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      04-14-2013, 05:58 PM   #1
mccannable
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Costa Rica in June, advice requested

the Wife and I plus another couple are going to Costa Rica in late June. I have been doing alot of reading but am always open to advice from any recent travelers. We are looking at package in the rainforest with lots of built in activities but probably alot more chances of getting deceases(dengue and malaria) from mosquitoes or Just hiring a car to get us to a close beach from San Jose, probably Jaco.

Any advice is appreciated.
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      04-15-2013, 08:42 PM   #2
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Went last year...I didn't stay by San Jose though, I was up in Guanacaste (landed in Liberia). More of a desert up there...and from what I heard, it's not as nice as where you will be. The Volcano was cool, diving was decent (not great...water was cold and visibility was only 30 - 35 feet), liked the beach...we stayed at the JW Marriott up there.

I did go down to Montezuma for a couple days...was able to do some canopy tours, cliff diving, and a little surfing. Really liked it there. It's listed as one of the blue zones in the world. A canopy tour would be a must do if you're not afraid of heights.

If you do spend for a rental car, get the tire insurance. Many of the roads (at least where I was) are unpaved. I didn't get it...but I can see that it would have been very easy to get a flat, and if it's cheap, it's worth it.

Few pics...








Hope you have a good time...perfect days, every day.
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      04-16-2013, 06:26 AM   #3
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I was an exchange student in Costa Rica in high school and saw quite a bit of the country. Jaco was nice back then and is probably still quite nice (was a little surfer town at the time). I remember the place quite clearly as it was the only place where people actually spoke English (my Spanish was dogshit). The country is beautiful. I vividly remember going to Arenal volcano which was extraordinary as it was loud and spewing lava every few minutes. Really great experience. I did explore the rain forest as well. Honestly, there's no need to freak out about diseases. I would worry about bot flies before malaria or dengue but the odds of any of them are very slim. There's a big world out there - stop worrying and go explore it!
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      04-16-2013, 07:36 AM   #4
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the rainforest isn't really where you find dengue because of the type of mosquitoes found there, is plains and puddles of still rainwater you want to stay away from, with that said..

costa rica has many MANY beautiful beaches and rainforests and plenty to do, if you dont want to be too far from san jose i recommend going the extra hour or two from jaco and heading straight to national park manuel antonio, this park offers several cove style beaches along with an amazing rain forest scenery and beautiful landscape. The way there is fully paved and the scenery along is AMAZING you will go up a few hills and oversee jaco and pass a few other nice beaches and small tourist towns along the way, i do advice the park closes around 5:30 and there is a small fee to enter and depending on which beach you go(i suggest the one thats the furthest out of the 3, cant remember the name) to in the park there will be a nice walk on a dirt road thru the rainforest where you will see countless iguanas, monkey and other wild life.

http://www.manuelantoniocostarica.com/cr/beaches.html

My second recommendation to tourist who are willing to travel a little further is Montezuma, it will give you a good mix of beach and rainforests as well..you can take a hike to a few different beautiful waterfalls or enjoy the beach and the little town itself with a few bars and restaurants to choose from, if surfing is your thing you will never go bored in montezuma since it has some of costa ricas best waves and surfing instructors.

http://www.playamontezuma.net/


last by not least one of my favorites playa conchal..in this area you will find some of costa ricas most beautiful and unmolested beaches and probably some of the most popular traveling destinations like playa langosta, marino-las-baulas and rincon de la vieja national parks. You can explore caves you can snorkel you can river raft whatever you want you will find in that area with several beaches to enjoy all very distinct and beautiful.

http://www.anywherecostarica.com/des...hal-costa-rica

There are just so many reccomendations as to where to go but ill leave you with those, browse to anywherecostarica.com that will give you alot of useful info.

Renting a car is strongly recommended dont let anyone fool you costa rica is very safe and if im not mistaken one of the safest countries if not the safest in the american continent, dont be afraid to explore for yourself like anywhere else just be aware of your surroundings and friendly to people and they will be friendly to you. Dont draw crazy attention to your group and just blend in and you'll be good to go

do stay away from tour guides because one of the downsides is everyone is out to rip you off lol well i guess rip offs there are not really rip offs here considering everything is still relatively cheap(even when being ripped off)

enjoy your time in my beautiful country to the fullest, keep coins in your pocket for the people who "keep an eye over your car everywhere" and lay back and enjoy the "pura vida" lifestyle, after all it is the happiest country in the world for a reason
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      04-16-2013, 11:12 AM   #5
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Thanks for info. We didn't plan on getting a car just hiring a driver and taxis in between. I hate feeling responsible for that stuff. We rented a scooter in conzumel and felt like we couldn't park anywhere without it getting stolen. I will look into it.
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      04-16-2013, 04:30 PM   #6
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I just came from Costa Rica a few weeks ago.
Don't worry about deseases but do take insect repellent such as OFF.
Deff do a canopy if you go to the Arenal volcano...as well as the hot springs.
Nothing special in San Jose.
I do recommend the Manuel Antonio park but also the beach there...I got caught in its undercurrent.
You could get to see the Croc's under the river bridge...don't fall in.
Just go and don't worry, it'll be awesome.
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      04-19-2013, 12:11 AM   #7
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Good to know. I'm also going late June. I thought I was just going to sit around in the hotel, but after reading this, I'm thinking I might go exploring. LOL Wife's idea - wasn't so keen on going, but you guys are making me want to go now.
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      04-19-2013, 01:48 AM   #8
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if you're travelling to Costa Rica, the risks of malaria and dengue are pretty low unless you are travelling to the Limon Province (but not limon city).

