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Costa Rica

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    • Instituto Estelar Bilingue200 metros sur de la Antigua Gobernacion, Calle Real, Liberia, Costa Rica
      Sharai Kirk recommended Instituto Estelar Bilingue
      5
      I studied at Instituto Estelar in January of this year. I planned to stay for one week, but ended up staying for one month and advancing 4 levels! It was an amazing experience - I really did learn A ... read more
      LOT (I can more than get by now when I travel in Latin America) plus I got to do trips with the school, take extra classes (like dance and cooking), made new amazing friends, and even volunteer! I will never forget my experience and I am already planning my next classes with them =) If you are wanting to study during your trip, Instituto Estelar Bilingue is the best Spanish school in Costa Rica (in my opinion, of course). It's located in Liberia and I fell in love with this city - it's historical, the people are incredibly friendly, and it hasn't been overrun by tourists like many of the other cities in the country.
      .Comment.5 months ago. Report
    • Sharai Kirk recommended Playas del Coco
      4
      Super cute town with beach, bars, and nature right in the backyard, You can visit the greatest parts of Costa Rica because they are so close by. And if you want to study Spanish while you are there, ... read more
      check out Instituto Estelar Bilingue in Liberia (about 45 minutes from Coco). It's an awesome school with a lot to offer. http://www.estelarcr.com/ Have a great trip!
      .Comment.5 months ago. Report
      Pro 2014
      Nomadic by Nature recommended Playas del Coco
      4
      A small beach town with howler monkeys in the trees, and dive boats and fishing boats ready to take travelers around the area. Most of the reef I saw was dead, but we also saw some big morays, and ... read more
      sharks ans the visibility was good. Supposedly there are some islands a couple hours off shore where there are schools of hammerheads to see. I did not make it out there though.
      .Comment.8 months ago. Report
    • Dafne recommended Puerto Viejo
      5
      Nice beach, nice people, nice music. You can find everything in Puerto Viejo, from local culture as Rasta man and Bribri natives, to sushi and international cuisine.
      .Comment.7 months ago. Report
      Dafne

      This is a great place to go hiking, dancing and know more about the local culture that it's not the typical local culture tourism agencies will show you.

    • Dafne recommended Manzanillo
      4
      Great place if you love white sand beaches and reggea music!
      .Comment.7 months ago. Report
    • Dafne recommended Monteverde
      5
      Amazing place, if you love nature you have to go to Monteverde, diversity is everywhere from nature to cultures!
      .Comment.7 months ago. Report
    • Cocomar Residences & Beachfront HotelPlaya Palo Seco, Parrita Parrita Costa Rica 60901
      André Kuik recommended Cocomar Residences & Beachfront Hotel
      5
      This is a great place to stay, great rooms, great pool, close to the beach and very friendly staff!
      .Comment.8 months ago. Report
    • Hotel CararaMain Street, Tarcoles, Costa Rica
      André Kuik recommended Hotel Carara
      4
      Early in the season we had this neat hotel almost to ourselves. Close to the Carara National Park and the Tarcoles River with the famous crocodile bridge. In the garden of this hotel are almond trees, ... read more
      which gives you a great chance to spot the beautiful Macaws here!
      .Comment.8 months ago. Report
    • Arenal Volcano Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
      André Kuik recommended Arenal Volcano
      4
      You can take a nice walk near the volcano and there are a lot of things to do in the area of ​​this volcano.
      .Comment.8 months ago. Report
    • André Kuik recommended Tarcoles Bridge
      4
      The only crocodiles that we saw in Costa Rica we have seen from this bridge. Great attraction for free!
      .Comment.8 months ago. Report
    • Pro 2014
      Arlo Hemphill recommended Tamarindo
      4
      Fun little surf town.
      .Comment.8 months ago. Report
      Christian thanked Arlo Hemphill for this recommendation.
      Arlo Hemphill

      Another area you might consider is Tamarindo. This is a fun, semi-touristy area with great beaches and lot of diversity in lodging accommodations. Great access to natural areas, as well as a good shopping and nightlife scene - but without being "too much"...

    • Pro 2014
      Arlo Hemphill recommended Manuel Antonio National Park
      5
      Costa Rica's most accessible rainforest park. Stationed right on a beautiful stretch of Pacific coastline, Manuel Antonio is also one of the country's most visited natural areas - enjoyed by beach ... read more
      goers and nature lovers alike.
      .Comment.8 months ago. Report
      Arlo Hemphill

      The dominant natural attraction in the Quepos / Manuel Antonio area is the Manuel Antonio National Park. This is Costa Rica's most accessible rainforest protected area, where you can enjoy hiking and encounters with wildlife such as monkeys and macaws, all in an easy walk from the beach, nightlife and nice accommodations.

    • Hotel Mono AzulApdo 297 Quepos, Costa Rica 6350
      Pro 2014
      Arlo Hemphill recommended Hotel Mono Azul
      5
      If I could keep this place a personal secret, I would. However, that wouldn't be fair to the charming Braman family who make this quiet retreat a home away home. Tucked into one of the most beautiful ... read more
      (and climatically comfortable) rainforests in the world, the "Blue Monkey" is a hidden oasis with luxurious comforts. I could spend an entire trip to Costa Rica simply lounging around their jungle-rimmed swimming pools and dining in their open-air restaurant - brimming with quality Tico (local) and American fare. However, this hotel is too ideally located to simply waste away the hours in a private paradise. It's in walking distance from the shops and bars of downtown Quepos, and just a few minutes drive to some of the most spectacular beaches and wilderness areas in Costa Rica. It's also a bargain for your budget, making it an ideal base of operations for exploring Costa Rica's central Pacific coast.
      .Comment.8 months ago. Report
      Arlo Hemphill

      For what you are looking for, the Manuel Antonio / Quepos area might be perfect for you. It has a great combination of nice lodging, nightlife and amazing wildlife and hiking. Also, this is not a big box resort type area - most of the accommodations are on the boutique scale and very nice. Hotel Mono Azul is a good mid-range hotel that I can recommend. However, there are a number of good high-range / luxury options in this area too.

    • Hotel Banana AzulPlaya Negra, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
      Liza Prado recommended Hotel Banana Azul
      4
      Hotel Banana Azul is a great little resort located on a black sand beach just north of the popular surfer/backpacker town of Puerto Viejo. The hotel is a laid back place with lush grounds, a new pool, ... read more
      and a large cool-water Jacuzzi. There's a good range of reasonably priced rooms--from basic garden level to a two-bedroom apartment--that feature rich local hardwoods and artful decor; a full breakfast was included in the rate the last time I checked. The only bummer, which is kind of random, are the bamboo beds frames, which creak at the slightest movement (the owners definitely are aware of the situation, though, and are dealing with it). It's also located next to Cahuita National Park, which in combination with Puerto Viejo, has tons of outdoor options beyond snorkeling and diving: hiking, animal-spotting, zip lines, river rafting, kayaking, fishing, and of course, surfing. It's easy to plan your own excursions but if you prefer to let someone else do the work (it's your vacation afterall!), there is a recommended tour operator on-site, Gecko Trail Adventures.
      .Comment.8 months ago. Report
      Christian thanked Liza Prado for this recommendation.

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