Costa Rica-Transfers btwn locales

Apr 8th, 2002, 10:40 AM
  #1  
bly
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Costa Rica-Transfers btwn locales

Hello - We're looking at booking a trip to CR at the end of April/beg May. We're somewhat wary of renting a vehicle due to road conditions and getting lost!

We (4 adults) are looking at spending 1 night in San Jose upon arrival, 3 nts in Arenal/Monteverde region, 3 nights at Tamarindo or M.Antonio, back to San Jose for 2 nights. Is it fairly easy to find drivers to take us btwn these locations? We'll each have a backpack (lgst carryon size allowed). Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Also, we want to go rafting (class III-IV) which is why the extra night in San Jose. Is there similar rafting from any of the other areas mentioned?

Thanks, B
 
Apr 9th, 2002, 07:18 PM
  #2  
Mary
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Hi B.
I found Selva Mar Tour
Operator, www.exploringcostarica
.com E-mail [email protected] They have made all of our in country transportation arrangements.
Betsabe has been very helpful and, has good response time,
which I have found not to be true of some other companies.
Check out their web site and tell Betsabe, Mary sent you.
Have a great trip. Mary
 
Apr 10th, 2002, 09:35 AM
  #3  
Scott Gauvin
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THese are two guys that I have used on our trips.

Edgar Aguilar (bilingual)- 011-506-380 5630 OR 011-506-253 1120
nice minivan, out of san José

Elmer Campos (non-bilingual)- FAX/PONE 011-506-442 8638 (won't answer in English, but if you send a fax, he can reply to you). His cell phone is 011-506-391 7215
okay hiace van, out of alajuela
 
Apr 10th, 2002, 11:18 AM
  #4  
Lindy
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Hello Bly.
We just returned from an 8 day trip to Costa Rica. We were alittle scared about driving at first because of everything we had read about the roads there. But, we rented a Toyota Rav 4x4 and drove everywhere. The roads were an adventure in themselves! I would not hesitate to drive there again, however, we did not drive in San Jose (I had second thoughts on that). The road conditions are bad - dirt roads, pot holes, narrow in places, but we (husband, son age 14, daughter age 12 and myself) never felt in danger. You must drive slow and pay attention to where you are going - road signs are basically none existent. It helps to keep in mind which direction you are always headed in and know the names of the towns you want to pass through. You do need a good map.We realized we were going in the wrong direction once -about 15 minutes pass the left turn we should have made, but there wasn't a sign and turned around. You don't want to drive from point A to point B at night. However, if you are in a small town and going to a restaurant, we drove at night and it was okay. Really, we had no problems driving. We wanted to go white water rafting while in Arenal, but the river was a 2 1/2 hour ride away -due to the dry season which ends about mid-April, alot of the rivers were too low to do white water rafting on. Arenal and Monteverde are in 2 separate areas -going the northern route around Lake Arenal is about a 4 1/2 hour drive. It would be hard to split 3 nights between these 2 places and get to see or do anything. Have a great trip!
 
Apr 11th, 2002, 10:26 AM
  #5  
bly
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Thanks to those that replied. I spoke to someone that did a similar route last year and said the driving wasn't that bad.

If we do decide to go the driver route, we'll definitely give Edgar a call.

Lindy: when you said 4 1/2 hours - did you mean it took 4 1/2 hours to drive btwn Arenal and Monteverde? We're looking at the Arenal Observatory Lodge and the Cloud Forest Lodge or similar (close to where we can do the Sky Walk/Sky Trek).

My friend said it took about 3 1/2 hrs to drive from San Jose to Arenal, then 8 hrs to drive the northern route around Arenal Lake to Tamarindo. Is this right? How long would it take to drive from SJ to Jaco or Quepos? We're looking to spend a few days on the beach, and don't want to waste a day driving to Tamarindo, and another from Tamarindo back to SJ. We'll do either Tamarindo or Jaco/Quepos, not both.

thanks b.
 
Apr 11th, 2002, 02:06 PM
  #6  
Iza
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We drove last year from SJ to Arenal then on to Tamarindo and then back to SJ.
SJ to Arenal is about 3-4 hours depending on traffic and weather and which road you take. It took us 3 hours and we took the road going through San Ramon and La Tigra (and not San Carlos) which is supposed to be the fastest and least busy. It was very scenic.
Arenal to Tamarindo can probably be done in 4-5 hours if you have good weather and don't stop for long. We had pouring rain going all the way around Lake Arenal up to Tilaran then the weather was great. We also stopped in Liberia for lunch and a stroll around the city and then shopping. With that it was about 7 hours.
Tamarindo to San Jose took us 5 and 1/2 hours (inlcuding an hour wait for the ferry). We took the Tempisque River ferry. If we go there next time, I would go through Liberia instead of taking the ferry. We were lucky because we only waited an hour. But there was a long line of cars behind us and these people were in for at least 2-3 hour wait. If you take the ferry try to be there as early in the day as possible.
I posted a detailed trip report here right after our trip. If you are interested type my name in the search window and click on find. It should come up.
 
Apr 11th, 2002, 04:28 PM
  #7  
Lindy
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Hello Bly.
It took us 4 1/2 hours to drive from Monteverde through Tilaran and around the northwestern end of Lake Arenal to La Fortuna-Arenal Volcano area. The road from Monteverde to Tilaran is all dirt road. Once you hit Tilaran, it is mostly paved with potholes. There are a few unpaved sections. Since we did not drive the route from SJ to Arenal or to Tarmarindo, I would go with Iza'a response above. We did drive from SJ to Jaco in about 2 hours. We didn't make it to Quepos, but it looks like it is another hour past Jaco.

We stayed at the Montana de Fuego Inn in La Fortuna. This was a very nice place. They were individual cabins with great views of the volcano. Breakfast buffet was included with the room and was very good. Sorry I can't tell you anything about Arenal Observatory Lodge.

In Monteverde, we stayed at the Fonda Vela Hotel. This hotel was very close to the Monteverde cloud forest. Rooms here were nice. Breakfast was not included with the room. We did the Sky Walk and Sky Trek located in the Santa
Elena cloud forest. This was alot of fun. From the Fonda Vela Hotel, it was a 30 minute drive to the Santa Elena area due to the dirt road factor.
 
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