Add Monteverde?

Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 09:45 AM
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Add Monteverde?

This is the problem with planning your trip too early and reading the travel boards - you never stop tweaking the itinerary! Right now, we have 4 nights in Arenal (either AOL or Silencio), 5 nights in Montezuma (Ylang Ylang), and 4 nights in Manual Antonio (Mot Mot). The road to Monteverde really scared me off because my kids do get carsick, but we've tried some remedies recently (specifically ginger candy) and they seem to work. So I'm not as worried about them getting sick. Now I'm wondering if we should take a day from Arenal (go down to 3 nights) and a day from Montezuma (go down to 4 nights) and spend 2 nights at Monteverde. My kids really, really love insects, bats, snakes, and it seems there would be a lot for them to enjoy at Monteverde. We would be there mid-June.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 10:07 AM
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If it were me, I'd take a day from MA and a day from Montezuma since they're both beachy, and you have a total of 9 days there. I think your kids would like the Cano Negro tour out of Arenal and the Hidden Valley night hike in Monteverde; we've seen some neat wildlife on those tours - everything from monkeys to bats to sloths. I'm glad we went to Monteverde, but it was really cold when we were there in the summer. We had to wear sweatshirts and fleece jackets, and our hotel had the fireplace going. It poured rain and was really windy. We really went because we wanted to see quetzals, and seeing them was pretty neat.

When we plan our trips, we lay out all the activities we want to do in each place and then decide how much time to spend there based on that. To me that's easier.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 06:17 PM
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The night hike we did at Monteverde was full of creepy crawly things (tarantulas, snakes, stick insects). Really neat. There were some kids in the group and they seemed to enjoy it a lot.

The roads can be twisty. If you've figured that part out, Monteverde is a great destination to add. We had 3 nights in Manuel Antonio and found it to be just right, so I would second volcanogirl's recommendation to take one of the days from there.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 01:04 AM
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I agree 3 nights is enough for Manuel Antonio. Personally I LOVE Monteverde cloud forest in the morning before any tour buses arrive...great atmosphere, almost primeval. My family also liked the night tour in Monteverde. BUT my personal opinion is that a trip to Monteverde should be a minimum of 3 nights. Monteverde is a cloud forest and in June you can have rain and mist descending upon the forest...so you can mainly count on your mornings to be good weather...I really think you need the 3 nights because it takes time to get there, and because during our June trip it rained in the afternoon but the mornings were clear...so we were really glad we had 3 nights.

Have fun! I am prone to motion sickness, but I didn't feel it on the road to Monteverde...I think because there were so many rocks and bumps and potholes that we had to drive slowly. The biggest problem is holding on and trying not to bump your head on the window! I didn't feel any motion sickness because that is mainly a problem when you can go fast around curves...the road to MOnteverde isn't made for going fast. I did feel like my uterus was going to pop loose though! My daughter actually bumped her head on the window due to the jostling of the vehicle, and we all laughed and she was mad because we laughed.

I hope to return to Monteverde someday. We loved it up there. We also loved Arenal area. (I also loved our recent trip to Bosque del Cabo in Costa Rica on the Osa, with my husband!)
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 09:07 AM
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Thanks for the advice! I'm especially glad to hear from Melissa5 that the ride is more bumpy than curvy. That helps a lot! My only hesitation on cutting back MA is that we are serious beach lovers. We LOVE the beach and MA seems to be the perfect combination of beach and wildlife. I think we'd really enjoy it. But cutting Arenal back to 3 nights will make it tight in terms of all the activities we want to do. Plus, I won't be able to do my idea of splitting our time there between AOL and Silencio. We're going to sit down tonight and really try to figure it all out. Thanks for your help.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 09:39 AM
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B, you may already know this, but wanted to tell you that MA park is closed on Mondays. The prettiest beach in MA is inside the park and obviously the guided hikes are in the park, so just a heads up for when you're scheduling everything.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 10:35 AM
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Thanks for the reminder. I just looked at the dates and we'll be at MA later in the week. And we're also staying at Mot Mot, which has its own private beach. These decisions are so hard! If we were getting a private driver to take us from Alajuela to AOL, would we pass by the La Fortuna waterfall? I'm thinking we could have the driver stay with our bags while we spend 1.5 hours or so at the waterfall. Get one of our activities done before we even get to the hotel!
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