Itinerary questions

Nov 18th, 2005, 11:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 29
Itinerary questions

Hi all,
A group of 5 of us will be staying at the Iguana Lodge on the Osa penninsula in May 06(probably 5 nights) and then are thinking about seeing the Arenal volcano and Monteverde. How many days will we need to see those 2 additional sites and how close are they to San Jose and each other in driving time? We're not exactly sure as to where is a good central location to make accomodations for those places. Any feedback/recommendations would be most appreciated
jocalvin1969 is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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There are 2 issues: a) how long does it take to get to these places and b) how long you should spend there.

Getting to Monteverde is tough since the roads around there are HORRIBLE!! From Arenal, it takes more than 5 hours to drive to Monteverde. SJ to Arenal is pretty straightforward. I love Monteverde though.

I suggest a minimum of 3 nights in Arenal and a minimum of 2 nights in Monteverde.
dariow is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 07:36 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 29
Thanks so much for the input! From what you're telling me, I'm now having doubts as to whether or not it's feasable to try and see both locations in addition to the 5 days at Iguana Lodge. I'm pretty sure my traveling companions can't add more than 3 days to the trip so we may need to see only one of the sites (although my husband and I aren't ruling the idea of staying longer by ourselves). I am leaning towards choosing Arenal due to the traveling conditions at Monteverde and the fact that we will have spent 5 days at Corcorvado NP and the rainforests might be similar... any input from those who have been to all 3? It's a tough decision!
jocalvin1969 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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One option you have is to fly between San Jose and Osa which will save you driving time.

You can rent a car or tak interbus from San Jose to Arenal and then to Monteverde.

All 3 places are wonderful and worth seeing if possible. Have a great trip.
dariow is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 10:57 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 33
We did a trip to CR where we spent 5 nights in Osa. I posted a detailed trip report with day by day accounts about it so search under my name. We flew back to SJ from Drake Bay and immediately drove up to Arenal. We spent two nights in Arenal which was fine. Be prepared though that you might not see the volcano. Arenal was good for hot springs, zip lines and we took a nice hike on the volcano flow. If we had actually seen any eruptions, it would have been a nice bonus. On the way back from Arenal, if you are industrious, you could hit the Los Angeles cloud forest or Poas Volcano. I think Arenal is a good quick add on. I can't speak for Monteverde as I haven't gone there. I will only say that we were very satisfied with the rainforest experience after 5 nights there.
cinepez is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 02:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 385
I stayed in Osa 6 nights and for me it was too much. It is a great area but you are issolated there and there is nothing to do after 3:00 PM and most hotels have no TVs. Plus you cannot go anywhere for shopping etc.

In hindsight, I would stay longer in Monteverde and Arenal.
dariow is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,372
Opinions - we all have one!!

This year we spent 6 nights in the Osa. 4 at Bosque del Cabo and 2 at Iguana Lodge - it was a fabulous trip.

It is true that there is not much to do after 3 PM, but of course you will most likely be exhausted by then from all your morning hiking, fishing, kayaking, horseback riding or just simply soaking up the sun and view of the water before you, with book in one hand and Imperial in the other! Or possibly you may still be out on your afternoon hike. And yes there is no TV, how totally glorious not to hear that intrusive noise infringing on the sounds around you. As I said, we all have opinions.

I did a trip report probably back in Feb or March of this year and posted a link to our pictures - if you are interested you may want to do a search. If you can't find it and are interested just let me know.

I would assume you are flying between PJ and SJ. If your friends have only 3 more nights, then Arenal would certainly give them another totally different experience.

Monteverde and the Osa are much different. Certainly if you can manage a few more days, it would be worth your time to see.

Iguana Lodge is very close, about 10 mins from Puerto Jimenez. PJ is where most of your outings will originate. Our time at Iguana was spent simply enjoying the beach and relaxing, as we had been very active at Bosque. The owners of Iguana are very hospitable. The dinner upstairs and conversations were very enjoyable. Are you by any chance staying in the 3 story house (VillaVillaKula)? Just thought with the size of your group this would be fun. Also, if you intend to do any offshore fishing - Mike Hennessey was an excellent fun captain -

I am envious, 5 nights in this area, wonderful.
dfarmer is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I spent 5 nights on the Osa last May at Bosque del Cabo and it wasn't enough! No cars, no tv, no phones, no noise (unless you count howler wake-up calls & macaws screeching) - paradise! A place where you can really see the sky & stars. I agree dfarmer - sometimes the hardest decision after hiking all day was whether to sip the imperial by the pool, on my deck or in the hammock!
tully is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 10:05 AM
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Posts: 29
Thanks for all the input and advice! I think our plans are all set...we're going to fly into San Jose and spend 2 nights there at a bed and breakfast (dont know the name unfortunately, our co-traveler's made those reservations). While in SJ, we plan on touring the La Pas waterfall gardens and Poas volcano (since Arenal is quite a drive and the chances of seeing anything during the day in the rainy season are not great). After that we're off to Iguana Lodge for 5 nights of R & R (and yes we are renting the villa villa kula-has anyone stayed there??). I'm very excited and wish we were leaving now instead of the second week of May! Any more ideas/recomendations/trip reports would be great! Thanks again all!!!
jocalvin1969 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 57
Leaving the Osa was one of the saddest parts of our trip. We were there for four nights. Give yourself enough time to enjoy it. You'll be glad you did.
baggyj is offline  

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