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10 days in Costa Rica


Thorn Tree Refugee
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  • Added on: January 18th, 2010
I'm planning a ten day trip to Costa Rica in a few months. I'm a 38 year old female traveling alone. Right now, my itinerary consists of flying in/out of San Jose, then going to Monteverde, Arenal, then to Tamarindo for some surfing lessons.

I want to stay in hostels to meet people (and keep costs low), but don't know if I have the patience for 20 year olds who party all night. Does anyone have any lodging recommendations for San Jose, Monteverde, and/or a town near Arenal? If they help arrange excursions too, that would be great!

As I'm in the early stages of planning, any Costa Rica recommendations are welcome!

Thank you!!


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Holds PhD in Packing
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Joined: March 12th, 2006
Location: Fairfax, Virginia

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  • Added on: January 27th, 2010
Sounds like a nice trip. I don't have any specific recommendations for accommodations, however based on what I remember from an 18 day trip in 2005, hostels and bungalows weren't too crazy.

I enjoyed the thermal spa pools/waterfalls near Arenal volcano. After enjoying them one night, I hung out at person's accommodation which had a view of the erupting volcano. We could literally see the red glow at the top - very cool.

What else? Montaverde Cloud Forest is amazing, and I loved the sleepy little Caribbean village of Cahuita, which sits adjacent a park and large (but dull) coral reef. I can almost hear the reggae playing...

Arenal volcano:

Oh, and there is a fun 30-foot waterfall you can jump off of near Montezuma on the Pacific coast.


Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: January 7th, 2010

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  • Added on: February 4th, 2010
A single girlfriend of mine traveled to Costa Rica last summer and rented a condo instead of staying at hostels or expensive hotels. She stayed at Casa Peces and wrote her review on this page: San Jose Vacation Rentals. You can read hers and others. Here are also some rentals in Monteverde. She really liked it because she met locals but still had some privacy.


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Joined: May 27th, 2001
Location: Vancouver, Canada

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  • Added on: February 6th, 2010
I stayed in a hostel in Fortuna in 2007, and although I can't remember the name it was very mellow.

Here in Tamarindo, I stayed in La Oveja Negra hostel for my first night and at 11:00 I was the only one attempting to sleep. My roomies came back at something like 3:30 in the morning and flipped all the lights on because they were drunk and couldn't find their beds in the dark. It's a party town, but I'm sure some places are mellower than others. La Botella de Leche looks more peaceful and is owned by the mother of the guy that co-owns La Oveja Negra.

I found the hostels too expensive for the noise and bed quality (they all suck... everywhere except the pricier hotels) so have hidden out in the cheap but spare Cabinas Rodamar across the street from Witch's Rock Surf Camp. $11/night for a no-frills two bed room with shower, but it's almost the size of the whole dorm room I stayed in at La Oveja Negra.

I'm here in Tamarindo until the end of March, so if you have any specific questions, just send me a private message (just so I notice it) and I'll be happy to try to get you the inside line.


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: February 9th, 2010

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  • Added on: February 10th, 2010
If you are at Witch's Rock Surf Camp in Tamarindo don't forget to try the "Nachos as big as your ass".

Not sure if you've booked your accommodation for Arenal yet, but Hotel Las Colinas in the middle of La Fortuna is a pretty nice spot (for a budget hotel). Rates run around $40 a night or so, which is pretty cheap for the area. Anything on the slopes of the volcano itself is going to be a lot pricier.

Have a great trip. We've been to Costa Rica twice now and can't wait to get back again.

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