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Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: rgG
Date: January 19, 2017 06:30PM
My daughter and I are going to the Guarnacaste region of Costa Rica next month. I have been to CR once before but that was like 25 years ago and we were in/around San José.

We will be staying at the Westin Playa Conchal resort, but we want to take an excursion or two, probably to the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and maybe somewhere else. I like to hike and nature sightsee. I am open to zip lining also, although I have not done it before. My daughter has zip lined once, and she liked it. I am in pretty good shape, for a "senior," ugh, as I walk about five miles a day. I probably do not want to do any river rafting, but a river boat cruise to look at the flora and fauna would be nice.

We will not have a car, so we will be taking some sort of escorted tour thing for anywhere we go. If you can recommend any particular tour company or something special we should see, that would be very helpful.

Any other tips about how much cash to take with us and where to exchange money would be helpful. The resort is an all-inclusive, can you say, eat too much, so we shouldn't have a lot of food/drink expense. I plan to charge whatever I can on a CC, but suspect that I will need incidental and tip money, but not sure whether to take some cash or just get money from an ATM or what. We mostly used ATM's in Europe for cash, but not sure what the norm is in CR or where the ATMs would be, since we will be at a resort and not in a town.

We will be there for five nights, so we will probably only take a couple of days to go explore and just spend the rest of the time at the resort relaxing on the beach and eating and drinking. grinning smiley

Daughter is fluent in Spanish, so that should help with any communication issues. I finally might get some benefit from that 2nd college degree she got. smiling smiley

This is to celebrate my big 60 which happened earlier this month. Any tips or advice will be greatly appreciated.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 19, 2017 06:31PM
Have her wear a very skimpy bikini, and post lots of pics for us. That's my advice.
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: rgG
Date: January 19, 2017 06:34PM
Quote
Racer X
Have her wear a very skimpy bikini, and post lots of pics for us. That's my advice.

Why am I not surprised. LOL





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 19, 2017 06:37PM
Since you moved, I feel, well, adrift.........eye rolling smiley
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: January 19, 2017 06:38PM
I cannot speak directly to Costa Rica. However in my travels to Nicaragua and Honduras, I always just exchanged dollars using guys at the airport. They stand by the exits with large wads of bills in their hands. They gave a decent exchange rate, saved me time, and I would rather give the locals the profit than some international company.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias

The German word for contraceptive is “Schwangerschaftsverhütungsmittel”. By the time you finished saying that, it’s too late



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/19/2017 06:39PM by Ombligo.
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 19, 2017 06:42PM
Check any credit cards you have and find which has the lowest foreign exchange rate while traveling. I always used my credit union debit card and get good exchange rates at real bank's cash machines. My CU refunds transaction fees, up to 6 a month.
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: bhaveshp
Date: January 19, 2017 07:51PM
We just came back from a trip to Costa Rica including 2 nights in Guanacaste. Since our trip was fully guided, we didn't have much free time for self tours, dining etc.

That said, we did enjoy zip lining in Guanacaste through Pinilla Canopy tour booked through our Marriott hotel:

[www.google.com]

For us, we didn't use much cash but got some local currency at an ATM in San Jose. There are also ATMs at the airport. Dollars were accepted in most of the tourist shops we went to and English was very common as well. See if you have a credit card with no foreign exchange fees.

Try to take a night time Turtle viewing excursion. Some folks on our tour got to watch a nesting turtle.

My kids each got a local SIM at the San Jose airport for $40 USD cash as they can't be without Snapchat etc. I would recommend this for Google Maps & Yelp/Foursquare lookups.

Have a great trip!
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: bhaveshp
Date: January 19, 2017 07:56PM
Also wanted to add.. Guanacaste is the dry/hot region of CR. Try to head over to the Arenal / Fortuna area to explore the rainforests. It is about a 3 hr drive away & there are day excursions available.

We really enjoyed a 2h river cruise on the Rio Frio which took us to the Nicaragua border. We got to see howler monkeys, sloths, and plenty of bird life on this.

Also don't miss the Mistico Hanging Bridges. We walked a 2-3 mile loop through the jungle here over 5-6 bridges and all loved it.

[www.tripadvisor.com]
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: January 19, 2017 07:59PM
Quote
rgG
Quote
Racer X
Have her wear a very skimpy bikini, and post lots of pics for us. That's my advice.

