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Planning around Puerto Viejo - Should we squeeze in Arenal?

NJ
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19 posts
53 reviews
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Planning around Puerto Viejo - Should we squeeze in Arenal?

Hey everyone. I was looking for some advice on how to split our time up for a 6day/6night trip to Costa Rica this September.

We are definitely basing our trip out of Puerto Viejo because we want to stay at a place recommended by a friend. But I had a few quick questions.

1) Would it be worth a 1-day 1 night detour trip to Arenal? Or is 1 day not worth it? We would do this on Day 1 before driving from San Juan to Puerto Viejo. I'd hate to miss Arenal since it's talked about it so much. But at the same time, it's a loss of ~3 hours each way in transit.

2) Any recommendations for day trips out of the south east tip of Costa Rica (Puerto Viejo)?

Thank you.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Planning around Puerto Viejo - Should we squeeze in Arenal?

IMO it is worth it the detour and stay at least 1 or 2 nights around Arenal...SAN JOSE to Arenal...then to Puerto Viejo...

Just be extra carefull about some not very decent people that will try to sell you a tour...a transfer ...rent you a bycicle...rent you a hotel room...etc and even the worse they will recommend there own tour operation and travel agency...stay away from them PLEASE!

roadadvisor

NJ
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19 posts
53 reviews
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2. Re: Planning around Puerto Viejo - Should we squeeze in Arenal?

Thank you for the tips. With our schedule we would have only one late afternoon, evening, and morning there. So I wasn't sure if we were better off going to one of the other volcanoes along the way (Turrialba, Irazu, or Poas). But now I'll look more into an Arenal day trip in route.

Also, my apologies for typing San Juan rather than San Jose in haste.

Thank you again.

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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14,500 posts
60 reviews
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3. Re: Planning around Puerto Viejo - Should we squeeze in Arenal?

If only one night, I would skip it. It is possible that you will not even have a chance to see the volcano, who is at the moment very inactive. Of course, if hot springs are high on your to-do list, then Arenal is the place. Much better chances to see the crater and its lagoon you will have if driving up to Irazu volcano (Poas is mostly covered with clouds).

You could stop in two one-night locations on your way to Puerto Viejo (de Talamanca): Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui and Tortuguero. Both are really good for wildlife observations. Tortuguero is a special place, very unique ecosystem.

Costa Rica
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25,654 posts
25 reviews
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4. Re: Planning around Puerto Viejo - Should we squeeze in Arenal?

Definitely not worth one night. It just takes to long to get there. Take a look here: www.yourtravelmap.com for distances and travel times.

Good suggestions by Xelas, as usual.

5. Re: Planning around Puerto Viejo - Should we squeeze in Arenal?

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