El Rincon de la Vieja worth the trip?

Old Mar 11th, 2010, 10:03 AM
  #1  
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El Rincon de la Vieja worth the trip?

I read a lot about Arenal but no one says anything about El Rincon de la Vieja area. Has anyone who has been here give me some insight? It looks pretty cool. How far is it from the park to Arenal? Has anyone driven it?
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 05:51 PM
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Hello Hang--I've been to both volcanoes on separate trips. Arenal is a "traditional volcano" with cone, lava flow, etc.
Rincon is known for volcanic activity--ie. fumaroles, mud pots, and boiling water pools. It has been called a "mini-Yellowstone". There is also a large waterfall in the park. It is quite fun. At Rincon there are some trails and the above features are easily accessed. I believe one is able to hike to the crater, though it is a long trip. The surrounding ecology of the two is quite different, with tropical dry forest in the area of Rincon. One can also do canopy tour, rafting, horsebacking, and other activities near Rincon (as well as Arenal). If you're in Guanacaste, I think it would be worth the trip. It is easy to arrange a day trip from most of the Guanacaste beaches, and there are some places to stay near the volcano itself. I do not know about distances or driving times between the two parks, but I suspect it would take some time, as do most trips in Costa Rica due to the terrain and poor roads.
If you go to Arenal, be prepared for cloudy weather, which often hides the top of the cone and obscures one's view of lava and molten boulders. You'll definitely hear the volcano, however. I enjoyed visiting both, and couldn't say which is better than the other.
Hope this helps.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 05:51 AM
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I second everything ReddTyde said. I've been to both too and could never see the top of Arenal due to cloud cover. I was with my daughter's school trip and only did pre-arranged activities so no exploring on my own at Arenal.

At Rincon de la Vieja I was able to do what I wanted. We stayed at Buena Vista Lodge there and did their package of ziplining, hanging bridges and horseback riding. We also took hikes to different waterfalls. If you go into the park there are also hiking trails.

Both areas offer activities. I think Arenal has more tourist traffic. I don't know how long it would take to drive from Arenal to Rincon, but Rincon is about a 45 minute to an hour drive from Liberia, mostly due to the windy, hilly road to get there.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 06:34 PM
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Also look into Rio Celeste at Tenorio Volcano. This place is in the middle of Arenal and RDV. A great trip you can see 4 Volcanos in the distance. You will have a nice hike with waterfalls, hot springs, blue/ sky color flowing river rain forest... You can stay at Carolina Lodge.
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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 02:21 AM
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Bookmarking.
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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 07:05 AM
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We enjoyed the Rincon area. Did some hiking in the park, saw some different flora and fauna than around Arenal. We also did an adventure day at La Hacienda Guachipelin (sp?)

We all loved the river tubing, my husband and I enjoyed the horseback ride, my son and husband liked the zipline. ( I found the zipline terrifying, and was glad I was able to stop half way through and walk through the woods looking at butterflies. The zipline had a place where you rappel down into a river gorge, then rock climb back up and another spot where you sort of rock climbed around this cliff ledge, DH and DS found it thrilling!)
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Old Mar 14th, 2010, 09:54 AM
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Thank you everyone. We are looking now at going to Manuel Antonio, Arenal and then Rincon. We are really excited and looking at activities in all 3 areas. I am going to post our plan to get some feedback. Thanks again.
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