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  #1  
Old February 5th, 2011, 01:19 PM
CassNJ CassNJ is offline
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Question Has anyone done the land package to Monteverde Cloud Forest?

Hi has any done the land package on Star Flyer Costa Rica to the Monteverde Cloud Forest? I would love to get feedback on it? Also if there is enough spare time to go zip lining or hike the cloud forest?
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  #2  
Old February 7th, 2011, 09:43 AM
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desert2lover desert2lover is offline
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We just returned from SC Costa Rica northern itinerary last night.
We did the pre-cruise stay at Fonda Vela and loved it! They upgraded
our room to a suite and we had a gorgous view of the surrounding
area. Chico (the bartender) placed various fruits in the trees near
the pool and we had toucans eating there quite happily while we
watched and took pictures galore. Also white faced coatis roaming
around all over the place. Lots of other birds and small animals.

The trip to Selvatura was on the second day. Unfortunately, it
was VERY wet for our walk on the hanging bridges. We did half of it
and our guide said we could continue (more climbing and rougher terrain)
or turn around. Since we were soaked, we turned around. But it was
beautiful. On a sunny day it would be spectacular.

The drive up to Monteverde took us about 3 hours. The last 21 km
is on dirt road. The van driver knew the road by heart but we were
glad WE weren't driving.

One note: Our plane arrived in San Jose about 3 p.m. So we chose
to spend the night at the Intercontinental Real outside of San Jose
and have SC pick us up the NEXT morning to go to Monteverde. It
cost us an extra night, but was well worth it. We met people who
came directly to Monteverde from the airport and some arrived at
11:30 p.m. in the dark! No thank you......

So the pre-cruise part was super and the setting is beautiful.

Deanna
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  #3  
Old February 7th, 2011, 10:56 AM
leap mom leap mom is offline
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It was neat to hear about Monte Verde. We will be there on Friday for the pre-cruise package. Did you hear any comments on zip lining there in the forest?
How was your cruise week? Did you go to the places they had on the brochure as planned? Did you do any of the excursions that you would recommend? Was the snorkeling good? Any comments would be appreciated. How was the weather? We can't wait to head south away from the snow. Will be doing a back to back too. Look forward to heading back from you.
Thanks,
Ginny
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  #4  
Old February 7th, 2011, 01:00 PM
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desert2lover desert2lover is offline
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Hi Ginny,

The cruise week was good. Weather was beautiful, although some
wind on some days. 80's and low 90's. The ports were as planned,
but the Santa Rosa excursion was cancelled and we didn't get off
the ship that day. The beach there is nothing to brag about. Then
the next day Samara- Puerto Carrillo, there was too much swell
to allow transferring passengers from the ship to the zodiac, so we
had a sea day instead. I am sure they will be tweaking this itinerary
since they changed some of the excursions around and cancelled
others. The snorkeling opportunities were few on our week. The best
was at Curu/Isla Tortuga where they took you to a rock off the
shore on the zodiac. No snorkeling from the shore. Depends on your
experiences in the past whether you think it is terrific or just fair.

We did two excursions: Masaya volcano, craft market and Granada in
Nicaragua, and Palo Verde boat trip in Playa del Coco. Would definitely
recommend both. You must choose between the Corobici river and
Palo Verde in Playa del Coco. Palo Verde is no longer offered later on.
Corobici river is in open rafts (no shade). Palo Verde is in low boats
w/ a shade cover over the boat. We saw lots of crocs (big and small),
birds, iguanas, monkeys, etc. Guides were very good. If you had to choose, I would say Palo Verde. The Masaya volcano involves a drive past
Lake Nicaragua and up to the crater, about 1 1/2 hrs. There is a
path of 179 steps up to a vantage point overlooking the crater and
valley below. My husband did the climb, I did not. He said the view
was no different from up there than from the crater rim where I was.

All in all a good week. Always lots of fun. Many places very undeveloped
but that was fine w/ us. American dollars taken everywhere. ATM's
are around, but I never encountered one. Great crew. Captain is
quite the character, very nice. Ximena (the cruise director) is terrific.

