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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Oh are.
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    Costa Rica Suggestions?

    Hey All,

    Didn't know exactly where to put this, but it's nearly summer, so why not right up front?

    Going to CR with the parents on Saturday. They found some stupid cheap air/hotel/rental car package and invited me along. Let me preface this by saying this is not the trip I would've planned for my first time in CR (I'd be surfing the whole time), but it's free and more than anything these days I jump at the oppurtunity to spend a weeks time with my parents (only see them a couple times a year, live across the country, they/I are getting older--if you don't get this, you will when you get older)

    Anyway, here's our locked in itineray:

    San Jose to Arenal
    Arenal to Monteverde
    Monteverde to Playa Flamingo, Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
    Then out to Liberia to fly back to US

    The last place is at the beach, I think we have two nights there. It was hard for me to figure out where it is on the coast, I think it's up north, so I don't know if there's much in terms of surfing, which I would be really interested in. Have a couple nights there, figure I'll just feel it out when I get there for the surf. Will be nice to just chill on the beach if nothing else.

    We're driving ourselves around to all these places in a rental SUV, btw. Anyway, just thought someone might have some experience and would care to throw out a suggestion or two.

    Thanks in advance.
    ROBOTS ARE EATING MY FACE.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    A hill with a bunch of t-bars
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    Guancaste region has some good beach breaks. Jaco and Tamarindo are good surf towns. I personally love samara and malpais. Dont know if youll have the time to make it to malpais though... Its tougher to get to, and I love it for that reason.

    Also, find the right forum asshat

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    8,122
    Plan for a lot of time driving. The roads are narrow and break downs and accidents happen a lot. It's a weird driving culture...when that stuff happens they don't pull off the road, they just stop and back things up.

    Try to eat out of the tourist areas. In the matter of blocks, $15 meals go down to a couple bucks.

    South of Tamarindo is where we found the biggest breaks but we were beginners and they were a bit too big to really enjoy.

    I hope you get the Bgo as your SUV. Have fun! The people for the most part are friendly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Shaolin Monastery
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    147
    Padded Room.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    alaska
    Posts
    191
    Costa Rica is amazing. Youll have a sweet time no matter where you go, try to get out of san jose as soon as possible though. Monteverde and Arenal are your typical tourist trap type locations however though. Man if your taking the time to fly down there extend your trip by at least one week and go stay in a hostel somewhere and surf all day. Malpais/santa teresa, Dominical, and pavones were my favorite spots. I went for 2 weeks last winter and ended up staying for 2 months. Have fun.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    11,350
    Arenal = hudge skip

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Oh are.
    Posts
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    No can skip, like I said, locked itinerary. 2 night in Arenal. I would expect our "tour" to be pretty touristy. I mean, the package for everything except meals (including air) was like $700 per person.

    Not looking for suggestions of where to break off to (can't extend the trip either, got work to get back to), not really plausible with my parents in tow, just thought some of you might have passed through these places and could suggest places/things to see. Thanks.
    ROBOTS ARE EATING MY FACE.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Income Spillage
    Posts
    886
    First of all, you should have no trouble finding advice, as the "Stuff White People Like" website should list Costa Rica at #1.

    Secondly, I lived down there for years, making my advice infallible, like the White Tico Pontiff.

    Gringos love to spend most of their vacations in Costa Rica time driving from place to place in rental SUVs, and I am pleased to see that you are continuing the time-honored tradition.

    Here's my advice: if you meet an undead vampire bartender named "Billy" anywhere in the country, do not fight him.
    Do you by chance happen to own a large, yellowish, very flat cat?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Whistler
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    1,015
    I hear Jaco is kinda shady but can be fun. When I was down in CR a guy I was surfing with got his bag stolen on the bus in Jaco... I'll second or third Malpais, that's where I spent all my time, in Santa Theresa actually. Best place on earth in my opinion, super serene, good surf, nice people, etc etc. PM Postman about it, he's been down a bunch, I was there with him last time...
    Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Powder

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Seattle, wa
    Posts
    794
    as far as the guanacaste, avoid Tamarindo at all costs. The place is way overdeveloped and the beach is STILL where your morning dump ends up. Anything to the south is good and if your a surfer the boat trip to ollies is a must

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Southside of heaven
    Posts
    2,999
    Plan to spend a lot of time driving, and make sure that you pay attention to the signs signaling for towns, landmarks, etc. as street numbers a a little harder to find.

    I would stay out of Tamarindo unless you want a total dive/tourist trap IMO.
    Monteverde is a really cool place, but can be a bit pricey.
    Flamingo is a nice place as well with some secluded beaches, however, you'll need to go a bit south to get a good break.

