Hogville Info
• 10,748,772 Posts
• 420,056 Topics
• 24,696 Hogvillians
THE RULES (Read 'em!)
Quick Links
Pick'Ems:Football      Basketball      Baseball
Sister Sites:Gridiron HistoryFearless Friday
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Costa Rica this Winter  (Read 1253 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Oklahawg

  • Resident Optimistic Pragmatist
  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Hogvillian
  • *********
  • Total likes: 2425
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 34,519
  • Pop Music at It's Finest
Costa Rica this Winter
« on: October 05, 2019, 10:53:45 pm »

Traveling with Mrs. Hawg this January to Costa Rica.

She will have not come up with a workable plan to ditch my ass after 25 years, so I figure we should celebrate. Or, give her a remote location to hide the body.

Her request was someplace warm and someplace we might not go as a family (a college-age kiddo and a HS-age kiddo).

It was a coin flip, Belize and Costa Rica, and CR won.

Staying four nights in Tamarindo and two at Rio Perdido outside Bagaces. This is on the Pacific Coast side of the mountains. That means in January we get a "dry forest" experience - the foliage dries up until the rains return in April. Bagaces is closer to the mountains and we get to experience some of the inland waterfalls, etc.

Not sure we are close enough for a day trip to the cloud/rain forest. Its winter, so we want sun/warmth first! Flying in/out of Liberia.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Ugly Uncle

  • President and life time member of the Hobby Shop.
  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Hogvillian
  • *********
  • Total likes: 346
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 15,874
  • SPORTS HAS NEVER BEEN SO UGLY!
    • facebook.com/uglyuncle.
Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2019, 11:24:14 pm »

I haven’t been to CR, but I’ve been to just about everything around it.  Everyone tells me it is the jewel in the crown of C.A. 

Let me know how it goes.  I usually go to Belize every chance I get, but I would love to visit CR as well.
Logged

Sponsored Ad



Hogville encourages you to do business with the following...

kodiakisland

Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2019, 06:16:09 pm »

Tamarindo is a cool place to spend a week.  You are definitely close enough to do jungle tours.  I like flying into Liberia as opposed to San Jose, but the drive down to Tamarindo can be an adventure. 
Logged

Oklahawg

  • Resident Optimistic Pragmatist
  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Hogvillian
  • *********
  • Total likes: 2425
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 34,519
  • Pop Music at It's Finest
Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2019, 03:52:12 pm »

Tamarindo is a cool place to spend a week.  You are definitely close enough to do jungle tours.  I like flying into Liberia as opposed to San Jose, but the drive down to Tamarindo can be an adventure. 

Yeah, I've seen several posts on message boards about, "hire a driver the first time until you have an idea about what driving 'in country' is really like."

As I understand it, Tamarindo is nicknamed "Tamagringo" to pay homage to the number of Americans who frequent, or live, there. Supposedly, the least "off the grid" place in CR. That region of CR is the best for surfing - too bad I don't surf. The Eastern shore is much more remote and serene - more about sitting on a beach and hanging out.
Logged

Cotton

  • All-American Hogvillian
  • *******
  • Total likes: 803
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 3,117
  • I like my women like I like my coffee, Colombian.
Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2019, 03:58:40 pm »

Volcan Arenal and the hot spring waters at the nearby resorts is very nice.  The monteverde Cloud Forest region is very nice also for some non-beach related things to do.

Beach wise, I would stay on the Pacific Coast.  Jaco isn't far from San Jose and has great serving and life.  A little further south Nerja is a nice small town with the Manuel Antonio National Reserve nearby, great rain forest trails leading down to natural beaches. 
Logged

onebadrubi

  • Gold Hogvillian
  • *********
  • Total likes: 2442
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 21,717
  • Surfing the web at Hogville.net
Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2019, 08:43:05 am »

Anyone have any safety concerns with Costa Rica?
Logged

kodiakisland

Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2019, 12:42:03 pm »

Anyone have any safety concerns with Costa Rica?

