Costa Rica 2007 Planning Page - Mike Baird's Notes
Costa Rica Trip to Corcovado - Jan. 17 - 27, 2007

This page contains detailed chronological notes that you really don't need to know about unless you want to understand how this trip evolved.

7-7-06 NOTE CHANGE OF HOTEL for 1-26-07 -- Hello Norma!  Another slight change, there was no space in the hotel we previously recommended at Jaco so we had to change for a similar one, a little away from the busy center of Jaco, with a new swimming pool and in front of the ocean. The name is Arenal Pacifico Hotel  - We have finally all reservations made.  Some hotels even said that, they have no more rooms if there were to be more people in our group!  I think Sandra will be sending you shortly the total cost per person.  I'll be out of reach completely in Tortuguero for the next few days but here is Sandra.  Jose.
old related notes:
 (Obs.: 7-3-06 Read about the three options being considered for the last couple of days)
KILL Estrella Mar Jaco Beach 
overnight at 
Obs: SEE 6-27-06 NOTEs and  SEE NOTE 7-3-06 below]

7-4-06 We’ll do one night in Jaco, Sandra knows a place that she recommends, not to busy or noisy, and clean.
Tarcol Lodge I strongly do not recommend I know the place well, I worked with the people that own it a few years ago.
It is VERY run down, it smells terrible and the toilets regularly don’t work among other things.
24 we arrive to Manuel Antonio. Overnight Manuel Antonio
25 we visit Manuel Antonio. Overnight Manuel Antonio
26 we do the Crocodile tour.
Overnight Estrella Mar Jaco Beach
27 we go to Carara early morning and afterwards to San Jose. Overnight Trapp family Alajuela.
28 transfer out.
Overnight for Patricia Trapp family Alajuela
29 Patricia’s transfer out.
We can provide the microbus for Patricia’s transfer out but it would be cheaper for her, just to ask for a taxi at the front desk.

 7-3-06 Read more about the three options being considered for the last couple of days
says "More info from Jose .. . Guess Jose's suggestion below means maybe 3 nights at Manuel Antonio? However, we just get in late on the first day--little time to explore, so a full day at Manuel Antonio the next day (Jan.25) and then the next day go to Carara--it does mean backtracking for those who decide to go to Carara--1 1/2 hr. each way and then when we leave on Sat. it means going over the same route again--it is good road, but I'm not sure about this. Jaco is a "beach/surf" town, but the swimming was good--lots of beach shops, people on the streets. For one night it wouldn't be bad. We stayed at a very nice quiet small apartment hotel a short walk from the beach and I guess that made the difference. I'm sure they aren't keen on just renting for one night. It was the sort of place folks rent for a week with a kitchen/ 2 bedrooms/2 baths,etc. but there were many hotels in town. From Jaco the distance to Carara is only 21 k. a very short trip. Let's talk about this."

Jose says "I actually considered not staying at all around Carara [i.e., Jaco?]and doing Carara from Manuel Antonio.  I have done it before with other groups. It is one and a half our drive from Manuel Antonio each way, but Jaco Beach in my opinion is a very ugly area to stay at, and Villa Lapas is completely booked.  I think we should offer a full day optional trip to Carara from Manuel Antonio. In other words the people would have the option of staying at Manuel Antonio and going into the park, or doing kayaking, surfing, etc. or taking the full day trip to Carara, paying as an extra the crocodile tour and the entrance fee to Carara. The transportation and the guide (me) would be of course already included for the Carara trip.  Also by doing it like this people could really have some time to spend at Manuel Antonio. The other way we had it, was just one night and a half day (the morning) at Manuel Antonio.  I also wanted to mention that most of the lodges have rooms with either two small beds, I think they call them (twin beds) or one queen size bed. So we would have still to inquire on the possibility of adding one “roll in bed” to fit three people.  We already reserved one triple room at Casa Corcovado, were they do have this possibility.  Yes we have to work on the final quote, but we are waiting to clarify all these small details. This, I think, would be happening soon."

7-1-06 this lodging was just selected:  Hotel Manuel Antonio for 2? nights Jan. 24-25, 26?
Hotel Manuel Antonio -- Under $50 to $75, Manuel Antonio -- One of Manuel Antonio's original hotels, this economical place has the closest beds you'll find to the park's entrance and is across the street from the beach. Choose from rustic rooms above an open-air restaurant, which are a good option for budget travelers, or larger, newer rooms in a two-story yellow concrete building next door, with cable TVs and air-conditioning. The new rooms have simple pastel drapes and bedspreads and large balconies; be sure to get one with an ocean view, preferably on the second floor. 29 rooms. Restaurant, room service, some fans, in-room safes, some cable TV, massage, bar, laundry service, no-smoking floors, Internet; no a/c in some rooms. AE, MC, V. Address: End of the road to the park, across from beach, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Phone: 777-1237 or 777-1351, Fax: 777-5172
Read comments by visitor "I stayed at this hotel for 3 nights. The rooms are very nice, with great air conditioning. Ask for a balcony room over looking the beach. It is not a great view (due to some of the vendors) but you can see the ocean and the beach. It is also very nice to sit on the balcony and people watch. It is about a 100 yard walk to the beach, and right at the entrance to Manuel Antonio Park, which is full of Monkeys,iguanas, Sloths and one of the better beaches in the area. What also makes this Hotel nice is, it is the last Hotel on the road, and close to everything. Every half an hour the local bus service comes by and for about $0.20 you can ride into the local community of Quapos, which is about 7 km. The Hotel has a restaurant, but no pool, but who needs a pool when you have the whole ocean just 100 yards from your door. The staff was very friendly, and was always ready to help you if you needed it. I would stay there again."

