We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Costa Rica Booked!!

New York
Level Contributor
113 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Costa Rica Booked!!

Hi all,

I'm soooo excited about my upcoming vacation to Costa Rica. I just booked 2 weeks (6 days in the Arenal area Hotel Royal Corin, 6 days RIU all inclusive Guancaste area). We will be traveling from 5/21 - 6/2 and can hardly wait for May to get here.

I will be traveling with my fiance, we're both in our late 20's and will be up for adventure. There are a couple of questions I have:

- What is the best way to book transportation from SJO to our hotel in Arenal? Same question apply for our transportation from hotel to LIB airport? What is the normal rate? Will it be a bad idea to hail a regular cab from the airport..will that be hard to locate? rate?

- How long is ride from SJO to Royal Corin Arenal? How long is the ride from RIU hotel to LIB Airport? Allocating time to make sure I arrive on time for my scheduled flights.

- Any great tour companies for Arenal or Guancaste area will be greatly appreciated. We are NOT planning on renting a car so transportation will need to be provided by the tours (hopefully not for an additional cost).

- Water! Will i be able to safely drink the tap water from Costa Rica? Or, is it best to purchase bottled water. Is there any sort of supermarket in which I can purchase this near both of our hotel?

- Any feedback/tips for the Royal Corin and Riu Hotel is warmly welcomed.

Thank you in advance for your valued advice!

- Sillybutt

La Fortuna de San...
Level Contributor
2,002 posts
192 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Costa Rica Booked!!

I'll take a first stab at your questions. :-)

You can catch a taxi at the airport, no problem and it will take about 3 hours to get from SJO to the Royal Corin.

Royal Corin has a great bar on the top floor called Lava Bar and they have happy hour 6-8 with 2 for 1 drinks and free appetizers.

Great company for all your tours, we use them all the time: DesAfio- www.desafiocostarica.com

The water here is great and you can drink it, no problem! Down by the beaches is the only place I've been told about their wells being too salty since they're down at sea level so they suggested bottled water-not sure how they do it at the RIU-others will chime in on that I'm sure!

For your transportation from La Fortuna to the RIU-I'd look at Interbus: www.interbusonline.com

Have a great time! :-)

Wendy, La Fortuna, CR

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,655 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Costa Rica Booked!!

1. transportation from the airport to Arenal -- taking a taxi would probably be the very most expensive way to go. I would imagine you could hire a private driver for less. Interbus has a shared van shuttle that runs $40 a person - check here: www.shuttlebus.co.cr - for "origin" use "Rio Segundo" - this is about 5 minutes from the airport. As Wendy said, it will take about 3 hours. There are a number of private drivers available and recommended. If you will go to the main Costa Rica forum and look to the right, you will see a write-up of transportation options and a list of private drivers there.

2. From the RIU to LIR airport is about 20 minutes. The hotel will arrange transportation for you. It should cost no more than $30-40.

3. Good tour companies include www.papagayovargas.com among others. If you will do a search on this forum -- tours Guanacaste - you will find quite a list of tour providers.

4. Tap water is safe all over Costa Rica. The country has an excellent infrastructure for providing clean water so no problem. There is no supermarket near the RIU but perhaps a small "pulperia," You can get bottled water at either hotel if you choose/need to use it.

Level Contributor
3,091 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Costa Rica Booked!!


1-up for adventure , rincon de la vieja area, while at riu

2-sjo to arenal http://www.tucanlimoservices.com/ drive 2 1/2 - 3 depending

3-riu to liberia ecotranscostarica.com

4-tours in arenal skyadventures.travel/Arenal_En/Sky_Trek.html

5-water, yes you can drink it

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
Level Contributor
7,819 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Costa Rica Booked!!

Private transfer should cost around $140, you may be able to talk an airport taxi into it for $100, shared shuttle service is around $40.

In Arenal Desafio is my fav for tours - http://www.desafiocostarica.com/ in Guanacaste Papgayo Vargus mentioned by Hattie or Xplore - http://www.xplorecostarica.com/

Water if fine, been drinking it now for 25% of my life and I am still standing.

Have a fun trip


New York
Level Contributor
113 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Costa Rica Booked!!

