Author Topic: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒  (Read 4144 times)

Offline Divora M

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Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« on: July 11, 2021, 11:07:35 PM »
We were trying to choose where we would go for our summer trip and Costa Rica sounded like the best option for us. We flew from ORD-IAH-LIR on UA and returned from LIR-EWR on UA. We went for 7 days and stayed in Playa del Coco which is in the Guanacaste Province. CR does not require COVID testing to enter the country but you must buy travel insurance that covers Covid, we used Trawick international which costed us $121 in total. I believe 24 hours before the flight you will get a health questionnaire which you can download the travel insurance pdf and they will provide you will a QR code to enter the country. We were 4 1/2 hours from Chabad of San Jose so we brought all our food with us frozen. We had a full kitchen so it was not a problem to cook. We rented a 7 seater 4x4 Montero from Avis for $199/week and I printed the travel insurance car rental coverage as well as my CSR liability coverage hoping that we could avoid the “mandatory” insurance CR has. Unfortunately I was not that lucky and had to pay an additional $225 for the week.

Sunday-Once we landed in LIR we proceeded to the line for customs which was at least 2 hours long but a very helpful airport worker showed us to the family line which had only two people in front of us :-) Once we got our luggage I saw the X-ray machines that we needed to put our bags and they could possibly confiscate all our meat and chicken. I separated the food between the different suitcases in hopes that if they catch one bag they will only get a small part of our food. We put the suitcases through and the security went and took off one of our first bags to check and as soon as she did that I was so relieved since the bag she took had only bread in it and I quickly told my DH to take the other bags and go while she was busy looking through it. We were on our way to the hotel an hour and a half later. Our hotel was only 30 min away from the airport so the kids dumped everything once we got into our Villa and jumped into the pool since it was really hot.



Monday-We needed to leave the hotel by 6:30 am since we were driving to Arenal which was 3 1/2 hours away for the day. I was very worried what the driving conditions would be like since I was warned many times how horrible it is. We had no problems at all driving anywhere and would definitely recommend it as opposed to taking tours. We started out by going tubing down the Arenal river which has level 2 & 3 rapids, it was perfect for our family which has kids ages 5, 8, 10 and 12. While we were getting the safety instructions one worker asked us if we wanted something to drink so we said yes and he climbed up the tree next to us grabbed a coconut and cut it with a machete and handed us our drink ;D We had two guides with us and they stopped at some point and provided us with some fresh fruit they cut up. My DD whose 8 tube flipped over during one of the rapids and instead of letting go of the handles on the tube she hung on upside down until the guide flipped her tube back over a minute or so later. She came up smiling so that was a relief.



After tubing we ate lunch in the car and drove another 45 minutes to PureTrek for repelling down waterfalls. We had to take two different vehicles to the waterfalls but it was really nice that we had our own private tour. The first waterfall we went down was 145 feet, you could barely see the people at the bottom. We were all pretty nervous to go but my DS10 went first and everyone followed including the 5 year old. It was truly the most exhilarating activity I have every done. The kind guide at the bottom of the rope liked to move the rope over the waterfall so you get a better experience….waterfalls at 145 feet are quite painful when ur directly under it. We went down 5 waterfalls plus the monkey drop with is a small zipline combined with a drop into a deep pool of water. The different views as ur repelling are really beautiful. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.




As we were driving back to our car the guide stopped so we could take a picture of the Arenal Volcano which is usually covered by clouds.




Tuesday- We had a private boat take us to different deserted beaches around the Gulf Of Papagayo and go snorkeling. We saw dolphins jumping out of the water as we went. Our captain noticed some monkeys on one deserted beach so we all jumped off the boat and swam to shore and there were around 10 capuchin monkeys hanging out. We fed them some apple slices and had a great time with them. We had to drag the kids away from the monkeys to go back on the boat. The snorkeling was really enjoyable as well since the water felt like it was 85 degrees and we saw lots of different types of fish. We had lunch on the boat and the captain cut up some fruit for us and a cooler of beer, soda and water. The kids also enjoyed jumping off the top railing of the boat into the ocean.













Once we were brought back to shore we walked along the boardwalk and had many people trying to sell us things. My DH was approached by a man who asked us if we wanted paddle boarding lessons for $15/hour and since we couldn’t do it in OGG because of the weather we thought it was be a good opportunity.




Wednesday- We drove to rincon de la vieja and went to the adventure park where my DH and kids went ziplining while I dealt with a small medical emergency (eye makeup remover can sometimes resemble contact solution….) once they were done with 11 lines including a Tarzan swing which they all enjoyed and my kids could not understand why the other adults who were also zip lining kept saying how scared they were…we had lunch and then went to the mud bath and hot springs. There were 8 hot spring pools with varying temperatures between 98 to 104. It was very serene and relaxing for our sore muscles. After we left the hot springs they have 4 waterfalls you can walk to which we did but we were to exhausted to go into them.






Thursday- We went to Palo Verde National Park and took a private boat tour of the river to see the different animals and nature. To get to the boat dock was pretty bumpy and we were very glad we had a 4x4 for it. Our boat driver did not speak much English but we communicated fine somehow. We saw crocodiles, baby crocodile, capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, type of shrimp that he caught, a whole swarm of multi colored grasshoppers, tons of huge lizards and two types of bats (I can’t remember their names). The boat driver let each of my kids drive the boat when we were going back to dock.













