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Costa Rica

I'm arriving in Costa Rica on the 26th of this month - I'm flying into Golfito, because it's a 30 min drive from the Treehouse village where I'll be staying for 2 nights (They have cabinas there).
I plan to stay in Costa Rica for at least a week after I leave the Treehouses -- I want to explore the region but don't have that part of the trip planned yet. Has anyone been to Costa Rica here? What are some cool things to check out, or tips and tricks?
:surrender:

OK, I found this hotel http://www.hotelsierra.com in Golfito (seems to be the only one  :-D ) so I'll just stay there a few days and sign up for their tours! How xciting! Here are some that they offer that sound fun.

    Tour to the Corcovado National Park, the third in world importance in biodiversity. One hectar of this park has more biodiversity than Canada and USA together.
    Tour to Playa Pavones where is located the third largest wave in the world, after Hawaii and Australia.
    Tour to the mangroves.
    Tour to see dolphines at the Golfo Dulce.
    Birdwatchers Tours.
    Tours to see plants and animals (could they be any more generic?)
    Hicking (what the hick is that?)
    Shopping Tours to the Panama border.
    Shopping Tours to the Free Zone Deposit.
    Snorckling Tours.
    Diving Tours
    Special Tours. The Avellán Tour, just 20 minutes from the hotel into the mountain, you will enjoy
    walking through the trails or on horseback riding, also the site of waterfalls and crystal clear ponds
    from the mountain’s nascent water source. At your request, you can enjoy a delicious typical lunch
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my guess is "hicking" = hiking

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I'm jealous! Have fun! I took a one week vaca in Costa Rice in the beginning of May, but we stayed in Manuel Antonio.

My favorite tours from there were the canopy tour zip lines & taking a guided tour through the manuel antonio park. Definetly arrange for a guide if you go through any parks, they help you find wildlife you normally wouldn't see and explain a lot about the plants & animals.

Most people I talked to weren't too crazy about the mangroves. I enjoyed snorkeling, but because I have been snorkeling in places with prettier coral & fish, I wasn't very impressed with it. I think the dophins & birdwatchers both sound fun. It's a shame you aren't staying long enough to do every thing! But then, you'll be living in the area soon enough I guess.

The Avellan Tour sounds really nice. I would do that if I were you. And I would also eat lots of papaya, mangos, & avocados!

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I gave up my vacation to have my back yard re-landscaped.  ::)  Have extra fun for me and take pics, okay?

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monteverde is my dream travel spot, quakers! rainforests! friends schools!  yay!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monteverde

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ooooo, you HAVE to try ziplining.... It's the most terrifying thing I have EVER done....but it was by FAR the most beautiful....there is nothing like zooming over the Costa Rican rainforest, watching the rivers and monkeys, and the thrill of being up so high...It totally cured my fear of heights =-)  c'mon do it..... you know you wanna :>

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ooooo, you HAVE to try ziplining.... It's the most terrifying thing I have EVER done....but it was by FAR the most beautiful....there is nothing like zooming over the Costa Rican rainforest, watching the rivers and monkeys, and the thrill of being up so high...It totally cured my fear of heights =-)   c'mon do it..... you know you wanna :>

For sure! That's actually how you get around the tree house community,  so I'll be doing lots of that!
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I also found Esquinas Rainforest Lodge in the Piedras Blancas National Park, which is just a few minutes away from the treehouses. Looks much better than the first place.
http://www.esquinaslodge.com/

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ok, so, I really like this tree house idea, but I'm concerned about my dogs. Besides taking up a lot of room in a small house, Molly is scared of stairs. so scared I can't get her to go down to the (finished) basement, even if I carry her. How could I get her up in a tree house? Do people live in treehouses with (big, not purse sized) dogs?

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ok, so, I really like this tree house idea, but I'm concerned about my dogs. Besides taking up a lot of room in a small house, Molly is scared of stairs. so scared I can't get her to go down to the (finished) basement, even if I carry her. How could I get her up in a tree house? Do people live in treehouses with (big, not purse sized) dogs?

Hi Lisa,
The primary goal of the tree house community is to live off the grid in the rainforest while disturbing the habitat as little as possible. For this reason, the houses are built in the trees as to not interfere with the ecology below, and dogs and cats and foreign animals are not allowed at this time..  there are monkeys and Jaguars and giant ant eaters and all sorts of creatures everywhere.. surely that can't be a good mix :) Cat fights in city neighborhoods are bad enough.. can you imagine Jaguar/dog fights?  :-D They'd surely be much more noisy. Or what if one of those sly cats decided to pounce on a tropical parrot and drag it to you as a gift? Wouldn't be nice.

