Author Topic: Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.  (Read 8033 times)

Offline rcarentals

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 695
  • Total likes: 79
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
  • Location: US/Australia
  • Programs: Hertz 1# Plat, Sabre, Travel Agent
Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.
« on: August 21, 2023, 11:40:34 PM »
Entry through liberia was easy.
No one checked our suitcases (they passed through a scanner, but no one stopped us or anyone we saw).
We accidentally brought a bunch of things we probably couldn't have. Like pepper spray in my wife's water backpack as well as some forgotten food items in said backpack.

We got a cooler FULL of meat and cheese through.
A suitcase full of dry goods and snacks. Basically - we packed for 50% to be taken away... And it all got through.
We rented a car from economy. It was easy. Car was clean but it's worn down to the condition of 3/10. Maybe 2.
I won't use them again because of that. Otherwise they were fair, and we'll priced.

JW Marriott is very nice. It probably was once comparable with a four seasons, but it's lost a lot due to lack of perfect upkeep.
It's not neglected, but it's just not kept up to the 10/10 luxury scale you would expect. It's a regular 4-5 star upkeep. Not 5/5.
That said the grounds are impressive. The suite is fantastic and huge. They were willing to confirm the suite upgrade for 175 to a garden, or 200 for Ocean view. I'm staying on a travel agent rate, so they bumped that rate up $25 for either option. I took it. :)
It's definitely worth it.
The staff is pleasant. Pretty polished. Housekeeping was great. So far service is 5/5.

We went to diamante our first full day. It has zip lines and a wildlife conservation. My kids LOVED the wildlife. Very walkable, very kid friendly.. quite good quality experience as well. There was also a kids park they hung out at the end. All in all, definitely can recommend this. It's a Costa Rican zoo experience focused on Costa Rican animals. It's definitely hot, and had random 5 minute sputters of intense rain, but it was so hot.. it was kinda irrelevant ..
Diamante seems to be on every major list for activities in the guanacaste region. So, happy to make that data point.
Your kids will love it. It's a super cute and fun experience.
Highlights were the jaguars, spider and cupuccino monkeys, two toed sloths, and the butterfly garden. The boys also loved the abundant reptiles and crocodiles.
More to come.
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

Offline rcarentals

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 695
  • Total likes: 79
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
  • Location: US/Australia
  • Programs: Hertz 1# Plat, Sabre, Travel Agent
Re: Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2023, 11:48:45 PM »
Our hoard. And some of what we saw at Diamante.
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

Offline rcarentals

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 695
  • Total likes: 79
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
  • Location: US/Australia
  • Programs: Hertz 1# Plat, Sabre, Travel Agent
Re: Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2023, 11:55:19 PM »
JWmariott Guanacaste.
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

Offline rcarentals

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 695
  • Total likes: 79
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
  • Location: US/Australia
  • Programs: Hertz 1# Plat, Sabre, Travel Agent
Re: Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2023, 11:58:05 PM »
We made a quick stop at playa flamingo. The coast was gorgeous but a storm was passing so dark skies. The rea was also open to the public, vs for example the JW beach which is private.
There was a long enough stretch to find a private spot for sure. It is definitely a beautiful beach. Very easy to access.
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

Offline tzifanya54

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Posts: 5645
  • Total likes: 242
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
Re: Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2023, 01:52:12 AM »
Entry through liberia was easy.
No one checked our suitcases (they passed through a scanner, but no one stopped us or anyone we saw).
We accidentally brought a bunch of things we probably couldn't have. Like pepper spray in my wife's water backpack as well as some forgotten food items in said backpack.

We got a cooler FULL of meat and cheese through.
A suitcase full of dry goods and snacks. Basically - we packed for 50% to be taken away... And it all got through.
We rented a car from economy. It was easy. Car was clean but it's worn down to the condition of 3/10. Maybe 2.
I won't use them again because of that. Otherwise they were fair, and we'll priced.

JW Marriott is very nice. It probably was once comparable with a four seasons, but it's lost a lot due to lack of perfect upkeep.
It's not neglected, but it's just not kept up to the 10/10 luxury scale you would expect. It's a regular 4-5 star upkeep. Not 5/5.
That said the grounds are impressive. The suite is fantastic and huge. They were willing to confirm the suite upgrade for 175 to a garden, or 200 for Ocean view. I'm staying on a travel agent rate, so they bumped that rate up $25 for either option. I took it. :)
It's definitely worth it.
The staff is pleasant. Pretty polished. Housekeeping was great. So far service is 5/5.

We went to diamante our first full day. It has zip lines and a wildlife conservation. My kids LOVED the wildlife. Very walkable, very kid friendly.. quite good quality experience as well. There was also a kids park they hung out at the end. All in all, definitely can recommend this. It's a Costa Rican zoo experience focused on Costa Rican animals. It's definitely hot, and had random 5 minute sputters of intense rain, but it was so hot.. it was kinda irrelevant ..
Diamante seems to be on every major list for activities in the guanacaste region. So, happy to make that data point.
Your kids will love it. It's a super cute and fun experience.
Highlights were the jaguars, spider and cupuccino monkeys, two toed sloths, and the butterfly garden. The boys also loved the abundant reptiles and crocodiles.
More to come.
I had a very easy time in SJO as well 2 days ago. They opened the cooler bag poked around but everything was beef and USDA so bh no issues.

Offline ar

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2014
  • Posts: 520
  • Total likes: 20
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 3
    • View Profile
Re: Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2023, 08:54:03 AM »
I had a very easy time in SJO as well 2 days ago. They opened the cooler bag poked around but everything was beef and USDA so bh no issues.

