Mission possible? Arenal & Monteverde in 2 days?

Old Nov 9th, 2006, 12:21 PM
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Mission possible? Arenal & Monteverde in 2 days?

Hello board members,

We are excited about our honeymoon trip to Costa Rica next week. This will be our 1st time in this beautiful country. We would love to do a bit of exploring on our own. I wished I stumbled upon this site earlier. But I hope there is still enough time to help me to plan.

A little bit about us - We will be staying at the Occidental Grand Papagayo near Playa Hermosa. We are in our 30s with no Spanish, my husband is in excellent physical condition and I am average, so I get to do all the planning to suit my needs. I came up with this 2 days trip covering both Arenal and Monteverde, but not sure if I am being realistic. Your advices are greatly appreciated.

Day 1:
6:00 a.m. - 10 a.m. head for Monteverde (hire a driver or arrange for special transportation?)
10:00 - 1:00 guided tour and then lunch
1 – 2:00 canopy tour (optional if we have time)
2:00 -6:00 taxi-boat-taxi to arenal volcano
6:00 - 9:00 dinner and relax at the tabacon, check in at a hotel to stay overnight

Day 2:
8:00 – 2:00 p.m Cano Negro Tour
2:00 p.m. – arrange a transportation back to our hotel in playa Hermosa

Does it look reasonable? Or should we switch the order around, day 1 in arenal, day 2 in monteverde. Ideally we would like to see the volcano at night, and monteverde in the morning. But if the trip seems too tight, how should we modify it? Our biggest concern is transportation from our hotel to the site and back. Any recommendation would be helpful. We would really try to avoid big tour company is possible, but we also don’t want to be too unreasonable considering out poor Spanish skills.

Thanks again in advance for your helpful comments!

EQKIM is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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Unreasonable. You will be in transit for 8 hours on the first day - if you are lucky. You have to drive to the canopy tour in Monteverde which will take you 1/2 hour, suiting up, safety lesson and it takes about 2 hours of hiking and zipping. Also, you are just assuming there will be a guided tour available the second you arrive. Oh, and getting to the Cloud Forest takes at least 15 - 20 min.'s from Monteverde. Next, the best hiking to see birds -Quetzales- is early morning at about 6 or 7.

The ride from Monteverde to Arenal is pretty crazy. Even w/ the jeep-boat-jeep. You should spend the night in Monteverde - go for an early morning hike and then get the jeep boat jeep to Arenal. Then you'll get to see the volcano at night and hang out in the hot springs. Then spend the next day in Arenal too and the following morning go back to the beach. This will still seem a bit hurried - but not as crazy. The roads are brutal - you feel like you need a vacation after traveling that far on them. Do it for at least the three days it will be worth it. I appreciate people who want to see everything - b/c I do too - but it sounds like you'll want to kill yourself w/ that itinerary.
Naplo999 is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2006, 01:38 PM
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as above!
IMHO, i'd skip monteverde and spend an extra day in la fortuna. more to see and do!
definitely do cano negra!


guanacaste is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2006, 02:54 PM
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Possible? Maybe....barely. Enjoyable? Not at all.

Most people go to Arenal or Monteverde ofr 3 nights each, 2 nights a minimum. You're expecting CR to run on some type of time schedule that really doesn't exist there (thankfully!).

I would spend 2 nights in Arenal so you can enjoy it and save Montevercde for another time.
tully is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2006, 05:17 PM
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Ditto Tully and others. . .you'll want to go back again anyway--save Monteverde for next time!
shillmac is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2006, 05:32 AM
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Thanks all!

I will definitely modify our schedule. We will probably skip monteverde for another time.
EQKIM is offline  
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