Eressea's CR trip report

Nov 11th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 144
vgirl: I've heard of these but as with all luggage restrictions, I think it depends on how strict or lax the person in charge is and/or the outfitter you choose. I booked the 3 day/2 night package with Aventuras Naturales, who in turn made the arrangements with Pachira Lodge where I stayed and neither mentioned any luggage restrictions to me.

I had the regulation 22x14x9 carry-on wheelie suitcase and my expandable Jansport Odyssey daypack (I think it was 2350 cubic inch capacity) and was able to take both. The couple I met on the tour had two LARGE suitcases which their outfitter (Colette) told them to leave at their hotel in SJ, so they each packed a large duffel bag instead. But the dozen or more strong group from Spain I met on the tour each had large (bigger than airline regulation carry-on size), hardshell suitcases or one of those mountaineering backpacks nearly as tall as a person and they were all able to bring their luggage with them. Of course, their luggage took up about a third of the boat space...

When I go back, I will most likely opt for my expandable backpack and leave my wheelie at my hotel in SJ.
Eressea is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 12:34 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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Thanks, guys!
volcanogirl is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks Eressea . . . those are the same fax & email I used and have not heard back from them. I might try the land line and see if anyone answers.

My friend & I are budget travelers & this sounded like someplace we might like & can afford. Did you like it enough to stay there again? Did you see another place you liked?

I'm really sorry your trip is over . . . I loved reading about your adventures.

Go someplace again soon, OK?
Sandy (in Denton)
sandy_b is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 01:35 PM
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My stay at Sierra Arenal was booked over the phone by the tour director at HDC. One of the Marios at Sierra Arenal (the father and the son are both named Mario, I think) faxed over to HDC a confirmation page and that's what I brought with me when I checked in.

I'm not sure why they haven't been responsive via fax or email, but I think your best bet is to call them directly. I would call in the late afternoon as that's when the son mans the front desk and I believe he spoke more English than his dad, although if you speak Spanish then call earlier in the day as I thought the dad was really sweet.

The sister also mans the front desk from time to time but I didn't get her name.

And I would stay there again. Breakfast and taxes were included in the rates, although you do have to prepare your own breakfast in the kitchen. No gallo pinto but there are eggs, bread and cereal. There's free Internet in a separate office off the reception area. Plus they have discounts with tour operators in the area although I would check with them if they work with the tour operator you have your heart set on going with; I went with Desafio and Canoa and the hotel only worked with Canoa so I made my own arrangements with Desafio.

I found the hotel really convenient to the center of town and the supermercado where I bought most of my food. There's a Burger King a block down, and a couple of restaurants next door to the BK. One or two more blocks and you're in the plaza in the center of town. Walking on the same side of the street as the hotel, you'll pass the church on your left which faces the plaza directly. Go to the corner of said plaza (where the cabs wait) and turn right and walk maybe two blocks up and turn right again and you'll find the main bus station next door to the supermercado. There's a good restaurant I visited the last time I was there in May called Nene's, I think two or three blocks past the plaza and then left, a block down and then right. Good food and decent prices.(Sorry for the hazy directions but all the cabbies should know where it is or even the folks who run the souvenir shops. No need to take a cab as it's walking distance from the hotel too.)

This was only my second time in Arenal and the first time we stayed at Montana de Fuego, more posh but not close to downtown. I liked Montana de Fuego too but I wanted to spend less on lodgings in Arenal (having already splurged at Pacuare Lodge and about to splurge again at Punta Marenco) and spend more on activities. Montana de Fuego is closer to Tabacon and Eco Termales, I think, which are big draws.

And yes, the plan is to go back very soon. ;-)

Good luck with contacting the hotel!
Eressea is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 01:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You are AMAZING! I thought I took good notes but you record everything! Thanks for the reassurance & for the good directions . . . I am definitely printing your report out & taking it with me! Yours is better (and a lot more entertaining ) than a guidebook.

Thanks again!
Sandy (in Denton)
sandy_b is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Fantastic wind up of your trip, loved it. Shame about missing the whale pics but you have seen something that will be in your mind forever now. Love the tale of the praying mantis. I've got somewhat to rather blase as well (it depends on how much walking I've done that day) although I still never liked hearing those dreaded words you mentioned "Okay, don't freak out but there's something in your hair."! Hope you post some pics.
tully is offline  
Nov 12th, 2008, 07:28 AM
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Link to pictures to follow - hopefully - still organizing. At last count, I think I had over 1600 but that's including picture CDs I bought from my rafting and canyoning trips - I didn't take all 1600 pictures myself. Also never posted pics online so trying to figure that out still.
Eressea is offline  
Nov 13th, 2008, 09:41 AM
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Sandy in Denton: forgot to mention, when you book at Sierra Arenal, ask for a room on the second floor as those have the best views.
Eressea is offline  

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