Arenal or Monteverde?

Jan 1st, 2012, 06:30 PM
Original Poster
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Arenal or Monteverde?

My family and I are going to Costa Rica in March of 2012. We are debating about our itinerary and wanted to get some feedback from fellow fodorites. Would you rather spend 3 nights in Arenal or 3 nights in Monteverde? We are looking to view wildlife and to do a zipline tour and/or hanging bridges.

Are the activities similar enough in each spot or should we consider spending a few nights in each place?
kcapuani is offline  
Jan 1st, 2012, 07:10 PM
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To me, Arenal offers a lot more activities, plus it has the volcano and the natural hot springs. Weather also tends to be warmer than in Monteverde since Monteverde is a cloud forest environment. I'd do the Cano Negro tour to see wildlife, use Sky Trek for zip lines, and then hike the Hanging Bridges. You can also hike the waterfall and go to Tabacon or Eco Termales for hot springs. Monteverde is nice if you're into birding; you can spot quetzals there. Arenal has a lot more in the way of hotel and restaurant choices, and it's a lot easier to get to.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2012, 02:30 AM
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Ditto offers more if you can only do one.Usually stay at from $140 per nite for me
best FREE hot springs if you stay there u will save a lot with kids. best zip cheap way
to get around savea lot on tours.

Have fun!
qwovadis is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2012, 07:42 AM
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I would go with Arenal too, lots of activities and easier to get to!
Enchanting_girl is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2012, 09:26 AM
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I agree with Volcanogirl, Arenal has far more to do, Monteverde is nice but never did much for me, like the view and the cloud forest but not enough for me to go that far out of the way on average.
incabod is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2012, 01:41 PM
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Cheapest rate at Tabacon for "single superior room" (2 people, 2 double beds) for random March dates I found is $195/night; but the hot springs cost $60 p/p!
You might consider a condo or house, if it's a family:
sylvia3 is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2012, 03:22 PM
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Other places you might check are the Lost Iguana, Nayara, and Silencio del Campo. If you did decide on Monteverde, we liked Fonda Vela there.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2012, 06:31 PM
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Wow - Arenal by a overwhelming majority! I actually went to Arenal about 10 years ago, but just on a day trip. It would be nice to explore the area for a few days.
kcapuani is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 09:03 AM
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k, don't be shocked by the Burger King there. We were really surprised when we saw that on a return visit. It's still an amazing place though.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Well, despite the enticing activities that Arenal has to offer, my family is now lobbying for Monteverde. I will look into the rates at Fonda Vela... Thanks!
kcapuani is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 03:06 PM
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Be sure to pack something warm to wear if you choose Monteverde; we wore sweatshirts and fleece jackets at night there - very cold and rainy, but we still had fun.
volcanogirl is offline  
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