Costa Rica/Day trip from nosara
We will spending 8 nights in Nosara in early March. There will be 4 adults and my 8 yr old son. We plan to visit Ostional, do lots of surfing and relax mostly. On Friday we have to drive back to Liberia for my parents flight as they are only staying for part of our trip. I am wondering if it may be feasible to do a trip to a volcano or hot springs and still get back to Nosara before dark? They need to be at the airport for a 1pm flight back to Maryland. If you have any advice or suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it. Also if you have any particular charter fishing captains in the Nosara area...we may like to do a half day trip if the price s affordable.
Thank you, I look forward to your reply!
ANSWER: Dear Jen,
People usually have to be at the airport 2.5 hours before their flight, so you could leave Nosara around 8, drop your parents at the airport around 10:30, and continue 3 hours east to Arenal volcano and its hot springs. But it takes about 3.5 hours to get back to Nosara, so if you wanted to get back by dark, you'd only have half an hour at the volcano.
It would be quicker to go to Volcán Tenorio National Park with its amazing Río Celeste, turquoise blue waterfalls and some hot springs farther along the trail. You don't really get to see the volcano from there, but the Río Celeste is unforgettable. You drive about half an hour south of Liberia on the Interamerican and turn left at the town of Bagaces. Drive another hour north past the town of Bijagua and follow signs to Tenorio National Park. The last 4 km are pretty bumpy.
Or your could go see the mini-volcanic activity at Rincón de la Vieja National Park, about an hour northeast of Liberia. You wouldn't see the volcano, but you might see mini geysers, boiling mud pots, rocks stained different colors by the steam emanating from the earth. Must keep on the trails.
For charter fishing captains, you should ask at your hotel, or ask the person in charge of your rental. They will know more about current captains than I do. If you are renting a house and leave Nosara for the day, make sure there is adequate security at the rental property.
Have a great trip!
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QUESTION: Thank you so much for such a detailed and prompt response!
My next question is: I will be renting a vehicle for our stay but we don't plan to do much travel (to/from airport...Liberia to Nosara), short trips to market in town and possibly a drive to Ron on de la vieja (rio Celeste sounds wonderful but a bit too much driving for this trip). I know the roads are not the greatest but we are going in dry season and am wondering if a 4x4 is really necessary or if a standard car will suffice. I'd like to save our money to do more while there rather than on a car that will likely sit in our driveway for much of the week. And do you think a GPS system is worth the extra money (I am a great map reader and have never used gps)?
I truly appreciate your time and thoughts to help us with our trip. I managed a travel agency from 1997-2003 and visited CR once....I cannot wait to get back!
For the trip to Nosara, I would definitely recommend 4WD, not necessary for the 4WD but because of the clearance, the height of the vehicle from the road. The road to Nosara is unpaved and involves fording of rivers in the rainy season, rocky river beds in the dry season. The road to Rincon de la Vieja is also unpaved.
I don't think you need GPS if you have a good map like the one you get from mapcr.com. (You can get it bundled with a copy of my book too).
Once in Nosara, you might need to ask for directions. There are plenty of English speaking people there if you don't speak Spanish.
Thanks for your appreciation. Have a great trip!