Monteverde or Arenal?

Jan 26th, 2003, 11:27 AM
Posts: n/a
Monteverde or Arenal?

We are going to Manuel Antonio for a few days in February and want to go somewhere else for like 2 days before going home, either Monteverde or the Arenal Volcano. Which place do you recommend going to if you had to pick one? I know there are canopy tours in Monteverde, but are there any around the volcano too? Any recommendations for a decent family oriented hotel? Lastly, any idea of traveling times between Manuel Antonio and those two places? Thanks for all of your help.
Jan 26th, 2003, 06:03 PM
David Cook
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I would pick Arenal because there is so much to do there - the volcano (try to see at nite), hot spgs, and Fortuna Falls (dont miss!). Maybe stay in Fortuna for budget hotels; there are several higher end places in the area as well. Travel from MA will take most of a day so try to leave early; you don't say if you're driving but for sure buses are avail. Monteverde is not far away from Arenal so it's poss to squeeze both in. One nite in Monte is plenty. Good luck, you'll have fun!
Jan 30th, 2003, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29
We just return last week and we spent 1 night near the Arenal Volcano. We found this new hotel called the Volcano Lodge which is located about 4km from Fortuna. It offered a small swimming pool, jaccuzi and a nice restaurant. The rate which we received was 93.00USD per night including taxes and continental breakfast. Their was also complimentary shuttle service to the Tabacon Hot Springs. The lodge has volcano view rooms. Hope this helps.
mauicat is offline  
Feb 4th, 2003, 11:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 15
Well these 2 places are quite different! We spent 2 weeks beginning of January 2003. Our itinerary was San Jose (1 night near the airport) to Arenal Volcano (2 nights) then Monteverde (2 nights) and 8 days in Manuel Antonio. The ecosystems are very different and we enjoyed the contrast between each of them.

Because we have 2 active kids (5 & 8) and do not speak Spanish we did not want to go tru the hassle of driving (road signs are inexistent!) so we booked all our transfers & hotels with the website of Monteverde (

Beside, having a car parked for a week at the beach was useless and expensive since the bus shuttle & local taxis in Manuel Antonio are quite cheap.

In Arenal the first night was overcast but the next day we saw several eruptions. We stayed at the Hotel Los Lagos where the kids had a ball with the pools, crocodile farm & trails and the volcano views were simply fantastic. They have a canopy tour with nice volcano views but not much forest (saw it but did not try it). I did the Sky Trek in Monteverde while the wife was babysitting and the virgin forest was simply spectacular. Fun & safe and the wife was quite upset when she saw my video shots!

Monteverde is more about the lush forest. We stayed at the Cabanas Los Pinos in a private cabin with a fully equipped kitchen and plenty of grounds for the kids to run around ($85 per night with 3 bedrooms). It was also very quiet the cabins being 50 meters apart from each other.

It took about 4 hours to travel between each destinations so I don't think that you should try to visit both places in 2 days. The 2 were interesting, I could not recommend one over the other!
Mel_Becker is offline  
Feb 5th, 2003, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 54
Yes, there are canopy tours in the Arenal area. See The people who run that site are a great resource for all your travel needs and questions in the Monteverde and Arenal areas. Their sister site is For kids, I think Arenal might be more fun than Monteverde.

From MA, the trip will be about 8 hours by public bus; 5.5 hrs driving or by shuttle.

Many good family places in both areas. If your family likes swimming though, you better head to Arenal -- I don't know of any places with pools around Monteverde.
KellyF is offline  
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