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Heading back down over Christmas to surf south of Quepos and in the Golfo.

Any recommendations on a decent town to stay the first night we get in between San Jose and MA. Flight gets in around 4 and I'd rather not be driving late with Ticos out shit hammered for Christmas. And fuck staying in San Jose.

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6 minutes ago, Born to Run said:

Heading back down over Christmas to surf south of Quepos and in the Golfo.

Any recommendations on a decent town to stay the first night we get in between San Jose and MA. Flight gets in around 4 and I'd rather not be driving late with Ticos out shit hammered for Christmas. And fuck staying in San Jose.

By the time you get thru customs and claim the boards and get a car it will be dark. I drive down there but not at night. 
 

There is a Hampton, Holiday Express, and Marriott by the airport. I have stayed at all and all are good. Also airport is your side of town so if you leave next morning you will avoid driving thru town. 

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Heading to CR in late May or early June. Group of at least 10. Where should we go? Don’t necessarily need All-Inclusive unless it’s the best place to be. We will want night life near by. Beach as well. All coming from Austin. Tulemar looks awesome but I haven’t done a great deal of research on where to fly into and stay. Everyone is turning 40 so spending money won’t be an issue. We are gonna live it up.

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22 hours ago, Shaddie said:

By the time you get thru customs and claim the boards and get a car it will be dark. I drive down there but not at night. 
 

There is a Hampton, Holiday Express, and Marriott by the airport. I have stayed at all and all are good. Also airport is your side of town so if you leave next morning you will avoid driving thru town. 

Yeah, if you’re not going to drive all the way to the beach I’d just stay right there at the airport. There’s really nothing on the road worth a shit unless you go at least to los suenos/Jaco, and once there you might as well just go all the way to MA. 

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By the time you get thru customs and claim the boards and get a car it will be dark. I drive down there but not at night. 

 

There is a Hampton, Holiday Express, and Marriott by the airport. I have stayed at all and all are good. Also airport is your side of town so if you leave next morning you will avoid driving thru town. 

I think 4pm is early enough to make that run but some of those drop offs are no joke. I wouldn't do it. I just grab a cheap place near by like the others have said have a few beers. Or hit the hard Rock and gamble

 

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Spent multiple nights in Jaco and Tamarindo.  Both are fairly tame but have good bars. Both towns are walkable. 

I stayed in San Jose for a week last year for work and really had a great time. Stayed in a nice hotel down near Will Craft Beer and there were tons of cool places all within a few blocks of each other. If you end up in San Jose for a night, you can always uber to that area. 

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We don’t need crazy nightlife, just to be able to hit a fun bar or two. 
Well then stay at the top of the hill in between MA and Quepos. Lots of chill little bars up there.

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On 12/2/2019 at 3:45 PM, Revolution512 said:

Heading to CR in late May or early June. Group of at least 10. Where should we go? Don’t necessarily need All-Inclusive unless it’s the best place to be. We will want night life near by. Beach as well. All coming from Austin. Tulemar looks awesome but I haven’t done a great deal of research on where to fly into and stay. Everyone is turning 40 so spending money won’t be an issue. We are gonna live it up.

 

16 hours ago, midtown said:
16 hours ago, Revolution512 said:
We don’t need crazy nightlife, just to be able to hit a fun bar or two. 

Well then stay at the top of the hill in between MA and Quepos. Lots of chill little bars up there.

You are going in the off-season. If y’all are the type that can bring your own fun then Manuel Antonio and Quepos have some cool little bars and restaurants. If you want to party and meet people go to Jaco. It’s really that simple. You can do the same activities from either place.

Edited by justhookit

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On 12/2/2019 at 1:45 PM, Revolution512 said:

Heading to CR in late May or early June. Group of at least 10. Where should we go? Don’t necessarily need All-Inclusive unless it’s the best place to be. We will want night life near by. Beach as well. All coming from Austin. Tulemar looks awesome but I haven’t done a great deal of research on where to fly into and stay. Everyone is turning 40 so spending money won’t be an issue. We are gonna live it up.

Tulemar fan here.  I'd think you can find plenty to do both on property  amongst yourselves and in town with regard to nightlife, especially considering/discounting the benefits of staying there....It's a beautiful place and if you aren't squeezing your dollars too tightly its worth it.

I doubt you'd be unhappy or feel like you were missing anything......and that beach is beautiful!

Flying into SJO and arranging for a van/mini-bus to Queposs/Tulemar is easy and you could get your party started on the way (and stop at a store en route to stock up on supplies).

It would also be pretty easy for the concierge to arrange for a dedicated van driver or two to haul you around at night if you gave them some notice.  I've found them very responsive to off the menu requests.

Would be a great trip.  Enjoy.

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Re: driving. I drove a rental car from central San Jose to Manuel Antonio and back to the SJO airport with no issues.  Also drove from San Jose to Arenal. Again, no problem.  It was a bit of a free-for-all in San Jose, but other than that, not much different from driving anywhere else. 

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I think 4pm is early enough to make that run but some of those drop offs are no joke. I wouldn't do it. I just grab a cheap place near by like the others have said have a few beers. Or hit the hard Rock and gamble  

Great advice all.