Hi All,

Less than 30 days until I arrive in Costa Rica for the first time! Which means I better start nailing down my itinerary. I have a rough draft of what I plan to do but not quite sure how I’m going to do it. E.g. Booking a tour or heading out myself by with a rental car. Does most tours pick you up and drop you off at your hotel OR do they expect you to drive there yourself? I have yet to rent a car and trying to avoid the need to if possible.

Arrive in SJO Airport – La Fortuna – 6 days / 5 nights

Saturday – Head to the La Fortuna to check into Hotel Royal Corin. Dinner suggestion??

Sunday – Monteverde Cloud Forest

Monday – Arenal Volcano Hike or Miravalles Volcano hike

Tuesday – ATV, Horseback riding, Zipling

Wednesday – Hot Springs. Suggestion? Will it be worth it since I read that the hotel that I am staying in also have hot springs available for no additional charge.

Thursday – Free day! Head to San Jose??

Friday – Pick up at 8AM to Guancaste.


1. What is the best way to complete the activities listed above? Hire a tour/tourguide? Or, heading out ourselves. Does most tours pick you up/drop you off at you hotel or do they expect you to make your way to the location yourself?

2. Is it worth renting a car to explore on our own? Is it dangerous to hike these places without a tour guide? (Monteverde Cloud Forest, Volcano, etc.)

3. What should I do on my only free day?

4. Any close by supermarket where I can pick essentials? Bottle water, etc.?

5. Any recommendation for good restaurants nearby? Would love to try some local food or seafood. We might not be renting a car…if so, will it be hard to hail a cab to and from restaurant during dinner time?

Arrive in Guanacaste – 5 days / 4 nights

Unlike La Fortuna area, I have NOTHING planned for Guanacaste which is making me a little nervous. We will be staying at hotel near Octocal Beach. Any suggestions is greatly appreciated. I’m thinking I should take adventure of the beach and sun…so maybe some snorkeling? Kayaking. Wanted to try surfing as well but I’m not a good swimmer which might not be the best idea.

atlanta, ga
Level Contributor
243 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Costa Rica Booked!!

At a glance, a couple of things do not make sense. On Sunday were you planning on going to Monteverde for the day? Does not make sense...long drive just for the day. I see that on Tuesday you have 3 activities planned...seems like too much for one day. On Wednesday the only thing on your agenda is the hot springs (this is not an all day activity). Thursday you have nothing. I do not understand why you want to head to San Jose on Thursday.

Your itinerary needs some tweaking. I am sure others on this forum can help.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
46,026 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Costa Rica Booked!!

Book a private transfer...it is not worth it to take a chance with a cheap taxi...but most of the times taxis are more expensive than regular transfers...

Or just rent a car with ALAMO one way to Arenal...


Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
8,860 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Costa Rica Booked!!

I agree with jfitzp. Your list of day-to day activities needs some serious tweaking. I would suggest you forget about daytrips to Montverde or San Jose as they involve 6-8 hours of sitting in a car or bus. Instead why not try:

Saturday – Head to the La Fortuna to check into Hotel Royal Corin. Dinner at hotel.

Sunday – Zipline (SkyTrek) followed by volcano hike

Monday – Canyoning with DeSafio or PureTrek, or daytrip to Cano Negro to see wildlife

Tuesday – Hike or horseback ride to LaFortuna waterfall. Afternoon/evening at hot springs. Tabacon has huge beautiful hot spprings.Must be seen by daylight. Good spa as well.

Wednesday – Whitewater rafting or hike Venado caves

Thursday – Guided tour of Hanging Bridges or kayaking on Lake Arenal

Friday – Pick up at 8AM to Guancaste.

You can assume that there will be some rain and you may want to shift activities around or just get wet.

Edited: 13 May 2011, 14:32
New York
Level Contributor
113 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Costa Rica Booked!!

Thanks everyone for your feedback.

I wasnt aware that Montverde was that far from Arensal. I was really looking forward to visiting the Cloud Rainforest.

Any Guanacaste experts out there that can advise on activities that i should def. not miss out on?? I have close to 7 days there.

I will be arriving in less than 7 days. Packing all of the beach/hot weather apparel..is there anything out of the ordinary that I should def. bring with?

e.g. what should I wear for hiking in the rainforest? Tank Top and Shorts?

Thank you again for the feedback!

- Sillybutt

2 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Costa Rica Booked!!

I just read your message online about transportation in costa rica and I am doing the same trip. Can you please tell me how you made out with transportatoion. bgonsalves@tcco.com

Thank You