Costa Rica: ARENAL or MONTEVERDE

Old Aug 20th, 2006, 09:08 PM
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Costa Rica: ARENAL or MONTEVERDE

Seems like we can see rain forest flora and fauna, try ziplines and hanging bridges, and stay in beautiful places in both Arenal and Monteverde.

Considering that we must travel in late June or early July and it's our first trip to Costa Rica, which place should we choose??? OR... do you think it's a must to both???

(We have a little more than a week, and we really want to include a beach destination on this trip, too, but I'll ask about that in another post.)

thank you!
Dina
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Old Aug 20th, 2006, 10:33 PM
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With 10 days Arenal and Monteverde and Manuel Antonio is a nice trip.

Don't need to do both MA and Mtvd though.

I have some photos of Manuel Antonio beaches on this site www.rvincent3.photosite.com
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 06:03 AM
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Monteverde is cloud forest, which is really quite different than tropical rain forest. I haven't been back to Costa Rica for several years, but when I think back to the places we visited, it's Monteverde that sticks with me. It's different than anywhere else we've been. That said, one of my biggest interest is plants.

Watching the lava on Arenal is pretty darn impressive too. We stayed at Tabacon, had great volcano views. Even saw the peak one afternoon. Hiking the old lava flows was great fun.

I agree with the previous poster, if you can get 10 days, Arenal, Monteverde and Manual Antonio are very doable.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 06:40 AM
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Meant to say, don't need to do both Arenal and Mtvd though agree with JeanH about the differences of the two.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 09:22 AM
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Our recent trip to Costa Rica included the following:

Arenal - 2 nights

Montevede - 2 nights

Manuel Antonio 3 nights

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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 11:17 AM
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Outstanding photos earthtraveler! You make Costa Rica look very appealing - more reasons to go now. Took a peak at your Asian photos as well which are also beautiful.
Thanks for sharing!
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 11:37 AM
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go to santa elena instead of monteverde, less crowded and more chance of seeing wildlife:

http://costa-rica.typepad.com/santa_...ome/index.html

take the jeep-boat-jeep taxi from santa elena to la fortuna across lake arenal:

http://costa-rica.typepad.com/photos...taricajpg.html

in arenal/ la fortuna make sure you go on the day tour of cano negra:

http://costa-rica.typepad.com/la_for...ome/index.html

from la fortuna you can easily drive to the pacif coast in 3-4 hours, check out this costa rica beaches travelblog for more info:

http://costa.rica.typepad.com/costa_...ome/index.html


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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 12:56 PM
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Thanks for the compliment cybor. The country is wonderful and affords so many opportunities for photography.

The asia photos couldn't have been mine as I haven't posted any. I've traveled in India though, but before I went digital.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 01:00 PM
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I can agree with rich99 that you can visit all three places in week but it will be rushed IMO.
Having said that the time on the road can be a wonderful adventure in itself with great sites along the way if you like beautiful landscape vistas.
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Old Aug 21st, 2006, 05:41 PM
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thanks for all the good advice!

Earthtraveler,
those are fabulous photos!!!

rich99-
were you happy with your itinerary, or did you feel rushed in any of the places??? Did you do a trip report?

guanacaste-
I will definitely check out your travel blogs later tonight. thanks!

jeanh-
thanks for clarifying the difference between the two places. I guess I'm still wondering if one is better than the other during the "green season", What do you think? I think I read somewhere you can't see the lava flow as much in June/July.

Maybe I should try to fit in both...
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 11:36 AM
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Dina:

Time was fine. We did not rent a car but used car services to take us to the major destinations. Once we were there we either walked, use taxi's or buses.

Arenal - 2 nights at Tabacon Resort - we did the Hanging Bridges & Hot Springs.

Monteverde - 2 nights at El Sapo Dorado. We took the taxi-boat-taxi. We also did horseback riding and the Zip Line at Selvatura.

Manuel Antonio - 3 nights - Stayed at Buena Vista Villas & Casas. Our accomoodation was a 3 bedroom house that was completed in December 2006. They have there own private beach with kayaks and excellent swimming. We were able to walk to restaurants, supermarkets and ATM machine. Public Bus to Manuel Antonio National park was 20 cents. We also did the ATV tour by Four Trax which was wonderful.

The last night we spent near the airport for an early flight the next day.

Good Luck.
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