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Costa Rica  
User currently offlineDelta15 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 617 posts, RR: 5
Posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 728 times:

Hey everyone, Im heading off to Costa Rica on
April 8. We have not gotten a hotel and only have decided that we want to stay on the pacific side of the country. Anyway, does anyone have any reccomendations on an area to stay, Any really cool attractions in C.R.. Hows the surf this time of the year? How bout the Weather? Isnt C.R.. pretty inexpensive? So what can you get really cheap there that you cant get here in The USA? Any other comments?

Im flying on the 6:00 Delta flight out of Atl. Chances are it will be in first class. Is there any difference in service than i would expect on say an Atl-Lax flight? How long is the flight?


19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineB-707 From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 497 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 671 times:

I haven't been to CR, but a friend of mine has just returned and she said it was great. Apart, that is from the insects. She was walking down the street (maybe is wasn't in a built up area) and she was shocked to see a tarrantula (sp) spider walking along the sidewalk minding its own business. She found a huge (maybe another tarrantula) in her hotel bathroom too. Even the management didn't like to move it. Apart from that though CR is a very nice place. Especially San Jose. Enjoy yourself!.  Smile

User currently offlineCVG777 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1251 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 662 times:

I was in Costa Rica two years ago on a team soccer trip. We stayed in a city on the west coast called Puntarenas. It is a very nice little town. The hotel accomadations were primitive, to say the least. They were adequate though. The showerhead in the bathroom had some weird time-bomb looking device installed on it, and if you tried to touch it you would get shocked. I forget the exact name of the hotel, but it was adjacent to a Greek retaurant. If you want the Pacific Coast I would say stay in Puntarenas as it seems to be a bit of a tourist town.

As for the weather, this time of year is very hot as it is the dry season. It was at this time of year when I was down there. We were playing games in 100 degree weather. It was even hot at night.  Sad

If you are looking for surfing, there is a large resort south of Puntarenas that I visited. That seemed to be a very good area for surfing.

CVG777

P.S. While you are down there, try the iguana. Yes they serve iguana, and however you like it. According to the locals it tastes like monkey, which in turn tastes like chicken. I though it, the iguana, just tasted disgusting.  Smile Oh, and watch for people burning things along the roadsise at night. It seems to be very popular to that down there.


User currently offlineLax2000 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 541 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 658 times:

I have been twice. Jaco beach is a good place to start, its about 2 or so hours from San Jose and has pretty decent surf all the time. One of the nicest hotels is the Best Western..Its a little cheesy and very touristy but probably one of the nicest on the 2 mile long strip. Prices at this hotel is about $75.00 for a single. The Zanzimar or Zanzibar is a good cheap hotel..It's about $18.00 a night and clean and fairly spacious. You can even get cheaper than that!!..Search the internet! Let me know if you are going to Jaco and I'll tell you about a couple of my favorite restauraunts. Playa Hermosa is about 10 min. south and is a pretty powerful beach break..Just type in surfing and costa rica on the internet and some of the sites have detailed surf maps with descriptions of all the spots..Jaco is abot the best for beginners to intermediate..although it can get quite powerful during a big swell. Boca Barranca is one of the worlds longest lefts and is about 30 min. before Puntenares. Puntanares is a sort of run down but interestestin penninsula town..Worth a stop. Even better is Quepos and Manuel Antonio 1.5 hours south of Jaco. Tamerindo is nice but like Jaco you should expect alot of touristy kinda stuff...lots of surfers and reggae and cheesy stuff. Check out the small towns on your drives for real Costa Rican living.. The people are very nice and I never felt unsafe. Deffinately rent a car and check out as much of the Pacific side as possible. The roads get really bad south of Manual Antonio, but a drive from Jaco to Tamerindo is not out of the question and should take you about 5-6 hours. Lake Arenal and the Volcano are also a good stop for 1-2 days.

Surfcheck.com will sow you daily pictures and surfreports for about 6 Costa Rican spots.

