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Los Suenos To Arenal back to Los Suenos

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Siesta Key, Florida
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Los Suenos To Arenal back to Los Suenos

Hi I will be in CR in August and I am renting a Car and driving to Arenal. I Have been looking on google maps and there looks like there is a route to Arenal that is all paved road and it bypass San Ramon. Is this true?

Also what time does it start to get dark in CR we are planning to leave Arenal and head back to Los Suenos around 6pm.

I know a lot of people have recommended not doing a day trip from Los Suenos to Arenal and driving at night, but I only have a limited amount of time and I really want to see the volcano and visit the hot springs and get the most out of this trip because I don't know when or if I will ever be back in CR. My husband is a truck driver so he has driven in all kinds of road conditions at night but if it is really that bad we will consider another option.

Thanks in advance for your help!!!

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Los Suenos To Arenal back to Los Suenos

First take a look at www.yourtravelmap.com for driving directions from Jaco to Arenal. The sun sets around 6 PM in the summer and it will be dark by 6:30. The part of the drive you don't want to do in the dark is the stretch between Arenal and San Ramon. It is two-lane, narrow and winding without shoulders for much of the way. The road is often fog-covered late in the day making driving tricky. Once you've made it to San Ramon the rest of the road back to Los Suenos should be easy.

Hope you are aware that the volcano has been sleeping for a number of years. The hot springs are wonderful.

If you want to get up close to another volcano you can drive nearly to the top of Poas Volcano and it's less than an hour from SJO.

Costa Rica
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2. Re: Los Suenos To Arenal back to Los Suenos

If you end up driving in the dark, here are some hints for your husband:

1. The roads are paved, but two-lane and often narrow with no shoulder. You will encounter one-lane bridges from time to time. One side of the bridge will have a Yield sign, the same shape as in the US but will say "Ceda."

2. You will be sharing the road with pedestrians in dark clothes, people riding bicycles with no reflectors, small motorbikes, slow little trucks and now and again.... a cow.

3. Late in the day, you could experience showers which will cut down on visibility. You know what to do.

4. Costa Rican drivers can be crazy. They will pass on a hill, pass on a curve, stop in the middle of the road to answer their cell phones, and even pass you as you are going over a speed bump! Big trucks coming around a curve will want to hog your side of the road.

5. The key is: slow down and drive defensively. Don't take anything for granted. That kid on the bicycle? He probably won't look if he comes onto the highway.

6. Here's the scenario: You are driving along at a moderate speed and suddenly, you see a person on a bicycle wearing dark clothes and no reflectors. You will need to go into the other lane to pass them. There is a big truck bearing down on you in the other lane. Hope for quick reflexes and good brakes!

These are the reasons we advise not to drive at night - except around your local area. But with some precautions and a pro driver, you should be fine.

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3. Re: Los Suenos To Arenal back to Los Suenos

I'm with crfan, that's a long drive to do back and forth in one day! When we drove up to La Fortuna I think we took 141 since we were staying at Tree Houses Hotel and on the way back out from Los Lagos we took 702. Both roads were paved and both curvy. Once you get to the Pan American Highway you're fine. It rained almost every night and some nights it came down very hard for long amounts of time. There is also a lot of fog that rolls in. That would scare me at night! I think Poas Volcano would cut your driving time almost in half. If you really need to go up to Arenal I would recommend spending the night. You are looking at a 4.5 - 5 hour drive each way. Sunrise is at 5:15 and sunset at 6pm.

Best wishes

Siesta Key, Florida
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4. Re: Los Suenos To Arenal back to Los Suenos

Thank you all for the advice. I will take what you all have advised and not drive at night lol. I rather not risk it, thanks again you were all a huge help!!!!

5. Re: Los Suenos To Arenal back to Los Suenos

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