    PM me if you have any more questions.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Truckee
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    Take a guided tour in Monteverde at the cloud forest reserve they are 2-3 hours....you'll get to see quetzals, mot-mots, howler and white face monkeys...there are over 70 species of humming birds there! If you don't get t guide, chances are you'll miss a lot. I spent three months there maintaining the trail systems as a volunteer...super memories!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    EC
    Posts
    1,192
    Playa Negra - awesome surfing for you. Massages for your mom. Fishing for your pops.

    <cough, cough>...surfnegra.com....</cough, cough>

    People shooting ski areas should be sued.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Cardiff, CA
    Posts
    2,110
    Best food in Costa! Great location, awesome drinks, great surf (Playa Grande), cool rooms, good yoga.
    This place is a MUST in my book!

    http://www.ripjackinn.com
    www.DeathCookieEntertainment.com

    Sometimes fear just means that you need to push your shins into the front of your ski boots and fuckin send it!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tech Bro Central
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    2,851
    Quote Originally Posted by rugbydave View Post
    I hear Jaco is kinda shady but can be fun.
    I spent a total of about a month in the Jaco/Herradura area and never had any troubles.

    Monteverde has plenty of tourist trap stuff, but when you get into the cloud forest, especially with a guide, that all goes away. Try to do a night time guided walk if you can.

    Not sure where you'll be in Guanacaste, but the offshore fishing can be spectacular this time of year. I've only fished out of Herradura, but we often ran west and north and ended up fishing with the fleet that's based in the Carrillo area.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    out there on the neon avenue
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    If you can get to Puerto Viejo and Mazanillo do it. Puerto Viejo also has Salsa Brava which is the largest break in Central America. Super Irie Jah Rastafari vibe and the bluest waters and the laid back beaches in CR. Just got to go through Limon to get there which sucks.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Trouserville
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    Go to negra.

    Sick right with a bunch of funny territorial locals.....and it's really fun to drive to. At least it was 10 years ago. Shits probably paved now.

    Say hi to the monkeys for me. They go "rahaahhahahaahaha"
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  18. #18
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    Jul 2007
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    Flor de cana

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Stuck in perpetual Meh
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    Jaco no es en Guanacaste, boludos.

    Playa Flamingo is outside Portrero - just North of Brasilito & Tamarindo. Looks fucking sweet, but dunno about the surf:



    Hang with your folks and just enjoy yourself. Fuck the "Blah Blah Blah Gringos Blah Blah" Surfbrahs here -- You'll love it.
    Last edited by Tippster; 04-30-2009 at 07:37 AM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Truckee, CA
    Posts
    689
    When your in Areanl go to the Tabacon Hot Springs!! Have your parents pay ( a bit pricey), but it is so worth it, its like heaven on earth. Also, find a good zip line tour near areanal or monteverde, scary as shit, but very fun. I forget the name of the one we did but its right near the big volcano outside of Arenal (SKy Adventrues?). You take a tram up to the top of the mountain in the rain forest, then they strap you to a suspect looking pulling and send you out, the first line is 1500ft off the ground and 2000 long!! And they only get bigger from there.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    435
    The Tabacon hot springs at Arenal are sweet. If you're looking for side activities there, the waterfall in La Fortuna (pretty short hike down from a private parking lot) is not bad to see. The Smithsonian place near the base of the volcano is cool to visit for lunch or dinner if the weather is clear.

    I am not a surfer, but can tell you there is no break in Flamingo. Used to be a good fish taco spot (Maries if memory serves correctly) down near the main beach. Cool place for a couple of days, but I would venture out with the SUV because the coast changes every couple of miles. Playa Conchal (shell beach) is pretty cool to drive along with the SUV and to the south just a bit. I think the closest well recognized surf break to Playa Flamingo is Playa Grande to the south of Conchal.

    I thought Tamarindo sucked balls. Was dirty and one of the most touristy places I saw on two trips to CR.

    Pura vida. Hoist a few Imperials for me.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Truckee
    Posts
    334
    Quote Originally Posted by supermodel159 View Post
    Flor de cana
    Forgot all about that stuff!!!! Soooooo good, had many a night drinking it straight from the bottle! Stay away from the Guaro though......

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    9,297
    the carribean towns thin cover said and then hit the other coast and go to Mal Pais.
    stop in at the pacquare or monteverde while going across.

    keep your valuables on you on the busses but ride public transit, it is slow but peaceful and rules.

    stay away from tamgringo, bad surf, lame tourist shit.

    mal pais is the best place on earth.
    .....I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    alaska
    Posts
    191
    Quote Originally Posted by supermodel159 View Post
    Flor de cana

    hahah, oh man, that stuff contributed to many nights of good times for me, and many days of being lazy.

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