Arenal Drive

Old Mar 20th, 2004, 06:47 PM
  #1  
koa
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 390
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Arenal Drive

Hola! Will be going to CR in early august. Arriving at SJO around 12 noon. After getting a rental car, will be driving up to Arenal via San Ramon. I know its about a 3 hour drive, but heard driving in the afternoon is sketchy due to possible fog and rain, any input would be appreciated!
koa is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2004, 07:17 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 474
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I wouldn't worry too much, you should make it ok. The sun will set around 6PM, you want to be there by then. Fog is a possibility but it happens up there, just take it easy. CR roads are narrow and potted compared to here; plan to make some pit stops for a soda and a stretch. Good luck and have fun!
dncee11 is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2004, 09:52 PM
  #3  
koa
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 390
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the reply. I guess I am more worried about being delayed. Especially since I will be heading for CR from houston and I hear weather can be spotty in Houston especially during that time of the year.
koa is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 09:40 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 150
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Having just made the same drive at around your same times I can offer you a few tips. Make sure that you have a good map. I got lost a few times heading out of San Ramon. There is good signage and then NADA! After finding the right road there are more signs and the scenary is beatiful. Right outside of La Tigra (maybe 10k or so) there is a bridge that is very high and I wish now that we had stopped for a photo. Getting to Arenal is easy, it is leaving around the lake that it really becomes interesting.
SrFlojo is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 10:36 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 474
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sr. Flojo is absoutely right about the road around Lake Arenal, it was bumpy gravel when we went and remains the same today! I wonder why certain roads in CR just never get improved? The other spot I am thinking of is the stretch between Quepos and Dominical - devilish! It always has been and seems like it always will be......
dncee11 is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 03:44 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We didn't drive in CR (I don't even like to drive in the USA), we hired drivers. Our driver took 2 hours almost to the minute to drive from Arenal Paraiso Resort to SJO. There were some turns that I would have had no idea were the route to San Jose--signage is not the best out in the boondocks. I'm also glad I didn't have to drive because I was able to relax and enjoy the scenery instead of watching for potholes, accidents, iffy bridges, and very slow, overloaded trucks.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 05:02 PM
  #7  
koa
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 390
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks SrFlojo, My first trip to CR involved a lot of missed turns. The signage is horrible. Maybe the tourism authority should try to fix this problem for us tourists.The Tabacon hotel website has good directions for finding them available on their website.
koa is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 08:46 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We went w/o renting a car, but there's something to be said for renting one. If you look at another post about Sansa safety, a woman mentions that Costa Rica has the second highest auto fatalities in the world.

Virtually, every driver we had didn't know how to drive. They crossed over the center line by curves on hills. One was looking for something on the floor while he was driving. Tailgating is a national past-time. Many of our drivers passed in unsafe conditions. We had several close calls.

I have a friend from Costa Rica whose father was killed in an auto accident and his uncle was killed in another auto accident.

If you are driving, you can at least drive defensively---tap your horn slightly when you go up hills and curves.

The whole driving thing is my biggest qualm about returning. It is a sizeable risk as well as an impediment to relaxation. Costa Ricans and tourists alike should pressure the government to start a driver safety education campaign---safer and more pleasant for both residents and visitors---and helpful to the tourism economy.
Catmomma is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 09:06 PM
  #9  
koa
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 390
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Your right about the driving. It really freaked me out. I drive a lot for work, so i am used to driving, but driving in CR is like a scene out of mad maxx.But there is inherent risks in everything we do, just got to be defensive, obey the speed limit and really watch around those blind turns.
koa is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 09:21 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 81
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We got a driver, Oscar he has a 2 year old nice van with seat belts and air. Spoke English and very friendly and best of all drove very safe! Heard a lot about Oscar from this site and just happened to get lucky and got him. $100 for 1 way from the airport area to Arenal. Would not rent a car.
puckett is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2004, 05:26 AM
  #11  
Iza
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 800
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You should have no problem getting to Arenal before dark. We drove that road in August of last year and it is in a good shape. Both San Ramon and La Tigra may be a bit tricky because there are no signs. In La Tigra there is a turnoff and no signs, so stop and ask for directions (even if you don't speak Spanish, someone will point the right road to you). Be on the lookout for hotel signs (Tabacon has a few posted along the way, as does Montana de Fuego).
Iza is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2004, 01:47 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with the responses on way the people drive. Pass on a dbl line, on a curve, tail gate, speed demons. Guard rails? Few and far between. Heard it was foggy coming back from Arenal. Drive defensively!
mjer is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2004, 08:23 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 81
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We were in Costa Rica for 2 weeks recently and spent $320 for all transfers and taxi's needed. We were with another couple it would have been double that if we were by ourselves. We got lucky and got Oscar for all our transfers, he has a 2 year old van with seat belts. He drives very safe and spoke good English. Transfers included SJ to Arenal, boat/van to Monteverde, Monteverde to Samara and all taxis needed and hotel transfers. For that price I wouldn't think of renting unless you want to rent for the day to do some exploring on your own after you see what the roads are like. Don't get me wrong it's not that I would be afraid to drive around but for the cost, piece of mine and being able to pay attention to the scenery instead of the roads make it worth it to me.
puckett is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2004, 04:15 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If that's Oscar without the thumb, I thought he was a nice person. But he wasn't any safer than any other driver there.

He made some unsafe passes near hills & curves, and he tailgated a lot.

I don't believe in hiding out at home and never doing anything out of fear of death. I'm a skier and an amateur triathlete. On our trip, we did the canopy tour, and I took a surfing lesson. I don't even let my airplane phobia keep me from flying---b/c I know it's an irrational fear.

But there is such a thing as a foolish risk. Many of the drivers there do take foolish risks. I'm glad I went, and I wouldn't tell someone not to go to this amazing place. However, I would advise finding ways to protect yourself---either by finding a safer driver or practicing defensive driving. And it's my biggest hesitation about going back to Costa Rica. I'd like to start a driver education campaign.
Catmomma is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
nomar
Mexico & Central America
2
Jul 2nd, 2005 02:54 PM
Tami_J
Mexico & Central America
8
Mar 29th, 2005 07:16 PM
goatsgruff
Mexico & Central America
5
Mar 7th, 2005 05:41 PM
celiamcd
Mexico & Central America
5
Jun 3rd, 2003 08:47 AM
KK_Escobar
Mexico & Central America
4
Mar 9th, 2003 02:29 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 - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information