Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Mexico & Central America (
-   -   Is the road to Monteverde really that bad?? (

honey913 Nov 5th, 2005 11:08 AM

Is the road to Monteverde really that bad??
We will need to drive to Monteverde from Arenal, and then from Monteverde to Playa Hermosa.

We are going the last week in December.

There are two of us and we are thinking about renting an automatic Daihatsu Terios.


ekellyga Nov 5th, 2005 12:50 PM

Go for it. I think that car will do fine. We did it in June, two of us, with a Suzuki 4wd. The Terios is a bit smaller. I think the big factor is having the higher ground clearance.
We read a lot about the road conditions. Yes, there will be about an hour of poor roads on both legs of that trip you are planning, but it is just slow-going, because the road is not gravel or dirt, but it is rather large rocks, some sharp. So, you will just bounce along at 15 mph for an hour or so, and the locals will be driving the same roads in plain old Toyota Corollas. I wouldn't worry about it, other than know you will need to go slow.

Incidentally, when you leave Arenal, you willdrive up the east side of the lake. About 20 minutes after you pass the dam, you will come to a small shop with a good selection of local art. It is called the Toad House. It is on your left, and it is close to the hotel LaMansion (you'll see signs for that). They have a very nice porch where you can get lunch, or just a dessert and enjoy a very nice view of the lake.

dncee11 Nov 5th, 2005 08:59 PM

We made the drive from Arenal to MV years ago and just talked to some friends who did the same route in Aug. No real problems, the usual dirt or gravel roads in many places, but lots tourists take this road. They said everyone along the way kept them pointed in the right direction; people were very helpful, as usual in CR. As noted in the above post, just plan on taking your time with plenty of pit stops. You can make it in a regular sedan (we did and as noted thats what most of the locals drive). From MV to the Pan American Hwy is gravel to a "Y" in the road. Left is north to Liberia, right is south to Puntarenas. I'm not sure which PH you mean; there is one north of Tamarindo and another one near Jaco. Good luck and have fun!

honey913 Nov 6th, 2005 05:26 AM

Thanks everyone! I feel better about the drive now. We are going to Playa Hermosa north of Tamarindo.

Jeff_Costa_Rica Nov 6th, 2005 07:22 AM

It's very slow going, but doable. Make sure you get an early start and arrive at your destination before dark (about 5:30 pm).

RufusTFirefly Nov 6th, 2005 02:45 PM

It just depends on how much rain they've had and how recently the road has been regraded. It can be terrible, or it can be just irritating.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:49 AM.