 

Customs is quick but the rental car places always take for fucking ever. No way I'm driving all the way to Jaco on Xmas day in the dark. To many people partying. Went past a fatality wreck last year just past Esterillos at a similar arrival time. Then saw a dead body on the way back. (Motorcycle tried to pass a truck.)

 

I've driven all over CR with no worries. But Christmas is a shitshow. Evening traffic is awful.

 

As much as it sucks, sounds like the airport is the prudent choice and I know the traffic gets worse as the day goes on during the Holidays with all the Ticos going to the beach..

 

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13 hours ago, AustinMT said:

Jaco?  Hope you don’t get rolled...

Did you?

my friends and I have spent a ton of time there without any issues. At night we stay there in the main part of town bar hopping. We don’t go trying to score drugs and we don’t go flashing money at the whorehouse. No problems. 

That said I agree it’s not as safe as Manuel Antonio but I wouldn’t call it bad either.

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Did you?
my friends and I have spent a ton of time there without any issues. At night we stay there in the main part of town bar hopping. We don’t go trying to score drugs and we don’t go flashing money at the whorehouse. No problems. 
That said I agree it’s not as safe as Manuel Antonio but I wouldn’t call it bad either.
Yep, have never had the spidey sense go off in CR.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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Have fun. Looks like an awesome house.

just a general FYI for those headed down soon. I’ve got family down there right now and the weather has been great. Fishing is a little slow but hopefully picks up by next month. My team is fishing the Rockstar tournament out of Quepos right now. Currently in 6th place out of 60 boats through a day and a half with 16 sailfish and 2 blue marlin.

I’m busy here in Texas with building a house but will try to sneak away and get down there around super bowl weekend.

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Debating a family trip due to some aggressive airfare deals. Is Costa Rica good with kids (4 to 9 years old)? If so, where should we go/do?

Edited by bigcigar

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Debating a family trip due to some aggressive airfare deals. Is Costa Rica good with kids (4 to 9 years old)? If so, where should we go/do?
You might be limited from some activities like white water rafting or atv tours etc but otherwise it's all good

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I’m going to Tulemar in a couple of months. How’s the Wi-Fi for streaming Netflix and such?  Also, is the food at the restaurant onsite pretty good or did you leave the property or cook to get most food?

I’ll hang up and listen. 

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We're about 70 days from our departure to Tulemar.  Final deposit due next Wednesday.  We are flying into San Jose then paying for a van/shuttle to take us to Tulemar.  We will be staying at a hotel in San Jose upon arrival (Sat) before heading for check-in Sunday.

Question - Cash for the van... American currency accepted?  Our concierge says "$180 cash for van."  

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We're about 70 days from our departure to Tulemar.  Final deposit due next Wednesday.  We are flying into San Jose then paying for a van/shuttle to take us to Tulemar.  We will be staying at a hotel in San Jose upon arrival (Sat) before heading for check-in Sunday.
Question - Cash for the van... American currency accepted?  Our concierge says "$180 cash for van."  
Dollars are accepted almost everywhere in CR. You might get Colones for change, though.

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1 minute ago, Chewbacca said:
6 minutes ago, ernest_t_bass said:
We're about 70 days from our departure to Tulemar.  Final deposit due next Wednesday.  We are flying into San Jose then paying for a van/shuttle to take us to Tulemar.  We will be staying at a hotel in San Jose upon arrival (Sat) before heading for check-in Sunday.
Question - Cash for the van... American currency accepted?  Our concierge says "$180 cash for van."  

Dollars are accepted almost everywhere in CR. You might get Colones for change, though.

Is the markup and conversion pretty good, or do they take advantage of you with your american dollars?  (first timer)

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Is the markup and conversion pretty good, or do they take advantage of you with your american dollars?  (first timer)
I don't think the exchange rates fluctuates much. Not a big issue. Use credit cards whenever possible.

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8 hours ago, ernest_t_bass said:

 

Question - Cash for the van... American currency accepted?  Our concierge says "$180 cash for van."  

Just book directly through Interbus and pay online.   Tip the guy and enjoy.  Interbus makes a stop halfway for restrooms, food, and a kick back for bringing tourists.  The coffee is good and the breakfast looks damn good. 

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8 hours ago, ernest_t_bass said:

Noted - Thank you.  Have two Visas and an AMEX.  Should I post the numbers here to see if they'll take them?

Looks like my trip is a little ahead of yours. Give me the cards and I’ll make sure they work, then I’ll give them back before you go. 

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I’m going to Tulemar in a couple of months. How’s the Wi-Fi for streaming Netflix and such?  Also, is the food at the restaurant onsite pretty good or did you leave the property or cook to get most food?
I’ll hang up and listen. 

Same question.

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On 1/13/2020 at 2:35 PM, bigcigar said:

Debating a family trip due to some aggressive airfare deals. Is Costa Rica good with kids (4 to 9 years old)? If so, where should we go/do?

Like midtown said your main issue is going to be that a 4 year old will restrict the outdoor activities you can do. I found this general guide for kids in CR https://costa-rica-guide.com/travel/family/age-appropriate-adventures/. You’ll want to go to Manuel Antonio for sure. Lots of great ideas in this thread.

