Driving in CR

Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 07:14 PM
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Driving in CR

We are just beginning the process of looking into a CR trip for next summer (2 weeks in July/August) with our two children who will be ages 6 and 5. Due to their age, we would be interested in flying into SJO, spending 2-3 days in San Jose and then about 7-9 nights in Manuel Antonio (or possibly split with another destination). My concern is transport between the areas. It seems like some of the posts indicate that the driving is treacherous. Is it really difficult and or scary to drive ourselves? Is there another way to get around like bus or private transport company? I saw that some people fly but I admit that I am small plane phobic (bad experience in rural India) and will not get into a small plane again. Any help would be appreciated!
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 04:06 AM
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The drive from SJO to MA isn't bad. You can rent a car and drive it. There are other roads like going to Monteverde that are long and bumpy, but going to MA shouldn't be a problem. If you don't want to drive, you can also hire a private driver, easy to book through your hotel. There's also the Interbus shuttle, but with that many people, a private driver is a better bet since they charge a flat rate and Interbus charges per person.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 08:39 AM
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With your kids, you should skip San Jose and head to the Peace Lodge at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens for a few nights. Then head to Arenal for 3 or 4nights. Finish up at MA. Driving is time consuming, but not too bad for these areas. As Volcanogirl points out, you can also hire a private driver.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 09:30 AM
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I agree with Michelle. I would not waste my time staying in San Jose unless there's some reason you need to be there. For the most part, it's not a very attractive city - lots of razor wire and bars on the windows, although there are a few museums. The kids would love the Peace Lodge if it's in your budget. Arenal area is great for kids too.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 03:40 PM
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Yes, your kids will love the Peace Lodge. Heck, I loved the Peace Lodge. Fed the hummings birds by hand. Spent an hour watching butterflies emerge from their crystallis.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 08:20 PM
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Please do not worry…thousands of great visitors rent cars and drive around our country…roads are in great shape…

Maybe you can do something like…SJO…La Fortuna Arenal Volcano area…jeep boat jeep to Monteverde Rain forest…and from there to Manuel Antonio National Park area…then back to SJO

Peace Lodge is nice but you can see great animals in another areas of Costa Rica in the wild…not in cages…

cot indian
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 08:26 PM
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From Pan Am Hwy by Sardinal the road up to Monteverde is in great shape …just the last 11 kms…a little bumpy not a big deal…nice to go the way…and then the jeep boat jeep to Arenal to avoid the bumpy road from Santa Elena to Tilaran…from Tilaran to LA FORTUNA road around Arenal lake in great shape…not bumpy at all…I just drove there 3 days ago.

cot indian
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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 02:22 AM
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Another option is the Toucan Rescue Ranch. We stayed there on the last night of our last trip. You get your own little casita and get to enjoy breakfast with baby sloths. They have about 150 rescued animals on site, and I like that they rehabilitate and release as many as they can.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 12:54 PM
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We recently did 4 nights at Nayara Springs and then 7 nights in Guanacaste. I did the math and it made more sense to get a driver from the Liberia airport to Nayara and back; then a resort based transport from the liberia airport to our resort and back than to rent a car, have it sit while we were at Nayara and sit again while we were at the beach. Also nice to be able to kick back and have a cold one while someone else is driving
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Old Dec 7th, 2016, 10:49 AM
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Yes, the shuttle buses from Grayline and Interbus are a great option. More expensive than the public buses, but much more convenient
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