Update January 2010
I just got back from a spur of the moment cheap flight deal to Costa Rica! I am so glad I had researched the trip 2 years ago. When I saw an ad in a Saturday paper for a sell off from Toronto to San Jose, I called to check if it was still available. It was. It took me less than an hour to find a hotel online (www.adventure-inn.com) that had a room, then call back Flight Centre, book the LAST seat, call back the hotel free from Canada and USA, and in 3 days I was on the plane.
Will post pics and info soon as possible, but now back to our original program. And yes, Costa Rica is wonderful!!
I'm still comparing Bermuda, Turks and Caicos and Costa Rica as winter holiday getaways. I had an idea of flights and flying times (see previous posts), and so I started researching hotels and tour packages.
A preliminary result for a group tour through Costa Rica had not been encouraging. With the single supplement, it was rapidly pricing itself out of my budget. But by chance, through a typo on Flight Centre's website, I googled the typo to find what airport they were talking about, and came across the Go Visit Costa Rica site, and I spent a happy hour looking around.
That day's featured tour seemed just the trip for me. The rates are posted for one, two or three travelers/room, so you know what to expect, and it's still reasonable for what's included. I checked the itinerary of a few other tours. One starts in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and focuses more on Nicaragua before ending in San Jose CR. That one was particularly tempting, as it's been a long time since I've been to Honduras. Plus, road trips are one of my favorite things!
Then, I delved into the weather -- still on the same site. Turns out that mid February is an excellent time to travel there.
My former travel agent daughter sent me two more tour operator sites that she particularly liked, so I checked them out. They have set departure dates. Yes, I can work around them, and yes, I can add on days. But I prefer tours that uptake any day of the week. Plus, the GVCR site had a toll free number for the U.S. and Canada. Always a plus to talk to a real person.
I'll go back and research a bit more before deciding. But for an interesting trip that involves a bit of beach time, spa time, road trips, wildlife, volcanoes and cloud forest canopy walks, and meals and drinks are cheap, it hits all my buttons. A Spanish speaking guide comes along, so language is not a barrier, though it's a good chance for me to dust off my Spanish and jump in.
To be fair, I really should check more about Bermuda and Turks, but gosh darn it -- I am leaning towards Costa Rica, even though it's the longest flying time from Toronto.
Later! Gotta go check on visas.