Let me know what kind of stuff you are looking for and your budget..Are you going with parents?
Surf the internet and buy a travel book and brush up on your Spanish. My friend took the LAX-ATL-SJC and said the ATL-SJC was a 757 and had better service than the domestic flight.

Sorry this is so jumbled but I'm at work..

Fell free to ask more questions.

Adam


User currently offlineJFKspotter From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 448 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 654 times:

Just wondering...Isn't SJC the code for San Jose, California? I remember seeing the code last summer, when I flew there from JFK. Just curious, and wanting to make sure.

-JFKspotter


User currently offlineAlle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 653 times:

I was in Costa Rica last christimas and liked everything except the 15h  Pissed flight on the CRAMPED  Pissed Finnair B757 (one positive on the flight too: i got a jumpseat when we landed to Helsinki  Big thumbs up), you can find my trip report in the trip reports forum.
Tabacon Hot Springs near Arenal were OK, BTW if you see anything of Volcan Arenal your'e REAL lucky.
Then there's the canopy tour  Big thumbs up, I LOVE IT!
I had a one week tour round the country and the second week we spent on the beach, we stayed at El Nakuti Resort which is close to Playa Hermosa, the beach close to the hotel was TERRBILE but it was an all-inclusive hotel, it was real nice to go to the bar and just say "Um Coca-Cola, por favor" or "One Coke please" and then just get it without needing to dig out money from my wallet or needing to sign the bill so it would go
'on the room', and their rooms were nice too.


JFKspotter

SJC is San Jose CA, SJO is San Jose CR.


Regards
Alexander Holst
Helsinki, Finland
ICQ 94604005


User currently offlineJFKspotter From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 448 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 654 times:

Thanks Alle, as I said, I just wanted to make sure.

-JFKspotter


User currently offlineDelta15 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 617 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 649 times:

Thank you all for all the information.

Lax2000-After reading your post I decided that we should stay at San Jose for our first night, as our flight arrives at 900, then head off to Jaco for the next two days before heading home. I also did a little costa rican searching, and the Arenal volcano seemed pretty darn cool to me. Do you know how far it is away from Jaco? Unfortunately I couldnt find out anything about the hotel Zanzimar on the internet. We want to get our hotel for around 50$ a night or lower. Also Im going there with my dad and older brother. Thanks an especially lot for your info, its been a real help planning the trip.


User currently offlineCVG777 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1251 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 645 times:

Don't forget to try the iguana when you are down there. Big grin

User currently offlineDelta15 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 617 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 642 times:

Yeah sorry to not mention that CVG777, Seems really interesting, no matter how disgusting you think it is i am always open to new foods, as weird as they may be (at least to me) hey after all I LOVE chinken. :<)

User currently offlineCVG777 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1251 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 641 times:

I tried it, but it wasn't good, at least in my opinion. Others in my group loved it though and ate loads of it.

User currently offlineLax2000 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 541 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 636 times:

Arenel is about 3 hours from Jaco and the drive wasnt too bad.

Deffinately take a day trip to Manuel Antonio from Jaco and have lunch in Quepos on the way. The drive is 1.5 hours and is pretty cool. The admission to M. Antonio is about 5 or 10 bucks and worth every penny. You'll see tons of monkeys!

I'll check my C. Rica book for the number for Zanzimar..they have no Email.

