- 11 years ago
- Wedding: January 2010
So much helpful info! Thanks gals!
So much helpful info! Thanks gals!
We are going to Costa Rica for our honeymoon beginning November 6th. Originally, we were going to go through a travel advisor to help us plan it, but I had so much fun doing it myself – that I did just that.
You may be able to swing it for $3,000. It will be tough though. Not sure where you are located, but our airfare from Philadelphia was a total of $950.
With a smaller budget, you are going to be able to visit a smaller radius due to cost of transportation. Also, check out the weather for that time of year. I think it is the “dry” season, which I read the country looks less lush than it usually does- not that you still won’t have a great time, just depends on what you are looking for.
Check out Geckotrail.com. We used them for the first leg of our travels for a pkg they have (Romance and Adventure Package)- and then they helped book our transporation for the rest of our trip.
We were going to rent a car, but I read in many places that it can be treacherous- and you risk getting lost b/c the country lacks roads and street names.
In case you are interested, here is our Itinerary.
Days 1-2 Villa Blanca: This is a cloud forest region of Costa Rica. We decided to travel here instead of Monteverde as I heard the travel time is long and difficult. But I also heard worth it- so this is just another option for you.
Days 3-7 Puerto Viejo Region- booked through Geckotrails.com we are staying in 2 different hotels, one for 3 nights, the other for 2. We are going on a sloth tour, chocolate tour, couples massage, dinner, and white water rafting – all was included in the price!
From the white water rafting trip- we are getting dropped in Arenal
Days 8-10 Arenal/La Fortuna Lost Iguana- included a couples massage and dinner.
Days 11-13 Manuel Antonio: Mango Moon
Days 14-15 Ama Tierra- this is a retreat like place.
Last night: Pura Vida in San Jose just over night before our flight out the next day.
I hope this helps!
@candice – love your itinerary – two days will be good in arenal, that’s about what we spent and did a hike and looking for lava with hot springs both nights – and hiked around silencio reserve during the day one day, it’s beautiful and has monkeys and a nice view of the volcano – I love the rafting idea – we thought about doing that but then ended up not and I kinda wish we had.
@Miss Hummus – also neat itinerary! Sounds like you have some great tours lined up.
I think June is the off season for when you go @hotchildinthecity so hotel prices should be a bit less than in November as well. And just for a reference for the opposite end of the spectrum (we also went in the off season) – Between me and my Fiance, I think we spent less than $1000 total for two weeks – though we weren’t staying in fancy places, but we did go on some tours. Some of the tours are a little cheaper booking once you get there than over the internet and you shouldn’t have a problem in the off season with them being too packed, just some food for thought in case your budget does seem to get a bit stretched.
How much money would you suggest to bring for food/ drinks?
Most places include breakfast and a couple of tours include lunch, but I’m unsure what a dinner looks like.. you know dinner and maybe 2 alcoholic drinks each.
It depends – my husband loves fresh avacados and mangos and they are deliciously fresh and not very expensive in costa rica. So for lunch we would often just go to a local bakery or store and get a loaf of bread, and dress it with avacados and tomatoes and whatever and have mangos and coconuts for dessert. Very tasty and affordable from street vendors – like $5-6 for the two of us. If you go to street vendors to eat, a few bucks, if you go to local restaurants I’d plan on 75% US prices and also depending on the fanciness of the restaurant, some can be more, and it even depends on the area – like Monteverde was the most expensive that we went to for food and not many non-restaurant options. If you are in a more isolated area where options aren’t as plentiful and it’s mainly at the hotel it’s going to be more like US city prices, though it really depends on the place.
Thanks for all of the advice, everyone! I will be forwarding this thread to my Fiance so he can do some research :o)
And yes, June is the “off-season/rainy season” in Costa Rica, although they like to call it the “green” season.
