Gary LaPointe

Gary LaPointe

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    Studying Spanish in Costa Rica

    Is that the geographic area that you want to be in? It's really touristy up there. But if you want Subway, that's the place to be :) Down by Montezuma (at the bottom of the same peninsula) there is a group called http://www.proyectomontezuma.org/ that seems to be doing a lot for the community. I know I've seen their staff working with local kids at the local elementary school (during regular hours) so I figure they're doing good (I might be mixing up my timeline, maybe they formerly worked at the school, but I don't think so). They're on Facebook too. The Montezuma area is awesome. My blog posts tagged about it http://garysaid.com/tags/montezuma/ and my photo site of Montezuma and the general area http://montezumapacific.com/ I just REALLY enjoy it down that way. There are a few other places down there too that offer Spanish, but I'd be tempted to start with them. They offer all sorts of classes. I'm planning on taking a surfing class with them next time I'm down there (next month). Gary over 7 years ago

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    I am planning a trip to costa rica. What are some non-touristic places with wildlife near the coast?

    On the pacific coast at the bottom of a peninsula there, near Montezuma, is a natural park called Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve that's supposed to be the most untouched park they have (you're limited to the paths there). It's a nice park, $10 to get in, open Wednesday to Sunday, 8 am - 4 pm. Some people will tell you it's only closed Monday, that is false, they will swear it and they are wrong; it was closed only Monday for years and they changed it a few years ago. Here are a few pictures I took there. The Montezuma area is awesome. My blog http://garysaid.com/tags/montezuma/ and my photo site of Montezuma and the general area http://montezumapacific.com/ Gary over 7 years ago

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    San Jose costa rica, what bus service would be safe, And reasonably priced for 4 to travel to Manuel Antonio?

    This page http://tinyurl.com/6tropd5 says San Jose to Manuel Antonio (Directo, 3.5 hours, departs from the main Tracopa bus terminal (Avenida 10, Plaza Viquez), ends in Manuel Antonio. Plus, there are times listed on the page. If you speak Spanish you could probably call I've taken the DIRECTO public bus from San Jose to Montezuma and it's around $14 and probably a lot longer drive (plus a ferry ride) so I'd guess this is a bit cheaper. The bus has air conditioning with adjustable vents like on an airplane. They check your luggage and give you a claim tag for it. I can't say that this bus is the same way, but it's cheap easy and I'd say it's very safe when I go to Montezuma. I'll point out that the page above says it's info is from February 2012 and things change. The Montezuma Directo has been from La Coca Cola for many years and they just changed it in the last few months. This page http://tinyurl.com/cg4juc4 at the same site says it's the comfy Mercedes buses and says $5. These folks say http://thebusschedule.com/EN/cr/index.php say Transportes Morales runs a directo. Yes, the information is contradictory. But no one else answered so I'm trying to help :) I also use these folks http://www.montezumaexpeditions.com/schedules.htm They do private 10-15 person vans to transport you around and it's more door to door in my experience. But it's more expensive about $45 a person but you'd probably feel safer. I used to use them all the time, now I just use them when I don't have transport to the bus station (what's the point of the cheap bus if I have to spend $25 on a cab to get to the bus station) or the times just aren't working for me. Gary http://GarySaid.com/tags/costa-rica/ almost 7 years ago

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    If i have 3 days to see the best of San Jose...what should I do, see, eat, etc...?

    I like this downtown-ish section of San Jose. Lots of shops and parks, I've gone multiple times. You can probably go several blocks in any direction from here (if walking the neighborhood looks bad, turn around and go the other way!). Check out the local places, not the US chains. There are a few museums nearby (and there is something museumish in the National Theatre too). http://g.co/maps/kt42z http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yOOil8BNPY And I like this park too. La Sabana - http://g.co/maps/efbm8 It's very easy to take the bus from the Park to the Shopping area (down Paseo Colon), the other way is hard (it's one way at the one end). But it's a nice walk too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHUIjLQ_oGM Probably not safe to walk around either at night. But maybe by the theater...? about 7 years ago

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    Whats a good itinerary for 9 days in costa rica the first week of August?

    That's rainy season, so it's going to be hit or miss for things. And when I say rain, I mean flooding so make sure wherever you are ending your trip, that's the part closest to your airport. (I'm not sure if it's rainy season country-wide or just certain portions.) I believe all National Parks are close Monday and as of a year or so ago, many (if not most/all) are closed on Tuesday. Don't trust the tour books on the Tuesday part, call the park you plan to go to, the books might not be updated yet. I love the west coast of Costa Rica (Nicoya peninsula), Montezuma (beach and beautiful waterfalls) and Monte verde (rain forest)would be good places to go. http://garysaid.com/topics/costa-rica/ http://garysaid.com/tags/montezuma/ about 7 years ago

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    Renting a car? From Where? How? USA drivers license? Best rates? Advice on traveling from San Jose -> Dominical -> Arenal -> San Jose

    Your US license is good down there. They do NOT care if you have insurance from home that covers you down there. The roads and drivers are AWFUL so buy the extra insurance. There are no road signs off the main roads, rent the GPS unless you have an app for your phone (AT&T roaming data rates got a lot cheaper last year). People in Costa Rica do NOT like to say "I don't know" so if it seems like their directions are iffy, ask someone else too :) Don't leave anything in your car, every one says that, rental places and residents. Don't drive at night. Car rental is VERY expensive down there. Buy a copy of the TicoTimes.NET before you go (get the latest PDF) and the classifieds in the back lists some car rentals from local places. FYI, Interbus and Greyline does shuttle busses around (8-14 person vans) and so do local places like montezumaexpeditions.com (I love these guys) for getting around (usually they are door-to-door). I use them for getting around most of the time. about 7 years ago

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    My friend and I would like to do a two week motorcycle tour of costa rica. How safe would it be for us and is there a proven route?

    People drive horrible in Costa Rica so be careful :) Pay for the data plan on your phone so you can get maps if you need them (if you have GPS). Other than the big main roads, signage is poor or nonexistent. Potholes are awful! And many roads are dirt/dusty so be EXTRA prepared for this. And everyone says DO NOT drive at night even in a car (unless it's a main highway) but more so if you're near pot holes and I mean pot holes 4 feet across :) about 7 years ago

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    Where is the best place along the Pacific Coast to live from January to March with 2 toddlers? Need close to beach/surf, groceries, no car.

    So where did you end up going? People always ask for suggestions with kids and I'm never sure what to tell them... about 7 years ago