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Arenal not active?

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I am just now trying to plan our first trip to CR for the first week of March. I don't usually leave it this late so I'm having some trouble finding accomodations.

We are a couple in our mid fifties, in good shape, like hiking/wildlife but not interested in ziplining or white water rafting (at least I'm not, my husband might want to do it). We've traveled to St John quite a few times so he is used to driving on twisty potholed roads (can you tell which one of us is the daring one?).

We don't mind packing up and changing hotels every few days, but we don't like to travel more than about 3 hours to get to our next destination, and we don't like day trips that are more than 1 hour each way away from where we're staying.

We have 9 nights total. How does this sound?

1. Land at SJO about 2:30 pm-- Pick up rental car. Stay at Xandari or maybe drive to Peace Lodge (do we have time to get there before dark?)

2. Drive to La Fortuna/Arenal area and spend 3 nights at Lost Iquana

3. Lost Iguana

4. Lost Iguana

5. Drive to Manuel Antonio. I wanted to stay at Tulemar Villas but all the one-bedroom units seem to be booked up. Is there more than one website you can book with them? Also, I'm concerned about drive time to MA. I read it takes about 3 hours from SJO area. Since we would be coming from Arenal, which is 3 hours from SJO in the other direction, does that mean it will take 6 hours? That is more driving than we want, since we are not good at hitting the road early it would use up the whole day.

6. MA

7. MA

8. MA

9. Drive back to Xandari, would be nice to return car first since we have a 7:00 am departure from SJO on day 10.

10. Leave early morning

We definitely want to go to the Arenal area but are flexible about the MA part. We would like to see the coast, since we're from the Midwest and like to spend time by the ocean when we can. But maybe there is a closer spot for our beach time?

Also, although the Peace Lodge is available, they quoted me $410/night. We can afford that for one night, but not sure if it's worth it. Worried it will be kind of Disney like, and hate being around large crowds of tour groups. I don't care for zoos although the waterfalls sound nice to hike to. If we stay at Xandari, how far is that from La Paz Waterfalls?

And finally, regarding the headline of my post, I just read on Trip Advisor that the Arenal volcano hasn't been active in two years, which surprised me. I'm sure the area will be beautiful and I know you can't always see it anyway, but I was hoping for some smoke/lava shows and it sounds like that may not be the case.

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