Hola Jenn and Matt!
Not sure if you remember me, but Em Lund assured me you would from when I lived with her in Brighton like 12 years ago! She introduced me to your blog and I’ve been reading it non-stop for the past couple weeks as I am coming to CR! We still have lots to plan though and I’d love your advice if possible. I am traveling with my man friend, we are flying into/out of Liberia 2/5-2/12. For a while we were just going to go to Nosara, but after much reading we are going to spend 3 days around Arenal (just booked and air bnb in Nuevo Arenal) now I’m not sure if we should have booked it closer to La Fortuna, but oh well, we’ll make it work. While there we would like to do a few good hikes with waterfalls, and I love the idea of ending a day in the hot springs (I saw your post on this).
Sounds like we have to rent a car to get there so will do so from Liberia to Arenal. For the remainder of our vacation we would like to be on the Pacific coast for some beach time- I want to try surfing a bit, we are both into yoga, and I love to hike and want to see some wildlife and rainforest. Since our trip is coming up fast I want to at least book our second accommodation ASAP, but wondering if you think heading down to Nosara is worth the drive from Arenal, or should we just go somewhere a bit more north? (I’m not as impressed by what I’ve heard of Tamarindo as we would like to get some culture and not all tourists). Would you recommend keeping the car for the whole trip or try to get away without one once we are on the coast?
So happy for you that you and Matt have made such a great life together with your love of traveling and CR! Sam is one lucky boy! I certainly don’t want to take advantage of your time by any means, I know this is your job so let me know how to compensate you for your time (I just know we didn’t want a complete set itinerary so didn’t select that option…)
Look forward to hearing back from you.
I think we do remember you from Brighton, how funny. Maybe a Halloween Party? Tell Em we say hello! Nuevo Arenal is a little far out from La Fortuna but is a cool little town with some good restaurants. Some of the activities like hanging bridges, the national park, etc. are on the western side of La Fortuna anyway so won’t be too far.
For your time on the Pacific Coast, Nosara is great for surfing, wildlife, and yoga. It doesn’t have that many hiking sites that we know of but there is a really nice reserve down by Boca Nosara (the river mouth). If you did Nosara, you’d probably want to keep the car to explore around (did you check out our car discount?). The town is also a bit spread out, depending on where you stay, so the car is nice. Samara would be a fun day trip from there too and not as far off main roads. You might also like staying in Samara and doing Nosara as a day trip. You are right that the destinations further north are typically less jungle and wildlife. They are more about the beautiful beaches. Hope this helps you makes some decisions, we’d love to help you with some of our planning services but unfortunately we are booked up until past your trip dates. Let us know how your trip goes!