Costa Blanca Guanacaste province, Costa Rica
Liberia, Costa Rica
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Costa Blanca Guanacaste province, Costa Rica Liberia Reviews
Jan 25, 2008
Our internet went down so we couldn’t make reservations and heard about Costa Blanca from an expatriate in Miami Airport. We ignored all the warnings and rented a car (delivered to Costa Blanca for free). Costs all inclusive no more than $50 a day (Dollar rental car). Costa Blanca staff ratio was about 4:1!!!! We had the whole resort to ourselves!!! Pool, Jacuzzi. If you need anything, just ask! The locals are so very nice. Brush up on your Spanish and they’ll appreciate it! Tip heavily because they only make $15 a day (10-12 hour shifts 6 days a week—no labor laws so the locals are exploited by money hungry Ameican proprietors (mostly arrogant cokeheads we saw) One more thing—rent a car! Rent a car! They drive better than we do in the DC area! We drove at night, day, in the rain, across rivers—no problems! Not one bad area in Guancaste—except TAMARINDO BEACH—stay away from there. They only have a good website. It’s muddy with drugs and drunks and smells. The slums with a good website to try to lure you into that hole. GO TO COCO BEACH AND EAT AT COCO PALMS for 5 star California Sushi/Sashimi/Catch of the day or anything cuisine. 5+ stars better than any food here in the states (but you'll pay BIG New York prices-no bargains-American/Canadian owned). . We explored hundreds of miles. Coco beach is nice. We drove to Oceonal to see the turtles (2 ½ hour hellride on dirt roads and almost lost the car in a higher-than normal river (raining on the way and the decision was be stranded or try to cross-on the return, the water rose and came over the hood POR DIOS, we made it!) we were advenurous and didn't mind a few mishaps; if your're conservative, wait for another car to cross and wait for you in case you have problems. It ended up we weren't let onto Oceonal beach at nightfall--turtle time because the guides went home for a couple hours--we were on Costa Rica time (prepare for a laid back time schedule). We saw tons of animals all over the place, went to a butterfly farm and animal rescue center. Don’t fall for the tour guide rip-offs in the beach towns. Talk to the people working at the hotel and they can arrange you a better deal. Everyone gets a referral fee for everything so everyone is motivated to helping you have fun (and get paid). At $15 dollars for a 10 hour day, a tour referral can bring food to their table! The locals are proud people and mostly honest (but hungry). I drove all week without my driver's license. If you forgot yours, a $5 or a $20 will suffice for the police. Only petty police corruption there. If you’re into drugs or child porn, prepare to go to jail for life. If you run from the cops for a speeding violation, a $20 will do you and them just fine. The police are more worried about the big picture, so I’m not against the petty police payoffs, although we never got stopped, we heard about a high speed chase that ended suddenly with an American $20 and everyone went home smiling.
Please tip the locals heavily! I don’t pay churches here in the states; I’d rather see where it’s going rather than to a corrupt US church. We paid for a month’s food for one guy’s kids. COSTA RICA IS DIFFICULT IF YOU'RE ON A BUDGET. Groceries are double US prices due to the development.
Car rental was easy; they dropped it off at the hotel. Driving was easy—brings detailed maps. Make a wrong turn and people will help you out. Costa Blanca rooms were clean. A suite with a shower, table, sink, couches for $80 a night. Private beaches (we were the ONLY one’s on the beach the whole time) If you want a private vacation close to everything, Costa Blanca is it. From the airport, have a cab bring you to the car rental and save the $30 cab fare. Howler monkeys woke us up each morning for photos at 5:30am. We fed the friendly raccoons, iguanas, tenausaurs and pisote’s (raccoons with long snouts like anteaters) by hand! We went to Rincon de la Vieja with a private guide (our bartender on his day off). $85 a person will get you a horseback ride, zipline tour, hot springs, mud bath and a couple dollars you can have the massage of your life with a Jacuzzi bath, music all while watching the waterfall from the serene rooms. Very family oriented culture. Most go to church, most Americans we found were arrogant, flashing money, rude and disrespectful and acted like teenagers, wasted most the time. If you have any questions, I can tell you more. If you buy land, it’s yours, just like the US (not Nicaragua yet). You pay taxes there and you get a tax credit here (tax treaty with the US).
Central America has changed from the last time I was there (a more innocent, very inexpensive secret for a tropical getaway).
I'm thinking since development is everywhere and there are no more secrets, Thailand is next on my list (more of a Bargain than CR).
I'd still go back to Central America in a second (and will soon).
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