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Author Topic: Costa Rica Master Thread  (Read 55638 times)

Offline BrooklynCPA

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #45 on: January 03, 2013, 12:08:30 PM »
Any last minute suggestions for best way to spend 2 full days in Arenal and get the most out of it?

Offline alpicone

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2013, 02:07:40 PM »
Any last minute suggestions for best way to spend 2 full days in Arenal and get the most out of it?

How was your trip? Thinking about booking a trip to Costa Rica and wanted to get your feedback.
Thanks.

Offline Dan

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2013, 01:57:39 PM »
Any last minute suggestions for best way to spend 2 full days in Arenal and get the most out of it?
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.

Offline E

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2013, 02:10:20 PM »
Does anyone have any experience with bringing in meats, chicken, dairy..... I am getting mixed messages about what is allowed and have heard they can be strict and confiscate.....

If you've been been to Costa Rica please tell what you brought in. Also, I am flying into LIR and was told they can be stricter because its a small airport.
I flew into LIR with 3 huge boxes of food incl meats they took away a few things, but with a 20 "tip" they left most stuff.

Offline Yordai Dooma

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #49 on: April 10, 2013, 08:25:22 PM »

Offline robi

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #50 on: April 21, 2013, 01:05:06 AM »
Anyone stay in the Westin in guanacaste?
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Offline Moishebatchy

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #51 on: June 24, 2013, 03:29:46 AM »
Anyone stay in the Westin in guanacaste?

+1?

Costs a fortune in Starpoints, but can be had for $300-$350 per night. Is it worth it? I'm SPG Plat, if it makes a difference. And I'm probably revealing my blatant ignorance here, but... what does it mean that the Westin is an "all-inclusive resort"?

Someone we know stayed at the "Flamingo". Anyone know anything about that?

Are there any kosher food options within a reasonable distance of the west side of the country (i.e. where the Westin is)?

Finally, I'm not the type of guy who can pull off "tipping" a customs agent... What food is absolutely safe (from a legal standpoint) to bring in, even through LIR?

Offline BrooklynCPA

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #52 on: June 24, 2013, 12:58:51 PM »
I flew into LIR and brought in all types of food including chicken, Meats (labeled as chicken) and dairy without any issues even though it went through the X-ray machine. I also divided up the food and put it inconspicuously in my regular suitcases as opposed to bringing a separate box of food. To be safe I had someone write a formal letter from a Rabbi in Spanish saying that we had special kosher dietary needs and to please allow it in. Not sure if this would have helped but figured it can't hurt.

I originally had a reservation at the all-inclusive westin Guanacaste with cash (not worth the points) but decided against it because it seemed like a typical beachfront hotel that I can get at any Caribbean island. I wanted to get more of a feel for Costa Rica and split my time between Arenal and Manuel Antonio.
 
We drove about 3 hours to Arenal, a fairly easy drive.  Arenal is inland with the main highlight being the Volcano, Hot Springs, Zip lining, Rappelling and other outdoor activities. We stayed at Arenal Nayara Resort , http://www.arenalnayara.com/ , which was absolutely gorgeous and reasonably priced. It was voted as one of the most romantic hotels in the world and on top of the list for best hotel in Latin America. The most popular hotel there is Tabacon, http://www.tabacon.com/ . They have the best hot springs but I was not impressed with the hotel at all. The Springs Resort, http://www.thespringscostarica.com/ , is very high end and also has hot springs but  is very Disney like and expensive.
 
We then drove about 5 hours to Manuel Antonio which is a tropical beach town with many resorts and lots of monkeys and wildlife. We stayed at Parador Resort and Spa,  http://www.hotelparador.com/ . It was an older resort but we got a nice suite in a new building at a great price from Jetsetter.  The two best places I would recommend there are Arenas Del Mar, http://www.arenasdelmar.com/   or  renting a private bungalow at Tulemar resort, http://www.4tulemar.com/ . We went on a rafting trip and hiked the national park but mostly relaxed here.
 
We rented our band new 4x4 from Sixt at a much better rate than anyone else.  They are privately owned  but they honored my Platinum status. They only have one location in San Jose but sent someone to meet us at LIR, a 4 hour drive!   There are no real highways and the roads are mostly two way single lane streets similar to our country roads with lots of curves, hills and many single lane bridges. What would take one hour in the US on our highways can take 2 to 3 hours. But with common sense and a GPS it is not very difficult to get around.


« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 02:30:23 PM by BrooklynCPA »

Offline dimples

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #53 on: September 15, 2013, 06:54:30 PM »
Trying to plan my first trip to Costa Rica. Is a week and a 1/2 too long to be there? IE a monday thru the next thursday?
Does it make sense to fly into LIR and then make my way to SJO for the return trip?

Offline Fan of Dan

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #54 on: September 16, 2013, 05:32:29 PM »
A week and a half isn't way to long. Just a week is rushed and that makes sense. Flying into one airport and out the other can make sense, I did that in the reverse.

Offline lechaim2life

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #55 on: January 07, 2014, 01:58:35 AM »
Just booked Andaz Papagayo with Cash + Points (12,500 Hyatt + $150) for 1/19-1/23, got confirmed for a suite upgrade and it will count toward stays for Diamond Trial!

Besides relaxing, any recommendations on what to do (I am afraid of heights)? And anyone have an idea if bringing in frozen food to LIR is an issue?

Offline jj1000

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #56 on: January 11, 2014, 11:26:49 PM »
And anyone have an idea if bringing in frozen food to LIR is an issue?
+1 still haven't heard what their official policy is.
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Offline jj1000

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2014, 11:52:00 PM »
+1 still haven't heard what their official policy is.
Don't know the official policy but got 2 suitcases full of meat/chicken and fish today with no questions and it was declared.
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Offline beeweegee

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #58 on: January 20, 2014, 12:53:15 AM »
Don't know the official policy but got 2 suitcases full of meat/chicken and fish today with no questions and it was declared.
I declared meat there a few months ago and went through. They asked what kind of meat it was, and when I told them beef and chicken, they waived it right through.

Offline runnergirl

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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread
« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2014, 06:53:08 PM »
We didn't declare anything (meat and chicken was cooked). They thoroughly went through our bags but in the end, no problem. However, I did hear that someone on the next flight into Liberia got a lot of there food confiscated.