Drive from Arenal to Manuel Antonio

Old Mar 8th, 2003, 10:07 AM
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Drive from Arenal to Manuel Antonio

Hello again. I've seen the driving time from Arenal to SJO, and SJO to Manuel Antonio, but what about Arenal to Manuel Antonio? Can anybody tell me what the drive is like? Like neat things to do and see along the way, as well as a realistic driving time.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 04:59 PM
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We drove (Interbus or Fantasy Bus, I can't remember which one) from Arenal to Manuel Antonio a few weeks ago. The drive wasn't too bad - maybe 5 hours or so. The roads are pretty decent until you get right outside of Quepos, then it turns to dusty stone for a while and you have to cross over this very skinny bridge with no side rails (note that this bridge is over a creek and probably only a few feet off the ground). It is definitely do-able. As always, just make sure you get to your destination by the late afternoon. I wouldn't want to have to navigate in the dark. When you are getting close to Quepos, you will pass over a bridge where you will notice people stopped to look over the edge. If you want to see some crocodiles basking in the sun, this is the place! The rest of the drive is fairly unremarkable compared to the marvels of Monteverde or the trip from San Jose area to Arenal. ENJOY!!!!
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Old Mar 9th, 2003, 12:37 PM
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We drove it ourselves just last week. It took approximately 4 hours in a 4WD vehicle. We didn't stop along the way, except to drop off a hitch hiker in Arenal itself. The road from Tabacon to Arenal is bad - the ratio of pavement to potholes (really deep ones) is about 50-50! Most people drive on both sides of the road, just avoiding the potholes. Get a 4WD vehicle just for the clearance. The last hour or so is unpaved into Monteverde - a really rocky ride, with ruts - but the views are beautiful as you head up into the mountains. There is a botanical garden outside of Arenal, but we didn't stop. I had a horrible vision in my mind of some awful bird sanctuary in the Keys that we did stop at, and I didn't want to repeat that mistake. After talking to one person who went, I was glad I had skipped it. Plenty of things to see and do in Monteverde. I wonder if the person who took the bus missed the bad part of the road before Arenal? The buses often stop at Arenal lake, put people on a ferry, and they are picked up at the other end of Arenal Lake, and proceed up to Monteverde. That misses the roughest paved part of the road. I agree, do not attempt this in the dark. Sunset is around 6. Leave in the morning, be there by lunch!
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Old Mar 9th, 2003, 01:13 PM
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That was an interesting story but the person was asking about getting to Manuel Antonio not Monteverde.

For the origional poster..the Tarcole river is where the crocs are. There are a lot of really big ones.
If you have left Arenal early and want a walking break..stop in at the Carara reserve. There are shorter walks that you can take. If you are driving yourself be sure to park in the lot with the guard. Never leave your car unattended with personal belongings in it.
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Old Mar 9th, 2003, 02:29 PM
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oops. got in at midnight last night. must still have jet lag.
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