Driving time between Arenal and Tortuguera

May 10th, 2005, 06:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 100
Driving time between Arenal and Tortuguera

Need to know driving time from Arenal Lodge to Mawamba Lodge at Tortuguera. Is it a rocky ride?!
travel333 is offline  
May 10th, 2005, 07:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 123
You cannot drive all the way to Mawamba Lodge as there are no roads directly there. You can drive as far as the public docks at ? (sorry, can't remember the name) and then you have to take a boat to Mawamba. We did the opposite. We left Mawamba at 9am (via boat and bus) and got to the turn off to Arenal (Guapiles), where we picked up at car at 1:00. The drive from there to Arenal was 3 1/2 hours, so we arrived at Arenal at 4:30ish. The road from Guapiles to Arenal is just fine. Hope this helps.
LvL is offline  
May 10th, 2005, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Hello, in the Tortuguero area are no roads, you can go only by boat. The second problem you have to find a secure place for the car. I recommend drive back to San Jose, give the car back to the rental agency and take a flight. Mawamba lodge is close to the airstrip.
costaklaus - www.costaricaweb.de
costaklaus is offline  
May 12th, 2005, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 73
The option LvL gave is one. We also hired a taxi (since there were six of us, it was not much more to hire a van than it would have been to go by bus times six fares). Cecilio took us for $80 to the itsy bitsy (I wanna say "dock" but there WAS NO DOCK!!!!...it was a dirt riverbank) in Pavona. The taxi ride was a blast! We saw a lot of Costa Rica and stopped, ate, toured, exchanged dollars to colones, ate some more, took stunning pictures of where the Río Sucio meets the Río Celeste in a HUGE gorge, etc. In Pavona, we climbed into a delightful litte "ecologically friendly" aluminum boat with Leo Bustos, one of the Bustos brothers. Their company is called "Clik Clik." We took a wonderful journey up the river to Tortuguero where Leo dropped us off at the dock of our B&B (I don't do "resorts" very often.) We paid $50 for six of us. On the way back, we didn't want to come back to the Central Valley but rather were headed down the coast to Limon and caught a different boat with a different boat captain. I educated myself about all of these connections and options by reading Beatrice Blake's A New Key to Costa Rica. I have Leo's card (the boat captain) and Cecilio's card (the taxista/tour guide extraordinaire) if anyone needs either. BTW, we also enjoyed the B&B, Casa Marbella a lot. Daryl Loth, the owner is a well-known and highly respected naturalist in the Tortuguero area. He is a Canadian who has lived in CR many years, married to a tica and gives GREAT tours. He hooked us up with a great deal for the boatride out. We paid for six what others on the boat paid EACH!!!! It really pays to talk to these people directly, especially if you can do so in Spanish. I think Leo may speak English. I know Daryl does. I think Cecilio did not speak much.

Happy travels,

Julie, tica traveler
tica_traveler is offline  
May 14th, 2005, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 562
There are actually two ways to get to Tortuguero. Fly or boat. You would most likely have to fly out of San Jose and the flight is early enough that it would involve an overnight stay in SJ in order to make it. Don't know if there is a flight from Arenal yet.

If you have a car, there used to be a safely guarded lot in Moin where a boat dock is. Don't know if it is still there. Moin is just outside of Limon and there are boat companies that do the trip to Tortuguero from there. I am sure the people at Mawamba can update you on this. They could possibly also arrange for you to be picked up at your hotel in Arenal in a van and taken to the boat docks. If the guarded lot is still there they could easily arrange for your transportation via boat from that area.
Jessie_ is offline  
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