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3-Day Trip Traveling from SJO to LIR

Chicago, Illinois
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3-Day Trip Traveling from SJO to LIR

Hello, I'm planning a last-minute 3-day trip to Costa Rica and wanted to ask for itinerary tips. I'm flying into SJO on a Thursday afternoon and flying out at Noon Sunday out of LIR. Given the short amount of time I am in Costa Rica, I am leaning towards renting a car from SJO and try to hit up some "must see" places on my way towards LIR. I am probably going to skip San Jose and try head to Arenal the first day. Any ideas from here? I am in my early 30s and up for adventure, seeing wildlife, and soaking in the culture.

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1. Re: 3-Day Trip Traveling from SJO to LIR

For a 3-day trip - one location is all you have time for. Arenal maybe the best choice. It's 3 hours from either LIR or SJO. Keep in mind that if your flight arrives late or leaves early, you may need to spend your first/last night somewhere near the airport.

The drive will be great and you will get to see a lot of Costa Rica which will "set you up" you for your return trip!

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: 3-Day Trip Traveling from SJO to LIR

Only big problem is that I suspect you're arriving mid-afternoon or later from ORD and you'll never make it to Arenal before dark. That can be a real Knuckle-biter of a drive in the dark as the last half of the drive is a winding 2-lane road which often is fogged over by mid-afternoon. You'll be sharing the narrow unlit road with pedestrians, bicyclists and trucks. I think if I were you'd I'd hire a private driver from the trip to Arenal. You'll get there much faster as the driver can meet you right after you clear customs and hit the road. With a rental car you're looking at an extra hour to get to the off-site location, go through the paperwork and thoroughly check out the car before driving away.

You can pick up a rental car in Arenal and drop it in Liberia for a fee or just hire a 2nd driver for the Arenal/Liberia leg. Excursions typically include pickup and dropoff at your hotel in their rates. I'd give out different advice for a longer stay but for such a brief trip i wouldn't want the hassle of a car rental.

For activities around Arenal check out Desafio Adventures www.desafiocostarica.com/index.php…

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3. Re: 3-Day Trip Traveling from SJO to LIR

Great advice, crfan. Much better to hire a driver for such a short trip. No time wasted trying to figure out where and how to go...... no "white knuckles" driving after dark. Just relax and enjoy the scenery!

4. Re: 3-Day Trip Traveling from SJO to LIR

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