Is the Volcano worth it?

Old May 17th, 2004, 07:17 PM
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Is the Volcano worth it?

I'm going to CR for the first time for 2 weeks this July and after a ton of research, one thing I've learned is not to try to fit too much into a small amount of time. So I'm wondering if it is worth visiting the Arenal volcano. I've heard that it is often raining and from looking at the hotel options in the area (except for Tabacon Resort which looks great! but expensive) I'm not impressed. Any advice? I'm planning on driving from San Jose to Tamarindo, in part to stop there, but I may re-arrange my plans based on what you have to say. Let me know.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 04:13 AM
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If you have good fortune with the weather, then Arenal is well worth it. In January, we were able to watch the volcano put on its show 2 nights in a row. And it is very impressive. Even if it's cloudy during the day, it often clears up late at night.

We stayed at the Arenal Paraiso--it was quite pleasant with an OK restaurant. We were able to watch the volcano from our bungalow both from the porch and from our bed. If you ask, they will send someone to wake you up if Arenal starts to put on a good show in the middle of the night.

If you are unlucky with the clouds, there are many other things to do in the area.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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There are many things to do in this area. We've been to Arenal twice in July and always enjoyed ourselves. There are waterfalls, horseback riding, hikes, the Hanging Bridges, a good tour up north to Cano Negro Reserve, the Venado Caves, and the hot springs at Tabacon are indeed a "don't miss". There are other hot springs in the area as well. I believe the pool at Arenal Paraiso is thermal. I can't think of ANY part of Costa Rica that really wouldn't be worth your time, and Arenal is one of the premium areas.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 03:47 PM
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I agree with the above posters; you won't be sorry if you go... but you'll probably always wonder what you missed if you didn't go. This is a wonderful, beautiful area with lots to do. In addition to what was already mentioned, we also took a river float trip on the Penas Blancas river, with dozens of howler monkeys in the trees overhead. All in all, I think Arenal is a pretty surreal place! Take the chance...
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Old May 18th, 2004, 04:05 PM
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If you go to the Arenal area for everything but the volcano you'll have a great time and you might get a spectacular view as a bonus. If you go to Arenal just to see the volcano you'll surely be disappointed.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 05:08 PM
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Well said, Ray. . .you manage to say in just a few words what it takes me 3 paragraphs to express
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Old May 18th, 2004, 06:04 PM
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Thanks everyone for the great advice. I will be sure not to miss it. Now, any hotel suggestions?... Also, in an unrelated matter, has anyone out there stayed at the San Luis ecolodge in Monteverde?
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Old May 18th, 2004, 06:07 PM
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I second Rufus's endorsement of the Arenal Paraiso. Good location, nice grounds.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 08:51 PM
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ARENAL IS ALWAYS WORTH THE TRIP!!! Stay in Tabacon Hot Springs. Check out my website if you need some more info!
http://hometown.aol.com/ekevitz1
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Old May 20th, 2004, 08:31 AM
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I just got back from CR. Was there for 9 days. If I were to do it over I would visit one less place and enjoy the country more. And if I were to eliminate one it would be Arenal. I mean it is pretty country up there but to be honest I didnt think it was anything special. We stayed two nights. I would have cut it to one night.

Just an honest opinion.
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