Adam


User currently offlineGyro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 640 times:

Hey Delta 15,
I've been living in Costa Rica now for 8 years and please, please don't go to Jaco... There are so many more beautiful beaches in C.R. than Jaco. Try to go to the North Pacific which is where you will find pristine "virgin" beaches such as Playa Hermosa, Playa Grande, Flamingo and if surfing is what you're after Playa Avellanas. If you must stay the night in downtown San Jose take care since tourists are easy pickpocket targets. The cab from the airport to downtown shouldn't cost much more than 3000-4000 colones max. Try to abstain from sea food since we are having the "Red tide" down here right now but that of course all depends on the establishment you are visiting... How are you getting from San Jose to Jaco and Jaco to Arenal... If by rent a car (about $30 p/day for a Toyota tercel) take care driving down here because it's quite different... The roads have improved
lots and you shouldn't have any difficultuies there... Arenal just had a huge eruption so that should be fun too!!! If you can go river rafting, it's worth all the money and you'll remember it for the rest of your life!!! It's awesome. You'll have the time of your life here if you do it right... I love this country, it's people (married one) and everything about it!!! Let me know if you need more information and I'll gladly give you my e-mail address or phone#.....


User currently offlineLax2000 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 541 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 627 times:

Gyro is correct that there a lot more beautiful beaches than Jaco. The good things about Jaco is its the closest beach to San Jose. This also makes it the most touristy. However you can take day trips to Estrellios (1hr) or Playa Hermosa (15 min) Tulin or Boca Barranca (1.5) or deserted beaches in between. Jaco is good if you need to rent a board, get a surf lesson or want to surf in front of a lifeguard (of sorts) any where else will be a lot more rustic and more beautiful than Jaco but you will also be on your own. Not knowing your surfing or swimming capabilities, be careful of riptides!!

This website will help you determine what surf spot is right for you. Definitely don't limit your Costa Rican beach experience to just Jaco.

http://www.rovercam.com/travelguide/jacoandhermosa/surfspots.htm


User currently offlineLax2000 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 541 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 628 times:

Do you recommend the Caribbean side? My Wife and I will be returning to CR next January. My Spanish is getting much better so I am looking forward to trying it out!

Tráigame dos Imperials por favor!!!

I am taking 2 classes before Jan. so hopefully I will be able to say more than food and drink stuff.

Cheers,

Adam


User currently offlineLax2000 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 541 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 626 times:

Sorry, The last Email was for you..

User currently offlineGyro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 622 times:

Hey Lax2000...
Well, the Caribbean side is awesome too... Puerto Viejo, Manzanillo and Punto Uva are awesome tranquil, white sand beaches to just down the Imperiales and work on your tan. However the Pacific is more fun in my opinion. I was in Bahia Bolanos about 3 months ago which is an awesome world famous windsurfing spot... I had a great time and went to the beach at 9:00am and a turtle comes out of the water and lays its eggs!!! Just awesome... The things I recommend here are Arenal, Irazu (one of the world's largest craters!!!) White river rafting and of course, the Pacific. People come here for a one week vacation and don't see half the stuff this country has to offer... I've been here 7 years and haven't seen it all!!! Let me know if you need more info!!!

BTW:If all goes right I'll be flying for SANSA in about 2 months time!!!


User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 17, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 620 times:

I've also lived in Costa Rica for the past 6 years or so outside of San Jose and I can attest to everything Gyro has stated.

Beer is cheap. Girls are gorgeous, and the weather in San Jose is always beautiful.

Don't miss Arenal. A must see.

JET




User currently offlineDelta15 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 617 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 614 times:

Speaking of beer JetPilot what is the drinking age? Please dont tell me 17 as ill be it in just a couple of weeks.

Gyro-Your info has really started to make an influence on my decision. Weve decided that we will be staying an extra day so the drive to the northwest coast will be a lil more viable. I will start researching the northwest, and will make hotel reservations once I find a relatively inexpensive airconditioned hotel.


User currently offlineN4KHGirl From United States of America, joined May 1999, 297 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (13 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 610 times:

Volcan Irazu is really kewl, i think it's kind of far away tho.... i've stayed at (i think it's called) the hotel nacional de costa rica? It's right downtown & wasn't far from where i worked with my aunt, (at the INS building)..... they also have some really cool disco's down there too, if you're into that type of thing... and they have two reely cool malls  Smile one with ice skating on plastic,, it was pretty neat, lol

*Camille


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