Actual Driving Times in CR

Jan 30th, 2007, 04:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1
Actual Driving Times in CR

I just discovered this site while planning our first family vacation to CR. I am getting conflicting information about driving distances within CR which will affect what areas we are able to visit. We are planning to fly into SJO and transfer by hired car to Arenal, staying at Tabacon. After our stay at Tabacon, our plan was to go by car to Monteverde, finally to Manuel Antonio, and then back to SJO. Can someone with experience give me a best guesstimate of the travel times by hired car/van for SJO to Arenal, Arenal to Monteverde, Monteverde to MA, and MA back to SJO. Thank you so much for your time.
Mom23boys is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 06:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
I can help you with most of it. SJO to Arenal will take 3 hours. We've done it in 2.5, fairly easily, but it shouldn't take more than 3.

Arenal to Monteverde--haven't done that, guessing another 3-4 hours.

Monteverde to Manuel Antonio, about 3.5-4 hours

Manuel Antonio back to SJO, 3 hours.

All of those times depend, of course, on normal road/driving conditions and don't take into consideration trucks breaking down and backing up traffic, extremely heavy rains, etc--can and does happen occasionally, but not likely.
shillmac is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Hello! We are also planning our first trip to CR and wonder not only driving time from San Jose to Jaco, but the conditions of the road, and whether it is a treacherous drive? Would my car sick prone daughter need to brace herself? Thanks for the info if you have it!
rp1557 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 599
The drive to Jaco is about 2 -2.5 hrs and part of the journey is on mountainous winding roads. Have her prepare with medication if desired.

The habit of CR drivers to pass on blind curves can be hair raising with very little shoulder to move into if needed.

The road was decent condition when we drove it two years ago. Watch out for the occasional pothole.
Earthtraveler is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 208
Mom23 - when going from Arenal to Monteverde (or vice versa) the road is about 4 1/2 - 5 hours and really bumpy. OR you can take the "Jeep Boat Jeep" which brings you across lake arenal on a boat/little ferry and then another van will drive you to your hotel. It's a nice boat ride and will cut at least an hour off of your travel. I highly recommend taking this route. Tabacon can hook you up w/ reservations to take this jeep boat jeep and they'll pick you up right from the hotel.

Naplo999 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,441
Great advice about the jeep/boat/jeep. You will have a car to think about and the transfer companies do have drivers who will drive your car up to Monteverde for you so you can do the trip.
Suzie2 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 43
The drives are not bad but to someone who does get carsick, maybe so. Be careful about your rental car. We had a flat and were later charged an additional $265 by TriColor. We returned the car on a Sunday and no Manager was there to let us know what the cost would be. Anyways, should you get one, fix it before you return the car. Have a BALL! The orchid garden in Monteverde is something really neat, don;t judge a book by it's cover (it looks a little rough from the outside). Also, eat at Sofia's with waiter Leesbeen, it is like Santa Fe, Costa Rican style.
swigswig is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
My "take" of the road between SJO and Jaco is that it is very decent. I stated once on Fodor's that it is mountainous on the drive over to the Pacific coast and was corrected by a "difficult poster" that there were no mountains on that route and that perhaps I was thinking of the low hills in Guanacaste! LOL

At any rate, yes, it is a bit mountainous, but not like you are driving IN the mountains with lots hairpin curves, etc. It's a pretty straightforward road, fairly tame. Shouldn't be a problem for carsickness (I have it from time to time as well), but if your daughter is more sensitive than most then it certainly wouldn't hurt to take something in advance.
shillmac is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 9
i've got a few driving distance questions of my own...

how about

poas volcano area to arenal?
and arenal to manuel antonio?

julie_t is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Poas to Arenal, 3 hours. . .estimating. .haven't done that actual route.

Arenal to Manuel Antonio--some will tell you 5 hours. I think it takes more like 6 by the time you stop for lunch, view the crocs at Rio Tarcoles, etc.
shillmac is offline  
Feb 1st, 2007, 05:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
thank you shillmac and swigswig for the driving info. It is of great help. Sometimes just know what to expect is the best preparation. I will have her (and probably me) drink ginger ale and take alittle Bonine (same as dramamine, but it doesn't make you as drowsy). Anyway, thanks a bunch!
rp1557 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4
i had a few distances too
Monteverde to San Jose

-also should i set up the jeep boat jeep from arenal to monteverde here, or just find a company to take me once i am there?
pedsmd81 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 208
If you know when you are traveling - I would set it up here. You can ask your hotel to set it up for you.

But if you're not sure I'm sure you could do it there also. But it's not a huge boat so it could fill up.
Naplo999 is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Mexico & Central America
Jan 4th, 2010 02:23 PM
Mexico & Central America
Jun 15th, 2009 09:12 AM
Mexico & Central America
Nov 18th, 2007 11:54 AM
Mexico & Central America
Jan 16th, 2007 02:41 PM
Mexico & Central America
Mar 2nd, 2005 02:08 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:45 AM.