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New and needing a lot of help please!

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#1 azkookie18

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  • 8 posts

    Posted 31 August 2010 - 10:16 PM

    Hi fellow brides and experts!

    My fiance and I have decided for a destination wedding and are leading towards CR as it seems to have a lot to offer! We are planning a mid-sized wedding (40-50 people) and here are a few things that are important to us:

    -Proximity to a major airport

    -Nearby activities



    I have found a couple of places that seem PERFECT BUT far from San Jose.. Are there areas that are relatively close to SJ or another "major" airport (flying in from the US)?

    Or, are there local airlines that are relatively inexpensive? We found a great place in Osa Peninsula but it required either a 7 hr drive from SJ or a flight to PJM (which was $200+ from San Jose)!

    That seems like a lot for such a short flight, especially since our guests are flying already from Arizona!!

    Your input/expertise/experience is greatly appreciated.




    #2 Amanda+Dave

    • Member
    • 509 posts

      Posted 01 September 2010 - 03:11 AM

      There is another airport in CR in Liberia. Not sure if that is closer to the one area you are looking at.


      Good luck with your planning. We have also decided on Costa Rica, as there is so much to do there, and it is just beautiful. Everyone we know that has gone there only positive things to say.


      Good luck and happy planning,

      #3 Ask.CostaRica

      • Jr. Member
      • 223 posts

        Posted 01 September 2010 - 12:00 PM



        Hello there! 


        With the new highway from San Jose to Orotina you can be at Jaco in 1hr10min, Esterillos in 1hr30min, Manuel Antonio in 1hr50min and Dominical in 3hrs. Dont look at the car rides as a hassle, plan on a lunch on the road at some of the local restaurants (hole in the walls) and make it an experience (we can help with suggestions). Stop at the Carara bridge and look at the crocks. Your friends and family will be talking about these experiences for a long time.

        Osa would be something you and your family will not forget (my favorite place in CR). It is a long ride (don't do it by plane), hire minibuses to take all of you there (this will cut down cost). There is so much to do there; fishing, kayaking, trekking into Corcovado, surfing, whale watching. Check out Iguana Lodge (great food), we have done a couple of weddings there. Bosque del Cabo (higher end) or La Leona tented Camp in Karate (entrance to the park-to get the camp they send out a mule and carriage to pickup luggage and everyone walks on the beach to get to it). We have a wedding out there in Nov and will let you know when we post the images. 

        If you want to fly, local airlines are offering $30 flights to locals in low season. Maybe if you drive a hard bargain you can get a good price. Nothing is set in stone here, just haggle hard.....

        #4 LazyBride

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        • 5 posts

          Posted 01 September 2010 - 03:42 PM

          Having done two 50 person weddings in the Osa in the last few months (which is beautiful but far and rugged - no air conditioning and only for the adventurous), I would recommend it only if you have very adventurous friends & family, don't mind the lack of AC and are have a decent budget - due to the distance, all the vendors charge much more for transportation. There aren't any restaurants in the area so all the lodges are all-inclusive and there are very few services (no florist, no DJ, no cake maker, no rentals).  We had to fly in the cake and bouquet since nowhere to keep them cool before the wedding (these are the crazy logistics we wedding planners have to think of).  I would recommend you have your honeymoon there but a wedding is complicated. It's beautiful for sure! Check out these shots:



          The airlines have only a limited number of those cheap tickets and they are only for the very low season (now) and only for locals. Having worked in the travel biz here for 8 years, the airlines will not haggle on the pricing (and very few other vendors will haggle  - it's not really part of the culture here, like what you might find in Mexico or Guatemala).


          So, my recommendation is to look at Jaco area as it is the closest beach town to SanJose (1 hour drive). Liberia is up in the north and the flights into it from the US tend to be $200 more or so per ticket. But it is close to many beaches (30 minutes- 1.5 hours). There are some lovely locations in the Jaco/Herradura beach area, for a variety of budgets.

          Good luck!


          Weddings Costa Rica

          #5 Ask.CostaRica

          • Jr. Member
          • 223 posts

            Posted 02 September 2010 - 09:38 AM

            We agree with Larissa. If you are planning a very detail oriented wedding, Osa will definitely make vendor prices go up and many crazy logistics behind it (cake, flowers, chairs, tables, DJ),for sure you want expert coordination.

            It would be an AI situations with hotels but different to the AI buffets we have seen in more popular locations. One of the last weddings we had, they cooked up a giant Paella, Pork Roast and an amazing anitpasto (Iguana Lodge) or lunch was the boys catch of the day 54lb dogtooth snapper. Breakfast was pretty amazing too.

            Ticos drive hard deals but the current economy has seen some change. As locals, we bought 10 local airfare flights (Nature Air) to be cashed in for $24/each. If you are willing to put the work in calls, you may get some deals.

            Jaco - Esterillos area definitely has some beautiful locations as well. There is Pura Vida Gardens in Bijagual with an amazing view:


            (Lizzy & Mark) http://elopementscr....com/month/jun08

            #6 azkookie18

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              Posted 02 September 2010 - 11:20 PM

              Wow, thanks so much for your wisdom!! Jaco area sounds amazing!

              Any specific residences you'd recommend? We'd consider AI but I'd prefer not to..

              #7 Ask.CostaRica

              • Jr. Member
              • 223 posts

                Posted 03 September 2010 - 05:53 AM

                Here is one wedding we did with Weddings Costa Rica (Larissa & Randy) at Casa Ponte in Jaco (http://www.casaponte.com/):



                There is also Los Suenos Luxury Rentals and the Los Suenos Beach Club (http://www.crluxury....t-amenities.htm):



                #8 LazyBride

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                • 5 posts

                  Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:30 AM

                  There aren't any AI that I know of (maybe the Best Western?) but with all the great restaurants in the Jaco area, you definitely don't want to miss out on taking your tastebuds to Flavourtown!


                  Larissa Banting

                  Weddings Costa Rica

                  #9 Ask.CostaRica

                  • Jr. Member
                  • 223 posts

                    Posted 03 September 2010 - 12:07 PM

                    Definitely check out El Hicaco Restaurant (http://www.elhicaco.net/), it is like a historical landmark (been around forever, great for a rehearsal dinner). 

                    Have a shrimp pizza at Rioasis with their spicy scotch bonnet (chile panama) sauce.

                    #10 azkookie18

                    • Newbie
                    • 8 posts

                      Posted 06 September 2010 - 09:04 PM

                      Hi, thanks so much for your input! El Hicaco indeed looks like a great place for a rehearsal!! Willd efinitely check into it further!

                      Are there any venue/resorts you'd recommend in Esterillos or Manuel Antonio?

                      Are there a lot of activities to do in that area?

                      Thanks again!!


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