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Day Trip to Monteverde or Cano Negro?

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Peoria, Illinois
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Day Trip to Monteverde or Cano Negro?

My husband, daughter and I are heading to CR next week, spending our first 4 days near Dominical/Uvita. We're then meeting up with my parents and sister/boyfriend and moving on to a home we've rented on Lake Arenal, near Nuevo Arenal. My parents are big time nature lovers (plants and animals). With that in mind, would you recommend a day trip to either Selvatura Park near Monteverde? Or a Cano Negro boat tour? We don't mind long drives. Where we live in Illinois, it's a 3 hour drive to the biggest cities (Chicago & St. Louis), so we're used to it. But I want to take them to the area with the most scenic beauty. A friend of my dad told him that the Costa Rican rainforest was the most beautiful place he's ever traveled, so I'm hoping to take them to a place that will up to that statement!

Thanks for your thoughts!

ON, Canada
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1. Re: Day Trip to Monteverde or Cano Negro?

Selvatura is a beautiful park, but I wouldn't do it as a day trip because of the amount of time spent driving to/from Monteverde on extremely rough roads. I think in total you'd be looking at about a 2.5 to 3 hour drive, with almost 2 of it on unpaved, rocky roads. Driving in Costa Rica (even on paved roads) is quite different than driving in the U.S. A 3 hour drive in Costa Rica will leave you a lot more drained than a 3 hour drive in the U.S. because of the concentration required.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: Day Trip to Monteverde or Cano Negro?

Cano Negro can be a good chiice for you.mmdriving in Costa Rica now days in many ways even better than some Canadian or USA roads...just common sense...observe driving distances...

roadadvisor

Boston...
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3. Re: Day Trip to Monteverde or Cano Negro?

Monteverde is not really at day trip option from Arenal. Cano Negro is a great boat ride with lots of wildlife. Definitely do the Aernal Hanging Bridges and La Fortuna Waterfall while in Arenal. Day hike at Arenal Volcano is good and Tabacon Hot Springs is wonderful. For something a little more adventurous you can do waterfall repelling. Check out the tours offered by Jacamar Tours, that is who we used while in the Arenal Area.

ON, Canada
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4. Re: Day Trip to Monteverde or Cano Negro?

roadadvisor - I'm sorry if you misinterpreted my comment re driving in Costa Rica vs. the United States. I agree that there would be roads in CR that are better than some in Canada and the U.S., but in general, driving is not the challenge in Canada and the U.S. that it is in Costa Rica. We have a lot of multi lane roads, many of them are straight, with good size shoulders. It would be rare to have numerous one lane bridges on a main driving route. With minimal road signage in CR, finding your way from one place to the next is a challenge. I'm not being critical of the road structure in CR, just mentioning what I feel is a reality. We enjoyed having a rental car for our CR trip, but driving there is certainly not the 'piece of cake' that driving here is.

5. Re: Day Trip to Monteverde or Cano Negro?

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Peoria, Illinois
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6. Re: Day Trip to Monteverde or Cano Negro?

Thanks for your thoughts, Susan, Luis & LCameron! I had read that Monteverde isn't really a day trip from La Fortuna, but because we're already 45 minutes closer, at the other end of the lake, that maybe it was a do-able option from Nuevo Arenal.

Driving distance aside - which area do you think is more scenic, Monteverde or Cano Negro?

ON, Canada
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7. Re: Day Trip to Monteverde or Cano Negro?

You're welcome. The 2.5 - 3 hour driving time that I mentioned above was from Nuevo Arenal (it took us almost 4 hours from La Fortuna) and because of the rocky road conditions for about 2 hours of the drive, it would be a tough day trip. Is there any way that you can fit an overnight in at Monteverde?

I haven't been to Cano Negro, so can't answer your question re how it compares to Monteverde.

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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8. Re: Day Trip to Monteverde or Cano Negro?

Cano Negro and Monteverde are two completely different areas. There is no real comparison between the two of them. Each has its pluses ... and minuses. However a day trip to Cano Negro is doable while the day trip to Monteverde is a lot of pain for dubious results.

Highlight of Cano negro is a boat tour on the river. Wildlife is there, even during the midday. While in Monteverde, the wildlife (birds mostly) is hard to see in the midday.

A nice mix of the two would be a day at Tenorio NP / Rio Celeste.

Brooklyn, New York
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9. Re: Day Trip to Monteverde or Cano Negro?

Of the two, Cano Negro is the better idea (day trip to Monteverde is just a terrible idea, just not workable--you would be there for the part of the day when the birds disappear).

But, Cano Negro in July isn't going to be the best either. The birds gather there starting in October-November.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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10. Re: Day Trip to Monteverde or Cano Negro?

Hi famvac09,

Cano Negro is a good choice for you. There are a really beautiful nature. Travel in boat is a good experience.