No. Like anywhere, use common sense. Don’t be where you know you shouldn’t be,
Logged

grayhawg

Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2019, 04:36:47 pm »

Traveling with Mrs. Hawg this January to Costa Rica.

She will have not come up with a workable plan to ditch my ass after 25 years, so I figure we should celebrate. Or, give her a remote location to hide the body.

Her request was someplace warm and someplace we might not go as a family (a college-age kiddo and a HS-age kiddo).

It was a coin flip, Belize and Costa Rica, and CR won.

Staying four nights in Tamarindo and two at Rio Perdido outside Bagaces. This is on the Pacific Coast side of the mountains. That means in January we get a "dry forest" experience - the foliage dries up until the rains return in April. Bagaces is closer to the mountains and we get to experience some of the inland waterfalls, etc.

Not sure we are close enough for a day trip to the cloud/rain forest. Its winter, so we want sun/warmth first! Flying in/out of Liberia.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
She remembers that's where Jurassic Park's at, won't have to bury the body.

grayhawg

Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2019, 04:48:01 pm »

She remembers that's where Jurassic Park's at, won't have to bury the body.
Just razzing a little, y'all have a great time
Logged

Oklahawg

  • Resident Optimistic Pragmatist
  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Hogvillian
  • *********
  • Total likes: 2425
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 34,519
  • Pop Music at It's Finest
Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2019, 02:26:39 pm »

Just razzing a little, y'all have a great time

Oh, I love it! I worry my sister will meet her there to help make sure the TRex takes care of me.
Logged

HangTenHog

  • Senior
  • *****
  • Total likes: 34
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,307
  • One of the greatest razorbacks EVER!
Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2019, 09:26:01 am »

Anyone have any safety concerns with Costa Rica?

Costa Rica can sure be fun. You do need some caution at times though. First caution is when hiking, try to stay on established trails. There are some nasty poisonous snakes. They’ll leave you alone as they’d rather eat lizards and mice. Just watch where you put your feet and hands. Or, as my Dr brother said as we almost fell onto a pit viper, “You usually have roughly four hours to get treatment!”  That didn’t make me feel any better. But, awesome hiking. Just be aware of surroundings and don’t get sidetracked by the monkeys.

Other tip, make sure you have your passports when driving around. The Costa Rican version of the speed trap is a couple of officers on the side of the road, pulling you over if you look like a tourist. If you don’t have your passports, you can get fined and even hauled into the station. We figured it helped pay the cops salary. Anyway, when this happened to us near the Arenal Volcano, we were thankful that we had a prior heads-up and had our passports.

The highlights for us included the hiking around Arenal and the warm water. We were on the pacific side at Papgayo.
Logged

Cotton

  • All-American Hogvillian
  • *******
  • Total likes: 803
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 3,117
  • I like my women like I like my coffee, Colombian.
Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2019, 12:09:58 pm »

Costa Rica can sure be fun. You do need some caution at times though. First caution is when hiking, try to stay on established trails. There are some nasty poisonous snakes. They’ll leave you alone as they’d rather eat lizards and mice. Just watch where you put your feet and hands. Or, as my Dr brother said as we almost fell onto a pit viper, “You usually have roughly four hours to get treatment!”  That didn’t make me feel any better. But, awesome hiking. Just be aware of surroundings and don’t get sidetracked by the monkeys.

Other tip, make sure you have your passports when driving around. The Costa Rican version of the speed trap is a couple of officers on the side of the road, pulling you over if you look like a tourist. If you don’t have your passports, you can get fined and even hauled into the station. We figured it helped pay the cops salary. Anyway, when this happened to us near the Arenal Volcano, we were thankful that we had a prior heads-up and had our passports.

The highlights for us included the hiking around Arenal and the warm water. We were on the pacific side at Papgayo.
Yeah we went on a night hike through the cloud forest in Monteverde in there was a Viper on a tree just on the side of a trail...

