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Volcano Watching

Vancouver, Canada
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26,967 posts
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Volcano Watching

We will be in Costa Rica in March 09: me, husband, and two kids 7 & 8. I've been doing a lot of reasearch and reading and have decided on a couple of things - need the help of this terrific forum to just polish the plans before booking.

We will be based in Atenas, and are planning a 2-3 day trip to include Arenal. The reading I've been doing suggests that places like Monteverde or Sarquipi wouldn't really be all that interesting for my kids. My daughter will be freaking out about bugs and spiders, so I don't want to over do the jungle side of this trip, and long hikes will be out. :<

My husband has decided he wants to sit in a hot pool at night and watch the glow of the volcano. I was looking at staying at Silencio de Campo, but from what I can see, it's on the wrong side to get the best lava view at night.

Right now, I'm thinking 2 nights in that area - where? We would make the 3 hr (?) drive from Atenas, spend the first night, spend the day around La Fortuna, the National Park, play in the pools. Spend the night, next day drive back to Atenas.

Also wondering about driving back by going across to the Poaz volcano and then down to San Jose and back across to Atenas. How long would that take? What would the driving conditions be like if we did that loop.

Finally, I've read about the La Paz waterfall gardens and it seems it would be popular with my kids, but I can't figure out where it is in relation to Arenal.

Appreciate you local knowledge to help my finish my planning for this peice. :>

Brooklyn, New York
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for Sarapiqui
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1. Re: Volcano Watching

How long are you going to be in the country as a whole?

Canada
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2. Re: Volcano Watching

The waterfall gardens are very near Poaz volcano

Vancouver, Canada
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60 reviews
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3. Re: Volcano Watching

Total trip is 2 weeks, but as the accomodations in Atenas are free, we will be basing ourselves there as much as possible, only doing a couple of out trips. We've decided on Arenal for the first one, and looking at the Carribean coast for a short trip in the second week. That will be a separate post...:>

Vancouver, Canada
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26,967 posts
60 reviews
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4. Re: Volcano Watching

Hmmm - so if we are looking at a 6 hr drive (?? are we?) or so to loop around from Arenal via Poaz and San Jose to get back to Atenas, then including the Waterfall Gardens in that day would be a bit much. Perhaps we should look at spending a night in that area in order to visit the gardens....

Brooklyn, New York
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for Sarapiqui
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5. Re: Volcano Watching

I'd do at least three nights in Arenal then. Are you going to visit Manuel Antonio?

On the move
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6. Re: Volcano Watching

My understanding (our first trip to CR will also be in March 09) is that the Arenal Observatory Lodge has the best nighttime viewing of the lava, and that many guests at other hotels come to this lodge to watch the volcano at night. Not sure what other hotels may be located close to it.

Wayne, New Jersey
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for Playa Conchal
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7. Re: Volcano Watching

The ideal place for your husbands hot tub volcano viewing night is Linda Vista del Norte. I stayed there before they put in the new pool/hot tub, but I hear it is situated ideally for viewing the volcano.

Washington, DC
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8. Re: Volcano Watching

I just got off the phone with a travel agent down in CR who said the views of the volcano at night from Lost Iguana are great, it's on the right side of the volcano to see the lava.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Volcano Watching

Thanks for the tips -I'll check those out.

Rocandee - Not sure about Manual Antonio yet. We'll be driving for day trips from Atenas out to the coast. I'm sure we'll get as far as Jaco, and down the coast a bit, but I suspect Manual Antonio may be a bit far for a day trip from Atenas. We'll see. It will depend on the traffic, the road conditions, how comfortable our car is, the mood the kids are in, etc. We drive a lot in Canada, and putting in 6 hrs of driving in a day isn't really all that big a deal, so it's possible we may get down there.'

My husband wants to see the volcanos, and I want to see sea turtles, so those are things I'm researching right now.

Vancouver, Canada
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26,967 posts
60 reviews
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10. Re: Volcano Watching

Can you do the La Paz waterfall gardens and the Poaz volcano as a day trip from Arenal? I hadn't thought of that option...

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