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Booking Arenal Tours

Old Jan 13th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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Booking Arenal Tours

I will be in Arenal at the end of January and there are four of us that would like to do a combination tour - Arenal Hanging bridges/fortuna falls/volcano hike/Tabacon. Should I book this in advance? I am afraid if I don't that it may be booked. At CostaRica-Travelinfo.com, they told me I needed to give them a 100% deposit if I made reservations now. Is that typical? Can I reserve it through my hotel (Arenal Paraiso) without having to pay 100% upfront? Any info would be appreciated.
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 06:13 PM
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How much time do you have planned for Arenal? I honestly don't think things will be sold out at that time. You could probably just make arrangements when you get to Arenal Paraiso. None of those places are difficult to get to or terribly far. If worse came to worse you could just hire a cab and go on your own or for that matter rent a car for the day. it is an easy area to get around. There is pretty much just the one road that most things go off of. The Hanging Bridges are a little further, just beyond the dam but again just off the same main road. My husband and I hire cab drivers frequently when traveling for the whole day. We still hear from the driver we had in Acapulco about 4 years ago.
Arenal.net has a rough map of the area and you will see what I mean about the one main road. Even the town is easy to drive around in. With something like a huge volcano to sight in on for direction it is hard to get too lost.
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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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We will be flying into San Jose around 2pm on Sunday, Jan. 25th and should be getting to Arenal between 6 & 7pm. We will have two full days in Arenal. We wanted to do the combo tour on Monday. Then on Tuesday,we were going to get massages at Tabacon mid morning and I'm not sure about the afternoon. We were considering a canopy tour, but we head to Tamarindo on Wednesday and will be there through Sunday....I wanted to watch my spending somewhat and the cost of the combo tour is $120. I also thought we might just want to take it easy Tuesday afternoon after our long day of various activities the day before. The combo tour includes the hanging bridges, la fortuna falls, lunch at Lava Rocks, arenal volcano hike and then to Tabacon for dinner and a few hours in the springs. Do you think it would be better to go on our own...as far as cost and convenience? We are not renting a car so we would have to get a cab.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 06:03 PM
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Arenal Paraiso has an excellent canopy tour and I would highly recommend it! My sister and I were just in Costa Rica over the holidays and went on this canopy tour. We did not have to pay up front.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 07:04 PM
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I stayed at Arenal Paraiso last Feb and did not see a canopy tour there. Where was it?
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Old Jan 17th, 2004, 08:36 PM
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We will also be staying at the Arenal Paraiso. Are there many trails or other activities that we can do without a guide? I don't think thaty we will have a car. Is there anyplace to walk to to have a drink or a bite to eat? Gracias a todos por su ayuda!
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 07:50 AM
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There is a trail behind the cabinas. If you look at the map of Arenal on Monteverdeinfo.com you will see Arenal Paraiso is not near too many things. Between Paraiso and Montana de Fuego is a great steak house where you can sit outside and look at the volcano while eating. Taxis are plentiful there and not terribly expensive. You could have one take you someplace and wait for you or arrange to pick you up at a later time. You can do most of the tours on your own with a taxi ride. There are entrance fees to most. If you want to horseback ride you will have to set that up. the Paraiso has a tour desk to help you take tours and to give you ideas of things you can do on your own.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 11:30 AM
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We just got back from Monteverde and Arenal Volcano yesterday. Stayed at the Arenal Paraiso. We had no problem booking tours after we arrived--in fact we took the 4 PM volcano walking tour and had the guide all to ourselves. He was excellent. We also did the day trip to Cano Negro as we hadn't seen monkeys at all in Monteverde and just one spider monkey in Arenal (though we heard howlers everywhere). The Cano Negro boat excursion was excellent--the bus trip was interesting with an enthusiastic and knowledgable young guide. We saw so much wildlife from the boat--it was just unbelievable. We got much closer to the animals by boat than we were able to walking in the cloud and rain forests. The steakhouse at the Arenal Paraiso is very good--not quite excellent, but both the shrimp and fish civiches were worthwhile, they did a pretty good steak, and the buffet breakfast was fine. No hotel has a better view of the lava flows. They will wake you up to see a good lava flow if you ask them.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 11:38 AM
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Gracias Rufus y los demas! With this type of informacion it makes planning a trip so much easier. I want to find a balance between tours and activities we can just go out and explore. My trip is still one month away, but I feel better prepared. One final preguntita, Has anyone stayed at the Cafetal Inn? We are thinking of doing a 1st or last night there for some local color. Gracias, otra vez a todos!
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