One of the best beaches in Costa Rica. Had a 12 days trip all around the country and this was one of the most fascinating places. Must see! Just make sure to leave your car at the official parking place of the park (there are...More
Hi! Congrats on your upcoming trip! We (my 20 year old daughter and my old self at 59) were in Costa Rica in September 2017. Beware of pricey tours. Visit Manuel Antonio Park for sure but you will be met by "guides... More
Hi! Congrats on your upcoming trip! We (my 20 year old daughter and my old self at 59) were in Costa Rica in September 2017. Beware of pricey tours. Visit Manuel Antonio Park for sure but you will be met by "guides" charging a fortune. And then watch out for those who will charge you a few dollars to "watch your car" before you make the turn for the park. You can park much closer for free. Anyway, San Jose is a good hub but there's not much reason to tour San Jose or spend much time there except in the airport, in my opinion. Things worth seeing are 3-4 hours away. We ended up planning our own trip flying into Liberia, headed to Arenal Volcano and Park/La Fortuna and staying a few days there at Volcano Lodge & Springs and Baldi Hot Springs. Good food, easy hiking, hot springs. From there, we headed to Monte Verde and stayed in St. Elena in the clouds for a few days in a B&B called Camino Verde B&B - quaint, tiny rooms, but great friendly atmosphere. Don't miss the Don Juan Coffee tour if you go. We headed to the beach at Jaco for another couple of days but were unimpressed except for our stay at Hotel Vista Pacifico which was great. Heading down to Manual Antonio Park was next and certainly was a highlight of our trip. Caution - wow - the prices for trinkets is SO expensive at the bottom of the hill. Can you say "rip off"? Find other places in town for souvenirs. Great restaurants, friendly locals. We ended up staying at La Vista Resort - just beautiful and luxurious. So driving is quite an experience in itself. It takes much longer to get from place to place - even though it might be just 50 miles - expect it to take 2 1/2 - 3 hours due to roads. Potholes everywhere, unpaved, winding. We got a kick out of it. But even GPS is unsure since there isn't much in terms of marking. "Turn right at road" doesn't tell you much! LOL So, it was sure an adventure. I'm glad we split up the driving with a few nights here and there. I'd absolutely do it again planning my own itinerary. I think you'd be good either way. If you are looking to be with people in a group, take the tours. If you are good with each other, take the driving adventure and make your plans. Have the French toast - you may never be able to eat another, it's so good.