I finally got our password to work. I sent you a note via the itinerary section but it is probably more relevant here. I didn’t make a copy so will re-write it here:
My husband, three kids (14, 12 and almost 10 by the summer) are coming to Costa Rica around July 29th for 2 weeks. My elder son will have been on a service project there and we will meet him in San Jose. We were originally looking for a house in Santa Teresa/Malpais area but we have been offered a “house swap” in an area near Cabo Blanco, Puntarenas Province (and not far from Lepanto and Isla San Lucas) which is on that same peninsular and just up from Paquera.
Question 1: Do you know anything about this area? The house does look amazing and remote and does have access to a private beach etc.
Question 2: I know we can get the car ferry from (or to) Punta Arenas to Paquera but there looks like there is also a ferry from Punta Arenas to Playa Naranjo which is much closer to this house but maybe that is not a ferry that takes cars?
Question 3: We would like to rent a car and to stop somewhere for a couple of days (or maybe even two places). where would you stop for a couple of days from San Jose to Cabo blanco? Would Monteverde be good at this time of year or far to wet or far too touristy? Volcano Arena?La Fortuna sounds quite touristy so maybe not for us….
If we go to Monteverde are we better off doing ziplining there or nearer to Cabo Blanco?
We have Marriot points so could stay at the Courtyard by Marriott San Jose Airport Alajuela or the Costa Rica Marriott San José or we also have some Hilton points so could stay there. I read something about it is better to be out by the airport (Alajuela) but maybe not if we need to pick up the car the next day etc.
Thanks so much,
Glad that you got the forum figured out. That area of the Nicoya Peninsula is on our list to explore but we haven’t done much more than drive through. From doing that though, we can say that it is quite beautiful. For taking the ferry from Puntarenas to Naranjo, we don’t know much about it but one of our readers recently commented on our Puntarenas to Paquera Ferry post about doing it and breaking up the drive. So we think that is a possibility for you. For a place to stop for a few days, Monteverde would be a good choice. July is the rainy season but it isn’t peak rainy season so you should be able to get some activities in during the day. We’d recommend doing the zip-lining there as the facilities are really nice. Lastly, yes, better to stay closer to SJO airport unless you plan to visit museums, etc. You can rent a car from either place. Make sure to check out our Rental Car Discount page to save some money too. Good luck with your travels!
Thanks so much. We are now thinking of going to Sarapiqui and maybe staying at the Chilamate Rainforest eco retreat for 2 nights and goign white water rafting etc and then driving to Volcano Arenal (stopping at that waterfall you described in the Sarapiqui section) and spending 2 nights there. and doing a big hike. I like the idea of the 8km Cerro Chato hike from the arenal observatory lodge that goes up to the 1100m high volcanic lake, do you know anything about that hike (our kids are hikers). Also would it make sense to stay at the arenal observatory lodge it its not too expensive?
Hi again Justine,
That sounds like a fun itinerary too. We actually have an article on Cerro Chato that you can read here: https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/cerro-chato-volcano-hike/. It should be fine if your kids are hikers, when we did it we saw kids even younger than yours on the trail. It is challenging though. The article has more specifics.
As for the Arenal Observatory, it is a beautiful property and has some of the best/closest views of Arenal Volcano. We actually work with them and I will send you an email about how we might be able to save you some money on the nightly rate. Glad your plans are coming together…