- 9 years ago
- Wedding: December 2009
I’m just trying to do all of my reviews and helpful posts before I get back to work and school. I just wanted to recap our Costa Rican honeymoon. I’m including costs. I always found that info the most helpful when planning.
We were there for a week – Dec 13 to 20. Our flights were delayed and I was exhausted from the wedding weekend. Like whole body aching tired. Anyway, it was a 3 hr flight from O’Hare to Miami and then a 3 hour flight from Miami to San Jose (SJO – which, btw, is Santamaria Juan when looking at the status screens in airports). We flew American and it was $300 roundtrip per person. We did book way in advance – like 8 or 9 months.
That night we picked up our rental car from Thrifty. This process took a long time. Definitely get the full insurance b/c roads are crazy. Also, a GPS is a MUST! You need one. We had an automatic Toyota Rav 4. I think all in this cost $660 (insurance, rental fee, gps). Also, just a reminder to bring your itrip if you go. I packed poorly for the honeymoonn b/c I was too distracted w/ the wedding. There are some radio stations that have English songs, but it was completely random. If you don’t have an itrip for your ipod, bring CDs. Driving in CR: Totally doable with the GPS. You are often driving in mountain passes, very curvy with huge cliffs. Also, one lane bridges are everywhere. I would recommend doinging your driving during the daytime. However, it was gorgeous. We didn’t mind our car time b/c it was so pretty.
The first night we stayed near the airport b/c we got in at midnight. The Finca Rosa Blanca was a unique little hotel – a coffee plantation. Monday morning we walked around the plantation. Then we had our 3ish hour drive to Arenal (the active volcano). This was a nice hotel and cost $225, I think.
We stayed at the Springs Resort and Spa in La Fortuna (near Arenal volcano) for two nights. This was a very fancy resort (approximately $400/night). I don’t think it was worth the money though. We got a promotion of a free couples massage for booking two nights, and the spa was great. If you go there, you need to experience the spa.
We went here solely to see the volcano – but it was cloudy and rainy the whole time. Apparently this happens 70% of the time (even during high season). It’s not like we were there during rainy season. Anyway, I was disappointed with the clouds. You couldn’t even tell that a volcano was nearby. The resort itself was nice w/ the hot springs. The food was average. The rooms were very fancy. We went waterfall rappelling one day – I was super scared, but my husband looooved it. Admittedly, even through my fear, I appreciated the beauty of the rainforest.
On Wednesday we drove from Arenal to Uvita. We stopped briefly in Manuel Antonio, hoping to see the national park. This took all day – we left at 8:30 am and got to the hotel in Uvita at 5pm. In retrospect, I wish that we didn’t have to waste a whole day driving. Probably 1.5 hours was spent in Manuel Antonio. Manuel Antonio is very touristy. We had a hard time finding the actual national park (turn left by Marlins restaurant). That was sort of a waste of time. I don’t think I would want to stay in Manuel Antonio – it was crowded and full of Americans. Not authentic Costa Rica.
Our hotel in Uvita – Oxygen Jungle Villas – was super amazing. Book there if you are thinking of going to Costa Rica. It was $170/night. You have your own glass villa (still has privacy w/ wooden slates). The service is perfect. There are a max of abt 20 guests, so it is very intimate. I loved this place. And it was such a great deal. The beaches along this stretch were all national park ($6/person to get in for a day pass). Thus, the hotel was up in the mountains with a good ocean view. There were lots of activities that could be booked through the staff. We pretty much went to the beach. But they did have waterfall rappelling here too. I think that most of the activities offered by the volcano were also offerred here.
We stayyed at Oxygen for four nights. Sunday morning we woke up and drove 3.5 hours back to the SJO airport – easy drive due to the GPS.
If I were to do it again, I might skip the volcano since it is cloudy all of the time. I would have probably spent the whole week at the beach. But nonetheless, it was the greatest trip we ever went on. Just a little too much adventure for me by the end of the week (beyond the scary waterfall rappelling, our other adventures included the car sliding sideways down the mud road on a mountain after rain, and hiking barefoot in the jungle).
If you are considering Costa Rica, you should include Oxygen Jungle Villas in your stay.
The Springs Hotel and Spa – some of the springs.
I’m including the pic below b/c I think it is the funniest of all of the H-moon pics. I am obviously still quite terrified – and this is the 2nd waterfall. I could barely function on the first. And I don’t think I opened my eyes at all on the first waterfall.
Below – the oxygen villa. Just so great
The main building of oxygen.
Isolated beach – we eventually found someone to take our photo.