I just saw Sanddollar’s comments about the driving, and it made me laugh, because I think this may be the case in lots of places. Was in the Bahamas last week, in a taxi coming back from touring Atlantis. After we went straight through our 3rd red light, Fiance jokingly asked the driver about the driving. Driver said that at night lights and signs are “suggestions”!!!!!!!!!!! LMAO!!??! I’m not sure if it was more scary or funny! LOL
Just a note on the “green season”. We were there during the green season for 5 days. It rained once and it was in the evening. It didn’t bother us but the howler monkeys were very angry about it 🙂 We could hear them from our hotel balcony!
Other posters are right, June is the “wet” season, meaning you might get more rainy days than sunny. I visited in January at the start of the dry season. I cannot say enough good things about Costa Rica and the people there! Here are a couple of recommendations:
1) Don’t drive. Its a madhouse there, and it would probably stress you out. Like some other posters, I took the local bus. It is dirt cheap (when we went in 2006 it worked out to like 25 cents American to travel from Jaco to Quepos!)
2) Visit Montezuma on the Penisula de Nicoya. You can take a water taxi across from a beach near Jaco for 35$. It was so amazing there, very chill. All the locals recommended it! You can go ATVing on the peninsula, boogie board at the beach, visit a beautiful waterfall or lie around in one of the many available hammocks. Its so worth it.
3) Visit Manuel Antonio and Jaco – lots to do in each place! Jaco gets busy on the weekends though, becuase lots of locals who lives in the central cities drive there for the weekends. We did ziplining just outside of Jaco for $25 pp – guides spoke English and it was a blast! We also did horseback riding.
4) Like others said, definitely go to Arenal. We didn’t see any lava when we were there 🙁 BUT you can book a tour to spend a wonderful day in the Tabacon Hot Springs – so beautiful!
We went for 2.5 weeks, and visited San Jose, Jaco, Montezuma, Quepos/Manuel Antonio, Arenal, then back to San Jose. We spent about $2000 for two people, not included airfare. We didn’t stay at luxury hotels or a resort, so that helped keep costs down.
One tip though – when taking a cab in San Jose, make sure you take ones that are red and marked with a yellow triangle on the side – these are regulated cabs and are guaranteed safe. The driver may try to talk you into going to a hotel he is affiliated with though – stand your ground if you are not interested.
@hotchild – you book anything yet? what does your itinerary look like?
@sunnygal: Nothing yet. Fiance has set up some itineraries that we’re going to go over next weekend. (this wknd is crazy with my sister visiting) I’m excited to see what he set up and I’ll keep everyone updated when we choose. We’re using Belize as a backup, but I hope we can do Costa Rica :o)
Have you ladies booked yet?
Just got this from Travelzoo. Let me know if the link doesn’t work for whatever reason.
$895 — Costa Rica 7-Night Wildlife Package incl. Air*
Select dates through April 2011
This Costa Rica Wildlife package includes:
* Roundtrip airfare to San Jose (see departure cities below)
* Hotel accommodations in Monteverde (three nights), Tortuguero National Park (two nights in a jungle lodge), Arenal Volcano (one night) and San Jose (one night)
* Daily breakfast and all meals in Tortuguero
* Boat tours of Tortuguero National Park
* Tours of Arenal Volcano (including the hot springs) and dinner
* Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve tour
* A treetop walkway tour on bridges through the Monteverde Cloud Forest
* Transfers as per itinerary
Departure cities: Miami … $895; New York City … $955; Los Angeles … $1015. Call LatinAmerica4Less.com for additional cities. The land-only portion can be purchased for $695.
Choose from the following departure dates: April 8, May 13, June 11, Aug. 12, Sept. 22, Oct. 30, Nov. 6, Dec. 4, 2010; Jan. 24, Feb. 17, March 20, April 22, 2011. Add $100 to depart July 6.
To Book: Call LatinAmerica4Less.com at 800-480-0707 and ask for the Costa Rica Wildlife package. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. ET.
@Gerbera: We ended up booking Anguilla instead. Costa Rica was proving to be a little too much trekking around and we were worried about the rainy season.
I bet someone else will be able to use that info though!
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