Why am I not surprised. LOL

Hey, sound advice is sound advice. thumbs up



It is what it is.
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: rgG
Date: January 19, 2017 08:58PM
Quote
bhaveshp
Also wanted to add.. Guanacaste is the dry/hot region of CR. Try to head over to the Arenal / Fortuna area to explore the rainforests. It is about a 3 hr drive away & there are day excursions available.

We really enjoyed a 2h river cruise on the Rio Frio which took us to the Nicaragua border. We got to see howler monkeys, sloths, and plenty of bird life on this.

Also don't miss the Mistico Hanging Bridges. We walked a 2-3 mile loop through the jungle here over 5-6 bridges and all loved it.

[www.tripadvisor.com]

Thanks! I think I saw something about the hanging bridges. I will check them out more carefully.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: DavidS
Date: January 19, 2017 10:29PM
I second the vote for Arenal area. My wife and I went there for our Anniversary 3 years ago. They is a great zip-line/hanging bridge park there. Great views of the volcano.

[skyadventures.travel]
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: datbeme
Date: January 19, 2017 10:59PM
May be too late to apply, but I opened up a Capital One online bank account a few years back before going to Italy as there were no surcharges for international withdrawals (and there are also no fees for using a Capital One Visa). Not sure if this is still the case, so I recommend you verify this.

It actually took several weeks to receive our ATM cards, and they did not arrive in time (they came while we were on our trip). But we did use them in Costa Rica last year to withdraw cash from a bank ATM on a couple of occasions, and there were were no extra charges that I could decipher.

I recommend downloading a currency conversion app because the relationship of colones to dollars is hard to grasp—roughly 550:1. So if the two of you go out to dinner someplace nice, expect to pay about 50,000-75,000 colones.confused smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/19/2017 11:02PM by datbeme.
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 20, 2017 12:57AM
or about 5 billion WWII French francs. You know, he aluminum coins not even worth their weight in aluminum.
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: January 20, 2017 01:28AM
Quote
Ombligo
I cannot speak directly to Costa Rica.

No, but you can speak directly to Sweden:

[theswedishnumber.com]
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: January 20, 2017 06:48AM
"THE SWEDISH NUMBER IS NOW CLOSED."

I'm guessing the telemarketers got ahold of it.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias

The German word for contraceptive is “Schwangerschaftsverhütungsmittel”. By the time you finished saying that, it’s too late
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: January 20, 2017 07:24AM
If I had it to do over again, I'd spend my entire trip in Puerta Viejo. I stayed at Cashew Hill Jungle Lodge/Resort. The town is awesome and the owners organized excursions to a gorgeous waterfall, saw some cool butterflies, and the beaches were nice as well. The residents all look like Caribbean super models. It was strange. We spent a few days in Arenal as well. That was nice too. Got to explore some cool caves there.



**************************************
MacResource User Map: [www.zeemaps.com]#
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: rgG
Date: January 20, 2017 08:07AM
Thanks for all the info so far!





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: billb
Date: January 20, 2017 08:18AM
We also were in the San Jose. Visited the Doka coffee plantation and Volcan Irazu and some famous Lake vacation spot ..

Have a great tie.



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The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: January 20, 2017 12:25PM
Quote
Ombligo
"THE SWEDISH NUMBER IS NOW CLOSED."

I'm guessing the telemarketers got ahold of it.

Damn. I hate when that happens.
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: pdq
Date: January 20, 2017 04:26PM
Quote
Racer X
Check any credit cards you have and find which has the lowest foreign exchange rate while traveling. I always used my credit union debit card and get good exchange rates at real bank's cash machines. My CU refunds transaction fees, up to 6 a month.

^ This. You'll prolly get your best exchange that way, just out of an ATM.

We loved our week on Tamarindo. You're going AI, but there's also lots of nice little restaurants up and down the beach.

Pura Vida!
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Re: Tips for trip to Costa Rica?
Posted by: davester
Date: January 20, 2017 05:36PM
I would highly recommend a trip to the Arenal and Monteverde areas. Quite a trek, but oh so worth it. I'd suggest a day at each. When we went we stayed in the volcano observatory, which actually is a very nice hotel...see if you can get a tour that stays there. Nothing beats swimming in a pool with a view of an erupting live volcano! There are also a bunch of zipline places on the flanks of the volcano. They had great guided hikes from the observatory too. The cloud forest in the Monteverde area is incredibly beautiful. Best enjoyed when you pay for a guide who can show you the wildlife.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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