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Aayush from Boston asked

1 week vacation around the caribbean coast of Costa Rica

Me and my friends are planning a trip to the Caribbean coast for a week. We are a group of 8 - 10, all in our late 20s (guys and girls) and are looking to explore the wildlife, do some outdoor activities and relax on beaches. I'd appreciate if you could help me with a few things to start with;

  • Destinations to cover (and in what order): Which city should be land into and places we should cover in 5 -7 days? From the little information I have gathered, we are probably looking at the following places: Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, Cocles, Punta Uva and Manzanillo
  • Stay: We would like to avoid high end hotels and hotels in general unless they are the only safe option around. Are there any other form of housing that you recommend?
  • Logistics: What is the best mode of transport? Is renting a car a good idea or we rely on public transport/ cabs, etc.?

Costa Rica   Cahuita   Puerto Viejo de Talamanca   Punta Uva   Manzanillo

1 Answer
answered first by
Rocio from Costa Rica

Hello Aayush! First of all, Happy New Year!

The Caribbean side of Costa Rica is beautiful and famous for its dense forests that give sanctuary to the region's diverse flora and fauna. I would suggest that you land at the Juan Santamaria International airport located in Alajuelaand rent a car to drive up to Limon. All the beaches that you mentioned are one of a kind.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca prides itself as the best surfing spot on Costa Rica's Caribbean.  Let me add to the list  these amazing places that you must visit: Tortuguero National Park, Gandoca Manzanillo, Sloth Sanctuary and Pacuare River.  I highly recommend that you guys stay in a hotel. I would say it is safer. A few that I have stayed in the past are: Hotel Maribu Caribe, Hotel Cariblue, Pacuare River,Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, and my favorite  spot ever, Almonds and Corals Hotel, nestled amongst the exuberant jungle of Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge.

Hope this helps!

Comments (2)

Hi Rocio, Thanks for the suggestions! While we are in Limon, do you recommend we do a day tour with a local tour company? I see a lot of them putting ads on Tripadvisor. By reading through some of the posts, I believe tourists who arrive in CR via cruise tend to do these 1-3 day tours while their ship is docked.

Hi! A guide is always helpful for not wasting time however just be sure to let him know the exact places you want to visit. In my opinion, Limon downtown does not have a lot to offer therefore concentrate yourselves on visiting the beaches or spots we mentioned before as they are the best! Let me know if you need further assistance while in CR. Good luck and enjoy the ride!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Costa Rica (attraction)
  2. Alajuela (city)
  3. Limon (attraction)
  4. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (city)
  5. Tortuguero National Park (attraction)
  6. Gandoca Manzanillo (attraction)
  7. Sloth Sanctuary (attraction)
  8. Pacuare River (attraction)
  9. Hotel Cariblue (hotel)
  10. Pacuare River (attraction)
  11. Almonds and Corals Hotel (hotel)
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