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  1. #1
    ahisma is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default Costa Rica in July - skip Monteverde?

    We are traveling to Costa Rica with another family in July and working on our itinerary (at least lodging) now. We are there for 10 nights, flying in and out of Liberia. We were tentatively planning Arenal (4 nights), Monteverde (2 nights), Samara beach (4 nights). We don't need airport hotels - plenty of drive time with our flight schedule.

    The more I look at it, I'm tempted to drop Monteverde. The drive sounds somewhat unpleasant (we will have 4WDs) and the activities look like they are pretty pricey for what they are (I'm referring to the actual activities, not the location!). I could get past all of that if it didn't seem like it would be so touristy. I think Monteverde on the heels of Arenal may be too many people for what we're after.

    I'm tempted to skip it to add in a more off the beaten path location - maybe Bijagua, or somewhere with good access to Rio Celeste?

  2. #2
    theriviera is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I have been to Monteverde 2x and I agree, skip it. Activities will be similar to Arenal and it's so hard to get to. DH planned our last trip and we ended up leaving Monteverde a night early to spend a night in San Jose.
    Mama to 3 awesome kids

  3. #3
    baymom is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    We went the in December and loved Monteverde— hiking in the cloud forests was a trip highlight for our family. For us, the guided night hike and zip lines there were particularly memorable. Driving up there was definitely rough, but worth it.

  4. #4
    baymom is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    We went the in December and loved Monteverdeó hiking in the cloud forests was a trip highlight for our family. For us, the guided night hike and zip lines there were particularly memorable. Driving up there was definitely rough, but worth it.

  5. #5
    marinkitty is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    We are going in December and spending our last few nights at Rio Celeste Hideaway, which has great access to Rio Celeste. We are also staying two nights at Rio Perdido, two nights at Isla Chiquita and seven nights at a rental house in Santa Teresa - if you are looking for other areas to hit. We are also flying in and out of Liberia and driving a 4x4 around.

  6. #6
    ahisma is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Thank you all! The family we are travelling with ultimately really wanted to go to Monteverde, so we will do that. I really appreciate these comments though, it's helped us decide that paying for a guided hike will likely be worthwhile. My teens are really opposed to zip-lining (fear of heights, I think), so no point in fighting that battle.

  7. #7
    marinkitty is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahisma View Post
    Thank you all! The family we are travelling with ultimately really wanted to go to Monteverde, so we will do that. I really appreciate these comments though, it's helped us decide that paying for a guided hike will likely be worthwhile. My teens are really opposed to zip-lining (fear of heights, I think), so no point in fighting that battle.
    Coming back just to say that we just got back from our two weeks in Costa Rica and Rio Celeste Hideaway is an absolute gem. And tubing the Rio Celeste is a blast! Very small rapids make it fun but not at all scary and the turquoise water and jungle setting is stunning. If you want a day trip over from Arenal - I highly recommend it. We also loved the Heliconias Hanging Bridges tour which we paired with a sloth reserve. We drove over to Arenal for a day and its about an hour a half of easy driving to get between them.

  8. #8
    marinkitty is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahisma View Post
    Thank you all! The family we are travelling with ultimately really wanted to go to Monteverde, so we will do that. I really appreciate these comments though, it's helped us decide that paying for a guided hike will likely be worthwhile. My teens are really opposed to zip-lining (fear of heights, I think), so no point in fighting that battle.
    Coming back just to say that we just got back from our two weeks in Costa Rica and Rio Celeste Hideaway is an absolute gem. And tubing the Rio Celeste is a blast! Very small rapids make it fun but not at all scary and the turquoise water and jungle setting is stunning. If you want a day trip over from Arenal - I highly recommend it. We also loved the Heliconias Hanging Bridges tour which we paired with a sloth reserve. We drove over to Arenal for a day and its about an hour a half of easy driving to get between them.

  9. #9
    ♥ms.pacman♥ is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    so glad you had a great trip!
    DH & I have been talking with the kids and we agreed on going to Costa Rica as a family for Spring Break 2023 as their 12th & 13th birthday gifts. So i'm sure in 6 months or so when i really start planning i will be posting on here asking for tips We are planning to go in March 2023 which i've heard is pretty dry time to go which works for us.

    My kiddos really love animals (sloths and monkeys) so it would be great. DD really wants to visit the sloth sanctuary. We have never really taken kids out of the country so it should be interesting. I am hoping it motivates them a little bit to learn Spanish.

  10. #10
    marinkitty is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ♥ms.pacman♥ View Post
    so glad you had a great trip!
    DH & I have been talking with the kids and we agreed on going to Costa Rica as a family for Spring Break 2023 as their 12th & 13th birthday gifts. So i'm sure in 6 months or so when i really start planning i will be posting on here asking for tips We are planning to go in March 2023 which i've heard is pretty dry time to go which works for us.

    My kiddos really love animals (sloths and monkeys) so it would be great. DD really wants to visit the sloth sanctuary. We have never really taken kids out of the country so it should be interesting. I am hoping it motivates them a little bit to learn Spanish.
    I'd be happy to share more about our trips (we've gone twice and have now visited four different provinces) - this second trip was seriously amazing. We already booked our rental house in Santa Teresa for 10 days next winter break and are trying to get two other families to go back with us. All three of my kids used their Spanish a lot this time.

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