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Drive from SJ airport to Arenal

Philadelphia
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56 posts
29 reviews
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Drive from SJ airport to Arenal

Hi-

We will be arriving in SJ at 1:30pm and then getting a rental car to drive to Arenal. I am worried that we will wind up driving at night. How long do you think it will take to get out of the airport and drive to Arenal? Thanks, Sherry

Costa Rica
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1. Re: Drive from SJ airport to Arenal

You should be on your way by 3 pm (possibly sooner) and it takes around 3 hours for the drive to the Arenal area so you will be arriving just as it gets dark.

Tampa, FL
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2. Re: Drive from SJ airport to Arenal

I want to thank Hattie for all her posts! I'm travelling to Costa Rica for 3 weeks in June and have benefitted from so many of Hattie's answers - even when I'm not the one who asked the question. Hattie, if you're reading this - MUCHAS GRACIAS!

Philadelphia
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56 posts
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3. Re: Drive from SJ airport to Arenal

Hattie-

Do you think we should just stay in the city the first night and drive to Arenal in the a.m.? Any ideas for a site we could see in SJ (it would be dinner time at least). Retaurant choice in SJ? We will prpobably stay at a Marriott, as we have free nights-either in downtown or Escuza(o)? Will 1 full day be okay for Arenal? We are off to Monteverde after that for 4 days. Thanks. I really muffed up this trip planning! Sherry

Costa Rica
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4. Re: Drive from SJ airport to Arenal

renaroo: Thank you SO MUCH for the kind words. Makes it all worthwhile.

wanderlust: I don't think it is necessary to stay the first night in San Jose. The airport is actually in Alajuela which is much more pleasant, should you decide to spend your first night somewhere not far from the airport.

Orquideas Inn would be a good choice - in the "hills" overlooking Alajuela in a beautiful spot and a great introduction to Costa Rica. Another choice would be La Rosa de America which is kind of "on the way" to the Arenal area. Nice property, comfortable rooms, pool.

However - unless you are a very timid driver or will be exhausted from a very long flight, I would just head to Arenal. Sunset will be around 5:30 and by that time, you will be over the "worst" of winding roads and very close to La Fortuna.

It's really up to you.

Philadelphia
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56 posts
29 reviews
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5. Re: Drive from SJ airport to Arenal

Hattie-

We'll see how fast we can get out of SJ! I'd much rather be in Arenal the day we arrive. Do you have any must sees/dos beyond the norm? We will be in Arenal at the Arenal Observatory for 2 (hopefully!) nights, then to Monteverde at Hotel Belmar for 3 nights. The next leg of the trip is the screwed up part due to my poor planning (Easter). We are staying in Los Suenos for 4 nights. My original plans have been sacked due to the Holiday throngs. It seems we will be stuck at the hotel for Saturday and Sunday. Unless you have any suggestions of where we could go without sitting in traffic all day. I think we may take a waterfall tour on Easter Monday, then get to MA on Tuesday. I had wanted to spend several days in MA, but it is not to be, I guess. So appreciate your help and suggestions, Sherry

Costa Rica
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6. Re: Drive from SJ airport to Arenal

Sherry - I don't have any suggestions for you, sorry. I'm sure you will have a great time.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: Drive from SJ airport to Arenal

You will be by Arenal by 6PM...the road is in great shape trust me...by San Ramon is a little shorter than by Zarcero

roadadivsor

Philadelphia
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56 posts
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8. Re: Drive from SJ airport to Arenal

Dear Roadadvisor-

Thanks- We'll give it a go! Will Arenal Observatory be on a GPS? For two reasonably bright people, we have an uncanny ability for getting lost on vacation! Thanks for everyone's help! I'm sure I'll have more questions... Sherry

9. Re: Drive from SJ airport to Arenal

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