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Any one ever been to Costa Rica???

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17 replies to this topic

#1
Hothotz

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Have any of you guys ever been or had family go to Costa Rica? We are thinking about going down and was looking for some first hand experiences not found on google.

#2
Gidnik

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its pretty nice if you dont go places not found on google. seriously they will kidnap you and hide in the jungle. stay at the tourist traps.
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#3
dawgbit

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Spent a month in and around San Jose' back in '93. Spent another two weeks tooling around the mountains and Carribbean coast in '05. Wife did part of her Grad school at Univ of San Jose'.

Love it.

Vacation: I like the Carib Coast better than the Pacific. If you're a surfer, you'd prob want to flip that. Like Haco, little village really on the Carib coast. Laid back and friendly.
San Jose is a neat place. everything you want to find in a big city, including the dangers. Common sense will keep you out of most of the seedy areas.
Mountains South of SJ are cool, hot springs and resorts all the way up the volcano.
Plenty of rainforest and jungle tours to choose from. Ziplining through the canopy shouldn't be missed.
Hummingbirds and butterflies migrate en masse during our winter, and several parks in the jungles are free.

What kinda info are you looking for?

#4
uscrules

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I was there on a cruise ship during our Panama Canal trip. We only stayed the day but we saw  the beaches and countryside. We did the zip line through the forest. Lots of fun.

#5
Hothotz

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View Postdawgbit, on 12 December 2012 - 10:41 AM, said:

Spent a month in and around San Jose' back in '93. Spent another two weeks tooling around the mountains and Carribbean coast in '05. Wife did part of her Grad school at Univ of San Jose'.

Love it.

Vacation: I like the Carib Coast better than the Pacific. If you're a surfer, you'd prob want to flip that. Like Haco, little village really on the Carib coast. Laid back and friendly.
San Jose is a neat place. everything you want to find in a big city, including the dangers. Common sense will keep you out of most of the seedy areas.
Mountains South of SJ are cool, hot springs and resorts all the way up the volcano.
Plenty of rainforest and jungle tours to choose from. Ziplining through the canopy shouldn't be missed.
Hummingbirds and butterflies migrate en masse during our winter, and several parks in the jungles are free.

What kinda info are you looking for?

We are looking at flying into San Jose and spending a couple days in Arenal. Right around the Volcano and countryside. Then drive over to the Pacific side. If the Carribean side is nicer though I am open to changing that. Spend a couple days on the beach. Then maybe a day and night in San Jose the day before the flight back home

#6
Noah

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I don't believe Costa Rica is safe enough for family vacation.  Last report I heard was missionaries being raped over the summer.   If I'd gotten this info earlier, my daughter would NOT have taken her mission trip.

I feel the same way about Mexico too.

Edited by Noah.Dreams, 12 December 2012 - 11:55 AM.

After everything is said and done, more is said than done. - Noah

#7
Hothotz

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View PostNoah.Dreams, on 12 December 2012 - 11:53 AM, said:

I don't believe Costa Rica is safe enough for family vacation.  Last report I heard was missionaries being raped over the summer.   If I'd gotten this info earlier, my daughter would NOT have taken her mission trip.

I feel the same way about Mexico too.

Everything I have read says it's by far the safest place to go in Central America. We want to go to see Volcano and Rainforests.

#8
dawgbit

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Costa Rica and Belize are far and away the safest Central American countries. Only benefit of Belize is that English is the native language.

@Hothotz You'll love the Arenal Springs area and the Arenal Observatory Lodge is first class.
Tons of rainforest and canopy tours available. Either coast is beautiful. Pacific is a little more rugged for the most part, Jaco and Hermosa are the surfing and nightlife capitals. Also, with the nightlife comes the crime. Be aware and be smart, you won't have any problems you wouldn't have in any city of the same type anywhere stateside. Manuel Antonio is one of the prettiest place on planet earth.
Carib coast is a little more serene and ALOT more Bohemian. Puerto Viejo and Monzanilla are a little rougher around the edges. Punta Uva and Chiquita beach are somewhat tamer. Lots of Rastafarian/Carribean influences. Kinda an artist conlony with pickpockets vibe. Again, use common sense and don't wander to far from the tourist areas and you'll love it.