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:( looks like no treehouse for me

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Please come back and share everything with us so that we may live vicariously through you! :o

I would be so excited that I probably could think of nothing else. 

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I have been down there many times since I practically live down there. Bring a camera, because the scenery is just breath taking. I would travel o Monte Verde to go hiking and zip lining. A  company in Monteverde has a zip lining program. I would white water raft the pacure river. Visit some poor villages to help the kids learn English. visit the beaches. Go t arenal volcanoe and take a hike through the forest, you can swim in the two water falls. Then if you would like there are some hot springs in The arenal volcano area that are fun. There's so much to and some amazing food. The fruits and vegtables are so fresh your going to become spoiled. Have a wonderfull trip, if you need some help ppm me.

ps. if you have a desire to learn Spanish look into the CPI school: 3 locations; herdia, Monte Verde or flamingo. That school can arrange a Host family stay which is by far an amazing part of a trip.

518 colons= 1 us dollar so most of the things will be in 1000 colons just times it by two and if you have something priced in American money divide it by 2. Try to go to a bank while you first get there or get money where you live it's cheaper. Dont exchange money at an airport, they rip you off about 1-2 dollars every dollar you exchange You may want to check the departure taxes because they go up and down.

It is very easy to bargain with people down there. If you buy a shirt for 7 thousand colons and take out a 5 thousand bill then you can fake thats ally you have and get four dollars off it. Costa Rica is pretty cheap. Try to go to the ally streets to buy things, the stores on main roads are more expensive. Ask locals where they shop to receive the best values. Need nay More advice pm me.

The san Jose airport has the worst food selection, so if you fly home from that airport bring food with you. They have bk, a sandwhich place, papa johns, and another strange place that isn't vegan friendly. Make sure not to buy drinks for the plane since they go through your bag once you begin to board.

Carry a spanish dictonairy and a costa rica phrase book that lonely planet makes, super helpfull.

If a local dosent understand you, they begin to speak faster sometimes so that can get annoying.

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thanks so much, chica!  :)>>>

I'm leaving for the east coast tomorrow, and I arrive in Costa Rica on the 26th. I'm only bringing a small bag - some swimming/running shorts and some summer clothing, and a nice camera. I'm a bit afraid I'm not prepared enough -- I don't have a rain coat, hiking boots, machete, jungle hat. But I'm hoping anything I really need I'll be able to buy there.

I also better brush up on my spanish so I can order vegan meals at restaurants! I'll go to the book store tonight and try to find that lonely planet book.

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Didn't gotskates visit Costa Rica? I don't think she has been back since the boards came back up though.... not that I miss her incoherent posts rife with grammatical errors.

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Didn't gotskates visit Costa Rica? I don't think she has been back since the boards came back up though.... not that I miss her incoherent posts rife with grammatical errors.

I thought choc soy chica = got skates?

Ring of Fire = Brittany Nightmare

Right?  :o

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I have no idea. If choc soy chica is gotskates, then she's really stepped her grammar. I couldn't decipher half of gotskate's posts due to spelling and grammar errors.

edit: haha, now I look like an asshole. Oh well, HI VEGWEB! My name is Mark and I can be extremely hurtful and inconsiderate sometimes.

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edit:  My name is Mark and I can be extremely hurtful and inconsiderate sometimes.

Also known as "being a guy."
I'm inflicted with the same curse.

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Costa Rica is AMAZING. I stayed at the house of the owner of Gardener's Supply (my dad works for him) up in the northwestern part of the country. Make sure you visit Arenal Volcano and take some river tours (you get to see some pretty big crocodiles which is cool as hell). Obviously, you should spend some time on the beach, but I'd recommends going up into the mountains to check out the rainforest too. We did this canopy tour thing where we zip-lined from tree to tree, which was an adrenaline-charged way to get to see wildlife and some amazing waterfalls. You probably don't have this to look forward to, but the lowered drinking age there was another sick thing to experience. Finding good veggie food is really hard though; I told my tour guide that I couldn't eat meat and he thought I had some kind of disease. It's just not something anyone does down there. There is, however, tons of fresh fruit in many forms (fried plantains as a breakfast side served in a manner similar to hash browns wasn't uncommon) and really freaking good coffee. I'd recommend buying 7 or 8 pounds of it to bring back home with you since the quality is so superior to anything you could get here (plus it's cheap!).

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