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Traveling from Papagayo to Arenal Volcano

Mountain View...
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Traveling from Papagayo to Arenal Volcano

Hey all. I'm doing a 9-day trip to Costa Rica and am flying into Liberia. The first night, I figured I'd relax in Papagayo at Andaz. But I'd like to make my way through the other parts of the country. On the way to San Jose are Arenal Volcano and Monteverde, so I figured I might as well stop for a few nights.

My question is: what's the best mode of transportation? Bus? Rent a car? I've heard bad things about the road conditions in Costa Rica and I figured the bus might be a better way to possibly run into other visitors/tourists who can offer advice. What do you guys think?

Costa Rica
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1. Re: Traveling from Papagayo to Arenal Volcano

Riding the public bus is inexpensive and a great cultural immersion but definitely NOT the way to meet other tourists.

To get from the Andaz to Arenal, shared van shuttle or private transportation would be better. Using the shared van shuttle is the best way to meet other travelers.

Arenal is about 3.5 hours from the Andaz and Monteverde is about 3-3.5 hours from Arenal. The best way to get from Arenal to Monteverde is using the taxi-boat-taxi where a vehicle picks you up from your hotel and takes you to a waiting boat on Lake Arenal and you travel across the lake and another vehicle picks you up on the other side. It saves about 1/2 an hour of travel time.

You may need to spend your last night somewhere near the airport which is located in Alajuela, not San Jose. There is lodging of all sorts and all prices 15 minutes or less from the airport.

Edited: 19 June 2014, 14:22
Mountain View...
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2. Re: Traveling from Papagayo to Arenal Volcano

Thanks! Is there a specific shuttle you'd recommend? How would I go about booking?

Costa Rica
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3. Re: Traveling from Papagayo to Arenal Volcano

For shared van shuttle: www.anywherecostarica.com click on transportation or www.interbusonline.com You will need to book ahead of time.

Boston...
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4. Re: Traveling from Papagayo to Arenal Volcano

I've been to CR 3x now and find hiring private transfers is cheaper than renting a car. Try Robert Beita Easy Transfer Costa Rica.

Costa Rica
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5. Re: Traveling from Papagayo to Arenal Volcano

Private transfers can be cheaper than renting a car - but - it will depend on what you do once you are "transferred" someplace. If you spend a lot on taxis or organized excursions that include transportation -- it could even out.

For example, you could spend $300 for a week's car rental - or - spend $300 getting transferred from SJO to Arenal and back. Then you have to consider how you would be getting around the Arenal area.

Edited: 21 June 2014, 21:27
6. Re: Traveling from Papagayo to Arenal Volcano

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