I am travelling to Costa Rica (flying into Liberia) with my boyfriend in Aug. We are planning to go diving for 4 or 5 days and then do a couple of days touring, perhaps Arenal Volcano and the jungle. Can anyone recommend a reasonably priced good dive operator and hotel in Guanacaste? Also someone who arranges cool tours? We are looking for something nice, but not too resort-y. No discos, bar-life and all that. Preferably a place with a spa. Thanks!
There are a lot of good hotels at Guanacaste; by example: Barcelo Playa Langosta (a beauty place), there are several good hotels at the Papagayo Bay (ie. Allegro Papagayo ($150 night)) also the Flamingo Beach Resort ($85), the Best Western Tamarindo, the Barcelo Playa Tambor (all inclusive hotel).
Now, at the Arenal Area I highly recommend you the "Tabacon Spa", it is very beauty, thermal waters, and so on. Remember, Tabacon has a lot of tourism, I personally go to a very nice spa just about 2 Km away from Tabacon, it is much more private and with great peaceful environment and even better, cheaper it is called "Bali Thermal Waters".
Now, about the diving I do not have any idea, but I will check with some friends. If I found something I will let you know.
Enjoy the travel!!
Hi you can find good information on Costa Rica hotels and travel agencies in this directory & search engine...
I used to live in Playa del Coco and there is really decent diving out of there and if you go to Rich Coast Diving or Deep Blue they have the best dive prices in the area by far.
There are a number of Cabinas available for rent in town (which is only 20 min from the airport in Liberia) and the dive shops can arrange things for you. I know that richcoat has a website at http://www.richcoastdiving.com/richcoastdiving.htm and i can't remember the one for deep blue off the top of my head. There are other good shops in the area as well but many are more expensive and the quality is the same. There are great resaurants in town, but it isn't really a super touristy town. For the built up thing go to Tamarindo. The best diving (other than Cocos Island) is the south west corner of Costa Rica, by isla del canos... but that really is a fair trek from Liberia.
You can make it from Coco to Arenal or Monte Verde in a few hours and it's a great time. Find the 'old' tabacon near hot springs (arenal) that is across the street from the Tabacon Resort Lodge since it is less expensive and just as nice... just left of the little store in the dirt parking lot.
At mente verde, visit the humming bird garden before and after you go for a walk in the park since you get different birds in the morning and afternoon... it's by the gallery just before the enterance to the park.
Anyway, if you want any other advice or have any questions... let me know. always happy to help
You can get a lot of bargains in places like home-based businesses since they don't charge you much as the big guys do.
This is my goal with this directory: to find all the small and medium-sized businesses tha will not rip you off and that they take care a lot of their customers because the owner is involved in all their activities.
You might want to take a look at http://www.geocities.com/costarica_info/ and see for yourself, as time goes by I will add more and more businesses that I will come across by walking street by street in the cities of Heredia, Alajuela and San Jose