Deanna
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  #5  
Old February 7th, 2011, 01:46 PM
leap mom leap mom is offline
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Thank you so much for all the good info on your week. Now we can't wait to go. We had thought about the rafting trip and the Palo Verde boat trip, and had hoped to do an excursion from another port to Palo Verde. Guess we will wait and see what is happening.
Must go start packing. Thanks again for your help and advice.
Ginny
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  #6  
Old February 8th, 2011, 06:42 PM
CassNJ CassNJ is offline
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Smile Thanks for the 411 on Monteverde land package

Thanks so much for the info Deanna!

We will be sure to pack the rain gear. Hotel Fonda Vela sounds great and I am really glad we aren't driving. Ginny good luck on your trip.

Cassie
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  #7  
Old February 8th, 2011, 08:51 PM
leap mom leap mom is offline
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Cassie,
I will let you know about our pre cruise stay at Monte Verde when we return. Get back to Cincinnati in the early morning hours on Feb. 28th. Which cruise are you doing? We are on the Costa Rica -- Nicaragua one week and then Costa Rica --Panama the next week. If you are on these, let me know what you might want to know about the excursions, etc. and I will let you hear when we are back.
Can't wait to go. Have bags all packed. Heard the weather is like high 80's and low 90's in Costa Rica. This sounds so great after all the snow and low temps we have had lately.
We are hoping to do the zip line at Monte Verde.
Let me hear any info you might want.
Ginny
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  #8  
Old February 10th, 2011, 10:01 PM
CassNJ CassNJ is offline
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Smile 2 weeks wow I am excited for you!

We are on the 3/13 cruise from Costa Rica to Panama. Then we will spend a week in Panama city touring around. I would love to hear about your shore excursions! Especially the Panama route!

It has been a tough winter! Have fun and enjoy!

Cassie
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  #9  
Old February 10th, 2011, 10:20 PM
leap mom leap mom is offline
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Will let you hear about that route and our excursions.. It is definitely the best of the two weeks. Hopefully, we can do many of the excursions we hope to do.
Also hope to do the zip line in Monte Verde.
Ginny
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  #10  
Old February 12th, 2011, 10:14 AM
CassNJ CassNJ is offline
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Default Have a great trip!

Have a great trip Ginny! I will look forward to hearing all about it. I e-mailed Hotel Fonda Vela and they said they could arrange zip lining when we checked in. So hopefully it will work out for you!

Cassie
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  #11  
Old March 1st, 2011, 11:51 AM
leap mom leap mom is offline
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Smile Monteverde Cloud Forest and back to back cruise

