drive from SJO to Tabacon resort

Mar 10th, 2003, 03:45 PM
  #1  
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drive from SJO to Tabacon resort

We will be arriving at the airport by noon, where we will pick up our rental car. Will it be possible to reach Tabacon by evening ( before dark?) Any suggestions would be greatly appreciates.
Thanks,
Kirsten
kirstenrdh is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 05:25 PM
  #2  
 
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Yes, all things being equal you should make it by dark. It takes around 4 hours. Roads are pretty good but not great by any means. No need for 4WD. Make sure you get a great map though. There are some turns which are not well maked with signs. Best idea is to keep asking directions along the way to make sure you are on right road. The way it works is there are signs to the next town NOT your final destination. So you navigate from town-to-town.
Kenstee is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 05:39 PM
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I left from san Jose proper at 9 and arrived there at 12 noon - went via town of San Ramon on up to La Fortuna. Since airport is closer to San Ramon you willl be fine.
Marilynn
marilynn is offline  
Mar 14th, 2003, 12:29 PM
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As others have said, it is do-able but I would really recommend spending the night outside san jose your first night. With flying today, you never know about delays and tackling unfamiliar territory and unmarked roads when you are tired isn't fun. We stayed at Orquedias Inn. Cheap, funky, pretty views, and a pool. It is 15 minutes from the airport. They will pick you up and then the next day the rental company will deliver your car there. On the way home we stayed at Xanadu which was expensive but gorgeous. Also in that same airport town, which is outside of San Jose and on the way to Tabacon. I am blocking on the name of the town but it begins with an A I think. We never went into San Jose at all. We loved Tabacon.
Dianne is offline  
Mar 14th, 2003, 01:41 PM
  #5  
Iza
 
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I believe that the town Dianne is thinking about is Alajuela and the place where she stayed is Xandari.
In any event, I would second her recommendation for staying your first night near San Jose and making the drive to Tabacon the next day. The drive takes 3-4 hours, depending on whether you get lost and the weather. We made the drive in 3 hours going through San Ramon and La Tigra which I understand is faster than other routes. It gets dark in Costa Rica at 6pm (and I mean dark, it is not gradual). So unless you are sure that you can leave the airport by 2pm, don't attempt that drive.
I find staying at nice hotel near the airport is a very relaxing way of starting your vacation. Just like Dianne, we loved Xandari. We also liked Vista del Valle which is in Grecia and is convenient to the airport and Arenal.
Iza is offline  
Mar 14th, 2003, 03:05 PM
  #6  
 
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I flew into CR in Jan and it took much longer with the new terminal to get through everything. It took us about 1hr to get out. We flew in on a wide body that was pretty full so that could make a difference also. It could possibly take you less time but just for planning purposes I would allow that when making your decision. If you can get on your way by 2 I don't see why you would have any problem.
If you go through San Ramon and straight up through La Tigra as was mentioned you won't have a lot of turns to worry about. Make sure you have a good map. It could be a little confusing around San Ramon.
Suzie2 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2003, 06:16 PM
  #7  
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Thanks for all your responses. We are leaving next week and pretty much have no choice but leaving for Tabacon ASAP ( due to reservations). Do the car rental agencies generally provide good maps and info?
Thanks,
Kirsten
kirstenrdh is offline  
Jun 11th, 2003, 07:48 PM
  #8  
 
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Hi Iza,
Vista del Valle looks so nice that I want to stay there the first night after arrival, but we weren't gong to rent a car, so is there a way to get to Arenal from Vista del Valle? (sorry to piggyback on your question kirstenrdh)
Marylentz is offline  
Jun 12th, 2003, 05:29 AM
  #9  
Iza
 
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To kirstenrdh: we used Dollar and they gave us good maps and provided directions. I understand that most other rental companies do too. A lot of hotels put up signs along the way so pay attention to those as well (Tabacon and Montana de Fuego have signs in several places along the way). The only confusing portion of the San Ramon/La Tigra route was in San Ramon but we stopped and got directions and did just fine.

To Marylentz: E-mail Vista del Valle and ask if they have any suggestions on transportation. I am sure they will be more than happy to arrange a driver for you to take you to Arenal or they can tell you if the shuttle buses stop to pick up from there (Interbus etc.). We found the staff at Vista del Valle extremely helpful in making travel arrangements for other portions of the trip.
Iza is offline  
Jun 12th, 2003, 08:30 AM
  #10  
 
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I traveled to Arenal from Vista del Valle last June. The shuttles do not pick up at the hotel, so the hotel's driver dropped us off at the Hampton Inn where we caught the shuttle. Elisa, the receptionist at Vista del Valle, made all of the arrangements for us. The only drawback is that Vista del Valle does charge for the ride to the Hampton Inn. (I think we paid $20 for 3 people.) On the way to Arenal, we stopped at small soda on a pretty little lake to use the restroom and get something to drink. I would gladly use Interbus again.
Terri
TAGriffin is offline  
Jun 12th, 2003, 12:43 PM
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Thanks TAGriffin!
It seems there is a charge for everything. Was Vista del Valle worth it and is part of a day and one night enough there, and how is the food? Sorry to ask so many questions, but, as you probably know, it's hard to know what to do. Thanks for all the help, all of you!
Marylentz is offline  
Jun 12th, 2003, 12:47 PM
  #12  
 
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Kirsten,

Frankly I don't know if there is such a thing as a "good map" for Costa Rica; yes, they do provide you with maps, but the signage on the road is very limited. As others have described you generally navigate your way by following the town names --- ALSO, do go into the website for the Tabacon Resort and they have fairly decent directions on how to get there from San Jose. Have a great time !
Tess_Durberville is offline  
Jun 12th, 2003, 07:05 PM
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Marylentz: We stayed 3 nights at Vista del Valle, which was a bit long without a car. We absolutely loved the hotel (wonderful owners and staff) and the food was delicious. I think two nights would be perfect, but keep in mind that if you want to explore during your stay, you will have to hire a driver. (We actually hooked up with another couple that we met there and drove in their rental car to Poas, Grecia and Sarchi one day. It was a great day trip!)
I also think it depends on the length of stay in Costa Rica. Vista del Valle was our first hotel during a 3-week visit, so we really didn't mind just relaxing our first few days in their beautiful setting.
Vista del Valle picked us up at the airport. We asked if the driver could stop at a grocery store so we could stock up on snacks, fruit water, etc. and they said it would no problem. It was nice to have some things to snack on (our room had a small kitchen) since Vista del Valle is somewhat remote and not really within walking distance of anything. I would definitely stay there again. (We also stayed at Xandari - another place I would highly recommend.)
TAGriffin is offline  
Jun 12th, 2003, 09:56 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Thanks TAGriffin, those details really help. We only have 2 weeks, so I'm thinking 2 nights at Vista del Valle. The snacks are a good idea!
Marylentz is offline  

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