Arenal to Monteverde to Manuel Antonio?

Old Jun 13th, 2009, 12:38 PM
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Arenal to Monteverde to Manuel Antonio?

Okay, after being so sure of my itinerary, now I'm wondering about adding in a day and night at Manuel Antonio. If I did this, would it make sense to go Liberia, Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, Liberia, or to go Liberia, Arenal, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, Liberia? The website I was looking at for times adds about one hour to the first option. But in terms of scenery, etc.? I am assuming that if we left from Manuel Antonio that we would take a ferry at Punteranos (sorry, I can't remember the name) and go that way? Advice?
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Old Jun 13th, 2009, 02:36 PM
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www.mapcr.com

have a look at a good map...

Liberia to Monteverde round the lake to Arenal

then down to MA and back up the Panamericana to LIR

no ferry...www.carrentals.com LIR

have fun
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Old Jun 13th, 2009, 07:39 PM
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Monteverde to MA is about 5 hours, MA to Liberia about 6 and Arenal to MA. In my opinion a lot of extra time driving to only stay one night.
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 03:57 AM
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I agree with tully; I wouldn't go all that way just to spend one night in Manuel Antonio. It's not going to allow you enough time to enjoy it, and you'll spend a lot of time on the road.
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 11:36 AM
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We were just in MA; got up and entered the park very early, and quietly walked the trails quite a bit, using the binocs and looking, looking, looking. Saw nothing! Listened in on tour groups, too: "what's everyone looking at through the lens?" "termite nest." "Seen any monkeys?" "Nope." Various groups were looking at termite nests, one small green snake, a pretty cool spider, and a black toucan (it might have been a buzzard). IMO, the Monteverde area was much more interesting (and not as overcrowded; the beaches were full of people by 11 a.m.).
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 11:57 AM
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I think it's pretty rare to not see wildlife in MA. We saw tons of capuchins, close enough to touch, Halloween crabs, bats, a sloth, a raccoon, tons of cool insects, a Jesus Christ lizard, etc. sylvia, that stinks you didn't have better luck. Did you see quetzals in Monteverde?
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 05:26 PM
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No quetzals in Monteverde, but lots of other wildlife and natural beauty; yes, after all the guidebooks rhapsodizing about MA wildlife, we were pretty surprised. (I suspect others felt let down; several disgruntled groups muttering when we asked what they'd seen!) But it's all good; we never try to expect anything, and are usually thus not disappointed...and saw lots of exotic (to us) birds (and los monos) in the south.
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 05:38 PM
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The best time to see Manuel Antonio is in the afternoon. The monkeys get going in the afternoon--you're guaranteed to see Capuchins around the beach in the early afternoon, and then if you walk on the sloth trail you can probably see squirrel monkeys too.

Very, very good idea to have a guide.
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 06:25 PM
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We were laughing in MA because they have this big sign that says "Do not feed the monkeys" and the monkeys were swarming all over it.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 05:03 AM
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Why do people say "you can't not see the animals" and then recommend getting a guide, even for a small set of hikes?
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 06:32 AM
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Our guide was amazing; we would have completely missed the sloth without him, same with the bats, same with the crabs, etc. The monkeys were very obvious, practically posing for the cameras. I loved having the guide because he had a great scope and pointed out a lot of things we would have missed, and he also allowed us to take pictures through it. I think the guides tend to know where the animals hang out. He also provided us with snacks and drinks which was great.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 07:14 AM
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I wondered whether taking photos through their scopes was doable! Didn't see anyone doing it at the time, but I have to say, I never so saw much expensive camera equipment at one time and one place before (kind of funny to see some folks coming in with tripods, tons of lenses, and camo clothing as if heading out on jungle safari, while others tripped in wearing tiny bikinis and headed straight for the beach). (But, as I said, we did question the tour groups we saw, and others were having an equally disappointing day; perhaps the a.m. vs. p.m., as RAC said. However, the rest of CR wildlife spotting more than made up for the lack in Manuel Antonio!)
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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We went in the a.m., so who knows? Our guide was telling us about all the flora and fauna, and he even detailed the behavior of the cutter ants we saw. He said they actually "speak" to each other to communicate, and he held one up to my ear so I could hear it - it was really cool. He also got bitten in the process, kind of took one for the team.
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