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Old 14 Aug 20, 08:21 AM  
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#11
Princess Alison
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Originally Posted by Olympiad View Post
Yes. We've been for 2 weeks in August and it was fantastic.

Unless you're planning on spending all the time on a beach trying to sunbathe I really wouldn't worry about it.

The weather is still (very) hot and humid and typically any rain will come mid to late afternoon and be intense but short (bit like Florida in the summer). For this reason if you're doing things like ziplining it is best to go in the morning. Rainforest trips etc all occur early in the morning usually as well to increase chances of seeing wildlife.

Of course there are always variations but out of the 2 weeks we were there (which we told was a typical August) it tended to be sunny or at least dry to mid/late afternoon, and some rain in the afternoon and then brightening again. I can't recall a single day where the rain interfered with our plans.
Did you plan your trip yourself or use a company to set out an itinerary? Also did you drive yourself or go with a tour or hire a driver?
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Old 14 Aug 20, 08:29 AM  
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We went 2nd - 24th July. It tends to be the driest month of their green season. They often get a couple of weeks they call 'little summer'.
Where are you going ? We travelled around visiting Arenal , Manuel Antonio, Tortugero, Drake bay, Uvita and Puerto Viejo. We got caught in a downpour once ( when we were walking in Rainmaker reserve ) we did have several heavy downpours , but they were almost always in the afternoon/ evening. And they don't last long - think Florida weather. Get all your activities done by mid afternoon and you'll be fine.
I'm envious. I was planning on going back to Costa rica next year in January, but can't bring myself to plan at the moment.
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Old 14 Aug 20, 10:36 AM  
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Originally Posted by Princess Alison View Post
Did you plan your trip yourself or use a company to set out an itinerary? Also did you drive yourself or go with a tour or hire a driver?
A little bit of both but if (when) we go again I'd do it all myself as the infrastructure is so well set up for it.

We booked our own flights (BA) and 1st night at the Hampton near the airport (free shuttle bus). For the next 6 nights we used Costa Rica Expeditions for a 3 night stay in Tortuguero and 3 nights in Monteverde (which included all transfers, hotel (inc food) and trips, then a drop off at our next chosen destination (Arenal).

In Arenal we had booked our hotel (Arenal Observatory Lodge) and arranged a few things like ziplining. Our final stay was in Manuel Antonio and we booked a transfer with the hotel, and again booked trips either ourselves or through the hotel.

I wouldn't hire a car - getting between places is easy, either via shared shuttles that run between all the main places, or a private shuttle (that makes sense if around 3 or more of you and means you pick the time and can ask to stop off on route).

You can book the shuttles and any excursions directly but we found it was no more expensive just to book via the hotel and felt we had more cover in the event of an issue e.g. the hotel as an interest in you actually getting there so makes sure the shuttle bus is on time etc. Most excursions generally also include a bus pick up to and from the hotel.

For the excursions into the rain/cloud forests use guides (these would be the typical ones youd buy anyway unless went totally independent) - so much will be missed otherwise. The only exception to this is Manuel Antonio park which tends to have so much easy to see wildlife and also lots of guided groups that you can easily see if they have stopped to see something.

If you don't want to book it yourself then still consider your own flights and using a local tour company in CR (with the COVID situation I'd be tempted to do something like book a fligbt and 1st 3 nights with BA so it is classed as a package holiday and you get extra protection).

Personally I'd avoid some of the holidays that I've seen TUI and First Choice offering as they tend to be up in the north west of the country and a long way from some of the main areas to visit but they work if people want a primarily beach holiday with an odd trip out.
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Old 14 Aug 20, 09:08 PM  
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Originally Posted by Princess Alison View Post
Did you plan your trip yourself or use a company to set out an itinerary? Also did you drive yourself or go with a tour or hire a driver?
You weren't asking me ( ) but I agree completely with Olympiad . I booked everything independently. Costa Rica is so well set up for tourism you really don't need a middleman. We stayed in a mix of b&bs , hotels and Airbnb's. We travelled by shared shuttle, private driver , boat and one internal flight. Costa rica is a small country but you really need to move around if you want to see the most wildlife or do different activities.
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Old 14 Aug 20, 11:51 PM  
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We are so boring, we have booked the Riu Palace all inclusive. I was kinda planning to slob out on the beach but our age range covers 4 in their sixties, 6 in their 40s, 2 in 20s, 2 teens and a 12, 9 and 6 year old so they want to do zip wire, ride horses etc.
We are sort of looking at Jamaica now, apparently we can easily change our booking.

Edited at 11:53 PM.
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Old 15 Aug 20, 09:06 PM  
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Originally Posted by Olympiad View Post
Hi - Costa Rica isn't considered a Caribbean country. It's part of Central America and is so far south below the path of hurricanes, that according to what we were told when there, a hurricane has never made land in CR.
I know where Costa Rica is (but I donít know anything about the climate), I was talking about the proposed swap to Jamaica
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Old 15 Aug 20, 09:10 PM  
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Originally Posted by EssexSue View Post
We are committed to school holidays unfortunately. We have been to the Caribbean in July before and it was more like Florida weather but storms all day and every day is a real worry. We thought the nearby forest/jungle was an amazing experience for the children but if we are confined to hotel it's a waste of money.
Iíd be pretty concerned about the weather in Jamaica in August. It might be amazing, but it might be terrible. Is there any scope for you looking at, say, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bali, Mauritius, Zanzibar, the Seychelles etc - basically flying the other way? Not sure of their climates, but one is surely bound to have decent weather in August.
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Old 15 Aug 20, 09:37 PM  
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Originally Posted by EssexSue View Post
We are so boring, we have booked the Riu Palace all inclusive. I was kinda planning to slob out on the beach but our age range covers 4 in their sixties, 6 in their 40s, 2 in 20s, 2 teens and a 12, 9 and 6 year old so they want to do zip wire, ride horses etc.
We are sort of looking at Jamaica now, apparently we can easily change our booking.
If you are wanting beach holiday with activities for younger ones then maybe another destination would suit better. Costa Rica is all about wildlife and activities, the beaches we saw were nice, but it isn't noted as a beach destination. And rain at some time of the afternoon or evening is almost guaranteed. We didn't visit the Guanacaste region , there wasn't much to interest us there. The Riu will obviously have onsite activities and I'm sure they run excursions to popular places like Arenal, but it will be a long day .
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Old 16 Aug 20, 04:43 PM  
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May I reccomend Aruba. ITs the the Caribbean but under the hurricane belt so is sunny all year round
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Old 16 Aug 20, 08:00 PM  
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Originally Posted by skalexander View Post
I donít know anything about Costa Rica, but isnít August peak hurricane season in the Caribbean? You might be better changing the dates than the destination, but I appreciate that might be impossible with so many people.
I think they sometimes start end of Aug but mainly start in Sept.
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