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Arenal activities

Old Oct 7th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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Arenal activities

Hi,

We'll arrive at Arenal on Christmas Day around 1:00. I'm interested in the hanging bridges-- would there be time to see them that day, or is it an organized tour only at certain times? We'd like to have a nice meal that night -- would the restaurant at Tabacon resort be best? Other suggestions? Many thanks!!
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Old Oct 7th, 2004, 11:39 PM
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It's very possible to have a nicer meal on Christmas outside of Tabacon. Unless they offer something special on 12/25 - this is worth verifying directly - they normally offer a buffet meal for dinner during the year. They all speak English, so I encourage you to make contact.

You could reach the hanging bridges that day on your own if you are driving. Is this the case? Remember that many locals will likely be spending that time with their families and guides <may> be in short supply.
Nice thing is that you have the advantage of time to research this further.

From nearly all of the hotels in Arenal, the tour companies will arrange transportation to the activities. You might also consider contacting them directly to compare for a lower cost.

I know specifics are important to you --- It's difficult for me to recommend the one tour company we used there because we haven't used any others for comparison.
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Old Oct 9th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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Thanks for the tip. Can you recommend a good place for a Christmas dinner? You're right-- a buffet wasn't what I had in mind! We're using taxi service, not driving.
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Old Oct 9th, 2004, 08:06 AM
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Chris,
Several have mentioned El Novillo for steaks. You might do a search of that restaurant here on Fodor's and you'll see the posts that referred to it. Several restaurants in La Fortuna have been mentioned as well, but I can't remember the names of them.
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Old Oct 9th, 2004, 02:10 PM
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We enjoyed our dinner at Mirador Arenal, which is a steakhouse not far from Tabacon. It's all indoors, unlike many restaurants in the area. El Novillo gets good reviews for its food and value, but it's basically under a corrugated canopy with plastic chairs, so it might not be what you have in mind for a "nice" Xmas dinner.

In La Fortuna, we enjoyed El Jardin and Lava Rocks Cafe. The restaurant at the Arenal Paraiso hotel was pretty good too, but kind of "hit or miss".
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 05:39 AM
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Consider looking for other places to eat lunch and dinner while you stay at Tabacon.We became very familiar with the local grocery stores during our stay
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 07:53 AM
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We ate at Las Brasitas, a Mexican restaurant, while in Arenal. It is on the road from Tabacon to Fortuna. The food is delicious, prices are right, ambience is great! We drove past El Novillo, and from what I can remember, I think that Las Brasistas is much nicer!

We also went to the Hanging Bridges on our own. We had a rental car so didn't need to take a tour. I thought the tours were expensive. The admission fee is $20.00pp if you go on your own. The Hanging Bridges consists of 14 bridges and some hiking trails, about 1.9 miles total. We took our time & it took us about 2 hours. It is well worth it. Very peaceful...at least in August, anyways.
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Old Oct 10th, 2004, 07:17 PM
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I second Kwoo on dinner at Las Brasitas--had dinner there in July--wonderful atmosphere, great food and service. Much nicer ambience than El Novillo.
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