Edited by dawgbit, 13 December 2012 - 09:29 AM.


#9
Hothotz

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View Postdawgbit, on 13 December 2012 - 09:27 AM, said:

Costa Rica and Belize are far and away the safest Central American countries. Only benefit of Belize is that English is the native language.

@Hothotz You'll love the Arenal Springs area and the Arenal Observatory Lodge is first class.
Tons of rainforest and canopy tours available. Either coast is beautiful. Pacific is a little more rugged for the most part, Jaco and Hermosa are the surfing and nightlife capitals. Also, with the nightlife comes the crime. Be aware and be smart, you won't have any problems you wouldn't have in any city of the same type anywhere stateside. Manuel Antonio is one of the prettiest place on planet earth.
Carib coast is a little more serene and ALOT more Bohemian. Puerto Viejo and Monzanilla are a little rougher around the edges. Punta Uva and Chiquita beach are somewhat tamer. Lots of Rastafarian/Carribean influences. Kinda an artist conlony with pickpockets vibe. Again, use common sense and don't wander to far from the tourist areas and you'll love it.

We are looking at spending 3 nights at the Arenal Lodge and going through the hanging bridges / Zip-lines. And Horseback riding or ATV tours.

Then on to the West Coast to Flamingo Beach to the Resort for three or four nights.

How are the prices down there are they similar to what we pay here?

#10
Bulleit

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Costa Rica is a good time. Gorgeous. While in San Jose you could check out the Blue Marlin...if that's your sort of thing. I actually prefer the Pacific side, there are resorts in rural areas that are filled with tourists, mostly Europeans and Canadians, that are extremely relaxing. These are not shabby hangouts either. I guess that's why I prefer it, it's more relaxing. Plus everything is super cheap. We had surf and turf (steak and lobster for you Auburn fans) for $18 and this wasn't crappy food.

Just like any other place you've got to be careful where you find yourself at night. Some sketchy dirt roads. If you get pulled over by the police you may have to empty your wallet. I've spent a lot of time in Nicaragua and never had any mishaps and Costa Rica is definitely a safer place. Goes without saying, just don't be a knucklehead.

I'll probably be in Nicaragua sometime in January or February.

Edited by Bulleit, 13 December 2012 - 09:54 AM.

View PostSECats, on 09 January 2013 - 05:24 PM, said:

UK will finish above UT, Vandy and Mizzou...I'll bet my SECTalk account on it.

#11
Hothotz

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View PostBulleit, on 13 December 2012 - 09:53 AM, said:

Costa Rica is a good time. Gorgeous. While in San Jose you could check out the Blue Marlin...if that's your sort of thing. I actually prefer the Pacific side, there are resorts in rural areas that are filled with tourists, mostly Europeans and Canadians, that are extremely relaxing. These are not shabby hangouts either. I guess that's why I prefer it, it's more relaxing. Plus everything is super cheap. We had surf and turf (steak and lobster for you Auburn fans) for $18 and this wasn't crappy food.

Just like any other place you've got to be careful where you find yourself at night. Some sketchy dirt roads. If you get pulled over by the police you may have to empty your wallet. I've spent a lot of time in Nicaragua and never had any mishaps and Costa Rica is definitely a safer place. Goes without saying, just don't be a knucklehead.

I'll probably be in Nicaragua sometime in January or February.
Thank you for the info. We defiantly want to check out the pacific side. Also wanna check out the rain forest sights.

#12
dawgbit

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@Hothotz

Don't know the conversion rate now, but it was around $425 colon' to the USD last time we went down. I would ride the buses in SJ all day long for less than $0.10 for a day pass. A sandwich and a beer ran me around $0.80 US. Nice meals in the resort areas were $35 or $40 for a couple.

fun tip:in SJ, ask your concierge about the Emerald Factory (I think that's the name) Nondescript brick building downtown near the big city museum. They'll send a car for you, escort you upstairs to private rooms and serve you tea, etc while they show you whatever type and size gems you ask for. They'll bring them in little velvet lined boxes and you can buy really good quality stones (cut or uncut) for next to nothing. They'll also educate you on what to look for. They give you the big-shot treatment. It's pretty cool. (wife's old neighbor owns a jewelry store and he turned us on to that the first time we went.)

