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Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean NEED HELP:COSTA RICA and PANAMA

1. Posted by muza (Budding Member 3 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hi everybody!

There is many usefull informations on this site thanks to all of you. I would spent ages to get it from internet piece by piece. Would you be so nice and read it until the end and answer me my question, please?

I'd like to ask you for help as well. I want to go with my girlfriend on the beginning of january to Costa Rica for 4 weeks and if it would be possible to another country of CA as well, but just for one week. It will be our first trip out of Europe.

I was looking for cheap oneway flight from EU to CA. I've found everything very expensive, around 1500€.
I want to go to Costa Rica and somewhere else in CA, but I don't want to be in one place twice just because of flight.
I know there must be some charter flights from Europe, but can't get any. All prices I've found are through regular flights.

I live on Tenerife, but before going to CA I'll be in Czech Republic. My plan, according to flights I've found, is to flight to Panama or San José. I've found return flight from EU to San José or to Panama for 750€ - 800€. Flight between Panama and San Jose is about 320$ through, (but I don't want to flight PAN to SJO and back). I think if we would stay couple days in Panama and then go to San Jose in Costa Rica. There we want to see Tortuguero, Arenal, Monteverde, Volcán Poac + Jardines La Paz, Cańo Negro, Selvatura y Tamarindo. In the meantime 2 or 3 days I would like to be somewhere where is good surfing that time. Then we'd have to flight back to Europe somehow.

Please, do you have somebody better idea how could we make our trip to Costa Rica and one more country in CA better?

I have these questions:

- do you know any cheap flight from Germany or Austria or any EU country to CA (would be perfect oneway to any country in CA and back from Costa Rica)?

- ARENAL; is it difficult to get an acommodation with night view of Arenal lava? Do we have to be in Tabacón side or can we see that from Fortuna as well?

- Should I rent a car for longer time in Costa Rica and do you have any tip?
- Is it possible and safe to rent a car in Panama and go to Costa Rica

- If we would do trip through Panama, where should we go, what impressed you in Panama?

Thank you in advance for any help and have a good one anywhere you are.

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 7, 2007, at 6:22 PM by muza ]

2. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

check COPA again,multible flights,so you could fly to Panama City,spend there 1-2 weeks.Interesting places are San Blas Islands(Caribbean side),of cource the canal zone,Las Perlas Island at the pacific side,Valle the Anton,Bocas de Toros.

You could go by bus from Panama City to Costa Rica,not so expensiv and you would have the possibility to see more of Panama.
So you could book your flight maybe from Spain to Panama City,to fligh back you could take San Jose -Madrid(?)4 weeks later.
hope this helps you a bit,
forgott to say there are many good beaches for surfer at the pacific coast.

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 8, 2007, at 9:42 AM by marlis ]

3. Posted by fraluchi (Full Member 132 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

The most economical way for flying to Costa Rica from Europe is probably by Martinair or Continental. You'll have to consider the longer flight times, and transit in the USA.
The best way to travel within the areas of CA is by bus. Forget about renting a car in one country and hoping to cross the border to another. Within Costa Rica the public bus services are excellent. You can check and click at busschedules. Plus much useful information for the first time visitor.
Arenal: there is no guarantee to see the lava flow at night, wherever you are. But if the sky is clear, a place between Fortuna and Tabacon is recommended. Once you are in Fortuna, with a previously prepared list of potential places to stay at, 'phone for availability and take public transportation.
I cannot help you with information on Panama.

4. Posted by jocat74 (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I will be going to Cosata Rica late Feb/early March and will be staying in Arenal and Manuel Antonio. For both areas, are boots, long sleeves and pants reccommended over tennis shoes, shorts and short sleeves (for bugs and snakes)? How rainy will it be then and what will the temps be? Thanks for any info I can get.

5. Posted by jocat74 (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

muza - you need to check before you leave where the lava is flowing - it changes sides of the mountains. is a good place to check.

6. Posted by Luucy (Full Member 39 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hi There
After living here in Costa Rica 15 years I can assure you that you can NOT drive a rental car from Panama to Costa Rica ..Most people love Costa Rica more because less humidity and less Mosqitoes ,,NONE in My area Heredia Hills LOVELY climate and views
Costa Ria looks small buthere is SO MUCH to do in the Central Valley..Most travelers THINK they have o go to the boondocks to see a Volcano when the MOST Interesting Volcanoes AND Jungle rain forests are HERE in the Central Valley..
ONE rarely SEES the ARENAL which is Usually Clouded in about 5% of my B&B guests in 15 years have eve SEEN the Arenal..even hough it is well touted by travel agents let alone see lava a VERY rare sight !
.But a 11hour bus ride a bit longer from Inner Panama is cheap and not too bad
BETTER Volcanoes in the Central Valley both of which you can HIKE on top and gaze down into the craters ..UNlike the Arenal which you can not even go near , are a more interesting choice.

Good Luck and enjoy SAVE time to see te GORGEOUS CENTRAL VALLEY of Costa Rica