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Drive from Arenal to MA

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Drive from Arenal to MA

Heading to CR in a few weeks with 4 girls and a little nervous about the driving. What is the best route from Arenal to Manuel Antonio? The only driving directions I can find are starting in San Jose. We are staying in the La Fortuna area and would be heading south to MA from there. From the maps it looks like we would take 141South to Hwy 1 West then to 23 South and onto 34 South down to MA. Or is there a better route? Thanks!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Drive from Arenal to MA

As you are going to find soon...for us costaricans a direction by road numbers is like speaking chinese...let me try to do it TICO way!

From Arenal...back to San Ramon...back to Pan Am Hwy...take the Hwy South ...just a few miles you will find PALMARES...go into PALMARES...acrooss town...the church at your left...keep going...signs to Zaragoza...keep going...curvy road...really curvy...is a short cut...follwo signs to Atenas...once in Atenas make a right...toward Monte del Aguacate...all the way up...all the way down...to Desmonte...from there to San Mateo de Orotina...Orotina all the fruit stands...to new road...get ready to pay about $1.00 in colones at the toll booth...Lagunilla some police trapp around there most of the times with radars...keep going to Tarcoles...stop at the river...some great wild crocs...great coffee...Carara at your left...Herradura beach wher Marriot los Suenos is located...Jaco...Bejuco...Parrita...Paquita...Quepos...Manuel Antonio...YEAH!!!

I drive that route about 3 times a week...my costumers most of the time love the whole trip...about 4 hours and some change!

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!

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2. Re: Drive from Arenal to MA

If we have a GPS in our rental car is that the way it would take us? I'm all for short cuts but if we get l-o-s-t...well that's another story. If we follow the GPS route (assuming it's different) how lond would that ride take? Does 4 hours include stops or driving all the way through? Are there any coffee tours going this way? Thanks!

A nice place
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3. Re: Drive from Arenal to MA

Driving from La Fortuna to Manuel Antonio you can either drive through Palmares or through Esparza. It should almost take the same time. It should take around 5 hours or a bit more. You can get detailed driving directions and driving times from www.yourtravelmap.com.

San Jose
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4. Re: Drive from Arenal to MA

The GPS will come in really handy! And it will probably take you just around the same road. If you stop at the Tarcoles River bridge to spot crocodiles, make sure you dont leave valuable items at sight. It is a great stop but many people stop there and some are looking for a little bit more than just seeing the crocs! as road advisor also mentioned, the fruit stands in Orotina offer some of the best fresh fruit produce in Costa Rica, you wont regret it... some mango, pineapple, watermelon and the seasonal jocotes and mamones chinos are just great. If you like to try something different, try the "jugo de pipa" (its the juice of the green coconut...really refreshing)

this might be a long stretch, but very, very nice and scenic, you will have fun! Just relax and use your GPS!!

Have fun

Orlando, Florida
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5. Re: Drive from Arenal to MA

I'm enjoying this conversation, We will be making this drive in about 2 weeks. 5 hours in the car is not good though, are there places, hotels to stop for the night?

San Jose
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6. Re: Drive from Arenal to MA

Yes its a long stretch but it can be done in the day. Some people do break this drive by going for 2 nights to Monteverde (the Cloud Forest) or you could stay near Carara Reserve at Villa Lapas, but once there you're really more than half way through. Monteverde might be a good idea depending on what your plans are and if you have the time, but I wouldn't head up there for just one night, a two night stay might be better. Villa Lapas is like a rest stop and will allow for you to visit the Carara reserve in the morning if interested for a hike. Again if you decide to go all the way through, you will find it to be a long day but can be done.

Good luck

Boston...
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for Killington
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7. Re: Drive from Arenal to MA

I did the exact same drive when I was there, and easily did it in a day, with time to spare at the end. You'll see many places to stop for lunch. We stopped at a place with a nice view near the crocodile bridge (I can't remember the name right now, but if you do a search, you'll find exactly the place I'm talking about).

The only thing I would recommend is TAKE A GPS! If you have a GPS, buy the Costa Rica map upgrade. If you don't have a GPS, rent one! You will be much happier if you do.

8. Re: Drive from Arenal to MA

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