6-27-06.  From: [mailto:schiffornis@[remove]]
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2006 12:00 PM;  To: Norma Wightman;  Cc: carlos vargas
Subject: Hotel in Manuel Antonio.  Hello Norma!  The dates you gave us for arrival and departure are correct.  Jan 17 to Jan 28.  Here as an attachment the prices for the tours there. I've been having trouble finding a suitable hotel to stay at, walking distance from Manuel Antonio National Park.  The place that everybody is recommending Hotel Playa Espadilla is full.  I haven't been able to find anything else comparable in that area.  You mentioned you stayed there, at a place that was okay but a bit to noisy. Could we use that place?  I'll keep up looking meanwhile. Jose.

Tour to Corcovado National Park      $     60.00  
Tour to Cano Island      $     90.00  
Mangrove Tour  $     80.00  
Horseback riding half day  $     55.00  
Horseback riding full day  $     90.00  
Kayar Tour to San Josecito with  box lunch   $     80.00  
Kayar  per hour   $       6.00  
Swimming with Dolphins per adult  $   120.00  
Swimming with Dolphins per child  $     70.00  
 If any of this tours are included in any of our packages we will     
 deduce the net price for our packages    

Rev. 6-21b-06 from Norma -- Proposed Itinerary for the 2007 Costa Rica Trip to Corcovado
Hi Mike, I hadn't sent you the latest changes. I requested a hotel closer to the airport since most of us will probably arrive at night and we leave SJ the next day so Jose has made this change.   Also Villa Lapas unavailable so we will spend two nights near Manuel Antonio Nat'l Park (GREAT) and one night somewhere closer to Carara Nat'l Park. I have suggested Jaco which is a beach/surf spot, but kind of fun and the sea is wonderful there.  I'll keep you posted as Jose gets back to me. Great idea to add web pages to the itinerary. I am compiling a "what to take list". Cheers, N.
Rev 6-21-06, nor reflected in table above -- January 17 to 28, 2007.
Jan 17: Arrival in evening. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the small Trapp family Alajuela hotel not far from the airport.
Jan 18: Breakfast at hotel. Early transfer to Cerro de la Muerte. Overnight at Trogon Lodge. Dinner included.
Jan 19: Full day in area. Overnight Trogon Lodge.(All meals included) B.L.D.
(Quetzals, flycatchers and so much more!)
Jan 20: Breakfast at hotel. Trip to Corcovado, bus will drop us at Sierpe and return to San Jose, Casa Corcovado lodge will pick us up at Hacienda in Sierpe (at 11.00 a.m.) and transfer us by boat to Casa Corcovado. Overnight at Casa Corcovado. ( Dinner included).
Jan 21: Full day to hike in Corcovado . Overnight at Casa Corcovado.
(All meals included B.L.D). (entrance to Corcovado Nat. Park included)
Jan 22: Full day tour included to Caño Island. Overnight at Casa Corcovado.
(All meals included B.L.D.) (entrance to Caño Island Nat. Park included)
Jan 23: Full day at Corcovado for hiking, swimming, bird watching, etc. and walks into the tropical forest. (All meals included B.L.D.)
Jan 24: Breakfast at Casa Corcovado. 9:a.m.Transfer provided by the lodge
back to Sierpe where our bus will be awaiting for us to take us to Manuel Antonio area. Overnight at Rancho Casa Grande. ( Dinner included).
Jan 25: Breakfast at Rancho Casa Grande. Early morning visit to Manuel Antonio National Park. Swim in afternoon at Manuel Antonio Beach and relax.
( Monkeys, sloths, birds and more.)
(Entrance to Manuel Ant. Nat. Park $8 not included).
Jan 26: Overnight at Jaco? Early morning visit to Carara Nat. Park, afternoon Crocodile tour by JD´S Watersport tours. (optional)
(Breakfast & Dinner included) B.D. (entrance to Carara Nat. P. and Crocodile
tour not included.)
Jan 27: Early morning Suspension bridges tour (optional) and transfer to San Jose (Breakfast included, entrance to Suspension bridges not included). Overnight in San Jose Hotel; depart early Sunday morning Jan. 28 for home.
The total estimated cost in SGL room $2564 p /p for a minimum of 6 people
The total estimated price in DBL room $4,008 (p/couple) for a minimum of 6 people
The most expensive but most beautiful part of the trip is Casa Corcovado
Just Casa Corcovado itself is around 50% of the total cost of the trip.

* 6:21a-06 -- have reserved the Corcovado lodge for the 4 days. Savegre was already booked so we will be at nearby Trogon Lodge instead which I remember passing on the first trip and it looked nice. Also Villa Lapas is booked so it looks like we will spent two nights near Manuel Antonio--better yet!

* 6-18-06: The total estimated cost in SGL room $2564 p /p for a minimum of 6 people
The total estimated price in DBL room $4,008 (p/couple) for a minimum of 6 people
The most expensive but most beautiful part of the trip is Casa Corcovado
Just Casa Corcovado itself is around 50% of the total cost of the trip.

Above info. via Norma from Sandra Umaña -- Servicios Turísticos Vargas Buwert. SRL - Telfax: (506) 213-0547 Vargastours@[remove]