Post # 1
We’re in the preliminary stages of planning our honeymoon for June 2010. After researching (and asking on this board!), it seems like Costa Rica would be a good choice for us. However, we are both completely overwhelmed with all of the information and different places in Costa Rica, not to mention the seemingly complicated travel within the country.
So I was wondering if anyone had experiences or advice? Our budget is about $3000 and we would like to go for 9-10 days. Our plan was to split our time between two different places/areas (ex. Caribbean coast and Pacific coast)
We would like a mix of beach and adventure. We love to snorkel and are not afraid of ziplining, whitewater rafting, etc. We don’t mind renting a car (it seems this is pretty essential in CR) but I’d like to only have that for about half the time if possible. I haven’t driven in several years (living in NYC) and I wouldn’t want my FI to have that responsibility the whole time!
Anyway, I would love to hear any advice you have to offer!
Post # 3
I’ve been to the Manuel Antonio and arenal areas ( about the same length as you ). I’d consider Arenal a must see ( and ecothermales hot springs a must do ! ) . One my my top travel moments was seeing the lave spill down the side of that volcano! We were actually going to skip it until BF saw it out of the plane – it was BIG and puffing smoke and we knew we had to go !
NatureAir airlines and the Vans there can get you around pretty well ! Look them up! I’ll let others chime in, but you can certainly email anytime if you need help.
If you are touching down in San Jose, I love the fountains guest house – affordable home stay with a cool America expat owner.
Amanda Bowers Photography, covering most the western U.S. with no travel fee.
Post # 4
hotchildinthecity- My fiance and I are planning Costa Rica for our honeymoon as well. We are looking for something along the same lines as you…ziplining, rafting, but also some beach and cocktail time. I have looked into some put together honeymoons but those seem to be pretty pricey and I figure we can arrange all that on our own. Do you want to both as we find information post it on this thread to share info?
Hopefully some more bees out there have been to Costa Rica and can point us in the right direction
Post # 5
umm a word of caution on traveling to Costa Rica…MAKE SURE YOU TAKE THE CDC’S ADVICE AND GET ALL SHOTS! I went there on a college trip, followed all direction from teh CDC and came back with a virus and a 104 fever…ended up in the hospital, nearly fatial. Something like that wont happen to everyone but do take precautions. I also would not drive while in CR, especially since you said you haven’t driven in years. They do NOT stop for anything. Back up in intercections and drift through them, drive where there aren’t streets, on sidewalks, what have you. If your not used to driving there don’t. Our bus driver even drove like a maniac! I was in San Jose (crazy drivers for sure), Arenal (a must see), Selva Verda (a resort in the rainforest on the Carribean side…AMAZING) and Jaco Beach (Pacific side, black sand beaches and a great surfer town. Also ziplining nearby). Don’t get me wrong it was a great place to visit and there is lots to see but just take into consideration your health when traveling out of the country. I would go back if I could but I can’t travel to underdeveloped/developing countries anymore due to being at risk for getting a second infection (I turned out to have Dengue Fever and if I were to get it again it would be faital) Just do your homework and good luck!
Post # 6
Here is a link to Selva Verde. It’s a rainforest lodge based on eco-turism. It was definetly my favorite place we stayed and I loved being right in the rainforest. You can’t get any closer to nature than that
Post # 7
Just opened the link to Salsa Varde….looks AMAZING!!! Sandollar, thanks for the advise, glad your ok!
Post # 8
Isn’t it?! LOVED it there. Being that it was a school trip we only got to spend a few days at each area since there was travel time and lots to see and do in those two weeks. Selva Verda would have been the place I would have wanted to stay my entire trip if we could have! I think it would be great for a honeymoon too since each villa is seperated by those walkways…your litterally staying among the trees
Thanks, it was a scary experience…my mom had to suit up to see me in the hospital like I can’t even begin to explain but if I could have done it all again I still would have gone. It was an amazing place and somewhere I always wanted to go
Post # 9
I’m going to Costa Rica on my honeymoon – July 2010! We’re staying on the Pacific side and we found our hotel on tripadvisor.com. If you haven’t used tripadvisor before, its a great site where travelers post reviews and pictures of hotels and other attractions. I love looking at the pictures guests post to see what the property really looks like (and not what the marketing pictures look like).
Post # 10
SandDollar: My FI drives, so that won’t be a problem. I just didn’t want us to be stuck driving the whole time since I can’t help out with that part. Thanks for the recommendation on the vaccines though.
SunnyGal: My FI is working on putting together some itineraries so I’ll forward anything he comes up with. We’re also looking at Belize.
