Hey, it's my first time to costa rica. Just me and one other buddy are going and we are planning to be there for about 7-10 days in mid-March. We were originally thinking that we'd just rent a car and stay wherever, but I keep hearing that it's high tourist season and we might have some trouble finding a place to stay. We definitely don't want that, so where are some recommendations for what breaks to stay at for a March trip? Should we rent a car anyway and take day trips to waves? We are both in our mid-twenties and don't need things like ac, or a big hotel or anything like that, so long as we're safe. Any guidance would be helpful.
we have vacancy, allbeit limited, in march. check us out and if you are interested shoot me an email i will get you some price quotes if the dates you want are available. we offer everything from basic house rentals to all inclusive tours, in our private gated community in Esterillos Oeste CR (15 min from jaco).
I've heard the same thing about having a hard time finding places to stay during the high tourism season. I had a friend do the whole travel and find a place to stay as I get into town thing last year and was a success. I'm giving it a shot this year (starting tomorrow). I'll let you know how it goes.
As far as renting cars, check out Tico Travel (http://www.ticotravel.com/). I was weary to use them the first time, but they are legit and saved me about $300 on car rental fees, between insurance and they get better rates.
You should be fine even without reservations. It is good to get hooked up in advance but the cheapest places will not be advertising. Playa Negra Cafe was a good deal a few years ago but not the cheapest. We stay in the central pacific near Jaco and surf Hermosa and Esterillos -and Jaco if it is too big but you will not be getting the biggest surf of the year anyway. In Hermosa there are a bunch of places near the beach at all prices- slum to nice. We have a place off the beach at Lomasurfclub.com. Check out the surf today at rovercam.com Have a great trip.You will be glad you did it.
You'll love CR!!! Head to Playa Hermosa....plenty of hotels from dirt cheap to modest in price. My wife and I own a condo in Jaco...about 5 minutes from Hermosa and surf there all the time. If you stay in Hermosa, you don't need a car unless you want one. Check out Backyard's hotel: http://www.backyardhotel.com/
It's right on the beach with some of the best surf in the counrty right out front. there are plenty other places a short drive a way...Esterillos, Bejuco, to the south and Jaco, Bocca Barranca, Thives to the north.
We have been renting from them for over 8 years. They will come pick you up at the airport in your rental car for no charge and drive you back to Jaco where you drop the driver off and keep yorur car for the week. They include all taxes and mandatory CR insurance so there's now hidden fees. If you have any other questions, just ask!