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Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Paraiso OR Lavas Tacotal

Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Paraiso OR Lavas Tacotal

May 18th, 2004, 07:15 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 356
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Paraiso OR Lavas Tacotal

Hello -

I thought I had made my decision & in fact I made a reservation at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, but I just keep thinking about that 6 mile road back & forth just to get there. Here is where I am at with my decision process - can anyone help?

Arenal Observatory Lodge -
Good rate which includes 3 hour hike
Like the fact that it is in the park & founded as the Smithsonian researchers
Don't like the distance or that the lava flow tends to be on the other side
With a 4WD, will we still not want to venture out too much for meals, hot springs, excursions especially at night? If we're going to end up relying on a taxi, then we might as well forget the good rate since the taxi costs are so much higher from here...

Arenal Paraiso -
Gets great reviews on this site
Closer to everything
Costs more & doesn't include guided hike or anything. Grounds don't seem to be as nice as the Observatory Lodge
Can you walk to Tabacon from here? Or drive at night without much problem for meals? How about in the day - how long of a drive from here to Fortuna?

Lavas Tacotal Lodge -
Good prices
Seems to be along main road near Paraiso
Haven't been able to find anything good/bad about this place
Looks nice online

We'll be there July 1st & 2nd - so we may not see the volcano from anywhere anyway. But, I just can't decide if the price factor (about $25 less per night) is worth it at the Observatory Lodge & the fact that they include the guided hike seems really appealing to me. Should I just go ahead & go with all the great recommendations for Paraiso since it is a better location?

sclubb is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 08:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 356
I think I just made my own decision for a change...imagine that! I just found the Paraiso's direct website & based on their offerings & everything else, I think I will go with all the other reviews I've read! Now, let's hope they have a reservation & that the Observatory Lodge will let me cancel!
sclubb is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 06:12 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 30
Good choice! You can always drive to the park and go on a hike from there during the day. The most fun hiking we did from the Observatory was on the old lava bed and you can do that from the park entrance as a day trip on your own. Nighttime travel on that dirt road could be tricky.
KatHep is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 08:46 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11
$40 total round trip from Obseratory to the
hot springs for the 4 of us.
ajax25 is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
You can't walk to Tabacon from Paraiso, but the drive is not long. Neither is the one to La Fortuna. The grounds at Arenal Paraiso are indeed very nice and there is hiking from there. I think you will be very pleased with the choice you have made. Good job!
shillmac is offline  

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