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Costa Rica Vacation & more - help, ideas, tips, etc

 
 
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 09:13 pm
Ok, my fiance and I have decided that we will be getting married in February 09 (in part so that we can escape the horrible Chicago winter). We've chosen Costa Rica as the destination for our wedding and honeymoon. We are doing quite a bit of research online, but one of the things I've grown to love about this site is everyone willingness to share experiences and give advice.

So, if you have any suggestions about places to get married, or things to do while on our honeymoon please post them here.

We haven't set a date yet, but we plan on being in Costa Rica for 10-14 days.


Thank you everyone!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 12 • Views: 7,018 • Replies: 15
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 09:47 pm
@maporsche,
I don't know much about weddings and what would constitute a good place for that but I live in Costa Rica right now so can answer almost anything else.

Here's my basic recommendation for Costa Rica:

1) Anything worth doing is outside the capital (San Jose). There's really only casinos as a tourist attraction in the city.

2) The tourist stuff all tends to be ecotourism, so it's a good spot to come to see nature but don't expect a lot of cultural tourism.

3) The nicest spots I've been to here are: Manuel Antonio and Arenal and Guanacaste is also supposed to be beautiful but I haven't yet been there.

So here's my recommended itinerary based off what I've done here:

Manuel Antonio is an ecological preserve, with a nice tourist town and lots of rainforesty stuff (you might run into a monkey on the beach or something). Stay in the hotel Si Como No ( http://www.sicomono.com/ ) and go to the beach inside the reserve (much more secluded and beautiful).

Arenal is a volcano around which are spas and resorts. One in particular has some great hotsprings where you can sit and watch lava flow down the volcano. That's the main attraction of the whole area (even if people stay in other hotels they buy passes to go into this resort's hot springs) so you should make sure to stay at that hotel if you go to this area. It's called Tabacon ( http://www.tabacon.com/ ).

Other things to do include Sport Fishing, and canopy tours (zip line through forest canopy) but I don't have a lot of experience with that since I tend to go more local than touristy. You should be able to plan that kind of thing with each hotel though, and I can find out more information on that if you'd like.

Guanacaste is up north, and is a much hotter and drier climate, but from what I've heard has the most beautiful beaches (the beaches themselves aren't very pretty here, but the greenery is). I don't have any specific recommendations but have friends who have houses there or who live there so can ask if you are interested.

If you have any specific questions let me know.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 09:59 pm
We stayed at a hotel not far from volcano Arenal and sat in the jacuzzi many a time to watch the lava flow down. Nice place for a honeymoon with enough privacy and not far from a village. There are many resorts in Costa Rica with fauna and flora that is just lovely, and one place we stayed had horses and a spa where we took mud-baths with jacuzzi and a swimming pool.

The only thing I remember about San Jose was the cathedral and the famous hotel next to it where some of us had lunch. There's also an "American" district in San Jose.
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JPB
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 06:34 am
@maporsche,
No advice, but sending along my congrats to you and your fiancee. Have a blast!
islandgirl
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 08:54 am
@JPB,
Are you flying into Liberia or San Jose? If you are flying into Liberia, the ocean side town of Tamarindo is worth a stop. A little touristy, but I had a great time there. We did a little surfing, went snorkeling and deep sea fishing, our boat guide delivered our fresh catch of the day to our hotel, the Cala Luna, and the chef prepared a romantic private meal for us. Dolphins swam along side our boat and we spotted giant sea turtles mating. Snorkeling we spotted pufferfish, a moray eel and other fish. Our guide collected oysters while we swam and served them fresh on the half-shell with fresh lime juice, they were delicious. Lots of great bars in town, one even serves "nachos as big as your ass".

We also spent some time in La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano. I would also reccommend the Tabacon Springs, the hotel is very nice also, but having stayed at both Tabacon and The Lost Iguana, I preferred the Lost Iguana. It is smaller and a little more off the beaten path. If the clouds are clear and the Arenal Volcano decides to give a show, it is spectacular at night.

We did the canopy tour, white water rafting, walked the nature trails, went on several road trips and had more than a few late nights drinking way too much.

I was impressed with the beauty and pride that Costa Rican's take to keep everything so clean and breathtakingly beautiful.

We went to a friends house for a party and it was the neatest thing. The kitchen wall above the countertop opened up to the outside. We had a party in the back yard and the kitchen opened up like a bar, great evening, but watch out for the guaro (I think that's what it's called). We almost hit a goat on our way back to the resort.

One last thing, check out the fence posts. The ground is so fertile that they sometimes start to come back to life and sprout branches!

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Pura Vida
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 10:45 am
@maporsche,
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I live full time in Guanacaste and think you are making a terrific choice to come to CR. I had a young couple rent my very romantic house for a week and they loved it. I warned them that the house is in a remote mountainous region, close to deserted beaches with very little to do but enjoy nature, ride our horses and swim in the pool. (I think they had each other to occupy a good deal of their time.) Remember it takes forever on poor roads to get anywhere here so don't plan on doing a lot in one day. Keep things simple. If you are staying on the Guanacaste Peninsula ask yourself how touristy you want to be or how private. There are lots of gorgeous deserted beaches but they aren't the ones that are advertised because there are few facilities. But you can stay close by and enjoy them. If you want rest, relaxation and privacy, stay away from the touristy places and just make day trips, then retreat to your private get away. And fly into Liberia if possible...much less stressful than San Jose. Hope this helps.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 02:15 pm
@Pura Vida,
During my (only) two visits to Costa Rica, their motto, Pura Vita, is evident in almost everybody one has contact with in their country. I can't see how anyone can not love their country.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 11:17 am
is this spam?
George
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 11:18 am
@dyslexia,
yep
dyslexia
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 11:19 am
@George,
yeah, I was pretty sure.
Hi George.
George
 
  0  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 01:33 pm
@dyslexia,
Hey Dys.
Howzit?
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 01:35 pm
@George,
Hey George, what you have for lunch?
George
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 01:47 pm
@panzade,
Ham & cheddar on oatnut.


Also had a slice of pizza mid-afternoon. Bad idea. Urp.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jan, 2010 07:57 am
So, the fiancé and I are just now finally getting around to getting married. We've now bought flights to Costa Rica for May 16-29. We are still looking for a place to get married.

Were flying into San Jose because the flights were much cheaper, but we don't plan to stay there long.

I need to check out the advice you guys posted here and come up with a plan.

Thanks for the congratulations on the wedding.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jan, 2010 11:14 am
@maporsche,
Oh, are you getting married in Costa Rica?
Will it be legitimate in the U.S.? Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jan, 2010 11:38 pm
@maporsche,
maporsche wrote:
We are still looking for a place to get married.


What kind of place are you looking for? E.g. old-fashioned church, modern hotel etc.

Edit: btw, enough friends have done the canopy tours and white water rafting and come back very happy to have gone, so I recommend trying one of those kinds of day tours while you are near San Jose (I can get the specific companies my friends have used if you need them).
0 Replies
 
 

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