Spring break is coming up and I nabbed tickets for $315 round trip. I do have a 19hr layover in Panama city giving me time for a quick tour of the city, I might even stay and do a land crossing into Costa Rica.
I was thinking of doing a loop from San Jose to Arenal then maybe off to Liberia and west along the coast and back. I would like to do this on a motorcycle if I could. I know I can rent bikes there and I am legal to ride.
Anyone have any experience riding in Costa Rica? Or just have some places for me to check out, even if they are not on the loop I mentioned?
Went to both Panama and CR last year. The road between Panama City and Costa Rica is long, it will take up a whole day. If you have a day to waste then go ahead, otherwise fly.
Arenal is pretty great, I stayed in La Fortuna and there's a lot of things to see and do there. Didn't go to Liberia but it's just a resort town, I wouldn't recommend it much. Instead you should go to Manuel Antonio and possibly Jaco if you want a beach town.
I didn't ride in CR but wish I could have. Didn't have a bike license at the beginning of last year...
f you want to visit the Arenal area, I would recommend that you head to Alajuela and not San Jose after you arrive in Costa Rica. Alajuela is much closer to the airport and also closer to Arenal/La Fortuna. It is literally like five minutes from the airport to Alajuela while San Jose is over 30 minutes away.
From the Arenal area you can go to the cloud forests of Monteverde using a "bus-boat-bus" trip: You'll get picked up at your hotel in La Fortuna by a minibus that'll take you to the Arenal Lake where a boat will take you across the lake to get you to another bus that will take you up into the mountains to Monteverde. It costs like 15 bucks. The crossing of the lake is beautiful and if the weather is clear you will have a great view of the Arenal Volcano.
But obviously this wouldn't be an option with a motorcycle.
I have no experiences with riding a motorcycle in Costa Rica, but if you decide to rent a bike and head to Liberia after Arenal you should definitely check out the Tenorio National Park which is between Arenal and Liberia. This park is famous for the Rio Celeste which has some incredible turquoise water due to the nearby volcano (pic related is from that park).
In the Liberia area you can go to the Rincon de la Vieja national park, which is supposed to be a great place for hiking although I haven't visited it myself.
Feel free to ask me more questions if you feel like it.
I went to skyscanner, typed in the days I had off and picked a near by airport. For me I was able to look at Philly, DC, Baltimore, Regan, JFK, and Newark and then I picked the head anywhere option and Costa Rica was one of the many sub $500 places for me, so since I've never been in central America I chose it. I live near Baltimore so I am flying from DC. I have been lucky as I teach and my birthday is always around spring break.