Arenal: Questions on hotel and transportation

Jan 13th, 2007, 01:27 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 12
Arenal: Questions on hotel and transportation

Hi there!

Going to be in Arenal for 3 nights at the end of the year (we'll be there for New Year's in fact!) I know it's a way to go...but planning is in full force.

We're visiting Arenal after a 7 night Windstar cruise so we figured the jungle is what we would be ready for. After lots of research, it looks like I'm leaning towards the Lost Iguana or the Hotel Kioro. Anyone have any input? My only hesitation on the Lost Iguana is how remote it is. Which leads me to my second question...

Would it be wise for us to rent a car for the time we're in Arenal? Are there any rental agencies there? Is it even necessary...or is it easy enough to find a taxi or shuttle? I don't want to rely on the hotel for all our meals...

Thanks in advance for your help!

tiffnco is offline  
Jan 13th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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Taxis there are, but Arenal is an area that is strung out, and a rental would be very nice. Yes, there are agencies there, and you can rent once you arrive. I think you'll be glad you did.
Lost Iguana has gotten some very nice reviews (and not a bad one), but Kioro is fairly new and I haven't heard much about it. It's pretty high dollar, so SHOULD be quite nice, huh?! Enjoy! It's actually not too early to be planning for that time of year. . .
shillmac is offline  
Jan 14th, 2007, 06:15 AM
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Thanks for the info. Based on the fact that I can rent a car in town, and everyone else's reviews...I'm going to stay at the Lost Iguana.

I'm assuming that the roads aren't that bad in and around the Arenal area. Is this true? We wouldn't be going too far...
tiffnco is offline  
Jan 14th, 2007, 08:20 AM
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We visited Arenal last month, and the roads in that area weren't bad at all. We stayed at the Arenal Lodge which is just past the Lost Iguana.

Just be on the lookout for any wildlife on the roadways. We saw a couple of coatis walking right on the road in the stretch between the dam and the beginning of the main block of resorts (Tabacon, et al).

Its a really beautiful place. Enjoy!
cmerrell is offline  
Jan 14th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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Lost Iguana a good choice, I think. Hope to stay there one day! You'll be glad you rented, and the roads are in great condition up that way. You might enjoy a drive over toward the lake. Even there, where the road is notoriously worse, it is only bad in patches.
shillmac is offline  
Jan 14th, 2007, 08:16 PM
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Thanks for the feedback guys!

I went ahead and booked Lost Iguana. Now I just need to figure out which activities I can squeeze into 3 days.

As for the car, my husband is a little nervous about renting one. I've assured him it's safe and probably the best way to I just need to keep saying that to him. (over and over and over!)

Do any of you know (or I may post a new topic for this)...we're flying into San Jose the day before we need to be in Puerto Caldera to catch a cruise. It seems that most everyone stays at the Marriott in town, but I'm wondering if it's possible (or even a good idea) to stay someplace with a little more character like the Peace Lodge. We'd be on a flight that gets in to town in the morning and we don't need to be at the port until 2:00pm. Is that a workable timeframe...or should I be looking at another spot between the city and the port?
tiffnco is offline  
Jan 14th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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I guess I should have stated that we wouldn't need to be at the port until 2:00pm the next day. So we have an overnight somewhere.
tiffnco is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 03:36 AM
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Peace Lodge would be lovely, and pretty simple to get to--roads in decent condition. There are a lot of nice hotels a little closer to the airport as well should you be interested in staying somewhere closer to the highway. Good for you in choosing character over American chain hotel! Guarantees you the best experience, for sure!
shillmac is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Keep in mind that Peace Lodge is an hour away in the other direction from where you will be going the next day.
It is a lovely place just be sure to add that extra hour to your travel time to the port.

Vista del Valle is a lovely place and about 1/2 hr closer.

I know Dollar rental car has an office in La Fortuna. Tell your husband it is pretty easy to get around in that area. Not a whole lot of roads to get lost on.
See for a rough look at the area. He will see that there aren't a whole lot of places to have a problem. Kioro does have a closer look at the lava should it be clear enough. The hotels are shown on that same map as well as where the lava is at the moment.
Suzie2 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 11:59 AM
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You guys have been so helpful! Suzie, I looked at the Vista del Valle and it looks great. Unfortunately, we're coming in on December 21st...which falls under their "holiday" requirements of 3 night minimum.

Have any more suggestions?

tiffnco is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 06:01 AM
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Anyone ever stayed at the Volcano Lodge in Arenal?? Wonder if you could provide me with some pros/cons...
flyfaraway is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 02:30 AM
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For a stopover near San Jose airport here is my advice:
I visited a hotel called Xandari resort in July, which isnt too far from the airport & is a beautiful hotel, great gardens, 2 pools & the most delicious food I had in Costa Rica....a really nice place. Also have a spa there. Expensive, I believe!
I also visited the Marriott (make sure it's the colonial one, outside town, very near the airport).
For a Marriott it is gorgeous: outside building is lovely, nice gardens, big pool, good food. The bedroom I saw wasn't special, but if the weather is good, you'll be outside most of the time anyway!
plumette is offline  
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