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Which volcano/park is best to visit when we only have 1 day?

Minneapolis...
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Which volcano/park is best to visit when we only have 1 day?

My wife , our 15 year old son and myself, will be going to CR in 2 weeks. We are flying in/out of SJO and staying in Domincal. We will be leaving Dominical on the 16th and We have a very early departure out of SJO on the 18th. Was considering going up to Arenal area, staying one night and then staying last night near SJO. Is there a better midpoint? or would we enjoy poas, irazu or another park/volcano. It will be near the end of our trip so not looking for anything too extreme or anything that involves a 30km hike etc...

JENSEN BEACH
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1. Re: Which volcano/park is best to visit when we only have 1 day?

If you are driving it is a long drive to Arenal for one night, like 5 hours! Then there is no guarantee you will see the volcano (weather, clouds). I would opt to stay up near Poas for the night of the 16th. That way you will be there first thing in the morning when there is the best chance of clear views/skies.Go up to the crater and enjoy Poas. Spend some time exploring, maybe La Paz area. Then you can go down toward Alajuela area and spend the last night near the airport. Poas, Turrialba, Irazu are all better options imo from Dominical to SJO.

Edited: 24 February 2014, 20:02
Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
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2. Re: Which volcano/park is best to visit when we only have 1 day?

I would forget about Arenal given your time constraints.

Have you picked a place to stay for your last two nights in the SJO area?

The airport itself is closer to Poas than to Irazu.

But, both offer different experiences. Visibility is generally better at Irazu due to the higher elevation. Poas has more interesting vegetation. There's plenty of other things to do in both areas after you do morning trips to the volcano--La Paz and coffee estates near Poas, city of Cartago, Orosi valley, and Lankester Gardens near Irazu.

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: Which volcano/park is best to visit when we only have 1 day?

Thanks to both of you for the input!! Haven't booked anywhere yet, figured I'd get some feedback before making a decision. Better giddyup and find something though, time is short! Any "don't miss" suggestions for Dominical? We are renting a vehicle (4x4), and will be going to Manual Antonio, zip lining, the beaches, possibly cano island snorkeling. Was also looking at waterfall excursions.

~~~
Destination Expert
for Richmond
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4. Re: Which volcano/park is best to visit when we only have 1 day?

As the above posters mentioned, forget about Arenal.

I have been to Arenal 3 times, for a total of 7-8 days, and I've only seen the Volcano for a total of maybe 2 hours. The rest of the time was so cloudy and rainy, I couldn't see anything. You could drive 5 hours and see nothing!

Canada
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5. Re: Which volcano/park is best to visit when we only have 1 day?

I would drive over the mountain on the 16th and stay near Cartago or Orosi that night. That way you could get to Irazu early on the 17th and then explore the City and the area after that before heading back to Alajuela for your last night. In the Dominical area there are lots of nice waterfalls and my favourite beach in that area is Playa Ventanas because it has really cool sandy bottom caves that you can explore with waves crashing towards you.

6. Re: Which volcano/park is best to visit when we only have 1 day?

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