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#162316 - 04/04/04 10:16 AM Costa Rica
Mel S Offline
Has anyone been to CR recently ? We will be in San Jose and Guanacaste this june. I would be interested to hear about anyones recent impressions about the nation. Any useful well organized websites could be appreciated. Muchas Gracias, Mel S.......
Mel Sinderman

#162317 - 04/04/04 11:07 AM Re: Costa Rica
dogmatic prevaricator Offline
I'm booked for a ten day multi-location stay during late May/early June. I did purchase the Moon handbook for Costa Rica which is inexpensive, very informative and covers any information you need to know about CR. I also found the Frommers and Fodor's message forums to be very helpful with trip reports and specfic Q&A's.
If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

#162318 - 04/04/04 12:26 PM Re: Costa Rica
klcman Offline
San Jose, IMHO, is VERY Americanized. Can you say malls, McDonalds and gas marts? My opinion is to get the hell out of there as soon as you can.

Country is pretty, hilly, and the Ticos drive like maniacs laugh . Many of the roads can only be driven SLOWLY in 4 wheel drive, unless you are a real adventurer as my travel companion was and did not give a hoot about the undercarriage of the rental. If that fits you, take earplugs, those boulders bouncing off the bottom will deafen ya!

I was not actually too impressed with the western side of the country though. Perhaps it was because it was the WORST vaca I ever had, ending a long term relationship during it. wink

I would go back sometime though and raft the Pacuare, Reventazon and Sarapique - Class III/IV rivers.

I do have friends who are chucking the American lifestyle, buying there soon & moving. Trying to find their Nirvana laugh
_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

#162319 - 04/05/04 05:33 PM Re: Costa Rica
Gela Offline
I will be headed to Playa Samara by way of Liberia in early May. I can give you a brief report when I return. laugh
Gela's AC Motto: "All Roads Used to Lead to BC's" frown

#162320 - 04/06/04 09:33 AM Re: Costa Rica
Mel S Offline
Thanks for the info. It's been years for us to travel through Tica-landia. Gela, we were trying to make reservations at the Mirador de Samara. Nicoya is so tropical, i always wanted to return. best-wishes, mel s......
Mel Sinderman

#162321 - 04/06/04 02:17 PM Re: Costa Rica
Big Frank Offline
Loved Costa Rico when we were there in November. Unless tou want to see something specific, get out of San Jose ASAP. Not particularly dangerous, just a bustling city.

CR was priced very reasonably, once you get there as airfare was pricey. I was only in Jaco, a surf town on the west coast. Surfing [novice ] as great. you will be very happy. Roads were not very good . So, 'that far on the map' could be an all day affair.

#162322 - 04/06/04 03:19 PM Re: Costa Rica
lmarquis Offline
Mel S: I was also in CR for 10 day vacation in late November. Absolutely loved it, even though it was off season.

Outside of San Jose, Spanish widely spoken and I thought prices for EVERYTHING were very inexpensive. The food was good, loved the local beer. The wildlife was incredible! Troups of howler monkeys, coatis, giant blue butterflies, toucans. Good public bus transportation system throughout entire country.

Yep, roads are not great outside of the capitol. I did not make it to Pacific side because I met a friend who was my tour guide and who lived on the Caribbean side.

Stayed in Fortuna, which I thought was a cool, charming town near Arenal with good restaurants and friendly locals. Not to miss: at least a half day at Tabacon Hot Springs. The grounds are beautiful, the hot springs are great and the pool slide is lots of fun. Not to mention, killer rum punch at the pool bar! Arenal Lake was gorgeous, Sarapaqui River and down to Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo, near the Panamanian border on the Caribbean side with the Bribri Indians. The Caribbean side was pristine, with jungle going right to the beach and no hotels. Lots of Jamaican influence, rasta, etc. Loved watching the big waves at Salsa Brava!

One thing my friend says to watch out for is theft. I just was cautious and everything was fine. Was also told if you use taxi in or around San Jose, make sure they have SJ on license plate and a maria (meter). Guess there are lots of guys "trying" to be taxi drivers!

Have a great trip!

#162323 - 04/08/04 03:30 PM Re: Costa Rica
mountain Larry Offline
My wife and I just got back from Costa Rica last week, we had a good time, but as some have said it is somewhat Amercanized and the drivers are scary but probably no scarier than Belize drivers. San Jose is a big city and I really wouldn't spend much time there. We enjoyed the food and really enjoyed the Pilsen beer. Have fun.

#162324 - 04/08/04 10:21 PM Re: Costa Rica
Chloe Offline
Mountain Larry, did you see all the GOLD, underground in San Jose, close to the National Theatre, on the main Plaza? Some neat bars down the side street from Plaza too.
Dare To Deviate

#162325 - 04/09/04 11:29 AM Re: Costa Rica
mountain Larry Offline
Chole, No I didn't, I wish I would have though.

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