Lost Iguana to Monteverde

Old Nov 13th, 2006, 10:41 PM
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Lost Iguana to Monteverde

I am considering traveling by rental car from Lost Iguana Lodge (Arenal) to Monteverde. I understand it is a lengthy trip. What is the best route (i.e. decent road) and most scenic. Is there a reasonable route around the northwest end of Lake Arenal? If so what is there to see on that route? What are travel times.
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Old Nov 28th, 2006, 03:03 PM
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I too would love to see a response to this question. So "back to the top"? bttt? Is that the verbage used?
 
Old Nov 29th, 2006, 05:10 AM
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I made this drive last week. The route is unavoidably scenic. For us, the trip was about 2.5-3 hours driving time plus numerous photo stops. The last 30 km or so after Tilaran is rough unpaved road, this took us about 1 3/4 of the driving time, and I wouldn't attempt it without a higher-clearance 4WD vehicle.
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Old Nov 29th, 2006, 07:56 AM
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I too had the same experience as maytraveller. If you are driving, I would recommend ordering a good map before you go. I asked the front desk upon check-out at the LI directions to Monteverde and made them show me on the map. First, you drive around Lake Arenal starting from the dam (right before the turn off to Lost Iguana) towards Tilaran. We only became confused once during the drive, but just asked people on the street. And when I say asked, just said "Monteverde?" People were happy to point us in the right direction.
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Old Nov 29th, 2006, 12:02 PM
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we did that trip (in reverse) in June 05. I agree that a 4WD is best, mainly due to the high ground clearance that it provides. You will see plenty of the locals driving regular sedans on those rocky roads, however....and they do just fine.

Driving up the east side of the lake, there is a gift shop/ cafe which is a neat stop. Local artists' works, and a wonderful view, and good desserts. It is about 30 min north of LI, and it is very close to another popular hotel called La Mansion (or something like that).

That 30 miles or so of road as you approach mverde was SLOW going, but not dangerous or unnerving. I guess I wouldn't do that road if I had bad spinal discs or nerve problems, cause you get jarred a good bit. BUT, when we were scouting this website in planning our trip, some folks made it sound like that drive was only for 25 year old special forces soldiers in armored Humvees. It wasn't. It was just slow due to rocky roads for that 30 miles.

Also, we stayed at Hotel Belmar in Mverde, which we liked. It was nowhere near as fancy as LI, or Peace Lodge, or SiComoNo, but it was pleasant and quiet.

We bought and used the Fodor's travel book for that trip. You can email me if I can be of any help [email protected]
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Old Nov 29th, 2006, 06:15 PM
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I did this drive last week. You just go around the lake, stop at the German place in Nuevo Arenal (there is a gas station in this town if you need one)for lunch and onward to Tilaran. You will go straight through the middle of town and then you will go left at the little church before the village in Tilaran. If you pass a soccer field and end up on a gravel road, you missed the turn. Also, if you miss the turn you will see some young boys trying to sell you a bogus map for $4. It isn't so bad really. It was sunny when we went and a few dogs and cows greeted us along the way. Good luck.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 04:42 AM
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....hahaha I forgot about the boys with the map in the village after Tilaran. They had defaced the sign at the left turn to boost business so you will probably miss the turn as we did. As swigswig says the road through that village immediately reduces to a tractor path so you know you have gone the wrong way. We had a good map but other than the "map" village the route was pretty well signposted anyway

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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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I think those kids make a great living - we got lost and tipped them for the map too! Going again in March and cannot wait!
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