San Jose, Monte Verde, Jaco, Manuel Antonio

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San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose, Monte Verde, Jaco, Manuel Antonio Reviews

minaa minaa
3 reviews
Monte Verde Canopy Tour Mar 29, 2011
WOW, it was amazing. If your a bit of a thrill seeker, or just want to see the cloud forest from a unique view point, The Monteverde Canopy Tour is so much FUN!! If your afraid of heights, this probably isn't for you.
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Carlie_44 Carlie_44
1 reviews
Monte Verde Jun 13, 2011
Monte verde is a beautiful rain forest located up in the mountains of Costa Rica.It has beautiful hiking and I could have stayed a few days there just hiking and exploring everything. The hostel I stayed in was realitivly cheap but overall it is a bit more expensive than the rest of Costa Rica. I highly recommend making the treck up there.
alexjurewitz alexjure…
1 reviews
May 23, 2007
We started off flying from LAX to San Jose. Since none of us had ever been in Costa Rica, we spent the first 2 nights in San Jose at Grano de Oro Hotel just to get a taste of this city. Let's just say I was not impressed at all, and wanted to get out of the city as quickly as possible. We had rented a car for the 10 days we would be there. We left for Monte Verde, our second stop on the trip. The windy roads going into the cloud forest are hard to navigate and the signs contradict themselves at every moment. Make sure you know where you're going before you leave and don't be afraid to stop and ask for directions anywhere because the Costa Ricans are amazingly friendly people in general. When you travel by car anywhere, it is going to take you longer than expected because there are very few paved highways where there is "normal" driving.

In Monte Verde we stayed at the Belmar Hotel. It wasn't the best experience; the rooms were damp and moist, with no heating, but as we were in the cloudforest, I don't know if we could have done much better. There is a great variety of plants and animals in the Monte Verde Cloud Forest, and I would definitely recommend getting a guide and walking through the park that way. I would have been completely lost if we didn't have our guide, because they are incredibly knowledgeable and can spot things that I would have passed right by.

On the way to Monte Verde, we stopped at the Arenal volcano, which was an amazing site to see. We then went over to the La Paz Waterfall - probably my favorite stop on the trip. Kind of expensive entry fee but it was definitely worth it. The park is amazing and those fees are used to maintain it in that condition. GREAT PLACE!!

From Monte Verde we went southwest over to the coast and stayed just north of Jaco at Villa Caletas. This hotel was amazing. Once again, the staff was incredibly friendly and wonderful. On our first full day in Jaco, it rained in the morning, but we were not saddened by this since that was the first day it had rained throughout our whole trip. We lucked out in that regard - it ended up being the only day of rain too. We relaxed at the pool in the afternoon, then went down to the city of Jaco for dinner. It is a cute, surfer town, and think that if I went back to Costa Rica, I'd come back to this area with my friends who actually surf because it seems like it would be alot of fun. In the downtown strip, there are many shops where you can pick up shirts, dresses, jewelry (I found a good amount of necklaces that I liked).

The next leg of the trip was down to Manuel Antonio. This drive was on the good highway, and it only took an hour to get down there. We stayed at the Costa Verde hotel, which everyone enjoyed. They had a main pool, along with another pool closer to our building. The rooms were accomodating and pretty big, with a nice balcony. This was the first place where we heard monkeys at almost all times of the day. We did the Dream Cloud Canopy Tour the next morning. That had to be the best Canopy Tour we could have done. The guides were AMAZING!! I can't say it enough. They knew so much about the plants around the zip lines, and even pointed out sloths and other animals we would have missed. They really knew how to have a good time and keep everyone relaxed. I suggest everyone going to Manuel Antonio should do this Tour. In the afternoon we went to the Manuel Antonio National Park. The white-faced monkeys are not afraid of the people at all, and I must have seen around 20 of them throughout the 2 hours we were there. They have nice trails to walk along. We didn't get a guide because that is what we had heard to do. A guide is definitely not needed because there are signs throughout the park - they're in Spanish, but not that hard to translate and there's even a picture about what they're talking about if you just want to see that. Also, I have pretty good eyesight and noticed things in the forest, because the trees are not that dense and they're at groundlevel, but my mom and aunt would have missed alot if I didn't point things out to them - just always be looking around.

Our flight back home was leaving on a Monday morning, so we drove back to San Jose around 12pm on Sunday. The country of Costa Rica is amazingly beautiful. I, however, am not really a bug person, but bugs love me and I always come back with about 20 bites to show it. It was a good vacation, I'm not sure if I'll ever make it back, but if I do, it'll definitely be to the beaches. I was talking to my mom and we don't really understand why many Americans have made the move down there, but props to you if you've done that. Overall it was an average trip. We ate at some amazing restaurants and when I get around to it, I'll write about those. I'll also put up pictures when I get the time. :-)
travelman727 says:
Thanks for the review! I already passed on the info about La Paz waterfall to a couple visiting Coasta Rica this fall :-D
Posted on: Jul 30, 2007
barflybill barflybi…
2 reviews
Nov 29, 2007
The waterfall near Arenal volcano is amazing and a must see if you're in the area. The name of the waterfall is La Catarata de la Fortuna (admission US$6). There's very nice swimming holes there.

La Paz flows down the flanks of volcán póas closer to San Jose, north of the central valley (public, no admission). There are butterfly gardens, botanical, and birding exhibits near la Paz.

Both have good hiking trails.
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