde. It’s a great place for bird-watching. From here, you can take another 2 hour ride down to Manuel Antonio for at least 2 or 3 days.They’re natural park is amazing. Monkeys and sloths and little tapir by the dozens. Get a guide. It’ll cost about 10 bucks. Have fun!

syz's avatar

@Deepness You’re not too late – we’re going in November :)

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