crazy to drive???Help,please

Old Nov 8th, 2007, 12:35 PM
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crazy to drive???Help,please

We are going to CR for the first time in January. We arrive late so Villa Bonita will pick us up at the San Jose Airport. The next morning(10 am) Tricolor will pick us up and take us to their car rental place in SJ. We leave San Jose for Arenal. Stay in Arenal for 3 nights at Arenal Paraiso.
Then we drive to the Coast stay at Junquillal for 4 nights... then drive alittle furthur south to Hotel Luna Azul for 4 more nights. Head back to San Jose and drop the car.. spending the last night at the Villa Bonita.. It seems that I need a car at the beach... but I am a bit worried... Can anyone give me the best driving route from Arenal to Junquillal?Or do you think it would be too limiting having drivers while on the coast.. I could cancel the car and hire drivers. I am not as worried about road conditions.. have a 4x4, but am concerned about crime. Thanks!
rnman is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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You'll be fine. Get a map here before you go though. I got one at Borders, or Barnes and Noble.

From Arenal you go over the Tempisque River bridge to get to Samara.
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 03:06 PM
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rnman - here's my report of a similar trip (driving) we took this summer, with similar concerns. Perhaps this can help you decide whether to drive:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...6&tid=35045117
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 08:18 PM
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Hi mman,
When Tricolor picks you up, they won't actually take you into San Jose, but just a short distance away where their airport office is located, about 8 min or less from Hotel Villa Bonita. You'll be very close to the Interamerican and ready to zip right up to Arenal.

If it makes you feel any better, Humberto (owner of Hotel Villa Bonita) will work with you on all those questions you have once you get to his hotel (before you leave that next a.m., anyway). Get your map out (the Berndston & Berndston at Barnes & Noble is excellent) and he'll put your mind at ease regarding all of your driving routes.

I wouldn't worry too much about having your car at the beach. Use the precautions that have been mentioned in several posts lately. We always keep a car at the beach. Thank God, there has never been a problem, and we don't even give it a thought most of the time. That said, I must admit that, this past summer, when driving the Monkey Trail between Sardinal and Playa Potrero (dirt road through the country) after dark, that I was concerned about cars behind us and we watched carefully to be sure we weren't being followed onto that rather deserted stretch of road.

Haven't been to Junquillal, but have always thought it sounded like a nice quiet beach location. Anxious to hear your report when you return! Have a great trip!
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 08:22 PM
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So sorry, I see your screenname is rnman--it's getting late!
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Hello.. Thank you for your help.... Thank you!!!! I have a good map. I will contact Tricolor to see if I can get GPS. Does anyone know how long of a drive it is from Ostional to San Jose? I loved MRand's trip report.. entertaining and helpful. And Shillmac.. thanks for pointing out that Tricolor probably won't take me to the San Jose location... Thanks for taking the time to help me... I promise a trip report!
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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Finally someone is going to Junquillal. I'm thinking of going there myself next year. Please tell me where you will be staying and why you decided to stay in Junquillal. And where is Hotel Lana Azul?
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 08:49 PM
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have a look at the thread on driving in costa rica
Costa Rica - carjacking, fake police and surf tips
take care, pay attention to all the tips and have a great time
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Old Nov 10th, 2007, 09:04 PM
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Wholy Cow, rnman, you don't need GPS, you need to really look at your map and discover that Alajuela (where your hotel is) and San Jose are two very separate places that are almost 1/2 hr. apart. Talk to the people at TriColor and follow their map closely and carefully. When you leave for Aernal, you will be heading AWAY from San Jose not toward it.

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Old Nov 11th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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We are staying at the Guacamaya Lodge in Junquillal. We picked this because it is next to a very good riding stable and I want to ride on the beach!,The Luna Azul is furthur South closer to Ostional. I will verify with TriColor that they will take us to the airport location from Villa Bonita.. Thanks everyone..after reading all the posts and knowing the good and bad about driving.. we are going to give it a shot!
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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The owner of Villa Bonita and the Tricolor people are great friends and work together much of the time. You'll find that connection helpful, I think.
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