Trip feedback? Costa Rica 2019

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Trip feedback? Costa Rica 2019

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1. Posted by ileina (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!


I am planning to do a trip to Costa Rica for 2 weeks with my sister and I am not really sure about my itinerary because I am afraid that I have put too many things and we won't have time to do it. I would grandly appreciate if I could receive some advice.

So, our trip is from the 19th of March to the 2nd of April.

19: Landing in San Jose and stay for the night
20: Flight for Drake Bay
21-22: 2 Days tracks in Corcovado Parc
23: - Flight back for San Jose (landing at 12h35)
- Pick the Jeep up from renting company
- Drive to Poas Volcano and visit it in the afternoon (around 15h00-16h00)
24: 3h00 drive to Monteverde
25: Visit of Monteverde Parc
26:- Morning Drive to Rio Celeste
- Afternoon Drive to Arenal-Fortuna
27: - Drive Back to San Jose (probably Morning)
- Give the Jeep Back
- Take a bus for Limón
28- 29 : Visit of Tortuguero
30-1: - Move to Cahuita
- Visit Talamanca
1: Afternoon Trip Back to San Jose
2: Flight Back

So my essential concern is for the first part of the Jeep.

First of all, I read that it is better to visit Poas Volcano in the morning as in the afternoon there is more clouds, but above all is it feasible in few hours in the afternoon ?

Should I , preferentially , skip one or two visits (for example : Monteverde or Poas) and take one more day for the Caribbean Coast ?

Thank you in advance for any feedback you can give me !

2. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 631 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting ileina

Should I , preferentially , skip one or two visits (for example : Monteverde or Poas) and take one more day for the Caribbean Coast ?

Good question.... I sense you feel this schedule is a bit too action-packed. All these sights are worthy of your time and effort, but could you skip one volcano out of two and instead relax (I am assuming) on the Caribbean Coast? YES. I think you are taking in some really good sights, but do you want to balance it out a bit more? Say, have a few days of down time in the middle of the trip? A beach day, maybe?

We once drove over 1000 miles on a whirlwind tour of Italy for 12 days and it was too much. Our next trip back was a bit more focused on several locations instead.

Costa Rica is, of course, much smaller than Italy. The major roads are in good shape in Costa Rica, but getting from point A to point B on those roads means taking VERY indirect routes - switchbacks up and down mountains. These are not leisurely drives - they involve plenty of concentration. That can leave the driver(s) feeling a bit tired at the end of the day.

All things considered, I think a nice balance of activities/relaxation is crucial, whether your trip is 2 weeks or 2 months. This also allows for you to adapt to any problems that may happen along the way. Problems NEVER happen at a good time, but having time to respond to them - without feeling like your vacation/holiday is ruined - will provide peace of mind.

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Feb-2019, at 15:42 by road to roam ]

3. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

You don't mention where you're from, but the heat in tropical parts of the world can really knock the life out of someone from a cooler climate. Best to allow extra time for the heat, jet-lag and possible illness (even a small cold can slow you down a lot).

4. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 631 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andrew Mack

You don't mention where you're from

Depending on where you are coming from, flying into Liberia (LIR) International Airport in the future may make more sense. This airport receives flights from a VERY limited part of the world, but may be better suited than flying into San Jose, which is a place most folks fly into and very quickly get out of.

5. Posted by 55vineyard (Budding Member 106 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hours for Poas are 7am to 2pm, which would not work with your schedule.

6. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 1094 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

My is personal opinion is that Poas is underwhelming. It is pretty expensive entry and speaking as a volcano nut I have seen better. The walk around the fumaroles in Rincon de la Veija NP was more interesting in my opinion. If you are to visit a crater I think Irazu while more difficult to access is a lot more worth while.

The Rio Celeste trek is not the easiest walk because depending of the conditions of the day you may be slowed by the thick mud. It is why a lot of walkers set aside a day just in case. You also should be aware if there is a big down pour the river gets mixed with a lot of the mud meaning you won't get that nice turquoise colour you would be looking for.

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Feb-2019, at 15:20 by Teoni ]

7. Posted by ileina (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

Thank you to everybody for taking time to answer me !

road to roam: Thank you for your advice. I think you are right. We will skip Poas and include more time off in our plan. regarding the airport unfortunately, we only found flights from and to San Jose and we already booked them

Andrew Mack : We are from Switzerland so yes I think we might need so time to adapt to the time and the climate

55vineyard: Definitly we won't stop in Poas :). I already did the Bromo in Indonesia fool of clouds :(

Teoni: Allright , this comfort me in the decision to skip Poas, then I think we will see day by day with our car. If the Rio celste is too muddy, we could save one day and do Irazu instead ...

8. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1783 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Ok - I have been to Costa Rica three times. This is a little much to do - I'm sorry I didn't see the question before
I do agree to skip Poas.
The road to Monteverde is NOT a good one. I would do Arenal before Monteverde - drive up to Arenal and then drive to Monteverde and then spend 2 days there in Monteverde. The park is restricted to 100 people at a time so you will want to get there early. There are several different parks to visit there and it is pretty spread out. Then you can drive out of the park down toward the Pacific coast and go back to San Jose and turn in the jeep.

I have never tried to do Tortuguero without doing a tour which arranges the bus and the boat and the hotel there in Tortugero. It is theoretically possible to do it by just taking a bus to the 'port' but I would be nervous to do that.

9. Posted by ileina (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Allright greatgrandmaR, Thank you ! let's do that !

Thank yo much for all the advice !

Post 10 was removed by a moderator