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Looking at a Costa Rica trip this December. Maybe 9-12 days. Its overwhelming as there seem to be so many cool places. Below is my trip ideal. Any experiences / advice interested.

trip ideals...
-trip will be myself, wife and 5 year old son so lodging needs to be kid friendly
-I would like a good beach that has medium to small sized waves to surf for the wife and myself.
-Close to nature tours where we could see sloths, monkeys, tapirs, birds, etc.
-I assume this would be pacific coast
-Fishing I could do 2 or 3 days on a boat with a guide.species i would prefer in order...roosterfish, sailfish, dorado, YFT ( well tarpon are my fav.. but i have yet to find a kid friendly place on the atlantic side)
-I would like DIY fishing from the beach. I could bring the spin rod as well as i hear the bigger fish are not quite in fly rod range but in spin rod range...of course i would prefer the fly.
-Maybe a few days inland to see some mountains and springs? not sure if that is too much for the little guy.

some areas that have been suggested by others are . Drake bay, Osa peninsula, Tamarindo, Nosara

thanks for any help
 

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I was in Costa Rica in April of 2018. Went on a charter trip offshore and caught schoolie mahi and tuna on the fly. We trolled and caught 2 sails. We went for a wedding so I can't really help you with where to stay. We were in Taramindo, it's a pretty tourist area. Caught all my fish on simple craft fur baitfish, olive/white and chartruese/white. I brought my 10 wt but it was overkill.
 

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Crocodile Bay Resort would be a good choice. Checks all the boxes for your expectations. Great fishing, inshore and off, plus eco-tours and kid friendly. I've been to two other operations in the Golfito area but both have changed ownership. CBR has a good rep for service and guides.

https://www.crocodilebay.com/
 

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You will have a good time anywhere you go. I was not impressed by Tamarindo. We picked up a car upon arrival in San Jose. Followed the advice not to drive at night so stayed at a B&B near Grecia. Early next morning drove to Nicoya then Samara and finally arrived at Playa Carrillo. Chartered a boat for the next day. Pacific Sails are not your wimpy Atlantic Sails. Fresh grilled Mahi for dinner that night. The area is very quiet but has a nice open beach where you can try casting. Went on a great Quad tour the next day that included crossing a shallow stream and waterfalls as well as climbing to a mountain top with great views. I can go on and on. Also visited Playa Hermosa further north. Returned to San Jose via Tabacon Springs and La Fortuna. Your family will enjoy the hot springs at Tabacon. The waterfall at La Fortuna is worth the slippery hike. Lots of National Parks to visit and you can arrange tours anywhere you stay. No issues driving all over. It is a small country, you can’t get lost. You can always ask the locals for directions. Just avoid driving at night and slow down. Yes, there are lots of potholes and even craters on the roads. Got caught in heavy fog crossing the mountains going back to San Jose thru the center of the country. That was not fun. Look at Malpais and Montezuma - there is too much to see and not enough time.
 

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Stay away from Jaco and Tamarindo. You could check off the majority of your list in Nosara / Guiones. I have been all over the country and this area is by far the most family friendly. Lots of lodging options and vrbo's in this area. I believe you can find charter boats in Pelada and Samara which are very close 10 -15 min drive. I haven't been in a while but wouldn't hesitate to take the kids, it's a safe area. There is turtle watching in Ostional and a very unique beach in San Juanillio which is about an hour north. Once you want to head inland you can check out the Arenal Volcano, hanging bridges & hot springs. It's about a 3-4 hr drive. The hanging bridges is one of the most beautiful hikes you will ever find. As an added bonus you can also get some fishing in for rainbow bass on lake Arenal. They also have some mountain streams with trout in the central part of the country. I believe those are south of San Jose in the highest mountain streams.

https://www.surfingnosara.com
 

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Call Craig Sutton with www.fishingnosara.com

He also runs nosara paradise rentals.

Went there this past october (2018) for my bachelor trip. Although it was the tail end of rainy season we Charterer two full days and caught mahi on fly each day throwing ep baitfish flies. Some rooster fish and saw some sails but never got one on a hook.

Nosara would be my choice while bringing the family, stay away from San Jose and the Jaco area’s for sure, probably will never visit jaco again as it’s gotten pretty bad and some coworkers were there in August and had everything except their clothes taken from them day one of their trip while they went to check the surf...

I’ve been to Costa Rica a couple times nosara depending on wave size is doable but it can be an interesting place when it get sizable, still a beach break tho. Tamarindo area is also on my list and plenty of places between each to surf or grab a boat to hit some more secluded breaks.

Don’t forget to check the river mouths for snook, some depend on tide but there’s big snook to be had. Rainy season ends in November so water clarity should get good.Think February is when the jacks start crushing the surf line too
 
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