Lost Iguana Hotel or Tobacon Hot Spring????

Old Aug 10th, 2005, 10:46 PM
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Lost Iguana Hotel or Tobacon Hot Spring????

My husband and I are planning a trip for Feb. '06 to C.R. and are looking forward to spending a couple of days in the arenal volcano area. We've been looking at staying at either the Lost Iguana or the Tobacon Hot Springs hotel.
How far from each other are the two hotels?? Are there taxis readily available to take you from one hotel to the other. Can you still see the lava at night from the Tobacon since it changed direction?

Any help or advice is appreciated.
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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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We were at Tabacon July 24-26. It was too cloudy to see volcano while we were there. We took a taxi to a better vantage point toward the flow and stared at it for 2 hours, but only saw a few glowing rocks. The tour was $40 for 2 of us, but it was up a long bad road toward the Arenal Observotory. Taxi into town are $5 and readily avaiable. Tabacon has a complementry shuttle service constantly to Hot Springs and every couple of hours to town. We stayed in main part of lodge over looking the garden. It was very nice. Free breakfast was pleantiful, but rest of meals (eaten at Hot Springs) were only so so. The Hot Springs were wonderful and a guest gets in free with locker, towels etc. If you climb higher at the Springs you can find a lot of little hide-aways. Since daughter is really into hot springs it was the best option for us. If you are into a challanging rafting trip it is great on the Rio Toro.
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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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HI, did you actually do the white water rafting. My wife and I are going to the Tabacon on Tues. She has heard that you can get pretty bruised up during the white water rafting. Is this true? Any extra info you could provide would be greatly appreciated!! Ohh yeah any good eats in town?
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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 09:35 AM
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We were at Lost Iguana from July 19 thru 22. We had clear view of the volcano for much of the time. This being our third trip to the area, we notice that the night time view usually gives the best show, and clearest views.
In the past, we stayed at Tabacon (IMHO too close to get a good view and perspective of the whole volcano, also too crowded), Observatory Lodge (went when the lava was in the opposite direction but loved the grounds and walking trails), Arenal Paraiso (at the time had great view of the lava at night, but the cabins were only ok).
We absolutely loved Lost Iguana. We had 3 rooms there, including our luxury suite. Our room had the outdoor shower, and hotub on the deck. Every room at this resort has a terrific view of the whole mountain. A few times we saw and heard the steam being blown from the volcano. At night, we left our drapes open wide so we could see the activity. A rumbling boom woke us on one night, just in time to see steam and then lava falling.
The pool and bar area is so relaxing and beautiful. The enitre grounds are just gorgeous. We walked to the Hanging Bridges from a trail behind the resort.
I think one visit to Tabacon Hot Springs is a must, (but enough), simply because it is lush and beautiful. It's about a ten minute drive from Lost Iguana.
With no car, and two days, (three nights?), I'd probably pick Observatory Lodge. There is enough to do there, (hikes, horseback rides, waterfall). The property is quite large, and manicured in a way that allows people to wander more extensively than at other properties. The pool area is very nice, the food is consistently good, (not excellent, but better than both LI or Tabacon). Most important, the volcano view from the Observatory is the best right now, and you are very close, but safe and have a great vantage point. A taxi drive is about 15 minutes, I think, to Tabacon Hot Springs.
We visited the Observatory Lodge this July, (rental car), and my family said they liked the grounds there the better than anywhere else in Arenal. We also went to the Serpentarium up the road from there for $7 pp we had a terrific guided tour thru their museum and learned more about the reptiles than anywhere else in Costa Rica.
It's best to have a rental car in this area. I wonder if you could rent one while you are there for your stay in the area?
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Old Aug 12th, 2005, 11:07 PM
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We were just at the Lost Iguana resort in June for 3 nights. At that time the view of the lava flow was best from the Lost Iguana resort and also from the Arenal Observatory Lodge. We saw lava flow every night from our room at the lOst Iguana. The luxury suite is especially romantic and a really cool room a ssomebody else already described above.

However I would recommend a car if you are staying at the Lost Iguana. I think you can even arrange to rent a car in Arenal? I'm not certain this is true but I think so. We rented a car in Alajuela and drove up to Arenal, among other places.

We chose to visit the more low-key Ecotermales hot springs, and had a nice family-style dinner there. We voted to avoid the touristy Tabacon hot springs but some other travellers report enjoying that. (It also bothered me that the Tabacon hot springs are officially in a danger zone with the possibility of being showered with boulders thrown down by the volcano one day...You can read about it on-line.) Besides when we were in Arenal, it was warm and humid, and we weren't much in the mood for hot springs anyway. We really loved ARenal, but I'm just saying hot springs weren't the thing we were dying to do! We did the Ecotermales hot springs just before closing when it was cooler.
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Old Aug 13th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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FYI - per the arenal.net nap ( http://www.arenal.net/arenal-costa-rica-map.htm ) the flow is now visable from the North side as well. Looks like you have a chance of seeing the lava from all hotels, at least as of right now. Of course, always liable to change!
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Old Aug 13th, 2005, 07:02 AM
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uh, that's map, not nap!
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