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Could use some help

Boston...
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Could use some help

Hi there! I apologize in advance if these topics have been beaten to death, but I'm having a hard time planning my trip. I will be traveling through Costa Rica for 3 months beginning in mid July, ending mid November. My schedule is wide open, but I'd like to spend time in PV, Arenal, the cloud forests, and Tamarindo. My question is would you start on the Caribbean side and make your way east to west or vice versa? Again, my plans are up in the air and I'll have the freedom to roam. I just want to optimize my trip in terms of planning for the rainy season and heat.

Thank so much for any insight or suggestions!

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La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Could use some help

Weather plays a part in your itinerary. Typically September and October are the best months for visiting the Caribbean coast while they’re the rainiest months on the Pacific coast.

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Boston...
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2. Re: Could use some help

crfan - thanks for the quick response. That's what I'm ultimately hung up on is the weather. I was originally planning on heading down for Sept, but my flyer miles won't get me there at that time. So now I'm looking at mid July

How do you and others feel about starting a trip in Tamarindo in July and making my way west to east?

Again, any and all insight would be greatly appreciated!

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Tamarindo
Tamarindo
Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Brooklyn, New York
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3. Re: Could use some help

Not to be pedantic, but 3 months starting in mid-July would end in mid-October, not mid-November.

Would you be flying in/out of San Jose or Liberia, or some combination thereof?

You won't escape the rain completely, but definitely September-October are when you'll want to be in the Caribe side and away from the Pacific slope.

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San Jose
San Jose
San Jose Metro, Costa Rica
Liberia
Liberia
Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Boston...
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4. Re: Could use some help

Haha you're right, I was just looking at the calendar when I realized I was off by a month. Thanks for pointing that out.

Let me restart :) If I left Aug 1st and returned Nov 1st, what would be your recommendations? I know that I could hit the dry season on the last leg of the trip on the Carib side (PV). What would you all do for Aug thru mid Sept? I'd be flying into SJO.

Thanks again for all the help and sorry for the confusion. Can you tell I'm ready to get out of here? :)

Edited: 14 March 2018, 18:57
Brooklyn, New York
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5. Re: Could use some help

It's hard to say because 3 months is an unusually long (and potentially expensive) time. I'd be tempted to bum around the Nicoya Peninsula instead of Tamagringo if you have that kind of time--all kinds of little nooks and crannies towns like Montezuma, Nosara, Samara, Malpais, etc. Enjoy the sunshine and beach in the morning, nap in the afternoon when it rains.

As far as Arenal and Monteverde are concerned, not sure how long you would want in those places. Especially Monteverde--the cool mists and ultra wet conditions will seem fascinating at first, but too many rainy and relatively cold days in a row gets to be literally water torture.

A question to ask before you get too far: what do you want to be doing all day for 90 days?

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Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
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Boston...
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6. Re: Could use some help

Racandee - thanks once again for your thoughtful replies. I just booked my trip 8/21 - 11/14. Later than I wanted to leave, but that window was open to use my miles for so I took it.

As far as to how I want to spend my days.... I'd like to do all the touristy, adventurous stuff. Hang on the beach, explore the rainforests, etc....but ultimately I want it to be a rewarding experience in that I get connected with local cultures. I''m hoping to volunteer, possibly teach English, get involved in permaculture, etc.

I understand that it will be a long trip and difficult at times, but I'm looking forward to the challenge!

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7. Re: Could use some help

July is the wettest month in S. Caribbean, in terms of number of days with rain (averages, no guarantees, of course) and the amount of rainfall. See https:/…weather.php .

We spent 2 wks there in July, and still enjoyed it, as we wanted wildlife, beach, less touristy, and liked Manzanillo, Cahuita (not sure I would enjoy staying in PV itself though)...But we had a lot of rainy moments, cloudy days, and it did not just rain in PM after sunny mornings, it rained whenever, you never knew leaving the hotel in AM how the day might turn out... It was also very hot, humid, nothing, even swimwear and "fast drying" clothes, dried for days.

So, the following year we went there mid to end of Aug., and the weather was better, sunnier. It might be a coincidence, but it could be that it was getting closer to Sept., which, as mentioned above, is the best time for that area.

As for what to do, consider going to Bocas Del Toro, you have time. See Bocas transportation options from PV and area: https://www.puertoviejosatellite.com/transpo… .

Aug. - Sept., into Oct. is also good (also popular) time for visiting Tortuguero, turtle season.

Edited: 14 March 2018, 21:54
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Cahuita
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Province of Limon, Costa Rica
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San Jose, Costa Rica
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8. Re: Could use some help

Listen to the great first hand advice by Racande and CRFAN,,,they both provide great advice...

If is somenthing that is hard in my country is to even try to to guess about weather even worse at the Caribbean side....used to be easy for us natives to talk about it ,,,no any more...in my case more than 55 years visiting the area and trust me imposible to even try to predict the weather

toadadvisor

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9. Re: Could use some help

Thank you all for the thoughtful responses!

Roadadvisor - Thank you for your insight. I hear you on predicting the weather. Up here in the NE (US) the weather patterns have been changing for the last 7-8 years now. I fish a ton and used to be able to predict when the fish were migrating and what weather to expect during certain months. That has all changed and is continuing to change.

Sub - Thank you for sharing your experience as well. It is much appreciated.

The trip is booked and I'm going regardless of weather as it's the only time I have to travel. From what I've read and gathered from folks on here and other forums, I'll probably start out in the area of Tamarindo for 2-3 weeks depending on the weather then make my way SE where I'll eventually end up in the PV area for at least a month.

So we'll see how it goes! Thanks again for all the suggestions/insight!

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Tamarindo
Tamarindo
Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica
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