We didn't get to see the Pumas they had seen the night before though.
Logged

Oklahawg

  • Resident Optimistic Pragmatist
  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Hogvillian
  • *********
  • Total likes: 2425
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 34,519
  • Pop Music at It's Finest
Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2020, 02:02:41 am »

Great trip! Open-air everything the entire trip - no need for front doors.

Four nights in Tamarindo at Jarden del Eden Boutique Hotel (affiliated with Tamarindo Diria resort) was amazing. Easily can see why it is a top 100 beach hotel, world-wide. Outstanding breakfast buffet featuring lots of local dishes and fresh items. Fixed menu dinner was anywhere from solid to spectacular (when you only have two meal options any picky-ness on the part of diners and you get a less-than-perfect meal experience).

The resort has a private walk-way that provides easy access to the main street through town (conveniently located across the street from a private beach-front access area). Beach is amazing. You can swim, sun, or surf. Lots of action on the beach as it is not private, but we were safe and secure.

Area outside the private walk-way had tons of shops and restaurant options for mid-day food or souvenirs.

We booked Pacific Coast Dive Tours for snorkeling. Seas were rough which meant the snorkeling was not the tame event I was expecting after doing it in Cancun and the Bahamas. There were scuba divers on our tour also, so the crew ably tended to both. Beautiful set up - two dives/snorkeling sessions on either side of a brief refreshment as we went from one spot to another.

The highlight for us was Black Stallion Hills for horseback riding, ziplining, and a fantastic BBQ dinner. Alex is an ex-patriot from South Africa who has the perfect personality to host. I felt like I made a new friend over the 5-6 hours we were there. Horseback ride was low and slow with plenty of opportunity to view flora and fauna. We stopped on a hill on the west side of the property that provides a distant view of the Tamarindo ocean and a nice view to the West/Southwest in general.  Ziplining was amazing - 9 lines set up in succession with expert help. The first took us straight into the sunset which was totally amazing. The food was scrumptious - BBQ meats (think Brazilian BBQ with a little bit of everything) and traditional CR side dishes plus some more familiar BBQ side dishes. Again, a must-do if in the Tamarindo area.

We spent our final two days at Rio Perdido. It is in the foothills of one of the big volcanoes (Tenorio, I think) - our driver said it was about another 25 minutes to get to the base of the volcano. Rio Perdido features a thermal spa river - spring-fed pools in the river are heated by the volcano to a cozy 102, or so. You are in a ravine, maybe 125 feet from the "level of the resort" itself, but it is a well-crafted path. Later, we enjoyed a morning hike to the highest vista on the property which provided great views of three of the 5 volcanoes that define CR. They were already shrouded in clouds. Beautiful scenery from a vantage about 300 feet (maybe more) above the resort. The resort itself featured amazing food (5-star, for sure) for every offering and a swim-up bar plus two other pools (one heated). Yoga, bike trails, more robust hiking, white water rafting, and a limited zip-line set up (5 lines, but required some work to get to them) meant it could be an outdoor adventure or a spa retreat.

Tamarindo is heavily influenced by ex-patriots. English is commonly spoken and there is even a Subway restaurant. You feel in a city even though it is not all that big. Rio Perdido is in the middle of nowhere. Bagaces (20 minutes south of Liberia on the Pan-American Highway, the only 4-lane road we saw all week) is the closet "city" to Rio Perdido and is home to about 8500. The closet village to Rio Perdido is Fortuna, a hamlet of a few hundred. At sunset I could not find a single human light not affiliated with the resort. I was able to view several dozen stars from the restaurant while eating - no light pollution problem.

During the day, we could watch thick clouds roll off the volcanoes and slowly evaporate as they moved SW. The breeze was always refreshing and despite the 85-88 degree temperatures we were never hot. OF course, the lows were noteworthy: 72 at Rio Perdido and 80 at Tamarindo. The lack of fluctuation meant I didn't ever feel like I wanted a jacket. I might have broken a sweat hiking up the vista or down to the thermal spa pools but that was more about the hike than it was the heat.

