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Is 5.5 days in Arenal too much?

Los Angeles...
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Is 5.5 days in Arenal too much?

I've searched around the forum and most people stay in the area a few days, but my boyfriend and I are traveling at the end of the month and looking to stay a few days at the volcano lodge and another couple at the Arenal Nayara. We love the outdoors so are looking forward to exploring and hiking throughout...We do not have a rented vehicle as I thought arenal would be the perfect area for us, but now I wonder if he will get bored. It's our first trip to costa rica and I wanted to make it a fun experience for him...

Also, do we have to follow trails or is it ok to explore on your own, of course not too far away, but I would like to get away from people as much as possible.

Quintana Roo, Mexico
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1. Re: Is 5.5 days in Arenal too much?

5.5 day stay is perfect. There are lots of things to do!

Check out this place call El Salto. It's free and you can easily spend half a day there. You'll find it on youtube. Bring beer with you. :)

Frederick, Maryland
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2. Re: Is 5.5 days in Arenal too much?

5.5 days is a little more than need in Arenal, in my opinion. The local sights in La Fortuna (waterfall, volcano hike, and hot springs) can be covered in a day. You might want one or two day trips to do either some adventure activities, or the Rio Celeste. After that, I would choose to go to either Monteverde or Liberia (or to some other place) where you can spend 2 days.

Manuel Antonio...
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3. Re: Is 5.5 days in Arenal too much?

I think it would be perfect if you have a car rental with a map or a gps. Once you are done with everything Arenal has to offer, you could take your car and drive to amazing places such as Rio Celeste, Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, Venado Caverns, Bajo del Toro, La Paz Waterfall, or maybe a visit to the Maleku Indigenous Reservation.

If you won't have a car, then yes, I believe is too many days.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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4. Re: Is 5.5 days in Arenal too much?

I agree with Tulemar_chico. You could also head to Arenal without a car and do excursions for a couple of days and then rent a car locally in La Fortuna to explore the last 2-3 days. There's plenty to see within a couple of hours of Arenal but the attractions and excursions are very spread out and taxis will cost you a fortune if you have to rely on them to explore. If you try and do 5.5 days without a car for any of this time I think you may be frustrated by the cost of relying on taxis every time you want to explore.

I think 4 full days is a perfect intro to Arenal. One day for hanging bridges, the La Fortuna waterfall and an evening at the hot springs. Another day to check out Sky Trek ziplines and explore the area around El Castillo. Another day to hike near the volcano or longer hikes to Cerro Chato or Rio Celeste. A last day for whitewater rafting or canyoning or Cano Negro. You could easily stretch it to 5.5 days and not run out of things to do.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: Is 5.5 days in Arenal too much?

Perfect...well maybe Im the wrong person to answer your post...since I spend about 5 years living in the area...just love it...a lot of my good friends from San Carlos...of course some great ones from Arenal area...


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6. Re: Is 5.5 days in Arenal too much?

We just spent 6 days in the Arenal area and I did not feel that we were there too long. We did rent a car and were happy that we did because things were spread out. We basically did tours in the morning and then enjoyed pools, relaxing on hammocks and going out to dinner in the evenings. We don't like to cram everything into one day and feel rushed, therefore the 6 days allowed us to enjoy tours, hikes, shopping, etc. in the morning and relax in the evening.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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438 posts
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7. Re: Is 5.5 days in Arenal too much?

You can go around and visit more near places like La Fortuna and other volcanos like Orosi, Rincón de la Vieja and Tenorio.

8. Re: Is 5.5 days in Arenal too much?

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