Cassie,
Just returned from our trip. You will love the Mont. Cloud Forest. It took us four hours from the airport to the Hotel. The last 2 hours were on the bad road. It was the bumpiest road we had ever been on. Be prepared!!
We arrived right at dusk so didn't get to see the birds being fed at the pool bar.
Saturday morning all of the pre-cruise guest(14 including us) were picked up at 7:30 a.m. and taken to the forest for about a 3 hours tour over the 8 bridges and through the forest seeing the hummingbird station. This was all great. It misted some. Wore long pants, long sleeve, fleece vest, and rain jacket. They had lunch there for us. Then went to the butterfly house. I have never seen so many butterflies. The hotel had made reservations for those of us who wanted to zip line at 2:. The zip line was something else. There were 13 runs, some short, the last about 2/3's of a mile which had to be done in pairs. The weather was good until the last run where it poured rain. They had you go with an instructor instead of your partner because it was raining so hard. Couldn't see anything. Some people in the group ahead didn't like it. You can't go back so they went taxi ( with an instructor) the rest of the time. I am glad I did it, but don't have to do it again. You can't take pictures as you go since you have no free hand. We wished that one of us had gone taxi on one run to take video so you might want to do that. It rained the rest of the evening so we didn't get to see the birds at the pool bar.
Sunday you are free to walk around the hotel areas. We saw many birds, animals, etc. then. After lunch, all of the pre-cruise people were bussed to the ship which took about 2 hours.
We did the back to back. I see that you are doing 6 nights. Quepos was on our trip. It is the most developed place we went to . We did the Manuel Antonio Nat. Park excursion. It was great. The guide has a telescope that he uses to spot birds, animals, etc. ( You also stop for about 30 min. at a beach that is beautiful. Your kids might want to get in.) Then he will take pictures through it for you with your camera. After the tour, we went to ship for lunch and waited until later in the evening to go back into town to shop. We had a band that night on the ship from there so we didn't sail away until midnight.
At Drake Bay they had changed the schedule earlier in Nov. so that you were only there for the afternoon and didn't go to Isla del Cano at all. At Drake Bay we did the Corcovado Nat. Park tour. It was very good. Some friends did the Mongrove tour and also the horseback riding and enjoyed those.
Be sure to sign up early for the excursions. Some times they fill up early, and some times they don't have enough signing up.
At Golfito, we did the rescue center and orchid gardens. It was very interesting. Ron, the owner of the orchid gardens, just happened to stop and talk to us, and ended up showing us all the orchids around. Be sure to see the cannonball tree.
They changed early on the stop at Isla de Coiba, and had been stopping at Isla Gamez in Panama. This is where we had the beach bar b que. The island was beautiful, and water so clear. No one was there, but the ship. We were there all day. They had all the beach toys out there.
We didn't have Isla Iguana that is listed on your week.
On our first week in the northern section we did miss a port because of sea swells.
The weather on the southern part was very warm(HOT) and very humid. Our clothes would be all wet after an excursion, but won't complain because it was not our usual cold and snow.
The food was great. Only complaint of trip was that after sailing on the Clippers four times before, we had never had any tour groups. Both weeks there were two tour groups each time making up about 68 people. Many were very elderly and shouldn't have been there. Many other individuals like us felt the same way.
Have a great trip. If you have any other questions, let me know. The pre-cruise package was the BEST part of the trip. We did snorkel at one of the places that you don't go to, but it was murky and not like what we had been used to.
They did offer zip line excursions from the ship, but the one at Mont. Cloud forest was the best one. Some on the ship didn't have enough people sign up.
Have fun!!
Ginny
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  #12  
Old March 1st, 2011, 10:53 PM
CassNJ CassNJ is offline
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Default Thank you!!!!!

Wow- it sounds great. We have started packing and will remember feces. We got next years schedule in the mail and it looks like they are officially giving Isla de coiba a pass. But your trip sounds great! We are so excited to do the zip lining. Also thanks so much for the rescue center and the Corvacdos info. We want to sign up for both of those. manual Antonio is closed the day we are there but will do the horse riding instead.

I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again for the report out. Cant wait. 9 days and counting.......
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  #13  
Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:48 AM
leap mom leap mom is offline
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Sorry you will miss the Manual Antonio park. On Sunday night before dinner, they will have a meeting about the week. They will tell about what excursions are offered, and show you the notebook where you sign up. The meeting was in the Tropical Bar. Then the notebook will be put in the library so sit near there so you can go in and sign up early. Might help you get what you want.
There were no kids on our two weeks, but with breaks coming up, you might have some.
Have fun.
Ginny
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  #14  
Old March 5th, 2011, 11:20 AM
CassNJ CassNJ is offline
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Default Thansk!

Thanks We will position close to the library! Kids know that they are mostly likely the only ones. So they are prepared. They are also use to vacations = remote adventures with no TV/Internet etc. Though my 12 year old is threatening to get on board and loudly proclaim but Mom I thought it was a Disney cruise where are the mickey mouse shaped chicken nuggets?? Hopefully she is kidding
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  #15  
Old March 7th, 2011, 02:04 PM
dzagorski dzagorski is online now
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Default Monteverde Cloud Forrest

We teamed up with another couple and arranged our own trip to Monteverde. Using the internet we contacted locals in Monteverde and they picked us up, brought us to zip lining in the cloud forrest, lunch and back to the port for a whole lot less than any ship excursion.
Worth investigating.
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