Another Itinerary Question

Oct 23rd, 2003, 05:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 27
Another Itinerary Question

I've been racking my brain for the past few days trying to decide what to do. What do you think? We will be arriving around 2:30 pm in S.J. and flying to Quepos.

5 nights M.A. Makanda by the Sea (beach, canopy tour)
2 nights S.J. Grano de Oro (with 1 day rafting the Pacaure)
Fly out on day 8.


4 nights Makanda
Day 5 Fly back to S.J. and drive to Arenal (Tabacon Lodge)Stay 2 nights
Drive back to S.J. stay at Grano de Oro
2 nights (raft Pacuare)
Fly out day 9

My dillema is whether to add Arenal to our itinerary. Is it really worth it? Initially I did not want to travel around a lot, especially waisting time by driving. Although, will we get bored in Manuel Antonio for 5 nights?

Thanks for everyone's help and suggestions!
Luv2travel2 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2003, 05:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,194
In my opinion, if you've never seen an active volcano, I'd say yes, go to Arenal. You did not say what time of year you're going, but even if you don't see the top of the cone due to clouds, you can still often hear it, and it's quite impressive. The area is so beautiful, quite different from the beach. I sent a co-worker and his wife to Arenal and MA, and when they returned, they said they could have stayed near the volcano the whole time. But the beach and volcano are both nice. Do both!
Ally is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2003, 05:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,066
If you fly to and from Quepos, your driving times really won't be that bad. We took the longer route to Arenal, via Sarchi and San Carlos. We left fairly early in the morning, and even with fairly frequent stops, we were still in La Fortuna in time for a late lunch.

Hiking on the old lava beds in Arenal Park is lots of fun. Especially when the volcano rumbles....

JeanH is offline  
Oct 28th, 2003, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 6
The Arenal Volcano can be a tricky thing to experience properly. I have stayed in La Fortuna three times since 2000. The view is spectacular day and night, depending on mother nature. Regardless, there is much to see in this area of the country. After driving over 3700 miles of Costa Rica's incredible landscape in person, I can honestly say that you SHOULD SEE Arenal.
If you would like any pix to get an idea of what I'm talking about, feel free to email me.
cateringbaby1 is offline  
Oct 31st, 2003, 04:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 30
I would agree with the others that Arenal is worth the drive. It's certainly not like anything I've ever experienced before. My husband and I went in late May and got lucky enough to see both the top of the volcano and lava flowing in the evening. The pictures alone were worth the drive.
RedChicky is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2003, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,441
I would definitely add a couple of nights in La Fortuna. My suggestion would be to either hire a driver for about $100 to take you directly to La Fortuna from Manuel Antonio or take one of the shuttles. Fantasy bus (airconditioned with bathroom) leaves MA at 6:30am and goes directly to Arenal for $25pp. also has an inexpensive airconditioned shuttle as well as private hire to get there. When you factor in the time and money to fly to San Jose and then hire a driver anyway to get to Arenal you might as well just pay for a private driver and go directly there. Most of the time when I have hired a private driver there was also another person who could act as a guide and answer questions so it wasn't a total waste of time driving. We've learned a lot that way and had things pointed out to us that we might not have seen otherwise.
Suzie2 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2003, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 14
I have to laugh (no offense) beacuse I have been reaserching CR for the past 4 days and in somewhat of the same dilemma as you. With only 8-nights to spend in CR, how does one decide where to go, where to stay, and what to do?
skew is offline  

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