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1. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 438 posts) 38w Star this if you like it!

Looking for tips for a week or two in Costa Rica. Planning a short trip. While I'd go to the rugged out of the way places, I will be taking two older folks who aren't exactly spry. Thinking maybe just 2-3 locations and doing day trips from those spots.

Any advice is welcome.

2. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 834 posts) 38w Star this if you like it!

I have been to Costa Rica twice for about that period of time and I'm not that spry. The original trip was in 1996 and we took a day or two trip (Bus and boat) to Parissima, and then drove up to Monteverde via Sarchi and Arenal and spent a couple of days there. Then we flew to Palmer Norte and went to Drakes Bay Wilderness Camp and had excursions to Canos Island and Corcovado. At that time I could walk about a quarter of a mile provided it wasn't too rugged.

Rainforests and Volcanoes

But things have changed quite a bit in the last 20 years. So I went again in 2015 in the summer. This time we spend a couple of days in San Jose visiting the Gold Museum, the Jade Museum and the National Theatre and taking a bus tour of the city. then we went to Tortuguero After that we rented a car and drove to Manuel Antonio N.P. This is one of the less rugged national parks in Costa Rica.

We have never been on the north Pacific coast, but I understand that is also a good place to go.

3. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 38w Star this if you like it!

Manuel Antonio is a good park to go to, and if what I hear is correct, there are now lots of places that can accommodate the less athletic to stay. On the Caribbean coast there is a mellow town called Puerto Viejo that I've been to a couple of times. It's flat and the water is nice. Lotta New Wave Hippies there if that is NOT your thing. Puerto Limon is also over there and has boat tours and a wildlife sanctuary. Though I've spent most of my visits on the Pacific side, I find the Caribbean water, not unexpectedly, far prettier and calmer. Have a good trip.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Mar-2018, at 11:07 by Piecar ]

4. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 834 posts) 38w Star this if you like it!

I would not agree that the Caribbean is calmer. Up in Tortuguero area there are very significant rip currents which make it unsafe to swim, and the sand is black which makes it hot to walk on.

5. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 38w Star this if you like it!

Yep. There are rip tides Puerto Limon up to Tortuguero. Well signed. but I suggest swimming, if you want, Near Puerto Viejo. The Pacific side is beloved by surfers because there's always big waves. I think there may be three surf spots on the Caribbean side. Anyway, OP, there are nice places to go on the Caribbean side too.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Mar-2018, at 12:15 by Piecar ]

6. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 613 posts) 38w Star this if you like it!

Good suggestions above. I have only visited the Pacific side and I found the Guanacaste coast beautiful and most of the places easy to reach without much physicality. Two other suggestions I would thrown in are Guayabo, an easy access archaeological site and Parque Nacional Rincon De La Vieja. There is an easy 4km loop around the fumaroles and other volcanic features. If mobility is an issue La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park might a consideration. It is pricey and it is a sort of half zoo half botanic gardens but there are some beautiful waterfalls all on easy to walk cement paths, though some viewpoints need stairs to access, but there are handrails.

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Mar-2018, at 05:19 by Teoni ]

7. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 438 posts) 37w Star this if you like it!

Thanks all.. Booked my air. Thinking north pacific coast at the moment.

8. Posted by sanaoria (Budding Member 5 posts) 5d Star this if you like it!

I would like to go to Costa Rica in February 2019. San Jose/Puerto Viejo de Talamanca/Tortugero/Sarapiqui Rainforest/La Fortuna/Monteverde/Quepos.
What kind of transportation I could use for such trip ?
thank you in advance

9. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 5d Star this if you like it!

It's all buses. I'm afraid. If there is a rail system in CR I am completely unaware of it. I assume you can puddle jump some of these legs, and the time saving is rich. Pricewise, I dunno

[ Edit: Edited on 07-Dec-2018, at 17:47 by Piecar ]

10. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 834 posts) 5d Star this if you like it!

The rail system was basically destroyed by an earthquake at least 20 years ago, except for a few remaining isolated pieces. To go to Tortugero you will need to go by boat (or by air) as there are no roads to it. The easiest way to do it is on an organized tour which will arrange the bus to the boat and the boat to the hotel. You can do it independently, and it might be cheaper (maybe), but it is much more difficult especially for a first trip. San Jose is not really a good place to drive - use a taxi. You can drive or take the bus to everywhere else except Tortugero. Monteverde is fairly spread out and the roads to it are deliberately kept rough.