Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Costa Rica suggestions

So we're going to Costa Rica in February for a dear dear friend's wedding. Yay! International travel! Very exciting. The wedding is in Manuel Antonio, where I've actually spent a little time before, so during the week before the wedding we'd like to rent a house somewhere else and just relax on the beach as a family.

Our current, very loose plans are to spend that week in Montezuma. Has anyone been there? It's supposed to be a nice little hippie/surf/yoga town that meets all of our requirements. Ie. houses for rent, a beach, an organic cafe and plenty of Imperial beer. Bonus points for hikes to waterfalls close by. And perhaps most importantly, it's only a few hours from San Jose. We're trying to avoid long days in the car, especially because Costa Rican roads aren't the most reliable. From there it's only 3 or so more hours down to Manuel Antonio, which is definitely doable.

So what I'm asking is, do any of your have 1) other recommendations for towns that also meet our criteria and/or 2) if you've been to Montezuma do you have any recs if we do end up staying there? An excellent 2 bedroom house to rent would be an especially good tip. You guys always seem to come up with good advice.


Holly said...

that awesome! i went last summer to arenal, jaco and quepos. and even though quepos is where MA is, it was my fave and i wished we had more time there. i heard Montezuma is really americanized (think lots of roxy and quicksilver everywhere).
either way, the roads arent as bad as you are warned, you just cant drive super fast on them so it takes a little longer to get from here to there.

i would carve in more time of your trip to MA and quepos, since the beaches there are the BEST! they are private through MA, well maintained and just more private. and also the best coffee house was there, cafe milagro.

i would avoid JACO like the plague. just the exact opposite of what you are looking for.

kristina said...

Hey Holly! Thanks! I've been to all the places you mentioned also, (EEEW JACO, right there with you), and while my favorite place was actually the Caribbean side of the country, this trip, with a 1 year old, Americanized doesn't sound so bad!

And since I've already spent time in MA, I'm hoping to visit someplace new. Plus we'll be there for 4 days anyway for the wedding. Thank you so much for the coffee rec! Coffee is tres tres important when traveling.

allison said...

long time lurker, but couldn't not leave a comment.

montezuma is really beautiful. you always might want to consider santa teresa and mal pais to stay. both of those towns tend to have a tad more going on.

my bf and i traveled to montezuma two years ago. we stayed at amor de mar, which was really reasonably and beautiful, if not a little rustic. ammmmmazzzing breakfasts and right across the "street" from the trail to the waterfall.

do you know how you're planning to get from san jose to the nicoya area? the bus/ferry/bus combo might be a little trying with a one year old (he's super adorable). you can also rent a car to do the same trek, but could also look into flying nature air from the san jose area into tambor to cut the trip out/back.

one word of caution: we broke up the trip to montezuma with a night in puntarenas, which i would not recommend.

you're gonna have a lot of fun though :)

The French said...

Was in Montezuma about 7 years ago and had a great time. Kind of the 'Venice Beach' of that particular area. On our way there though, we stopped in Mal Pais (more 'Malibu'). Beautiful beaches, big surfing spot, more relaxing. We did more of the budget thing in Mont. and did it up a bit in Mal Pais. Stayed here ( Awesome!

Also, Sumara is beautiful as well. Halfway between Tamarindo and Mal Pais. One of our fave stops. Stayed at this really unique place called The Flying Crocodile. ( Houses an ultra light flying center and the personal flight over the beach is breathtaking. We stayed here longer than planned.

The Nicoya Peninsula was one of my fave parts about CR. Hence, I named my dog Nicoya. Never made it to Manuel which I hear is amazing. We did take a ferry over to Jaco which I believe is only a few hours drive north of Manuel. I agree about the Caribbean side. Loved it! Have a blast and please post about it. I love Co Ri! Pura Vida!

Johanna said...

Oooh, I love Costa Rica! We went there for our honeymoon. Manuel Antonio was my favorite, but I'd love to see the Caribbean side someday. I think a safe bet is Montezuma. I liked it here:

style-for-style said...

Love love love Montezuma, you can get a boat there from a tiny town just north of Jaco, you will see sting rays jumping, sea turtles, dolphins...and when we arrived the beach was covered in tiny purple urchin shells
really it is lovely.
The town is full of ex pats, and surfers, sure some of them are Americans, but it's still a very pura vida attitude (the national saying "the pure life")
The beaches are so amazing, you will see bonfires and hear reggae at night. There is an insane waterfall that you can hike to FOR FREE
I recommend staying at luz de mono, a quiet eco friendly place at the end of the road ask anyone they will know.It's tucket into the jungle and there are monkeys everywhere
there are porches and hammocks, and a lovely pool overlooking the ocean, but it's sooo cheap.

fawn & fern said...

When I visited Costa Rica, I stayed in the little Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo. It was absolutely charming & the food was delicious. It may be a far stretch though...being that it's on the other side of the country...but definitely worth a visit if you have never been! The people are the sweetest.

Erin said...

Hello! I have a friend who has a great home they rent out in Mal Pais Area. Here is the link. I can give you more info an pics if you'd like! Oh Costa Rica...:)

Taralyn said...

It probably doesn't quite fit your criteria, as it is a bit of a crazy 4-5 hour drive from San Jose, but Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula is breathtaking. It is a small, yet hip surfing town with amazing houses for rent. We stayed at a place called the March House over Christmas one year, and rented ATVs to travel all over the place. One of the National parks is very near by too, which has lots of hiking options. It is kind of popular with the celebs these days....I was kind of crushed to see that an episode of The Hills was filmed there...But that just means you can go down the street to one of the chic hotels to have a fantastic cocktail!

Anonymous said...

Visit Rancho Margot if you can, it's not far from San Jose. It's a self sustainable ranch with horseback riding, yoga, amazing hiking......this place will blow your mind. They raise their own everything, grow their own everything, produce their own natural gas and hydro electricity. You can volunteer in the garden, milk cows, assist with the animals or just chill and do yoga in an open-aired pavilion that is right near the river. It's nirvana. It sits in a canyon between the rainforest near Arenal volcano and lake. Can not say enough about it.

We skipped Montezuma in favor of Nosara and Playa Guiones. The Nosara yoga institute is pure bliss, overlooking the ocean in the forrest with monkeys jumping all around and the town is super awesome and funky with organic eats and surf hangouts. The beach is perfect here.

Ashley said...

This is a website that has homes for rent by the owners themselves. I linked the page that has homes in Montezuma...but you can go back one page if you change your mind about location!

Happy Hunting!

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