Travel

Costa Rica Vacation

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 23rd, 2021 7:57 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 22, 2009
1550 posts
1185 upvotes

Costa Rica Vacation

*** Post COVID ***

Thinking of a trip when all this is over.

Option 1: no kids

Option 2: 2 kids around 10.

What are some good online resources to research Costa Rica travel
11 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2017
1840 posts
1354 upvotes
GTA West
Keep an eye on the Tico times English language paper while you are planning, for things that may influence your trip. They carry a lot of interesting stories that take you beyond the social influencers on Youtube and government tourist bureaus.

https://ticotimes.net/

I have been to CR a few times and love it but it is not always the eco-paradise and Shangri La that people perceive. BTW, it is a great place to attend a Spanish school and that can be a fun experience in itself if you like that sort of thing. Families can do that together.
Member
Feb 24, 2019
274 posts
400 upvotes
Easto wrote: *** Post COVID ***

Thinking of a trip when all this is over.

Option 1: no kids

Option 2: 2 kids around 10.

What are some good online resources to research Costa Rica travel
do not fly into San Jose. Rent an SUV. Do all of Nicoya Peninsula. Kids will love it
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 22, 2009
1550 posts
1185 upvotes
KingMoobot wrote: do not fly into San Jose. Rent an SUV. Do all of Nicoya Peninsula. Kids will love it
Fly into Liberia?

I have read you’ll need an SUV for the horrible roads

Any suggestions on towns to stay in?

How long at each place if we have ~ 10 days

I was thinking maybe even doing a couple days in a jungle house as well.

It’s pretty hard to get a lot of straight forward info. Majority of blogs, etc online are 90% ads and 10% info
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 9, 2007
2030 posts
145 upvotes
Toronto
Let me fill in some blanks for you.

We've been with two small kids a couple of times in Costa Rica. We always fly into Liberia and then make our way to Tamarindo. area. We rent villas and never stay in hotels. The drive from Liberia to Tamarindo or Potrero can be either via half paved road and half extreme offroad (~1 hr) or only paved road (additional ~20min). Potrero is a small town with lots of Americans. They have a brewery, oscar nights and American style pubs. It's quiet. Tamarindo on the other half is somewhat of a "party place", Northern part of Guanacaste province(around Liberia) is dry and is desert-like in the mountainous areas. There is little precipitation and a lot of sun. If you want to see the jungle I believe you need to go a bit south. Those areas get more precipitation.

One thing that will piss you off is that you will pay A LOT more for a rental than you thought you would. The price online doesn't include 3rd party liability insurance and that could be as high as $30 CAD per day + some other fees. No way around it and none of the credit cards cover that.
Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2017
4295 posts
2191 upvotes
I really enjoyed Tamarindo and the Caribbean coast. This was travelling as a family so varying ages (6 to 20). When I was there several years ago their were a ton of Canadian business owners, and the food was excellent. Enjoy and bring sunscreen!
Member
Feb 24, 2019
274 posts
400 upvotes
Easto wrote: Fly into Liberia?

I have read you’ll need an SUV for the horrible roads

Any suggestions on towns to stay in?

How long at each place if we have ~ 10 days

I was thinking maybe even doing a couple days in a jungle house as well.

It’s pretty hard to get a lot of straight forward info. Majority of blogs, etc online are 90% ads and 10% info
Monteverde is a nice Jungle spot with ziplines, Volcano hike, and jungle adventure. But it might be quite far out of your way if you're staying around Tamarindo area
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 6, 2002
8694 posts
1575 upvotes
Vancouver
Easto wrote:

It’s pretty hard to get a lot of straight forward info. Majority of blogs, etc online are 90% ads and 10% info
I haven’t been to CR but I doubt getting information is tough as it’s a well travelled destination for Central America standards. In terms of recent info lonely planet has their thorn tree forums. Not sure if I can link but just scanning the last few pages of discussions should give you some perspective on current conditions.

If renting a car understand manual transmission may be the default. Have fun.
Autocorrect sucks
Newbie
Jun 19, 2017
73 posts
24 upvotes
There's a lot of great content videos by this guy. It's not a sales pitch. Also his website has a link to a large local car rental company which i used that was great, cheaper and better than the big global rental brands.

In one of the videos he does say "don't bother staying in San Jose...drive out".

https://www.youtube.com/c/Travelcostaricanow

A direct flight to Liberia is great if you plan to be around the Guanacaste area. If you're planning to go all over including Alajuela and Manuel Antonio or the Caribbean side then San Jose is a better option. You will also have more flight options if you need to make changes to flights. There are much less flight options for Liberia.
Newbie
Jun 19, 2017
73 posts
24 upvotes
Easto wrote: Fly into Liberia?

I have read you’ll need an SUV for the horrible roads

Any suggestions on towns to stay in?

How long at each place if we have ~ 10 days

I was thinking maybe even doing a couple days in a jungle house as well.

It’s pretty hard to get a lot of straight forward info. Majority of blogs, etc online are 90% ads and 10% info
The roads are not horrible unless you're expecting Canadian highways. Your bigger frustration will be traffic and the narrow roads in some areas. At certain spots with construction you'll be stuck in traffic for half an hour to an hour.
You don't need an SUV as most roads are paved and you wouldn't really go off-roading on monkey trails. It's more for personal comfort and space in the back for your suitcases if you are taking all your luggage with you as you go around.

Where to stay depends on what you're looking for. There's La Fortuna (definitely do the hot springs) and Poas (where the coffee farms are) which are inland areas near scenic volcanos...or if you like hiking and the beach, therere's Manuel Antonio which is the largest national park (if you want to see birds, monkeys and sloths)...deep sea fishing - Quepos. Beach - Tamarindo (in Guanacaste) which is the best beach they have and a surfing town. I loved Tamarindo Diria, which is right on the beach and smack in the middle of the town at the same time (but you wouldn't know it until you go to the reception). For all Inclusive - Riu has a decent all-inclusive choice in Guanacaste (although i would say you don't go to Costa Rica to do all-inclusive).

Top