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9 days: Can we fit in Arenal, PV, Monteverde, & Monteverde?

Davenport, Iowa
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9 days: Can we fit in Arenal, PV, Monteverde, & Monteverde?

Looking at a map it seems we should cut out one of these 4 places. Montezuma and PV just seem so far apart.

We arrive 26 May and leave 4 June. Are any of these places less enjoyable during the early rainy season? If so, maybe we could cut based on that.

Right now our plan is as follows:

Arenal 3

Monteverde 2

Montezuma 1(?)

Puerto Viejo 3 (4?)

Do you think it would be possible to drive to Arenal immediately after arriving in San Jose in the evening (8:30 pm)? If so, maybe we could spend just 2 nights in Arenal.

Thank you for any suggestions you may have. I have gleaned a lot of helpful information through this message board and feel more confident now that the trip will come together even though I don't have much time to plan!

Pensacola, Florida
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1. Re: 9 days: Can we fit in Arenal, PV, Monteverde, & Monteverde?

Too late to head up to Arenal after you clear customs will be late...

www.puravidahotel.com

www.adventure-inn,com

nice hotels for a night head up the next day..

Montezuma too far for 1 day for me.

just head to PV OR Montezuma...both nice beach destinations.

www.ylangylangresrt.com Montezuma my fav

gets less rain usuaally...have fun,

United States
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2. Re: 9 days: Can we fit in Arenal, PV, Monteverde, & Monteverde?

We were going to try a similar route, flight arriving at 8:30 p.m. and head up to Arenal. It's probably too late to change your flight now, but we decided to fly into Liberia instead, we are arriving around noon and heading straight to Arenal. I think the drive is a bit closer.

San Diego...
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3. Re: 9 days: Can we fit in Arenal, PV, Monteverde, & Monteverde?

We land at SJO at 8:40 PM and have hired a driver to take us to our hotel in Arenal as we'll be Costa Rica for 10 days. We will only have carry-on so feel it won't take much of a delay to get through customs...I'm a seasoned International traveler and feel that we may have a 30 minute wait to clear customs and immegration.

We're doing 3 nights Arenal, 3 in Monteverde, and 3 in Playa Hermosa.

Costa Rica
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4. Re: 9 days: Can we fit in Arenal, PV, Monteverde, & Monteverde?

7846 - you actually have 8 days in Costa Rica. If I were you, I would sit down and plan out a detailed itinerary, taking into account the amount of time it takes to get from place to place and consider that you will be staying near the airport your first and last night. If you want to visit all these places, you could consider flying to some of them.

Don't even think of staying in Montezuma for just one night - it takes some time to get there so you wouldn't really be able to enjoy it unless you stay 2 or 3 nights.

It also depends on what kind of transportation you will have and how you feel about moving around a lot. If it were me, I would skip Monteverde and add extra time in Montezuma.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: 9 days: Can we fit in Arenal, PV, Monteverde, & Monteverde?

Liberia to Arenal is not closer than San Jose to Arenal...is the other way around...

If you like to drive in a norrow road...high shoulders...foggy night...some rain...and without any idea where are you going...drive to Arenal at night...I have had been driving to Arenal since I was a kid...and I still today every time I have to drive some of my clients there at night...that road is not easy...at night...scary if it is your first time! Try to drive there during the day!

I will delete PV...and keep your itinerary around...Pacific!

roadadvisor

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
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6. Re: 9 days: Can we fit in Arenal, PV, Monteverde, & Monteverde?

My first impression...WOW! My second impression....NO, No, no! The only way of following your itinerary is to hire a helicopter!!!

1. DO NOT DRIVE AT NIGHT!

it is difficult enough for first timers to Costa Rica to find their way around during the day light hours! Night time is 100 times more difficult. Find a hotel or B & B to stay at in Alajuela and get on the road first thing in the morning. This point is stressed so often on these forums and we can't seem to stress it often enough. Please, heed our advice!

2. Either stay on the Pacific coast as Roadadvisor has suggested and see Arenal, Monteverde and maybe Manuel Antonio; or Arenal and Montezuma and skip Monteverde

OR visit Arenal and Puerto Viejo and skip Monteverde and Montezuma.

3. The distances look very close on the map, even though it may say each location close, the driving times to each could take a good part of your day. Often the roads are two lane highways or country roads, plenty of potholes and dirt roads and few super highways we are used to in our home countries.

If you are planning a relaxing vacation as well as a sight-seeing vacation, then don't try to put a load of driving between your destinations. If you are planning for a road-trip to say you saw it and got stressed out, then go for the multi-destination driving vacation.

Costa Rica
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7. Re: 9 days: Can we fit in Arenal, PV, Monteverde, & Monteverde?

roadadvisor: Luis, mi amigo, I was under the impression that Arenal was about the same distance from Liberia and Alajuela. Am I wrong? I guess there is a difference between "as the crow flies" and actual kilometers and time spent driving. From Liberia to Canas is about 45 minutes to an hour, then from Canas to La Fortuna is 98 km - so around 2.5- 3 hours total? Isn't it a similar amount of time from Alajuela to La Fortuna? Help me.....

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: 9 days: Can we fit in Arenal, PV, Monteverde, & Monteverde?

The leg from Monteverde to Montezuma for 1 night and then from Montezuma to Puerto Viejo doesn't really makes sense time wise or travel wise. Most areas are a minimum 2-3 night stay and require a few hours travel in between.

Between Alejuela and La Fortuna it's about 1/2 hour less driving than Liberia and La Fortuna, so not a whole lot of difference, but based on other areas you want to visit SJO makes more sense.

Davenport, Iowa
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9. Re: 9 days: Can we fit in Arenal, PV, Monteverde, & Monteverde?

Thanks to everyone for their replies. I misstated the dates since we actually arrive the evening of 25 May. We are renting a car. Based on your advice we will not drive to Arenal at night. It seems Manuel Antonio is more touristy than we would like, but clearly we cannot visit all of these places.

Thanks again for your help!

Rana

10. Re: 9 days: Can we fit in Arenal, PV, Monteverde, & Monteverde?

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