If you are worried about getting ill just make sure your regular vaccines are up to date, drink bottled water and try avoiding seafood.

If you want expert travel advice you can find it on CDC's website the goto site for health related topics. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/
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      04-19-2013, 10:52 AM   #9
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Yeah, bug spray and don't forget to visit Isla Nublar. It's a little island about 120 miles off the west coast of Costa Rica. I've heard it has some awesome attractions!
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      04-19-2013, 04:58 PM   #10
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I went to the Tabacon hot springs and they were amazing! I wouldn't stay at the tabacon resort though, it was just OK. However, I don't know of much else in the area. I definitely would not miss going in some hot springs while you are in Costa Rica.
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      05-20-2013, 04:45 PM   #11
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well its all booked. we are going to manuel antonio beach/park,Irazu Volcano and Lankester Gardens, canopy zip lines, rafting on the pacuara river. We booked through an agency (costa rica dream adventures) and ended up booking Copa Air with a layover in Panama.

I am a little nervous about the flight as it will be my first time flying on a non us based airline. hopefully there wont be any livestock running around on the planes.

I am a little worried about electronics/pass ports while we are out of the hotel on these day trips. I never worry in the states about my stuff. Does anyone have any tips on keeping it safe(i.e. use room safe, bring travel safe, armed guards)

thanks for the advice
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      05-20-2013, 04:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccannable View Post
I am a little nervous about the flight as it will be my first time flying on a non us based airline. hopefully there wont be any livestock running around on the planes.
I can't speak on Copa specifically but, in my experience, flying a non-US based airline is typically a treat. Better food, free drinks, more room, better staff, etc, etc.
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      05-20-2013, 05:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfJericho View Post
I can't speak on Copa specifically but, in my experience, flying a non-US based airline is typically a treat. Better food, free drinks, more room, better staff, etc, etc.
i am hoping for less fat passengers. I always get stuck next to someone spilling under the armrest that weighs more than my wife and i combined.
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      05-20-2013, 05:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
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in my experience, flying a non-US based airline is typically a treat. Better food, free drinks, more room, better staff, etc, etc.
planes not flown by real pilots.
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      05-21-2013, 10:31 AM   #15
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I was disappointed by the zip lines. Short of the zipping itself, most of the wildlife was long gone. We went a few miles from Jaco.

I LOVED staying in the stilted condos in Jaco. My wife HATED it. We lost water pressure when it rained, so couldn't even flush without taking a bucket to the pool. I'd get up every morning about 5, go run down the beach for a few miles, then back and have some nice fruit/fresh eggs for breakfast. By then the sun was up and it was getting HOT. Off to the pool.
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      05-21-2013, 06:30 PM   #16
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We stayed on Peninsula Papagayo and it was amazing. We went during August and it was hot but not any hotter or uncomfortable than say key west in July or August. We went during the wet season, when everything is green and lush. This is also considered the rainy season but it barely rained while we were there. I would highly recommend it.
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      05-21-2013, 09:11 PM   #17
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Did anyone get any hep a/b vaccines before you went?
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      05-21-2013, 09:24 PM   #18
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We stayed on Peninsula Papagayo and it was amazing. We went during August and it was hot but not any hotter or uncomfortable than say key west in July or August. We went during the wet season, when everything is green and lush. This is also considered the rainy season but it barely rained while we were there. I would highly recommend it.
Jump the cliff at Montezuma, or did you chicken out?
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      05-21-2013, 09:28 PM   #19
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Pacific coast is where it's at.
Forget Arenal Volcano tourist trap crap.
Also if you want an amazing adventure do The Rio Locos White water rafting trip on the Pacquare River.
Playa Heradura is awesome too.
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      05-21-2013, 10:06 PM   #20
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def pacific coast. I got Hep A.
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      05-21-2013, 11:00 PM   #21
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My buddy moved back down there a couple months ago. He's a member here, so I'll send him a link to this thread and maybe he can chime in.
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      05-22-2013, 08:09 AM   #22
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Just made appt for hep a. It was a pain in the ass to find a place that offered it. My insurance covers %100 but no places worked with insurance and needed a separate "consultation" to find out if needed. So health dept here I come.
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