Most of the employeees we encountered at any location were bi-lingual, or at least able to work with my very limited Spanish. We used American dollars for tips and our credit cards for purchases, exclusively.

Shorts and tshirts were not uncommon at either restaurant, but nicely attired gentlemen had golf shorts and polo shirts. I don't believe I saw slacks but I might have, and dress shoes were missing throughout the week. Evening meals at both locations (and the BBQ, and a beachfront restaurant where we took in the sunset one night) are not quick events. You can easily spend 2 hours at a meal, and we routinely were at our table 90 minutes. You have to request the check as they consider it offensive to hand it to you in case you wish to hang out and talk. We were so full and tired from the days activities (amazing how lying pool side can make you tired) that we didn't hang out too much.

No American beer, sodas, or wines that I saw. Maybe Coke or Sprite as a mixer? The local 7- and 25-year rum was outstanding, but I'm not a rum connoisseur. It was pineapple, watermelon, and cantaloupe season, and mangos were hitting peak ripeness in another week. Sugar cane was being harvested on the trip from Liberia's airport to Tamarindo.

The Liberia airport houses 8 gates and was packed when we left today (Saturday the 11th). They only recently (6-8 years ago) built that airport, having before used a giant "shed" that looked like it might be out of Green Acres TV show. Customs was easy. The gauntlet of taxis and drivers was intimidating but our driver had our name on a board and we found him after a short bit of confusion (about 200 drivers or driver-wannabees standing around trying to get your business). Roads are a trip - speed limits and passing zones (if marked) are merely suggestions. I recommend private travel as the curvy roads and a full van could lead to car sickness for even the hardiest of souls.

We tanned/burned quickly! You are very close to the equator and even though I was prepared to lube up quickly I still burned a bit. Water is not universally distilled so be sure to ask. We found on the 3rd night a liquor store around the corner from the beach gate and started buying bottled water at a much cheaper rate than it was sold at the hotel. Rio Perdido provided fresh, distilled water 24/7, which was nice.

The Tamarindo area is proud of the fact they have (largely) avoided the mega-hotels that are found up north (the Dreams resorts are 200+ rooms each, I believe). Our hotels had 40 (Jarden del Eden) and 26 (Rio Perdido). Note that Rio Perdido's are cabins out in the middle of the forest, although you can easily see the cabins next to yours. They also have or are building canopy cabins so you are "up" to view things differently. That wouldn't interest me here and I don't know that the scenery would be that much better. Note: this is the dry season - it won't rain from Thanksgiving until April, and then rains almost daily otherwise. It is my understanding that the BBQ joint and some of Rio Perdido's features are not open during the rainy season - roads are too unpredictable or likely to be washed out.

Yes, I will go again. It was amazing.

Pura Vida, as they say.

Cotton

  • All-American Hogvillian
  • *******
  • Total likes: 803
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 3,117
  • I like my women like I like my coffee, Colombian.
Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2020, 08:59:17 am »

Glad you enjoyed it Okla. I have such great memories of the month I spent down there. Hoping to take a delayed honey moon trip down there if I can talk the wife out of Europe.

Oklahawg

  • Resident Optimistic Pragmatist
  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Hogvillian
  • *********
  • Total likes: 2425
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 34,519
  • Pop Music at It's Finest
Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2020, 10:47:46 pm »

Glad you enjoyed it Okla. I have such great memories of the month I spent down there. Hoping to take a delayed honey moon trip down there if I can talk the wife out of Europe.

I can't fathom Europe being anything compared to CR. Maybe coastal Italy because I'm a foodie.
Logged

thebignasty

  • Hall of Fame Hogvillian
  • *******
  • Total likes: 2900
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12,768
  • This one goes to 11.
Re: Costa Rica this Winter
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2020, 07:26:18 pm »

I can't fathom Europe being anything compared to CR. Maybe coastal Italy because I'm a foodie.
We have talked a bit about either the Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre. Really gorgeous, world class food.   
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 

KARK
KWNA
Fox 16 Arkansas