Beef is allowed? I thought raw meat cannot be brought in?

Do you know if frozen travel meals are allowed in?

Offline rcarentals

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 695
  • Total likes: 79
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
  • Location: US/Australia
  • Programs: Hertz 1# Plat, Sabre, Travel Agent
Re: Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2023, 01:39:11 PM »
I had a very easy time in SJO as well 2 days ago. They opened the cooler bag poked around but everything was beef and USDA so bh no issues.
I've seen a lot of warnings about bringing in Pork. They are very concerned about swine flu, which apparently has large implications to their economy if there were an outbreak. So requiring USDA/sealed from the store products is an easy way to reduce the risk of it. You mentioned only beef, any reason to suspect chicken would be an issue?
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

Offline rcarentals

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 695
  • Total likes: 79
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
  • Location: US/Australia
  • Programs: Hertz 1# Plat, Sabre, Travel Agent
Re: Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2023, 01:58:43 PM »
On our second full day, we went to Las Pailas loop at Rincon de la Vieja.

 There are two payment places there: 800 colón (cash only) for anyone over 5, road toll (I had 4 and was meant to pay 3200, but the guy didn't have change, so he charged me 3000) and online-only tickets at the entrance to the hike. There is a QR code that brings you here: https://serviciosenlinea.sinac.go.cr/?indice=0
The hike is very well-marked, with lots of steps, but also a very good and paved path. It's not so hot, very shady, and the viewpoint stops, which are the highlights, are incredible. Each stop is basically a volcanic activity view, with steaming rocks, boiling mud pots, and bubbling, steaming water ponds – it's incredible. There are 5 spots in all.
The other highlight is the wildlife: monkeys, beautiful birds, and, if you're lucky, various other creatures.
There were a bunch of bridges over gushing streams of water that were also spectacular, and there's a tiny bit refreshing waterfall spot. The hike is an easy 1.5 to brisk 2.5 hours with long stops. There was an amazing waterfall nearby, a 0.8-mile roundtrip, but we skipped it because the kids were already tired. Older families can easily do it. Bring your bathing suits for a turquoise water waterfall swim.
We stopped again at Walmart to top up on some great value items, fruit, and snacks.

Pics below:
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

Offline tzifanya54

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Posts: 5645
  • Total likes: 242
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
Re: Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2023, 01:45:11 AM »
Beef is allowed? I thought raw meat cannot be brought in?

Do you know if frozen travel meals are allowed in?
They checked ingredients and usda logo, that’s it.

Offline rcarentals

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 695
  • Total likes: 79
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
  • Location: US/Australia
  • Programs: Hertz 1# Plat, Sabre, Travel Agent
Re: Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2023, 11:33:03 AM »
 the third day, we weren't particularly keen on embarking on another 3-hour drive (considering the 1-1.5-hour journey each way with kids, which can be quite tiring). So, we opted for some on-site activities instead. Interestingly, many people choose not to venture beyond the resort; they simply unwind for the entire week. My wife, an enthusiastic hiker, was excited to discover that the JW had trails ranging from 3 to 25 miles.We drove to Langosta Beach, a private beach close to JW. It's accessible to JW and Pinella guests, although there seemed to be a way for others to access it as well, though I'm unsure about the details. A 25-mile hike was available, but we decided to do an out-and-back hike of 1 hour each way. The experience was amazing; the forest was adorned with mushrooms, roots of various shapes and sizes, colorful flowers, and tall termite nests in the trees. Given that it rained for at least half of the hike, my kids confirmed it was indeed a rainforest. The rain provided some relief from the heat, and the shade of the trees lessened its intensity. The kids had a blast maneuvering around the large puddles. The trail was well-maintained, easy to follow, and generally served as a bike trail, with free bikes available at the hotel.At the outset, we encountered numerous red crabs—hundreds of them. The sight was truly incredible. Following the hike, we headed to Langosta to search for more crabs and shells on the beach. The kids also stumbled upon hermit crabs, which proved to be quite fascinating. These hermit crabs were rather timid, quickly retreating into their shells when approached. Often, you could pick them up, and they'd stay tucked within their shells. Occasionally, an active one would attempt a gentle pinch as if asking to be released. The kids found this pinch amusing; it was extremely mild and didn't deter them in the least. Even my one and two-year-olds found it funny. The shells we found on the beach were notably different, and we even stumbled upon some starfish fossils—a pretty cool discovery. Among other things, we spotted a row of mango trees and plucked a ripe mango. These mango trees are favorites of the local monkeys. While we heard some howler monkeys, we unfortunately didn't catch sight of any. Nevertheless, we did have the pleasure of spotting some incredible birds during our outing.
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)



Offline Shaya E

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Oct 2020
  • Posts: 488
  • Total likes: 198
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 3
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Brooklyn
Re: Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2024, 09:42:26 PM »
@Shaya E
What did you put these on?
Literally everything. From our cans of pickles to Gourmet Glatt Chummus to Gourmet Glatt frozen takeout meals. The only thing we were really worried about was the takeout meals though. And it worked!

Offline Cat18

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2016
  • Posts: 482
  • Total likes: 32
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Costa Rica - guanacaste trip.
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2024, 11:53:33 PM »
Literally everything. From our cans of pickles to Gourmet Glatt Chummus to Gourmet Glatt frozen takeout meals. The only thing we were really worried about was the takeout meals though. And it worked!
@Shaya E did you vacuum seal the meals/food stuff after applying the sticker or just left as is?