Hi everyone! Me and my boyfriend are going to costa rica for 25-30 days, from mid january to mid february. I need some help planning the trip. First thing to know is that we are backpackers going on our own. So lowbudget trip would be prefered. We land at san jose. We want to go to montezuma because of the fire poi school( my boyfriend is a jungler ). We are more nature people. We like the sea but we r'nt to much beachy. We would like to see at least one volcano but don t know wich one the best. Monteverde as well. Tortuguero, the region of uvita-dominical and corcovado, some waterfalls... And I want to see tons of animals. :). Love them. I need some information and ideas about where to start, how to go from point A to point B and how long to stay in each place. The second question is about money. Our currency is the euro. What should we do? And about corcovado, i'd like to pass from all or almost all range stations and do the biggest trails. St pedrillo to los patos, then sirena and then leona. Any tips? How long do i need? Next, the best for animal watching corcovado or manuel antonio? How much would it cost the final trip? I accept all kind of advices and anything you know. You will be like my agency. Hehe. :p Thanks in advance.
Hello Joana! I am so happy that you guys are planning to visit my beautiful country Costa Rica. After reading your note, I was about to suggest that you better land into Daniel Oduber International Airport as it will be closer to the places you want to visit. However, it seems to me that you already bought the tickets. Anyway, I will try to be concise but helpful with my answers. You wont need to spend a lot of time in San José, probably a day or so will be enough to visit the gems of the city such as our beautiful National Theatre of Costa Rica. Montezuma is a unique place. There is a direct, daily service between San Jose and Montezuma (Transportes Cobano, telephone # 26421112). The trip takes approx. 5 hours including 1.5 hour ferry ride from Puntarenas to Paquera. Bus terminal in San Jose is "Atlantico Norte" (This bus goes to Malpais,Playa Santa Teresa, Cóbano and Montezuma) By the way, these beaches are highly recommended. Not sure about hostels in Montezuma. However, a friend of mine recommended once "Hostel Pura Vida Montezuma". Cant recommend it therefore you better check it out on line. From here you can perfectly go to Monteverde Cloud Forest, one of my favorite places in Costa Rica. The easier way will be to rent a car (a 4x4) however if your budget is limited I would suggest that you take a bus to small city of Puntarenas and from there another bus to Monteverde. There is a road from here to San Carlos (Costa Rica) where the stunning Volcán Arenal and the termal/hot springs are located. I heard the other day that there is one hot spring that is free pass. It will easier for you (and closer as well) to travel to Limon from here, where Punta Uva, Cahuita and Tortuguero are located. If you love animals, don't miss Tortuguero. If you have time, go visit Sloth Sanctuary, there are guest rooms on site. These are the most amazing creatures on Earth, and this group is dedicated to rescue, rehabilitate, and research sloths and conserving the rainforest of Costa Rica. I would say that 2 wks will be enough to visit these places.
If you want to see tons of animals, Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park are the right places (Southwestern Costa Rica). I would recommend you take a bus back to San Jose since this peninsula is more remote and less developed than any other part of the country, (wildest and most spectacular region too), taking a plane (called Sansa) to Puerto Jimenez will be easier and faster. However, you can also catch a daily bus (Transportes Blanco, telephone 22574121, same terminal mentioned above). For low lodging rates, Find out on Cabinas Jimenez at Puerto Jimenez.
You better exchange at Banco Nacional de Costa Rica or Banco Central your euros for dollars and/or colones. There are plenty agencies in San Jose downtown (or at the airport). Careful with your belongings. San Jose is a "safe city" however there are always thieves around.
Well, I think I have covered almost everything. If you need further assistance, just let me know. Costa Ricans (called "ticos", are generally gentle, spirited, friendly, educated, and kink people. Most seem to like visitors from other countries, and treat them well. There are exceptions but on the whole, you can expect to be made welcome wherever you go. Enjoy the ride!
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