Arenal vs. Monteverde?

Jan 11th, 2009, 04:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Arenal vs. Monteverde?

We're going to Costa Rica for the first time in March, and we had originally planned to do 2 days each in Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio. But after reading the comments here, we are wondering if we should drop one of the three destinations so we're not spending all our time getting from place to place. We definitely want to do Manuel Antonio, so the question is: do we drop one of the others? And if so, which one? We like the whole zipline/cloud forest thing, and our friends loved Monteverde, but it doesn't seem to get as good reviews in these posts as Arenal does. Thoughts?
tsell is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 05:04 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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I'm a huge fan of Arenal - it has loads of activities to do, and the volcano is amazing, so it gets my vote. I think 3 destinations in your time frame is too much moving around. Monteverde was very cold when we were there; I had to wear a sweatshirt and fleece at night - of course the weather is variable and not always like that. Also MV isn't as easy to get to. Arenal has some of the highest, longest ziplines in the country - SkyTrek is very popular, so you can really do that in either place.

I think it really depends upon what you want to do - if you want birding and cloud forest then MV might be the right choice for you.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 05:18 PM
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It's an inherently subjective thing. Arenal has more adventure stuff, while Monteverde is more unique ecologically. Of course, you can have adventure activities in MV and ecological stuff in Arenal too.

Would you rather see a quetzal in flight or an active volcano?
RAC is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 05:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Sounds like you are having the same problem as us... The only difference is we are going in April. We'd be interested in hearing what you decide.
Costa_Rica is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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We did a Manuel Antonio Arenal combo our first trip, and last trip we did an Arenal Monteverde combo.

t, what did your friends specifically love about Monteverde?
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 07:10 PM
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Monteverde is not worth it for only two nights since it is a 4 hour drive from Arenal, giving you only 1 1/2 days.

We went since we were quite interested in the cloud forest and bird. We hiked in three different reserves,saw plenty of wildlife, in addition to numerous quetzals and even an adult male bellbird with its droopy mustache.

We were there in March, it was cool in the evenings, warm in the daytime, not a drop of rain. It was so dry that the guides were very worried about the lack of rain.

We loved MV and hope to get back there again on a future trip.
colibri is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 08:46 PM
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If you're birders, I'd go with Monteverde. Seeing the quetzals was amazing. We also enjoyed our night hike at Hidden Valley too. We're Arenal addicts though and will probably go back there trip after trip. We still haven't seen it all.
volcanogirl is offline  
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