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mrscalkins Mar 9th, 2010 09:39 AM

Costa rica Arenal lava flow
Help! I'm confused. I thought current lava flow was viewable from AOL and Linda Vista Del Norte. I was going to book one of these two hotels. I read MOON travel guide on Arenal and it said as of 2008 the flow has gone to the east because of crater collapse and cannot be seen from Arenal Observatory Lodge. Now I'm not sure where to book because I want to see the flow from our hotel. Anyone been there recently that can give advice on the flow? South west, east??? Thanks

volcanogirl Mar 9th, 2010 09:51 AM shows the current flow; the last few years we've gone it's been toward AOL and Lost Iguana. Keep in mind that rain and fog can obscure the view no matter where you stay though. You might stay several days without getting a chance to see it, but hopefully you will.

mrscalkins Mar 9th, 2010 09:46 PM

Thanks. I've visited alot lately. I noticed they didn't have any really recent pictures in the "most recent photos" section (newest was 2007). The lava flow map reads "copyright 2008" so I wasn't sure when the last time the site was updated, if it was really "current". Moon spotlight Arenal was published 2009, and counterdicts everything else by saying you cannot see the flow from AOL since it changed to the east in 2008. I guess I just need to buy fodors 2010, Fodors has never steered me wrong!
Thanks for clarifying.
Has anyone been to Linda Vista? I can't decide between Linda and AOL.

shutterbug85 Mar 11th, 2010 06:14 AM

I read the same thing on another website right before we left for our trip in December (2009) and started panicking that we'd booked at AOL for no reason. As of the end of December 2009, the lava was perfectly visible from AOL. Running right down that side of the volcano (Southwest? Not sure - can't pull up the map on the work computer).

sammy123 Mar 11th, 2010 09:41 AM

WE were at Arenal; Lost Iguana; Feb 20-24; no lava flow anywhere. We drove to Linda Vista ;Be aware that you will have about a 45 minute drive minimum
on a rutted road full of holes and boulders to get to Linda Vista and even more to get to AOL. My opinion its not worth it.

ReddTyde Mar 12th, 2010 04:43 PM

Went to Arenal January 2009. Could see lava/molten boulders going down SW side of Volcano, easily seen from AOL where we stayed (barring the nearly constant cloud cover).

RAC Mar 13th, 2010 05:54 AM

February 2009 we could see the boulders tumbling down from AOL.

LindainOhio Mar 13th, 2010 11:43 AM

I just emailed Lost Iguana after reading these posts and they emailed me right back. She said that the lava is moving to the west side and for the most part that is where they are seeing it. She said "from our property you may see it" I am thinking that means they aren't seeing it from there now. Bummer--we are booked there. That place looks so beautiful and is only $123/nt. May have to reconsider.

Is AOL the only accommodations on the west side of the volcano?

volcanogirl Mar 13th, 2010 03:50 PM

It's a great hotel. I wouldn't skip it if you think it looks beautiful. You could end up staying somewhere else and have the volcano be enshrouded in fog for your entire stay. I'd make sure you love the hotel for itself. We met people on our last trip who had been in town for four days and asked me if there was honestly a volcano there. No matter where they went, all they saw was fog!

RAC Mar 13th, 2010 06:15 PM

If your major concern is seeing the volcano, the AOL is the best bet. It's isolated and the food isn't so great and it's rather rustic, but for us it's the only place we'd consider while the lava is on its side.

Best wildlife is there too.

mrscalkins Mar 18th, 2010 04:11 PM

Thanks everyone for the tips and info. Lost Iguana is a beautiful looking hotel, but would cost us more than we would like to spend. A long rutted road is no bother, but 45 minutes may be too much to bare unless there is animal activity along the way...

volcanogirl Mar 18th, 2010 05:23 PM

If you decide you can live without the lava view, you might check out Silencio del Campo; it's closer to town and gets consistently good reviews and has hot springs.

mrscalkins Mar 19th, 2010 05:01 AM

Volcanogirl, you are a great help. You must basically live in CR! lol I've decided that I must have a Volcano view. I want to take my chances with that. We will be in Arenal 4 nights, so I hope that we will have a lava view at least once. I was leanin toward Linda, but I love the idea of the animal photo ops at AOL. I have decided on these two hotels, I just have to decide which!

volcanogirl Mar 19th, 2010 08:34 AM

AOL does have a lot to offer; I would probably lean that way.

gpkbrand Mar 20th, 2010 06:46 AM

We stayed at Linda Vista a few years ago. (Went to Arenal as a last minute addition to our trip.) The hotel is clean, simply furnished. There is a telephone in the office (non in the rooms) and there is no television. (Don't know if these are important to you or not.) The views are quite nice from the restaurant and small deck. There is a small swimming pool. The food at the restaurant was fine. Not anything special. If you decide to stay there, try to book a room with a volcano view. You will probably want a car as there was not alot to do on the property. It is a bit past AOL. Be prepared for a potholed drive. (Though the road to AOL seemed improved this year compared to the past.)

mrscalkins Mar 21st, 2010 06:19 AM

gpkbrand- I finally found someone who stayed at Linda! I have decided to go with AOL only because of the animals all over there. But, can you tell me, did you bring a laptop to Linda? I'm hoping that if we go to lunch at Linda I would be able to access their internet then, without being a room guest. Curiosity- did you have problems with hot water? I heard Linda was bad about that

sammy123 Mar 22nd, 2010 09:34 AM

LindaInOhio; the Lost Iguana is spectacular; We stayed for three nights at end of February. Its surrounded by jungle, beautiful flowers, and views of the volcano from every room.
You'd be making a big mistake if you cancel and try to chase the lava; we were lucky to even see the volcano because it was totally covered by clouds the week before we visited. WE went to the Linda vista for dinner;I bet the views are great if the wather is good, but otherwise you are stuck with a 45 min ride back to main road and accomodations no where near as nice as LI>

LindainOhio Mar 22nd, 2010 02:23 PM

Thanks Sammy and volcanogirl. We had a 'get psyched for Costa Rica" dinner last weekend with our travel buddies. We decided to keep our reservation at Lost Iguana. Appreciate the responses.

volcanogirl Mar 22nd, 2010 02:30 PM

Oh, good, Linda. I really, really love that hotel. The views are spectacular, and the grounds are just really beautiful. I love the landscaping and the river. Great spot - I'm psyched for you!

sammy123 Mar 23rd, 2010 12:35 PM

Also, you are close to the Hanging Bridges; suggest going as early as possible ; you can get a guide directly through the Hanging Bridges website, no need to go with a tour; and you can walk there from Lost Iguana if you do not have a car.

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