cetral costa rica

Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:21 PM
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cetral costa rica

We are going for a 12 days honeymoon trip in costa rica. Most itinery suggested first visit Arenal Volcano. We are thinking about flying to quepos first (to relax from all the wedding stress), and tour our way to the volcano, and monteverde. Any suggestion if it's a good idea? From the map i found on the web, there seem to have paved roads between quepos/puntarenas and arenal.
Some suggested to rent a car, some suggested not to. Driving seems to be problematic during raining season. We are wondering if we can hire a reasonable priced shuttle/driver with between towns.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 07:52 PM
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oneicebox,
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and honeymoon! Costa Rica is a great destination both for relaxing and filling up the day with lots of activity--your choice! You can do your itinerary however you like. Nothing wrong with flying to Quepos (Manuel Antonio) and enjoying the beach first. I don't blame you! You can also drive there. It is an easy, 3 hr. drive.

When are you going? Unless you are going in Sept. or Oct., when it rains a little heavier than usual, the weather really shouldn't interfere if you want to drive. The roads you will be on are paved, and they aren't terrible. We like driving, others prefer to hire a driver and think it is comparable to rental costs. You can also get shuttle transportation between most of the more popular destinations. Interbus is a good option. It costs about $25-35 per person per transfer depending on where you are headed. Their website isn't hard to find. I think it is Interbusonline.com.

5 days in Manuel Antonio, 3 days in Monteverde, and 3 days at Arenal would be ideal. You can return to SJO the night before your flight. You can also fly back to SJO from Quepos, rent a car and drive yourselves to Arenal (it's about 2.5 hours through very beautiful country, including some cloud forest).

However, if you want to go to Monteverde, I think I would recommend transfers all the way around. Have fun!

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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 07:56 PM
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Forgot to mention. . .I understand there is a jeep/boat/jeep transfer between Monteverde and Arenal. That sounds like a lot of fun since you get to be on Lake Arenal. An added dimension to your trip!
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Old Aug 26th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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Hello,
When are you going to CR? WE just returned & rented a car. We didn't have any problems driving & we really enjoyed having the freedom that renting a car gives you. We drove from SJO to Manuel Antonio, then to Arenal, then to Poas, then to Alajuela. All the roads we took are paved; there were only a few potholes. Driving over the mountains is slow. The roads are narrow and curvy, and you will get stuck behind slow moving trucks. Just be patient. The scenery is beautiful. We didn't go to Monteverde so don't know about driving there. I do remember seeing the jeep/boat/jeep transfer advertised while in Arenal.

We talked to people who used interbus and they felt they lost a lot of time using interbus. But I know there are people on this board who use interbus so hopefully some of them will respond to your questions.

Of course, there are people who prefer hiring private drivers. So it is really up to you & what you prefer. Just don't be afraid to rent a car, if that is what you want to do.

Hope this helps.

By the way, we did rent a 4 x 4 which helped with the few potholes we encountered.
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Old Aug 26th, 2004, 05:57 AM
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We were very happy with the two connections we arranged through Interbus. We had a relaxed schedule,so weren't too concerned about making time. They do stop for restaurant/shopping/bathroom breaks,which we liked. Much less stress than driving ourselves, but it's a personal choice.
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Old Aug 26th, 2004, 11:19 AM
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thanks for the insights. We will be travelling on 10/19-10/30, exclude the fly in and out of san jose. Lots of talk on this boards mentioned the pot holes on the roads during the raining season. Also the cost and risk of renting a vehicle.
another quesiton, i plan to book a hotel for the first 4 nights, after that we will decide where we stay once we get to the destination. Some members on the board suggested to book the hotels before the trip. It seems not so easy to find a hotel at the spot. what's your thought?
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Old Aug 26th, 2004, 01:43 PM
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Tourism will be slow during this time. You should have no problems playing it by ear as you go.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 05:32 AM
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Molly2 or anyone who has traveled interbus to Arenal from San Jose. What places do you stop and what places do you see on your way there? We are having a driver our second day in the Central Valley area so I do not want to repeat the route around the area that we would see on our way to Arenal. Do you go by Poas Volcano
or a waterfall in that area?
Leaving on Sept.2 for San Jose. Catch the bus on our 3rd day up to Arenal.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 06:45 AM
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No we didn't stop by Poas volcano, or anything of extreme interest for that matter {unless you consider a yardful of guineapigs extremely interesting!}. It was scenic in spots, and we did see a few small waterfalls from the road. The driver pointed out the different plants and groves along the way. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't pay attention to the exact route he was taking, just that it seemed the same both there and back. Interbus has a website. You could try e-mailing them with that question - they were extremely prompt in responding to my questions.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 09:43 AM
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The most direct route from SJO to Arenal would be through San Ramon. More than likely this is the route Interbus takes since its purpose is to get you there rather than sightsee. Poas, La Paz, and several other popular areas to see are east of that road. .on other little roads that loop around in the central valley north of San Jose.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 10:11 AM
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shillmac has refreshed my memory! We did indeed drive through San Ramon.
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