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Drive from hotel in San Jose to La Fortuna via Volcan Poas

Atlanta, Georgia
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Drive from hotel in San Jose to La Fortuna via Volcan Poas

TA Friends,

We are arriving to SJO late in the evening so we are spending the night at Corteza Amarilla Hotel, to avoid driving to La Fortuna at night.

The plan is to get up early the next morning and drive to La Fortuna. Volcan Poas looks like a great sight to see so I'm interested in stopping there on my way up. From there drive to La Fortuna and stop to check the La Paz Waterfall (is it possible to see the waterfall without having to do the whole tour?).

What's the best route to accomodate this itinerary? I read that the 2009 quake brought quite some damage to the roads but how is the drive today?

What time would I expect to be at our hotel in Arenal (Volcano Lodge)?

Thank you much!

Mariano

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Drive from hotel in San Jose to La Fortuna via Volcan Poas

Poas is not on the most direct route from San Jose to La Fortuna. You can certainly sidetrack to see Poas and then LaPaz waterfall (the main waterfall is outside the LaPaz Waterfall Gardens and can be accessed from the public road). However your 3 hour drive from San Jose will likely turn into a 5-6 hour trip with these 2 stops and the added travel time.

Slovenia
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2. Re: Drive from hotel in San Jose to La Fortuna via Volcan Poas

Poas is a great sight, if weather cooperates. As for the waterfall, I have not found it so impressive to warrant such a detour. The gardens even less so, with its steep entry fee.

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: Drive from hotel in San Jose to La Fortuna via Volcan Poas

So would it make more sense to backtrack after seeing Poas?

Punta Uva, Costa...
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4. Re: Drive from hotel in San Jose to La Fortuna via Volcan Poas

I would back track anyways, the road from Poas to La Fortuna is unstable and right now under repair, the traffic is regulated by the CR transportation department that are fixing the road.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: Drive from hotel in San Jose to La Fortuna via Volcan Poas

The road from the waterfall to Sarpaiqui is open BUT...incredible unstable when is wet ...if you see rain then backtrack...back to Alajuela...then to Arenal...

Yes you can see the main LaPaz fall from the new bridge...the waterfall gardens aq kind of expensive...to see poor caged animals...in my case no thank you!

roadadvisor

Atlanta, Georgia
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6. Re: Drive from hotel in San Jose to La Fortuna via Volcan Poas

Thank you all for the replies. I think I will skip La Paz and backtrack to Alajuela.

I noticed the Doka coffee facilities are on the way, is the tour interesting and worth doing? How long does it take?

Ottawa
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7. Re: Drive from hotel in San Jose to La Fortuna via Volcan Poas

Hey, just to reiterate what others have said - don't go up through poas! We are in la fortuna right now after staying at the peace lodge. We were there 4 days and never got so much as a glimpse of Poas. It really is a gamble and you're adding alot of time onto your drive for it. Although gorgeous, the roads up that way are tricky, I would not drive on them after dark. There are regular road closures as well to repair some washouts. We got stuck in one leaving the peace lodge a few days ago. We ended up driving back down to Alajuela (did the Doka coffee tour) and then came through San Ramon. Pretty easy drive, a lot of highway.

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: Drive from hotel in San Jose to La Fortuna via Volcan Poas

We just returned from CR and drove from SJO to POAS in the morning. with a stop at WalMart in Alaluela at 8:30AM. Poas did cooperate and "come out" but it was touch and go. We left Poas at about noon.The uoad across to Arenal area was iffy, we were told, so we returned to Alaluela and headed north on the Pan Am to San Ramon. From there we headed to La Fortuna. The road is well marked and well maintained. we were in La Fortuna around 3:30 4:00PM. As others have said the San Ramon route is well maintained, a pretty drive, and well marked with "Arenal volcano"markers. I agee with the reluctance to do it at night.. I believe if you get off early you can do Poas and still get to La Fortuna by mid afternoon.

Atlanta, Georgia
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9. Re: Drive from hotel in San Jose to La Fortuna via Volcan Poas

Thank you Steve.

We are leaving to CR this coming Wednesday - the day is coming. How was the weather? Noticed you are from kennesaw, we are neighbors me living in Marietta :)

This is the finalized plan for the drive. Drive out of San Jose as early as we can (realistically 8am) then drive to Poas. Backtrack and do the Doka coffee tour. Head to La Fortuna via Grecia, Sarchi and Zarcero. The roads on the map seem confusing but I'm sure we'll figure it out.

Hoping to get to Volcano Lodge by late afternoon or early evening. Reasonable?

10. Re: Drive from hotel in San Jose to La Fortuna via Volcan Poas

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