@Bulleit

dafuq you doin' in Nicaragua?
Got a buddy that owns a citrus plantation down there. Summers in Gulf Shores and winters down there every year. Does the whole beach bum act stateside, then has the white linen suits and panama hats when he goes down south.

#13
Hothotz

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View Postdawgbit, on 13 December 2012 - 10:13 AM, said:

@Hothotz

Don't know the conversion rate now, but it was around $425 colon' to the USD last time we went down. I would ride the buses in SJ all day long for less than $0.10 for a day pass. A sandwich and a beer ran me around $0.80 US. Nice meals in the resort areas were $35 or $40 for a couple.

fun tip:in SJ, ask your concierge about the Emerald Factory (I think that's the name) Nondescript brick building downtown near the big city museum. They'll send a car for you, escort you upstairs to private rooms and serve you tea, etc while they show you whatever type and size gems you ask for. They'll bring them in little velvet lined boxes and you can buy really good quality stones (cut or uncut) for next to nothing. They'll also educate you on what to look for. They give you the big-shot treatment. It's pretty cool. (wife's old neighbor owns a jewelry store and he turned us on to that the first time we went.)

@Bulleit

dafuq you doin' in Nicaragua?
Got a buddy that owns a citrus plantation down there. Summers in Gulf Shores and winters down there every year. Does the whole beach bum act stateside, then has the white linen suits and panama hats when he goes down south.

That is awesome. I will definatly do that. I am sure Jill will love looking at the huge stones lol.

#14
Bulleit

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View Postdawgbit, on 13 December 2012 - 10:13 AM, said:


@Bulleit

dafuq you doin' in Nicaragua?
Got a buddy that owns a citrus plantation down there. Summers in Gulf Shores and winters down there every year. Does the whole beach bum act stateside, then has the white linen suits and panama hats when he goes down south.

Family has a condo on the beach, Pacific side. It's pretty cool. The resort is guarded, security, Americans, lots of folks from Atlanta, like myself, a few UK grads, some old dudes from Wake Forest. Fly into Managua from Houston then get a rental car (4x4 is a must) or a shuttle and make the hour long drive down the highway. It's an adventure really. Swerving to miss potholes, goats, shoeless children, food carts. The resort has a golf course, pool, private beach, small restuarant/bar. Which is convienent, beer and wine are super cheap, Tona's are a buck a pop I think. Plus, what's great is everyone down there wants American currency. It's never crowded. Closest town is about 20min away.

Usually sit around, play golf, last year I got to watch all the lesser bowls. Very secluded, you can see every star in the sky. I usually spend one day at a surfers resort 20 min down the beach, I don't surf, but its just a big camp with tiki huts, hammocks, and a bar that keeps its beer cold with generators. @Hothotz you may want to look into one of these, they are strung out along the Pacific coast. No electricity in huts/sleeping tent things so if you don't like camping this would be no bueno.

View PostSECats, on 09 January 2013 - 05:24 PM, said:

UK will finish above UT, Vandy and Mizzou...I'll bet my SECTalk account on it.

#15
Hothotz

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View PostBulleit, on 13 December 2012 - 01:09 PM, said:

Family has a condo on the beach, Pacific side. It's pretty cool. The resort is guarded, security, Americans, lots of folks from Atlanta, like myself, a few UK grads, some old dudes from Wake Forest. Fly into Managua from Houston then get a rental car (4x4 is a must) or a shuttle and make the hour long drive down the highway. It's an adventure really. Swerving to miss potholes, goats, shoeless children, food carts. The resort has a golf course, pool, private beach, small restuarant/bar. Which is convienent, beer and wine are super cheap, Tona's are a buck a pop I think. Plus, what's great is everyone down there wants American currency. It's never crowded. Closest town is about 20min away.

Usually sit around, play golf, last year I got to watch all the lesser bowls. Very secluded, you can see every star in the sky. I usually spend one day at a surfers resort 20 min down the beach, I don't surf, but its just a big camp with tiki huts, hammocks, and a bar that keeps its beer cold with generators. @Hothotz you may want to look into one of these, they are strung out along the Pacific coast. No electricity in huts/sleeping tent things so if you don't like camping this would be no bueno.

What is the resort your talking about called?



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