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Getting to locations from MA! Please HELP!

New Jersey
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Getting to locations from MA! Please HELP!

Hi Everyone,

My girlfriends and I are going to CR from April 12-18. Easter Week!!!!

We have a hotel booked in Manuel Antonio (Costa Verde) for the entire trip and I know there is alot to do in that area, however, I don't want to miss out on the rest of the country. I really would love to see Arenal Volcano/Tabacon Springs along with Monteverde Cloud Forest.

We dont mind going there first and then traveling to Manuel Antonio, but I'm not sure what makes most sense and how long we'd need in each place to fully enjoy it. Is one day in Arenal and one day in Monteverde enough? Can anyone recommend tour companies going to these places originating from Manuel Antonio?

Please help.

Thanks!!

Manuel's Tours
Eco Tours, Night Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Private Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Pura Vida Tours & Transfers
Eco Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Taxis & Shuttles, Photography Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
NY
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1. Re: Getting to locations from MA! Please HELP!

The drive between any of these three destinations is about 5 hours, so you should not even think about going there for a day trip, with or without a tour company (even though some actually offer it). Both Arenal area and Monteverde area deserve more than one night each, even though we met people who did it. They were rushed to do 2 half day activities in each and leave. To actually enjoy any of these 3 destinations I would suggest 3 nights in each, so choose 2 out of these 3 destinations. If you spend all of you time in Manuel Antonio you will miss out on the real Costa Rica.

San Jose, California
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2. Re: Getting to locations from MA! Please HELP!

I was in CR with a friend last May for a week. We rented a small SUV and drove from San Jose to MA and stayed three nights. On the fourth day we drove from MA to Arenal (La Fortuna specifically) and stayed there for three nights.

We enjoyed both areas and liked that they were so different. Enjoyed the beach at MA, went on a rafting trip one day (great), and spent some time in MA park.

In Arenal, we were lucky the volcano was erupting the night we arrived and not obscured by clouds... so we got some great shots from my friend's camera (a nice camera with a slow shutter speed option). While in the area, we went on a horseback ride to the falls, spent time at the hanging bridges, and also went on an all-day trip to Cano Negro Wildlife Reserve (great trip).

We read lots of horror stories about the roads and driving in CR prior to going... but we had fun driving and enjoyed the freedom of having the SUV, especially near Arenal. We never had any issues and having our own vehicle allowed us to stop during our drives and take picture and get out and stretch our legs whenever we wanted. We also got to stop and shop when we wanted and get some good food along the way. In MA, we didn't use the car at all, just used the bus that runs between Quepos and MA park or took cabs.

Hope that info helps. Happy to provide additional info if needed.

San Diego, CA
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3. Re: Getting to locations from MA! Please HELP!

I would suggest you look at www.natureair.com the domestic ailine there. I flew from my hotel in Tamarindo to Arenal for a quick overnight and then went to Puerto Jimenez to see the Corcovado Park and basically I saved 2 days of driving time so I could enjoy the destination and not worring about the roads and lost vacation time. The planes are like flying site seeing buses with great views. I am not used to smaller airliners like they have for the jungle airports but they were a top nothch professional operation. There is another airline to called Sandsa (spelling?) but they dont seem as high end as Nature Air.

San Diego, CA
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4. Re: Getting to locations from MA! Please HELP!

I would suggest you look at www.natureair.com the domestic ailine there. I flew from my hotel in Tamarindo to Arenal for a quick overnight and then went to Puerto Jimenez to see the Corcovado Park and basically I saved 2 days of driving time so I could enjoy the destination and not worring about the roads and lost vacation time. The planes are like flying site seeing buses with great views. I am not used to smaller airliners like they have for the jungle airports but they were a top nothch professional operation. There is another airline to called Sandsa (spelling?) but they dont seem as high end as Nature Air.

California
6 posts
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5. Re: Getting to locations from MA! Please HELP!

April is a busy time in Costa Rica due to Easter vacation. My main suggestion is contact a responsible agency (small business one) to customize and book all services starting from airport pick up and drop off. They'll provide all services and save you a lot of time. They'll recommend the best locations, best way to get there, best attractions and last but not least they'll back up and follow up during your stay in the country. Try info@costaricasnaturetours.com

Have fun !!

6. Re: Getting to locations from MA! Please HELP!

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Boston
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7. Re: Getting to locations from MA! Please HELP!

I've done whirlwind tours of CR and then spent whole weeks in other places. I spent a week in Manuel Antonio this past month. Here's my suggestion: First of all, you don't need three days in each place. Because you don't have much time, I would rent a car in the airport in San Jose. Get a Rav4 or better and I recommend only the mandatory insurance. None of the policies cover theft. I would drive first to Monteverde. If you can plan it so you drive out the day you arrive, then you can have two nigths there, which is plenty. This is the place to do the canopy tour. It is the best in the country.

The drive out to Monteverde and really anywhere is CR is a pleasure. You will see amazing sights and really get a different feel for the country. Taking public buses are a nightmare-it's hard to plan and they're rarely on time.

I would skip Arenal. Much of the time you can't see the volcano. The hot springs are nice, but be prepared for that to be the highlight of Arenal. Even though Monteverde and Arenal seem close together on the map, it takes forever to drive between them because you have to go around the lake. It's not worth the time for this trip. maybe if you had more time.

From Monteverde you can go to Manuel Antonio. Try to plan your trip to avoid the park on the weekend. There's so much to do in Manuel Antonio besides the park: snorkeling, mangrove tours, jet ski tours, atv tours, etc. A great group day trip out of Manuel Antonio is white water rafting. With any of these things your hotel can set it up and the tour companies pick you up at your hotel and drop you back off.

You'll really be happy to have a car there. Many hotels in MA are down steep and winding roads. Not ideal for walking or bike riding.

Anyway, with Monteverde, and MA you'll have plenty of things to keep you busy for 6 days. Good luck! You'll love it!

west. pennsylvania
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8. Re: Getting to locations from MA! Please HELP!

yellowflame,

thanks for the informative post. since you were recently in M.A., is there a fresh water supply problem there as i've erad about in some media reports, due to last year's storms? if so, do you have any specifics? thanks in advance--we're making plans for a trip in early june.

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