right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Active vacation tour to Costa Rica?

1214mom1214mom 4579 replies182 threads Senior Member
My son who was thinking of going to San Francisco is now thinking of Costa Rica, in late January or February. They would like to have an active vacation, probably with activities included in the price of the trip. Things like zip lining, white water rafting, hiking, etc appeal to them. Some history/culture would be OK, but more active things are preferred. They are looking for a spend no more than 6K for 2 people, including air fare from the east coast. They do not want the trip to be any longer than 10 days. Anyone have suggestions? I've sent them lots of links, but I have no personal experience in this area.
14 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Active vacation tour to Costa Rica?

  • busdriver11busdriver11 15265 replies28 threads Senior Member
    edited October 13
    A friend of mine and her husband did an REI adventure trip to Costa Rica and loved it. It only costs $20 for a lifetime REI membership, to get the member rate. Their trips do run on the more expensive side, because they are small groups with plenty of activities, however, they have a 6 day trip with a member rate of $2,799 in Feb. it probably includes the activities they are looking for, though with the airfare, it could exceed the 6K goal. I’ve always wanted to go on one of these trips, and if they haven’t considered this, they might want to take a look.

    https://www.rei.com/adventures/trips/latin/costa-rica-escape.html
    edited October 13
    · Reply · Share
  • busdriver11busdriver11 15265 replies28 threads Senior Member
    Now that I look at this again, I want to go! We were thinking of doing something tropical in February, and my husband mentioned Costa Rica.
    · Reply · Share
  • coralbrookcoralbrook 7867 replies25 threads Senior Member
    edited October 13
    Do they think they need a tour?? A guide?? Everything is cheaper if they do their own planning. I highly recommend Rio Pasquale for white water rafting. The price includes pick up and return to your hotel in San Jose, but I wouldn’t recommend the San Jose capital city for anything but a stayover if the goal is adventure travel.

    My suggested general itinerary

    Arrive San Jose one night. Walk around, see sights, good restaurant
    Rental car, drive to Arenal area. Stay 3 nights
    Rain forest, hikes, zip lining, mud baths, wildlife
    Drive or transfer to a coastal city (Manual Antonio) for turtle nesting, beaches, tropical forests
    Return to San Jose and do one or two different white water trips
    edited October 13
    · Reply · Share
  • 1214mom1214mom 4579 replies182 threads Senior Member
    Thanks for the suggestions. I sent the REI link already. I will mention doing it on their own, but she doesn't drive and he doesn't have a car (or insurance) so renting a car may get pretty expensive for them. I've heard going with a Costa Rican company may also make it cheaper.
    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 75185 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    @somemom any thoughts?.
    · Reply · Share
  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1799 replies26 threads Senior Member
    Hot springs at the Arnal Volcano.
    · Reply · Share
  • dragonmomdragonmom 5917 replies154 threads Senior Member
    https://www.elremanso.com/en/home

    We stayed here a few years ago and it was one of the best vacations ever. It’s not for everyone, no nightlife or AC, but beautiful and wild.
    · Reply · Share
  • chardonMNchardonMN 77 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Trip Advisor has a very active Costa Rica forum. If you don't want to rent a car, there are private shuttle vans you can use to go from place to place. I would recommend against staying in one hotel for the whole time. Drive times are long, roads are mountainous and potholed, and there is so much to see, you don't want to be stuck doing day trips (but salespeople will offer them to you!). Particularly in the northwest part of the country, where the big tourist hotels are, you are not close to rainforest or many of the other activities. They have great beaches there though, so it isn't bad as part of a multi stop trip. Have them check out the Trip advisor forum, lots of great advice there.
    · Reply · Share
  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1107 replies16 threads Senior Member
    Not having a car complicates things, but we went on a solo trip about 12 years ago. In addition to the zip lining, Arenal hot springs and white water rafting already mentioned, I’d add canyoneering and a trip to The Monte Verde cloud forest, including the midnight hike. Arsenal was mentioned, but there are a couple other volcanoes to visit (Poas and Irazu , iirc).

    We drove right from the rental car pickup to our hotel out of town - no reason to stay in San Jose that we found. The Peace Lodge at the Waterfall Gardens was very nice.
    · Reply · Share
  • TexasCollegeMomTexasCollegeMom 202 replies48 threads Junior Member
    I also highly recommend contacting the Trip Advisor Forum! 5 years ago the resorts that were all-inclusive or provided adventure trips had very poor reviews due to theft and environmental concerns.

    Costa Rica is beautiful but it's not the best destination to fly into and expect adventure at your doorstep. I agree that you only stay the night in San Jose if your flight requires it. A couple of days around Arenal to explore the adventure sports then take shuttle transfer to Manuel Antonio for wildlife and coast. These are the most touristy areas of Costa Rica but provide the most shuttles if they aren't renting a car.
    · Reply · Share
  • leennpleennp 38 replies5 threads Junior Member
    It has been a few years since our Costa Rica trip but we booked our own "package tour" using a San Jose hotel called the Adventure Inn, spending first night and last night at the Adventure Inn, rest of trip was spent in 2 or 3 night stays around the country, in Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, Arenal, Tortuguero and Puerto Viejo. We stayed in all small, locally owned boutique hotels, used the point to point van shuttles to get from place to place, never missed having a rental car. The whole trip was booked through adventure inn who booked each transfer, other hotels, even the activities in each location, all worked out perfectly and was much easier to have the bookings taken care of by someone local to work out the logistics with all the transfers and trips.
    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7584 replies61 threads Senior Member
    My D went to Costa Rica with a school trip through EF Tours. They are super affordable and also have trips for adults. They went zip lining, kayaking in a volcanic lake near Arenal, horseback riding on the beach, white water rafting, hiking, etc..... It was an all inclusive trip including food and transportation. She was gone for 10 days and the trip was under $2500 including airfare (a few years back).
    · Reply · Share
  • 10smomlc10smomlc 60 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Wow @leennp . The Adventure Inn package tour looks like a great option for when we eventually get down there! Thanks.
    · Reply · Share
  • 1214mom1214mom 4579 replies182 threads Senior Member
    OP here - final answer...
    They did a complete 360 and are booked for 6 days in Disney World.
    They started by saying the did NOT want to go to Disney, and they wanted an active vacation. They really seemed to like the Costa Rica thing, and were looking at different tours, because they are not particularly experienced travelers, and wanted something easy.
    Then a friend came back from Disney, said they had a great time, and they started looking at that. They booked airfare and hotels earlier this week.
    All is not lost - I really want to go to Costa Rica (husband is less enamored with that idea), and if I can convince him, I will revisit this thread.
    I suspect they may go also, but not this winter.
    Thanks everyone.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity