Costa Rica -- Anyone stay at Villa Blanca?

Feb 23rd, 2007, 07:01 AM
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Costa Rica -- Anyone stay at Villa Blanca?

This looks nice but seems to be away from the Arenal volcano. I don't have to stay at the foot of the volcano since it sounds like a lot of people miss it with the fog, anyway. Some of the accomodations at the foot of Arenal look a bit barren or razed --is this a misperception?
fishee is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 10:04 AM
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If you want to see the volcano & enjoy all the nearby activities, I would stay in ARenal area, like Arenal Paraiso, Lost Iguana, etc. Not positive but I believe this would be at least an hour's drive away and is cloud forest. At the base of Arenal it is very barren where the lava flow went, but there are some very lush areas on the walk to the base, as well as the whole area where all the hotels are.
tully is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 10:44 AM
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It is a nice place but if Arenal is your goal then you would be better off down there closer as tully mentioned. IF the weather is clear you can look far away and see Arenal from Villa Blanca but VB is in a cloud forest area and those moments are few. I was there two days and one day I could see Arenal and the other no. VB is about 1-1 1/2 hr away from Arenal. It is about 1/2 way from SJO to Arenal in the San Ramon area.
Suzie2 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2007, 06:13 AM
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Thanks for the replies and info on location.

What kind of activities are there in a cloud forest vs. the Arenal volcano area?

My sister really likes the look of this place so I'm trying to look into what kind of tours are available and what the food would be like in the area and at the resort.
fishee is offline  
Feb 25th, 2007, 03:17 PM
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Monteverde has the cloud forest and not much else:

La Fortuna- Arenal has hot springs:

A waterfall:

AND its the best town to get a day trip to the Cano Negro Reserve near the border with Nicaragua:

guanacaste is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 06:40 AM
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Villa Blanca itself is not in the cloud forest but has some nice hikes into one. They have a trip to see Quetzals that are about 45 mins away.

It is a very pretty place and the food was very good. Service attentive. In the last minute scurry to get ready to leave we left our binoculars sitting right by the door at our friend Orlando's house. He had his and one of the amateur bird watchers who worked at the hotel let us use hers for the time we were there so we all got to see plenty.

As far as things to do....not really a whole lot unless you like just walking around. We were there for the birds so we were happy. There is a game/tv room if it is raining and there is a small movie theater. It is a pretty place and not a bad stop for a night or two but Arenal has a lot more choices and some very nice places to stay as well.
Suzie2 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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thanks Suzie,

This specific info is really useful -- sounds like you stayed at Lost Iguana when you went to Arena?

We'll have a 7 yr old boy with us -- is that more reason to go to Arenal instead of Villa Blanca? My sister is attracted to the lodging and food at Villa Blanca.
fishee is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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Other than the pool table upstairs in the game room at Villa Blanca I think Arenal would be better for a 7 year old unless he likes to just walk around looking at birds, plants and flowers.

I have stayed at the Observatory Lodge and at Arenal Paraiso in the Arenal area.
Suzie2 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 12:13 PM
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Tully et al - I was planning on stopping off here for 1 night enroute to Arenal after landing in San Jose - figured that arriving at 12:30pm in San Jose, wouldn't get through custums and going until 2pm and then would get to VB @3-3:30. Thought it would be a nice intro to CR - relax, gentle walk, etc. Antything we should not miss in the area as we drive up to Arenal the next morning?
lweissmann is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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It would be a lovely area to stop for the night. It is a really pretty place. There is a nice trail you can take that isn't too long and not too short that will give you a chance to see some interesting birds and some nice vistas. If it is clear, go up into the game room and look out the windows. You can see Arenal and La Fortuna in the distance.

You could also make it to Arenal that day.
Suzie2 is offline  

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