 

On 1/13/2020 at 10:59 PM, ernest_t_bass said:

Noted - Thank you.  Have two Visas and an AMEX.  Should I post the numbers here to see if they'll take them?

On a serious note about bank cards, be sure to let your credit card/atm card companies know the dates you will be there otherwise they’ll get declined for fraud risk.

Edited by justhookit

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I'm intrigued by the Tulemar suggestions in this thread but seems like a trek from the airport.   For those that have been, what do you think is the minimum length of trip to make it worth your while (trip with my wife)?  I'm thinking probably at least 5 nights but I'm not sure we're going to be able to swing more than 4 so may need to hold off on this one..

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18 minutes ago, Skipper said:

I'm intrigued by the Tulemar suggestions in this thread but seems like a trek from the airport.   For those that have been, what do you think is the minimum length of trip to make it worth your while (trip with my wife)?  I'm thinking probably at least 5 nights but I'm not sure we're going to be able to swing more than 4 so may need to hold off on this one..

I'd say 4 or 5 nights.  It's not that bad getting there.  Direct flight from Houston to San Jose (maybe Dallas has one, too?) and then a shuttle to Tulemar.  You can pick up snacks and drinks on the way.

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It's the fact that it's a trek from the airport that keeps away the Vegas/Disney/Cancun crowd.

The only issue is that with a lot of airlines their flights leave early. Like 6am so you might have to come back to SJO the previous day. I know delta has a later flight.

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I just booked a house near the beach in Dominical. We usually stay at the Bali House in Manuel Antonio, but decided to branch out a little after our waterfall tour with Paddle 9 last time down there. They introduced us to playa Ventana—might be my most favorite place on the planet now. 
 

I figure that dominical is close enough to Quepos to do fishing, but also close to playa Ventana and Nauyaca waterfalls.  Those that know the area, am I calculating that correctly? 

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18 minutes ago, 4HE said:

I just booked a house near the beach in Dominical. We usually stay at the Bali House in Manuel Antonio, but decided to branch out a little after our waterfall tour with Paddle 9 last time down there. They introduced us to playa Ventana—might be my most favorite place on the planet now. 
 

I figure that dominical is close enough to Quepos to do fishing, but also close to playa Ventana and Nauyaca waterfalls.  Those that know the area, am I calculating that correctly? 

I love Playa Ventana.  Would like to spend more time there the next time we go down. 

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29 minutes ago, midtown said:

It's the fact that it's a trek from the airport that keeps away the Vegas/Disney/Cancun crowd.

The only issue is that with a lot of airlines their flights leave early. Like 6am so you might have to come back to SJO the previous day. I know delta has a later flight.

Fair point.

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Crap...I was going to go to Panama instead of CR this year but now this thread has me jonesing for the CR

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2 hours ago, Skipper said:

I'm intrigued by the Tulemar suggestions in this thread but seems like a trek from the airport.   For those that have been, what do you think is the minimum length of trip to make it worth your while (trip with my wife)?  I'm thinking probably at least 5 nights but I'm not sure we're going to be able to swing more than 4 so may need to hold off on this one..

It’s not that bad. 2.5-3 hours from SJO to Manuel Antonio in a private van. Cut it in half by stopping on Jaco for a meal and enjoy some adult beverages on your way down. I’m generally on the first plane out of IAH which gets me there about 11 in the morning or the next flight which gets you there about 2 hours later and still get to Quepos easily in time to catch the sunset (5:30ish). For the trip back you don’t need to go to San Jose the night before depending on the airline, see below

1 hour ago, midtown said:

It's the fact that it's a trek from the airport that keeps away the Vegas/Disney/Cancun crowd.

The only issue is that with a lot of airlines their flights leave early. Like 6am so you might have to come back to SJO the previous day. I know delta has a later flight.

United generally runs a 6am, 10 am, noon, and 2 pm return flight. Driver picks you up whenever you need so you still get a full day at the beach the day before. Heck I’ve had a driver pick me up at midnight, 2 am, 4 am - they will do whatever you need. I’ve never spent a night in San Jose before coming back.

Edited by justhookit

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But also your first instinct is right. Even 3 full days isn’t enough time to really enjoy it because there is so much to do. On the other hand if you’re just looking for a quick beach getaway for a fairly reasonable price, it’s doable.

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1 hour ago, justhookit said:

But also your first instinct is right. Even 3 full days isn’t enough time to really enjoy it because there is so much to do. On the other hand if you’re just looking for a quick beach getaway for a fairly reasonable price, it’s doable.

That's what I'm thinking.  It would be hard to be there and not want to fish and do the jungle experience etc. while of course also having plenty of beach time.   Think I probably need to save it for when we have more time (or when kids are a little older and bring them).

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7 minutes ago, midtown said:

Hook. Do you know South Texas Hookers?

A few. But no I don’t think so unless it’s a fishing operation down there.

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They are on the boat you always put me on so I thought maybe they were fishing that tournament.   I follow that outfitter on instagram.

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