All: We’re having no problem finding gorgeous hotels….I’m just really confused about how we get around! It seems like everything is so far from the airports and it appears difficult to stay in more than one place while there. (We were hoping to split our time between two hotels/areas.
Excited to hear what anyone else has to say :o)
Post # 11
texasmeredith – where you staying?
Post # 12
We were in Costa Rica when we got engaged. There is so many things to do. We were doing more backpacking type of stuff then honeymoon type of stuff though. A big decision will be whether to rent a car or find transport. Both are feasible options. It may be less of a headache to find transport in some ways but if you don’t want to take the local bus (which is what we did a lot of times and is dirt cheap) it can get a bit costly. There’s lots of cute towns in Costa Rica but the nice places to stay are usually a bit outside of town, so if you want to stay at those places you may need a car. I loved Arenal, which is the volcano area, and my husband loved Monteverde, which is the cloud forest area. We were there two weeks so did a week in land with mountains and then a week at the beach. The two beaches we went to were Montezuma and Dominical. Dominical is about an hour or so south of Manuel Antonio, and was one of my favorite places, but that’s also where we got engaged so I might be biased. The water on this side isn’t the crystal clear water so if you want that you might be better off on the carribean side. I’ve heard great things about Tortugero, but there’s places farther south that are quite nice as well. The other thing is if you’re going down to Dominical a trip to Osa might be worth it, apparently it’s got a ton of wildlife, but you may be better off flying in then driving, as it is quite a long drive. In 9-10 days you can probably comfortably do about three places, so I’d decide and map out routes and flights, you might want to pick one coast and do two diff spots and an inland area or two inland areas, but it might be hard to get to both coasts in that short time. Some places are very tedious to get to from other places since it’s a very mountainous area. Look on tripadvisor boards for discussion, it’ll give a good idea about lengths of time and best travel options to different places. Good luck, let me know if you have any questions!
Post # 13
I am also thinking about planning a honeymoon for January 2010 in Costa Rica. Everyones posts are very helpful. I have also used the Frommers sugested itenerary.If you are interested in checking it out here is the link.
Post # 14
Post # 15
We spent half of our honeymoon in Costa Rica, in the Manuel Antonio area. It was great and I think that renting a car would have been a waste of money for that area.
We flew into San Jose International, walked to the smaller domestic airport that is literally right next to the International airport and took a small plane to Quepos. The flight took about 30 minutes but would have been 3.5 hours by car! We met people who did the drive and they regretted it. From Quepos we took a taxi for like $10 to our hotel. We stayed at Issimo Suites. We booked activities through them and were picked up at the hotel for each activity (Ziplines, National Park tour, White Water Rafting). Our hotel wasn’t within walking distance of town but it was very easy to get a taxi into town (I don’t remember the exact price but I want to say like $10). When we were leaving we had to spend the night in San Jose b/c we had a really early flight. We stayed at the Holiday Inn and I HIGHLY recommend it. They have a free airport shuttle, free calling to the US and free internet. There is also a Denny’s and a Casino closeby if you are craving some american food or want to kill some time.
I was really nervous about getting around in Costa Rica. I was worried about missing flights or not being able to find a taxi or not being able to get by with my limited spanish. We had NO problems at all and I would do it again without a second thought!
Post # 16
Hi, I am also planning our honeymoon in Costa Rica for August 2010. Our plane tickets are already purchased. It is definitely overwhelming the with the choices of such beautiful resorts. We have decided to go to Arenal for 2 nights (which from all I have read it does not seem like enough time but we want beach also) On the third day we are going to do a rafting trip. They will pick us up from our hotel and then take us rafting, then drop us at our next hotel in Puerto Viejo. And feed us lunch and breakfast for $99 each. http://www.exploradoresoutdoors.com We have chosen to go to the caribbean side of Costa Rica for the 2nd leg of the trip. I have read many wonderful things about Puerto Viejo and south of there, including the many beautiful beaches. Punta Uva being one of them. I think that you need to decide what you are looking for. I have found lots of great info in the forums of trip advisor and foders.com. Manual Antonio and Arenal seem to be the suggested 1st time Costa Rica recommendations.
I also love to drive but do not want to spend my time driving. We are not renting a car. Most of the tours offer transportation and there are taxis and busses. On the forums I mentioned above there are lots of suggestions for private drivers. That seems like a great option if you want more than just a ride. These drivers really befriend you and help you experience the true Costa Rica. We will use a driver to get us from San Jose to arenal then Puerto Viejo back to San Jose.
I would love to hear what you all decide to do. I am am having trouble picking the hotels. In Puerto Viejo I am thinking Banana Azul. I have heard such wonderful thing about that hotel and its hosts. But in Arenal I keep changing my mind.