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Old 01-02-2008, 09:55 AM   #1
 
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Default 1 week in Costa Rica!

hey everybody and happy new year to all!

I'm starting off 2008 amazingly well, I found a flight to Costa Rica for $300 tax included from Canada!! :D :D :D I'm so hyped up but it leaves in exactlly 6 days and I don't have time for much...any planning at all!! Where do you guys recommend going, I'll only be there for 1 week. And most importantly, how much per day should I budget, I don't drink at all (yes I'm a nun). I want to see the rain forest, volcanoes and if lucky hit a beach. Rain forest I've been reading here that Monteverde is really nice and for the volcano, Arenal is my best bet. How about beach wise, will I have time to fit a beach in there or are there hot thermal pools in arenal I can go to? I will gladly replace a beach for a hot pool!! :D :D

Oh and I also read that San Jose sucks, saying that, once I land in the afternoon, from the airport can I find a bus that would take me straight to Monteverde or Arenal or whereever you guys say I should go to? That would save me some time and cash instead of going to San Jose and finding a bus there.

Buenos chicos, gracias por todo, estoy desesperada, ayundenme!! :D :D :D

GRACIAS!!

Ambssssss
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:40 AM   #2
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I am crazy jealous! 300 bones is a steal!
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:48 AM   #3
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Yeah, that sounds like a great deal. Even better (now at least) if its Canadian dollars. I have heard the same things about San Jose but I cannot speak from experience.

I think you have to decide if you want to head to the Pacific side or the Atlantic/Carribbean side (San Jose is basically in the middle) and then work on some type of itinerary.

Good luck with your planning!
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:53 AM   #4
 
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yeah $297 to be exact!! :D :D :D

so anybody out there can help me??? Omnisan??? where are youuu hehe I just read your entire thread about your 1 week trip, how the heck did u make it all the way from Fortuna to Puerto Viejo? How long of a bus ride is that????
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:56 AM   #5
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i think he's tripping around Japan again or something...
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:11 PM   #6
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Dude, you should PM freespiritz. Shes got a ton of info, but shes somewhere in SEA currently, but online a lot.
Cheers
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:26 PM   #7
 
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cool thanks guys, will message them right away :D
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:12 PM   #8
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I was in CR for about two months this past summer. I stayed in one area pretty much the whole time though. San Jose isn't the nicest city but usually, depending on the arrival time of your flight, you may have to stay overnight. At the risk of giving you wrong information I'll post later tonight with guidebook in hand!
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:54 PM   #9
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Looks like we'll just miss each other. I plan on leaving the 15th or 16th & coming back the 23rd or 24th. That's a great airfare! The best I can find from the states (anywhere near me) is $480 - before taxes. So, I'm flying standby, and it depends on when the flights are more open. I'm planning on seeing Monteverde & the Santa Elena areas as well as Arenal. I haven't pinned down the rest of my itinerary completely yet. I'm not planning on hitting the beach though. I'm not much of a beach bum.
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:29 PM   #10
 
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Yeah i hear ya, I think I'm gonna skip the beach actually. I was in Thailand a few months ago and found myself to be bored to tears after 2 days, same thing happened when I went to Portugal last year. Sooo I'm going to stick to Monteverde and La Fortuna, will copy Omnisan's itinerary that I found in one the threads.

I'm probably just going to do either the Sky Trek Canopy tour or a Hot Springs day. I'm hoping to spend about $300CAN for the whole week:

hostel: $10/night
Departure tax: $26
Food: $10/day (I'll eat bread and water, I don't care haha)
Monteverde Cloud Forrest entrance fee: $7
Monteverde Cheese Factory: $7
La Fortuna Falls: $5
Volcano Arenal National Park entrance fee: $7
Transportation: $30
1 or 2 tours, either the Sky Trek Canopy tour or a day at the Hot Springs.

Please correct some of my prices, it's a combination of old and new information I found on the site and wikitravel prices I found.

This is a really last min. trip so hopefully my $300 will take me far....
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:29 PM   #11
 
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oh ya and i'm talking CAN $$ here.
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:26 PM   #12
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Ambs, I just replied to your PM - check your inbox
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:08 PM   #13
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Congrats! That's a helluva deal. I did the same week, 2 years ago (!!!) on a $500 budget in country, and had about $7 left when I hit Miami!


Just caught this thread, and since my blog is dead, I'll summarize a few things. Feel free to PM me if you have questions, I'll look up my stuff.

I mostly hung in the mountains, Omid went all over. But we had some similar adventures.

Omid and I both did the Hostel Pangaea thing from the airport to the hostel since they have a shuttle that was between $5 and $15 or so depending on how many people are riding in with you. Google them, and book ahead.

You can do the Interbus line, a private bus contractor with mini-buses from point to point, but they required reservations. They are also FAR more expensive than public transportation, but are far more luxurious and you won't be sharing space with livestock!

Bus fare to Monteverde from San Jose was less than $5 or so (I can't remember), and left twice a day from the Coca Cola District. Take a cab from the hostel to there and get the early bus, and preferably without a hangover. God, that trip was unbearable! :D

Stay in Pension Santa Elena while in Santa Elena. They'll book any excursions you want in and around, and arrange everything you need. They don't take reservations, but I called ahead from San Jose and let them know I was coming in, and hoped they'd have something. Luckily they did. If they didn't they found rooms for folks that couldn't get in there.

Avoid SkyTrek, and do the other major zipline tour, Selvatura. They had a package that included hiking their trails and suspension bridges, and trust me, the Tarzan swing kicked ass!

From Santa Elena/Monteverde, you can do the "taxi-boat-taxi" to La Fortuna/Arenal. It was the quickest route, but the horse back ride would have been more fun, and the public bus, though available, was more than 10 hours. T-B-T was around 2 or 3 hours IIRC. Plus, you approach Arenal from the water, so you can get some incredible shots.

From there, I stayed at Gringo Pete's in La Fortuna, and Pete was the cheapest guy in town, with relatively nice accomodations, and was cheapest for excursions. He didn't take reservations at the time, so good luck there, too.

From La Fortuna, I took public bus lines into the airport and flew out. There was also a way to do a white water rafting trip into San Jose, as well.

Good luck and post up from the road!
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:07 PM   #14
 
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Thanks Omid and Joker hehe :D All your suggestions helped me narrowed down my possibilities.

so I've read that the cab ride to SJ from the airport is expensive like $20, considering it's probably less than 30 mins, seems pricey.... so I'm probably going to stay 1 night in this hostel in Alajuela (the city where the airport is in). Apparently the buses that leave from SJ to Monteverde all stop in Alajuela on their way so I should save myself a few bucks and do opt for that.

From that point, I'll go to Monteverde, stay 2 or 3 nights, then go to La Fortuna and take Joker's advice and do the taxi-boat-taxi as I read Omid's blog and apparently the horse ride isnt' as comfortable, SAFE, and fun as it seems. I'll stay in La Fortuna for 2 nights and then head out elsewhere for another night, I'll figure it out when i get there.

Any more recommendations? thanks every single tip is greatly taken into account!
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:13 PM   #15
 
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oh yes, no interbus from me, unless i'm desperate...but cheap, is somehow equivalent to good in my head no matter how crappy lol...
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