Hello, Jenn and Matt, I enjoy reading your blog very much and am grateful for the wealth of information. I am planning our first trip to Costa Rica in late June of 2018 and of course want to cover more territory than I should. I would love to get your feedback on my thoughts about the itinerary. We are a family of 2 adults (mid to late 50s) and two teenagers, and will have 12 and a half days in the country. We are primarily interested in seeing as much wildlife as we can, but also planning to go to Arenal for volcano, hot springs and some activities. Originally I was planning to do Arenal, Monteverde and Domenical/Uvita, but I got very strong recommendation to visit Cahuita/Puerto Viejo from my oldest son, and from reading your blog I realized that visiting Drake Bay is not as difficult as I originally thought, so now of course I want to do both. I think I will drop Monteverde from my itinerary, but I was wondering if this is still too much. Is the wildlife viewing that much better in Drake Bay than in Cahuita? We would stay at Drake Bay for 3-4 days and only do a day trip to Cordovado. I was thinking of flying there and then taking a boat out, getting a car in Sierpe. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
It’s a tough call as both Cahuita and Drake Bay have great wildlife. I wouldn’t try to do both with that amount of time and other destinations in the mix. If it makes any difference, Drake Bay is more remote so there isn’t as much for teenagers as far as restaurant, stores, other teens, etc. But it all depends on your teenagers of course. If you want to see sloths, you’d probably get a better/closer view in Cahuita since it seems to be full of them. For more rare wildlife and birds, Drake Bay would probably be best. If we had to pick one, we’d choose Drake Bay (always been one of our favorite places) but we really enjoyed our last visit to Cahuita and Puerto Viejo as well. Sorry to not have a clear cut answer. Best of luck deciding!