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I'm thinking of going to Costa Rica this November...

 
 
Mame
 
Reply Thu 26 Apr, 2007 01:36 pm
Do you have any suggestions as to where I should visit?

I will get a Fodor's or Lonely Planet, but in the meantime, I'd like to get some advice from people who've been there.

I prefer to go native and economical. B&B's, small inns, that sort of thing.

I love to explore and scuba dive/snorkel.

All ideas welcome. Thank you.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,871 • Replies: 23
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Heeven
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Apr, 2007 02:14 pm
I should think O'Bill would have invaluable information for you on Costa Rica - hasn't he lived there?
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Apr, 2007 02:27 pm
I don't know, but thank you for the information.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Apr, 2007 02:37 pm
Mame, Occom Bill knows Costa Rica. Craven lives in Costa Rica. And I believe that C.I. has visited Costa Rica. Three potential sources for info.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Apr, 2007 03:00 pm
Don't play poker with a skinny dude in a tee shirt.
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Apr, 2007 03:06 pm
Thanks, Roberta, and okay, Roger, I won't - are you talking about yourself? Laughing
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Apr, 2007 03:17 pm
Mame, Roger is talkinga about Craven.
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Apr, 2007 03:25 pm
oh! I get it now - he had a poker thread at some point, that's right.
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Apr, 2007 11:11 pm
I haven't lived there yet, but hope to! When you land in San Jose (which you will) it will be late, so book the night at the Best Western Irazu (15 minute ride?). Next, pay a cab to take you to a restaurant called Ram Luna... which is on a mountain above the city; food's good, service is better and the view is spectacular. Takes about a half hour to climb the mountain, but believe me; it's well worth it. Next; tell the cab to take you to "El Pueblo"... which is a compound like setting that is essentially a catacomb of various bars, gift shops and restaurants all behind a gate (closed at night) for added security. A cab outside the gate will cost you half when you're ready to leave, but if you're not comfortable in strange cities at night you can pick one up without even leaving the compound. Difference of $5 and $10 for the ride, really, and only because the cabby assumes you don't know what you should pay if you take one from inside. :wink: I imagine they probably have to kick up to someone to be allowed inside as well.

Lonely Planet's "COSTA RICA SPANISH PHRASEBOOK with Two-way Dictionary" is a must have! It fits in a pocket, so don't get caught without it (click above to buy it at Amazon).

Be prepared to be taken in by the Pura Vida! (literal translation is pure life, but in Costa Rica it has a more profound meaning that encompasses their very existence. You will find the Ticos don't just add it to everything from good morning to good luck... it really seems to be their purpose. They LOVE it when tourists use the term and will almost always respond in kind with an easy smile... sometimes adding Tuanis; which is a word they invented just for us a couple decades ago. It seems so many American Ex-pats and tourists described Costa Ricans and Costa Rica as too nice; they invented a word for us! Use this word and you're guaranteed a smile (which is almost inevitable anyway; Tico's are famously psycho about brushing and flashing their teeth)(about 20 cents on the dollar; if you need any dental work done). Prepare to be baffled at the helpful kindness of strangers. Don't be concerned if someone asks for the last bit of soda in your bottle or some such thing. It's pretty common and doesn't seem to encourage further begging.

Oh, and definitely play a few hands of poker with our fearless leader. He's had a bum run, and could probably use the dough!

Pura Vida!
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 May, 2007 03:29 pm
Thank you, OBill Smile I can hardly wait to go. That compound sounds like fun...

Too bad we couldn't have an A2K rendezvous there Smile

I'll be in touch with you. And thanks again.
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 May, 2007 04:16 pm
Mame wrote:
Too bad we couldn't have an A2K rendezvous there Smile
Don't be too sure. November's a ways away... and Craven's already there... and as soon as you get 3 A2Kers together; Walter and CI are liable to just show up.
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 10:38 am
Bill... I'll be going down on a recon trip to see if I'd like to live there... keep us posted if and when you move there.
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Tico
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 03:12 pm
You'll find lots of ex-pat Canadians there, too, Mame. I kept stumbling across restaurants with little Canadian flags on the windows (indicating a Canadian owner). This was several years ago, so it may have changed, but many real estate sale signs had 604 or 416 area code phone numbers on them (Vancouver & Toronto respectively). And then there's the PetroCan gas stations ...

If you get over to the Jaco area on the Pacific coast, treat yourself to a sunset drink at the Villas Calletas amphitheatre. Great music, awesome display of nature. Nature is very important. Actually, Ticos are the most ecological people I've ever witnessed.

Whether you decide to live there or not, I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time. Umm ... you can tell from my screen name that I loved the country. Laughing
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 03:19 pm
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Walter and CI are liable to just show up.


I've always wanted to go there: an uncle was the German (honorary) general consul in Costa Rica and he invited me a couple of times. But my parents wouldn't allow me to go ... only because I was a child at that time :wink:
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 03:20 pm
Yes, I picked up on your name, Tico Smile

I am really looking forward to this trip, and I will look out for the Cdn restaurants, if only to feel connected. I'm going to print this thread out before I go so I'll have everyone's advice.

When was the last time you were there and do you plan to return?
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 03:43 pm
Been a couple years, since I had the braindead idea of going into the restaurant business and couldn't get away. I'm currently working towards moving there and may in fact be living there by the time you visit.

I also received lots of helpful advice here
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Tico
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 May, 2007 07:34 pm
Lots of Germans in Costa Rica, too, Walter. Many tourist brochures that I saw were printed in English, Spanish and German. According to one woman from Berlin whom I spoke with, it was less expensive for them to travel to Costa Rica than to some of the more usual Mediterranean vacation spots. But there are also lots of German owned businesses. I spent a weekend at a camp near the Nicaraguan border that was owned and managed by a former German banker. If I remember correctly, he started it about 20 years ago.

So Mame, if you end up at Laguna del Lagarto, say hi to G√ľnther from me!
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2007 06:47 pm
I recommend:

Manuel Antonio - A natural reserve. If you like mild hiking through jungle this can be done in the park, but the beaches within the resort itself are beautiful.

In the mornings you can often see a lot of monkeys there. I like to go canoing out on the ocean.

I strongly recommend the "Si Como No" hotel. It's beautiful I've already been here twice since I've been here.

Arenal - The volcano is mildly interested but mainly if you stay in the Tabacon resort or at least spend a day in their thermal springs, from where you can watch the lava spill down the mountain looming above you.


I haven't been to Limon (Caribbean culture) or Guanacaste (their best beaches) yet but those are the other spots I'm most interested in.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2007 06:50 pm
Mame wrote:

I prefer to go native and economical. B&B's, small inns, that sort of thing.


Doh, I didn't see this and my hotel recommendations are way off. Both are not economical, but if you do visit Arenal go to the Tabacon hotsprings even if you don't stay in that hotel.

I also noticed after my post that you are evaluating relocation. I'd recommend Santa Ana or Escazu near San Jose if you want to be near their biggest city.
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caribou
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 May, 2007 06:54 pm
bookmark
0 Replies
 
 

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