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Arenal and Vicinity

Old Apr 20th, 2005, 06:09 AM
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Arenal and Vicinity

I have been able to book most of my trip from the excellent advice of everyone who graciously posts information to this site. Thank you so much!!!!

I would like to get some recommendations on where to stay in the Arenal vicinity. We are travelling by bus so won't have a car so I assume we may want to stay in La Fortuna. Can anyone recommend a nice reasonably priced accomodation? Should we stay in La Fortuna?

What about great meals? Any restaurents not to miss?

Also wondering what are the not to miss activities in this area? Not sure about canopy tours (fear of heights!) but love to hike etc.

The Moon travel guide gives some serious warnings about how close Talbacon is to the volcano. It makes me a bit nervous to think about it....what is everyone else's take on it?

This is my only stumbling block right now so any advice would be truly appreciated.

audea is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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This is my first time going, but I got many, many recommendations to stay at Arenal Paraiso. That's where we're booked in 2 weeks. I was told Tabacon is very large and touristy. Busy. About the proximity to the volcano. I doubt you have to worry. They have warning systems and monitor activity regularly. If something were to happen, they would evacuate I'm sure. I guess that's what you're talking about right? Volcanic activity and the proximity of Tabacon? Anyway. I also heard Lost Iguana is nice, but without a car it might be a little far off. I think AP is closer, plus taxis are cheap in to La Fortuna. I was told El Novillo is a good restaurant in La Fortuna. I'd love to hera more recommendations.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 07:44 AM
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I think you will prefer staying outside of La Fortuna, nearer to the volcano. If you are fortunate enough to have good weather, your best chance of seeing the volcano, may be while lying in bed or sitting on your porch, late at night or early in the morning. I don't think you would want to miss that!
It is actually only a very short distance.

Tours and taxis, can be arranged through your hotel.

We stayed at Arenal Paraiso.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 12:32 PM
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We stayed at Montana de Feugo over Easter. It is right next door to Arenal Paraiso and I believe the owners of the two resorts are brothers. We quite enjoyed the Montana de Fuego. We walked down the road to Arenal Paraiso and it looked very nice as well. They are very comparable. Lost Iguana has had very good reviews but it is further away and taxis would be more expensive.
We took taxis in to La Fortuna ($5) for meals. We enjoyed Choza de Laurel. We also had a very nice meal at Eco Termales which is a hot springs. Mirador Arenal Kioro was good and has a great view of the volcano. It wasn't in La Fortuna but on a side road close to our resort. It was a little pricier than the others.
We enjoyed our canopy tour at Arenal Paraiso. I also have a fear of heights (have a hard time standing on our garage roof) but through lots of encouragement on this site, did it and had fun. We liked the Hanging Bridges as well. Tabacon Hot Springs is a must and I would recommend Eco Termales (small family run hot springs as well).
See trip report (Arenal and Tamarindo Trip Report) last post Mar. l8.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 07:38 PM
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I recommend Hotel San Bosco in La Fortuna.

http://www.arenal-volcano.com/

You do not need to be any closer to the volcano in order to see it and all its wonders (if, in fact, you can see it at all. It is socked behind clouds MOST of the time, so don't be surprised if it is totally invisible.)

San Bosco has an observation deck on the roof that provides as good a view of the volcano as anywhere in the area, despite the brouhaha and publicity expounded by those expensive hotels down the road and somewhat nearer to the volcano. The mountain is huge; what difference does it make to be 2-5 kilometers closer? To see lava? You can see as much lava from La Fortuna as from along the road, despite the claims, quite simply because the flow has changed directions in recent months.

Another disadvantage of staying at a hotel down the road from the village is that you are trapped there, waiting for a taxi or the hotel's shuttle to take you back and forth into town. Who would want to eat all their meals at the same hotel?

Why not just stay in the town of La Fortuna? I always do, and I go the Arenal area frequently.


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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 06:15 AM
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Thanks Lair,

I read a lot of good things about this hotel however one report indicated they travellers had been robbed. Their room was broken into and all their money and jewelry stolen. I realize these incidents are random so it's really just a good note to self to be cautious.

I kind of would like the option of staying in town for the different food options.

Can you tell me more about the Kayak trip? I love to Kayak but I am just a novice.

Thanks! Audea
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 05:04 PM
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Audea, I also read that robbery report about the San Bosco. I am suspicious of it for a couple of reasons. For one thing, there is ALWAYS a guard on duty at the hotel throughout the evening. I have never known him to be asleep while he's supposed to be on guard. Also, if you were a rival hotel and wanted to sabotage a more successful one, wouldn't posting an alarmist message such as that on a popular site help your cause and damage theirs?

Just a thought. In any case, I checked with the hotel, and they told me that incident never happened as far as they knew. Who's to believe? I'll still stay at the San Bosco the next time I go up to the Arenal region (in just a few weeks, in fact).

About kayaking, wait until you arrive to make plans for that. There are several companies that provide such adventures, the best, I think, being Desafio. The last time I checked, the website didn't work, but here it is: www.desafiocostarica.com

Lair, the travel consultant
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Old Aug 3rd, 2005, 06:10 PM
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Please help settle my confusion?? I'll be coming by car from Tamarindo and don't want to drive too long. Where in the Arenal area would be to shortest drive time? Should I consider staying on the lake Hotel Talawa or closer to LaFortuna? Any adivice will be so helpful
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