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Questions re Arenal Actvities

New Hyde Park, New...
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Questions re Arenal Actvities

Coming to Arenal in late June for four nights, but given how long it will take to get there from new York, I feel like Saturday is mostly shot, and with an early departure Wednesday for Manuel Antonio, I have three days of activities, with alot more than three choices, could use any help/advice anyone can provide.

My current thinking is to do ziplining one day, rappeling another day, with the third day open. I have plenty of questions:

-would these two excursions provide enough hiking through and seeing therainforest, or would it make sense to book a guided tour through the rainforest (hanging bridges?) for the third day? We do enjoy hiking, so a more strenuous hike would be the preference.

-we are staying at The Springs Resort and Spa. Someone told me that visiting Tabacon for half-day was a must, but I'm wondering what I would see there that I wouldn't be able to experience at my own hotel. Are the hot springs that much different from one place to the next?

-we definitely want to go white water rafting somewhere along the way, but I'm thinking that might be better in Manuel Antonio than in Arenal because my sense is that it's a couple hours from Arenal just to get to the rafting trip - is this good planning?

Am also wondering if there's anything that I am overlooking entirely, like visting the volcano itself? I've read a little bit about night tours but am leery about booking anything along these lines because it's rainy season and more likely to be raining in the second half of the day - does that make sense?

I'll keep digging through Trip Advisor's review and forums, but any direction or advice is appreciated, thanks.

Costa Rica
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1. Re: Questions re Arenal Actvities

Here is a pretty good resource about Arenal: www.fortunawelcome.com and another anywherecostarica.com/destinations/arenal-co… Each of these has lists of tours available and you can choose which appeal to you.

Some other popular activities -- the twilight float safari (great after a full day of hiking or other very active pursuits), search out the free hot springs, consider a whitewater rafting trip, think about going to the Tenorio National Park for hiking to the Rio Celeste.

And don't forget some hammock time!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: Questions re Arenal Actvities

You could do a combo tour of canyoning and white water rafting one day.

As for hiking, I like hiking near the volcano and getting a stretch over some of the cooled off lava. However, for a real strenous and rewarding hike, you could try the hike to Cerro Chato, which ends at a lake formed inside the cone of an extinct smaller volcano on the side of Arenal.

The Springs has it's own hot springs, and those down by the river at Club Rio are actually quite nice and not as "artificial" in feel as the main pools. Tabacon's hot springs are in a class by themselves in terms of landscape design and overall vibe. In the end, however, they are both hot spring complexes and it might not be worth you time to visit Tabacon. Then again, it just might. Eco Termales are a smaller, gorgeous facility as well.

You could raft at either place. It's not a couple hours from La Fortuna to the put ins for Rio Toro or Rio Balsa. Probably a bit under an hour. And similar ride from Manuel Antonio to the put in for Savegre. All are great river experiences.

You could also zip-line at either place.

So, at Arenal, I'd focus on the canyoning, volcano hiking and hot springs.... It's also a great area to horseback ride, or visit Proyecto Asis, or the new chocolate farm tour...

In Manuel Antonio, hike the park, take some surf lessons, do a sailboat and snorkel outing (although don't expect great snorkeling), visit Villa Vanilla, take a kayak tour of the Damas island estuary...

Of course, you might not have time to do it all.

Chesapeake, Virginia
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3. Re: Questions re Arenal Actvities

I second the vote for Eco Termales in Arenal. They limit the number of guests to 100 so it's a much more personal experience....when we were there earlier this month there were no more than 26 or so guests...and the alcohol prices put Tabacon to shame. We have neighbors who stayed at Tabacon and were paying $8 for a beer....we were paying $8 for a beer AND a mixed drink! Very nice layout and family-run place.

We also enjoyed the Chocolate Tour in La Fortuna and the Villa Vanilla Tour in Quepos...you learn SO much about chocolate and the various spices (vanilla, true cinammon, etc.). If you're interested in ATVing, MidWorld has a great ATV course in Quepos. too.

Playa Guiones...
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for Nosara
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4. Re: Questions re Arenal Actvities

Can you tell me about the Chocolate Tour in La Fortuna? Who provides this tour? Thanks!

Pensacola, Florida
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5. Re: Questions re Arenal Actvities

I think that I would plan on doing the hot pools around the Springs Resort on Saturday when you arrive. They stay open till 10pm, if I remember correctly.You can't do the club Rio, but at least you can utilize the ones around the main part of the resort, and maybe use the swim up bar for relaxation after a long trip. The Zip lining will only take a couple of hours, so I would include either a trip to the La Fortuna waterfall, or a hike or some other activity for the morning or the afternoon, whatever your preference is. Once again the rappelling will only take about a half a day, so you could easily incorporate another local activity on this day. Don't try to do a RIo Celeste, Cano Negro, or a river rafting on the same day as you other activities. Of course if you do the zip line and rappelling with the same tour company, you should be able to schedule both activities for the same day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This would free up a day to do activities outside of the Arenal area such as the ones listed above. There is a lot that you can do in your time frame, if you do a little pre planning and decide which activities that you definitely want to do. Since you are staying at the Springs Resort, I would probably opt to skip the other hot springs, unless you are into hot springs as my wife and I are. If you opt for the hot springs, I would suggest that you combine dinner with the springs at Ecotermales, but do make reservations in advance. They do limit the number of people in the hot springs and for dinner, but this would kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

6. Re: Questions re Arenal Actvities

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