arenal, monteverde, or Cerro de la muerte

Nov 3rd, 2002, 04:01 PM
  #1  
harriet
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arenal, monteverde, or Cerro de la muerte

I will be going to Costa Rica with my family in Marcg and want to see the diversity of the country focusing on nature and not too much of the touristy things. We are thinking of Arenal for a night, 2 nights in Monteverde, and 5 nights in Dominical with days trips. In the alternative, we might go to Cerro de la Muerte and then to Dominical. How touristy/ necessaaary are Arenal and Monteverde?
 
Nov 3rd, 2002, 04:11 PM
  #2  
David Cook
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While some might call the Arenal area touristy, it should not be missed by the first time visitor. You may or may not be able to view the volcano due to clouds but you can sure feel it up close. Don't miss the hot springs and Fortuna Falls nearby. The town of Fortuna is a good central place to stay and enjoy the area. I have heard some people complain about Monteverde but I enjoyed our time there; 1 nite was enough, however. Dominical is an interesting choice, it's kind of a small surfers town but plenty of good places to stay. Good luck, you'll have fun!
 
Nov 4th, 2002, 03:41 AM
  #3  
Harry
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ALF please stop advertising so often the Genesis II Cloud Forest Reserve
It is nothing special, it has shared bathrooms and is very expensive. If someone wants to stay in that area there are much better accommodations and inexpensive too.
 
Nov 4th, 2002, 03:36 PM
  #4  
ALF
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I would agree that there are many nicer places to stay in the Talamancas than Genesis II. I advocate going there for the solitude, hiking, and wildlife. Tell me where else to go where you can get a private hike with a knowledgeable naturalist? I am not advertising it, as I have no connection with the owners.
 
Nov 4th, 2002, 05:36 PM
  #5  
harriet
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Harry and Alf
I do not understand what you are talking about. Do you have a response to my question?
Thank you.
 
Nov 4th, 2002, 11:30 PM
  #6  
ALF
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Harriet,
I left a message pointing out that you could skip the Monteverde Cloud Forest in favor of the higher-altitude cloud forests of the Talamanca Mtns, just north of Cerro de la Muerte. For some reason, that message got deleted, but it was the one that Harry didn't like. Oh well.

I still think that a trip to the Talamanca region is superior to the Monteverde experience, particularly if you do not like touristy things. I advocated a particular place, Genesis II, where my family had a wonderful experience hiking, canopy-touring, and learning about wildlife. Harry is right that Genesis II is not cheap and not very well-appointed - but in my opinion the experience outweighed the accommodations.
 
Nov 5th, 2002, 05:59 AM
  #7  
harriet
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Dear ALF
Thank you for your insight. Sorry to have missed your earlier post. I am still thinking about what to do, but I appreciate your thoughts.
 
Nov 10th, 2002, 10:46 AM
  #8  
Marilynn
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Harriet,
I am a teacher so traveled with two other teachers who are pretty spirited and after 1st day in San Jose spent a nite at the Arenal Observatory in Feb. which I recommend - howler monkeys, volcano burping and we were fortunate to have two days of clear vue volcano activity (nite time red lava action) with actual loud thunderous burps. Next day following a volcano tour with guide we left for Monteverde around the lake in our 4 by 4. Had a ball with the road up to the cloud forest - pot hole haven, but I had been warned by my son who was there at same time surfing in Mal Pais. He claimed that we couldn't visit him there unless we did this part of the trip annd went on the "zip-trek" canopy adventure - what fun and it was worth it. Stayed at Hotel Montana - lovely and inexpensive. Then we headed to Mal Pais by ferry from Puntarenas. What a hoot! The ferry takes cars, cement, chickens and people - laugh a minute. Loved Mal Pais - surfers paradise - stayed at Franks Cabinas - wonderful! Then headed to Manuel Antonio for 3 days.
My husband and I were there this summer for two weeks and headed straight to Jaco and next day Dominical -stay up the river at Rio del Mar - $50.00 a nite for two and wonderful grounds, restaurant, and cabinas - met people from all over the world there. My son spent a month surfing there so I had to see it. The road from Manuel Antonio to there is pot holy but not as bad as Monteverde's road and you will miss the town if not looking for the road that dips down to it. The road from there to Osa Peninsula is great and if you have time Do IT. We went to Porto Jiminez this trip and stayed at Parrot Bay Club - owned by Charleston, SC people - real terrific. Did a rainforest trip with their guide and saw 4 different kinds of mondeys, parrots, and oodles of other creatures. Gulfo Dulce is beautiful. Then we headed back to Jaco and on to Tamarindo for 4 days. Loved every waking moment especially dining at all the places we found - you can eat and drink everything in this country - not like Mexico. Hope this helps - Ask me anything you want to know
Marilynn
 
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