Northwest Costa Rica for 3 extra days
February 9, 2018 9:59 AM   Subscribe

My brother and I are taking our parents to Costa Rica for their 50th wedding anniversary at the end of March. We'll be there as a whole family for a week, flying into and out of Liberia, and then my wife and I will be staying for 3 extra days after everyone else goes home. Where should we go, that we can get to fairly easily from Brasilito, where we'll be at the end of the first week? More details below about the kind of stuff we're into.

With the whole family, we'll be visiting cloud forests, chocolate tours, hot springs, and the beach -- stuff you can do with 71-year-olds and 13-year-olds. My wife and I are more fit and more adventurous, and would like to do some canyoning, learning to surf, maybe catch some fun music, etc. We're Burners (i.e., Burning-Man-types), and we like adventures of all kinds. We are NOT super into giant tourist traps or buses full of obnoxious rich people; we generally prefer more eco-friendly, independent stuff. I've been to CR before (in 2005), but my wife has not.

We'd be fine with catching a short flight from Liberia airport, but it looks like there aren't a lot of domestic flights out of there. Montezuma sounds cool, but is it possible to get to and from there without devoting a whole day of travel each way? What are some other options?

Any advice is very much appreciated. Thanks!
posted by crookedgrin to Travel & Transportation around Costa Rica (4 answers total)
The further south you travel along the Nicoya peninsula, the more mellow and less-touristed it becomes (although there are plenty of touristy beach towns). But you are correct that the driving times are quite long. However, Nosara and Samara are not nearly as inconvenient to visit. Another option would be to go inland, to Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja.
posted by stowaway at 1:29 PM on February 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

I can recommend Playa Grande (my partner and I don't surf but it seems like a great place to surf) and in particular the Indra Inn, a delightful no-frills hotel within walking distance of the beach. One of the highlights of our trip was getting to know Matt and Natalia, the owners of the hotel; they now have a son who I believe is named Dante. Note that Playa Grande is geographically next to Tamarindo (a tourist trap) but there's no direct road between them and when we visited (Jan 2013) at least Playa Grande was wonderfully quiet.

It might be quite similar to what you will have already done, though. So inland, I can also strongly recommend La Carolina Lodge: quite a unique travel experience!
posted by EtTuHealy at 2:21 PM on February 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

After some quick research, I have realized that "learning to surf" would take months or years, not an afternoon, so skipping that idea.

Thanks for the other ideas, though! Will check out those options.
posted by crookedgrin at 12:16 PM on February 13, 2018

Well, learning to surf might take months, but having fun in the water on a surfboard takes no time at all. I think Nosara ticks your boxes.
posted by snickerdoodle at 2:53 PM on February 13, 2018

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