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Arenal and Monteverde Advice

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Charleston, sc
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Arenal and Monteverde Advice

Hello,

We are visiting Costa Rica in June. We are staying in Nosara from June 6-16th. I am looking for advice/suggestions for after our stay in Nosara. Our travel group consists of husband, 5 year old daugher, babysitter, and me.

I have booked Paradise Air transfer to Arenal on the 16th. I am thinking of 2 nights at Tabacon and then taking ferry over to Monteverde to stay 2 nights at El Establo.

Would this give us sufficient time to enjoy hot springs and maybe do a zip line tour?

How long does it take to get from ferry to El Establo?

Would it be an okay car ride from El Establo to San Jose at this time of year if we book a private driver (I have read other reviews that this is a 3.5 hour ride).

I also am considering doing only Arenal so we could just do a private transfer on Paradise Air to San Jose instead of driving.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Charleston, sc
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108 posts
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1. Re: Arenal and Monteverde Advice

We would also be open to suggestions of other hotels/resorts to stay at in this area.

Antigua, Guatemala
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2. Re: Arenal and Monteverde Advice

Your itinerary gives you plenty of time to do all you want. What ferry are you talking about? There is a car-boat-car transfer, which is more in the car than boat. And that's about 3 hours. It's a great ride and your dauighter will love it.

I would recommend a private transfer from Monteverde back to San Jose.

Hope this helps,

Marina K. Villatoro

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: Arenal and Monteverde Advice

Looks like a good itinerary...I drove yesterday a family from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio...two little ones...4 and 6 years old...with proper child seats and good a-c...not a single problem...just the first 12 kilometers coming down from Santa Elena...the rest is just fine!

Two night is a little to short but enoungh to rest and enjoy the hot springs!

The ride from El Establo to San Jose...no more than 3 hours depending on traffic!

Driving in Costa Rica is fun...of course flying is nice and fast...but you will not see some incredible areas!

roadadvisor

Chicago, Illinois
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for Costa Rica
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4. Re: Arenal and Monteverde Advice

You can visit both Arenal and Monteverde with 2 nights in each but maybe you should consider what you want to do in each. Ziplines and hot springs are both abundantly available in Arenal. Unless you really want to experience the cloudforest in Monteverde, it would simplify your trip to just visit Arenal. The 3 hour drive from Arenal back to SJO is very scenic if the flight times don't work for your trip home.

Guanacaste
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5. Re: Arenal and Monteverde Advice

If time is what worries you the most I consider that Paradise Air is an excellent choice to fly into Arenal. On the other hand hiring a private driver gives you a better perspective of the area and yes it is a 3.5 hour drive back to San Jose from Monteverde. if you were to choose just to stay in Arenal then you will not be able to visit the beaches in the Guanacaste area which are fabulous or to go to Monteverde which is also an awesome destination.

Edited: 22 April 2010, 22:58
Brunswick, Maine
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6. Re: Arenal and Monteverde Advice

You'll have plenty of time to do what you want. There is a great zip line in Monteverde as well. I would hire a private driver. We just got back from Costa Rica and we were very glad we had hired a driver. We loved our driver - his name is Danny jimenez and can be contacted at www.costaricadriver.com. Good luck!

Charleston, sc
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108 posts
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7. Re: Arenal and Monteverde Advice

Thank you for all the responses. After consideration and reading lots of reviews we decided on the following.

I booked yesterday for us to stay in Arenal at Tabacon for 4 nights. I decided it would be easier then moving hotels again since we are staying in Tambor and Nosara before going to Arenal.

We have booked Paradise Air for all our transfers in CR.

Suggestions for adventure companies that book tours appropriate for a 5 year olds?

imn
Brooklyn, NY
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8. Re: Arenal and Monteverde Advice

Hello. We are two adults going to visit Costa Rica for our first time between May 14 - May 26th. We have an itinerary with 3 nights in Arenal, 3 nights in Monteverde, and 3 nights in Manuel Antonio. We love hiking but not into ziplines, rafting or any high adrenaline thrills. Wondering if we should shorten our stay in Arenal and Monteverde to 2 nights each and spend another 2 nights at Palo Verde or Rincon de la Veija. Your thoughts are appreciated.

9. Re: Arenal and Monteverde Advice

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