Friday- We took our Emed antigen COVID tests that I brought with us ($150 for 6) It was very easy to do and extremely convenient not having to go anywhere. It took 2 hours to complete all 6 tests (all negative BH). After that we went to a beach club nearby where we bought drinks and they have hammocks and couches by the beach. We all enjoyed the waves and the warm ocean water. We walked over to the boardwalk and was approached by a woman who braids hair so my girls got their hair braided while my sons were playing in the park nearby. We then walked to the souvenir shops and everybody choose what they wanted. My DH walked to the barbershop and got a haircut and shave for $10. We then bought some drinks and fruit from the local supermarket and went back to the hotel to get ready for shabbos.







Shabbos- We relaxed, took walks around the property and watched sunset over the ocean from the rooftop.

Sunday- We packed up and drove to the car rental return with no issues.

We had a great trip and would definitely recommend it to families with kids at least 5 years or older.

Offline Divora M

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2021, 11:08:55 PM »
Thank you @Kobe Bryant and @PBaruch for all your help with the trip planning!

Offline TimT

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2021, 11:40:29 PM »
Very nice TR. Thanks for taking the time. How much were the guides & private boat ?

Offline Divora M

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2021, 11:43:51 PM »
Very nice TR. Thanks for taking the time. How much were the guides & private boat ?

The beach hopping and snorkeling tour was $360 and the boat tour on Palo Verde river was $185 which included entry to the NP.

Offline YitzyS

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2021, 11:48:08 PM »
Brave (and cute) kids!
Monkeys don't fly unless you put them on airplanes

Offline elimmm

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2021, 01:25:49 AM »
Nice TR.
looks like lots of fun!

Offline tavster

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2021, 06:54:53 AM »
Nice TR - thanks for taking the time

Offline myb821

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2021, 09:01:25 AM »
Great TR. Any opniions on some activities with smaller kids? Also what hotel did you stay at?

Offline myb821

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2021, 09:12:36 AM »
The beach hopping and snorkeling tour was $360 and the boat tour on Palo Verde river was $185 which included entry to the NP.
Were these both private tours? Can you post their contact info?

Offline Divora M

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2021, 09:47:02 AM »
Great TR. Any opniions on some activities with smaller kids? Also what hotel did you stay at?

How old are your kids? We stayed at the Sapphire Residence.

Offline Divora M

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2021, 09:49:06 AM »
Were these both private tours? Can you post their contact info?

We booked the beach hopping and snorkeling tour with Marcy through mytanfeet website. The Palo Verde tour was booked directly at the NP when we arrived there.

Offline myb821

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2021, 10:29:49 AM »
How old are your kids? We stayed at the Sapphire Residence.
We are two families going together. Rentng an airbnb I think with 5 kids: infant, 3, 5, 6, 8. I know we wil be limited but we have 4-5 days to do stuff and plan on doing 2 maybe 3 days of stuff with the kids and then each couple taking a day without kids to do more adventurous activities.

Offline Divora M

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2021, 11:30:31 AM »
We are two families going together. Rentng an airbnb I think with 5 kids: infant, 3, 5, 6, 8. I know we wil be limited but we have 4-5 days to do stuff and plan on doing 2 maybe 3 days of stuff with the kids and then each couple taking a day without kids to do more adventurous activities.

the river boat tour can definitely be done with kids of all ages but you need to call them in advance to see if the boats are running because it all depends on if there is a high tide or not. I don’t know if I would recommend the beach hopping tour for an infant since he goes at pretty high speeds and it was very bumpy. What area is your Airbnb in? We enjoyed walking on the boardwalk of Playa del Coco and seeing all the local venders and stores. It was pretty difficult for me to find all the activities we wanted to do that allowed kids ages 5+. I don’t know how far you will be but Manuel Antonio NP would also be a good option for all of you.

Offline myb821

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2021, 11:59:02 AM »
the river boat tour can definitely be done with kids of all ages but you need to call them in advance to see if the boats are running because it all depends on if there is a high tide or not. I don’t know if I would recommend the beach hopping tour for an infant since he goes at pretty high speeds and it was very bumpy. What area is your Airbnb in? We enjoyed walking on the boardwalk of Playa del Coco and seeing all the local venders and stores. It was pretty difficult for me to find all the activities we wanted to do that allowed kids ages 5+. I don’t know how far you will be but Manuel Antonio NP would also be a good option for all of you.
We are staying in the same are as you, around coco beach

Offline Divora M

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2021, 12:31:28 PM »
We are staying in the same are as you, around coco beach

Nice! There is also the Diamonte Eco Adventure Park nearby that has some things for the little kids, I was told it is more like a zoo.

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2021, 09:55:32 PM »
Great trip - nice to see all the kids smiles.
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline Cat18

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2021, 11:56:17 PM »
We stayed at the Sapphire Residence.

@Divora M looks like an fun filled week.

is this the place you stayed at? what are your thoughts?
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/47028224?source_impression_id=p3_1630209200_hKaIDpN43C1ImhL0&guests=1&adults=1
« Last Edit: August 29, 2021, 01:54:49 AM by Cat18 »

Offline Cat18

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2021, 11:57:17 PM »
We are staying in the same are as you, around coco beach
@myb821 where did you end up staying? any safety concerns not being in an hotel/resort?
« Last Edit: August 29, 2021, 01:55:11 AM by Cat18 »

Offline Kobe Bryant

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2021, 06:41:49 AM »
Thank you @Kobe Bryant and @PBaruch for all your help with the trip planning!
You are welcome. Glad you enjoyed.

Great TR.

Offline Dan

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Re: Living the Good Life in Costa Rica 🐒
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2021, 09:18:21 PM »
Great TR!
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.