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-   -   First Timers - Arenal or Bosque del Cabo (https://www.fodors.com/community/mexico-and-central-america/first-timers-arenal-or-bosque-del-cabo-490772/)

jlh370 Dec 14th, 2004 08:06 AM

First Timers - Arenal or Bosque del Cabo
 
So I am still trying to decide on destinations for our May trip. For now we have reservations at Arenal Paraiso, then heading down to Malpais (Milarepa). My husband and I are in our mid-twenties.

As I do more and more research Bosque del Cabo sounds amazing and we are trying to decide whether to go there instead of Arenal. In Arenal we were excited to do the Skytrek Canopy Tour, waterfall rapelling, hiking and hot springs.

It seems I can do a lot of that at Bosque.

In Malpais I had planned on staying at Milarepa. If we were to change to Bosque over Arenal we would switch our reservations to The Place so we were more in the midst of things. I think Bosque would give us the romantic retreat part we were aiming for at Milarepa.

Can anyone give me some insight on which way to go? Arenal or Bosque? Obviously Arenal would be easier to get to. I see it as more touristy. We enjoy seeing more of the culture and natural beauty of the country. Any help is appreciated as I would have to switch around all my plans.

(Bosque rates are cheaper if I go to Malpais first because we are going right at the change over between high to low season, whereas the places in Malpais are the same price throughout the week)

shillmac Dec 14th, 2004 10:41 AM

jlh,All three destinations are very worthy of your time--all for different reasons. In my opinion, they are 3 highlight areas of the country.

You will see a LOT of wildlife at Bosque,--the entire area is beautiful-- but be aware--their canopy ($40 or $45) is for a VERY small little set-up. Something of a ripoff for anyone who has taken a "real" canopy tour. You'd enjoy the ziplines elsewhere much more. Those who haven't wouldn't know the difference, I suppose!

I think I'd almost suggest you go ahead and do Arenal and MalPais (because Arenal is truly a "don't miss!"). It is very expensive to to down to the Osa Peninsula--you could always save Bosque del Cabo for another trip when you are doing that and very little else! Just my opinion.....you can't go wrong--UNLESS you are definitely wanting the canopy tour. Arenal is your best bet of the 3 locations.

shillmac Dec 14th, 2004 10:42 AM

Oops, I posted too soon! And, of course, the hot springs. Tabacon is gorgeous! Many say it is always too crowded. Strangely enough, I've never seen it heavily crowded--even on Christmas Day!

stillriver Dec 14th, 2004 05:29 PM

Not sure how long your trip is for. We are going in April for a week and plan on spending the first 3 nights in Arenal then take a 1:00pm flight to the Osa spend 3 nights at Bosque del Cabo.

I am not familiar with Malpais. It was hard to limit our trip to 2 areas. Arenal struck me as a must do because of the volcano and the hotsprings. After that I zoomed in on the rainforest as another not to be missed attraction. So the Osa is our second choice for its lack of crowds and variety of wildlife plus the bonus of staying on the ocean at Bosque del Cabo.



shillmac Dec 14th, 2004 09:39 PM

Good choices! The area around MalPais (southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula) is a good place to chill for a few days. You can be as active as you want, particularly if surfing is your thing, which is the main attraction of the area. Or you can do nothing at all but relax! There aren't a lot of things that compel you to go, go, go everyday.

Montezuma offers a nearby "town" experience and Cabo Blanco Reserve affords a very nice opportunity to do some hiking and wildlife viewing, but that's about it. Very laid back area and a very good place to break up two more active legs of a vacation--for example, between Arenal and the Osa. Or Arenal and Manuel Antonio.


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