Need advice on traveling to Costa Rica

Old Jan 21st, 2002, 01:40 PM
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Need advice on traveling to Costa Rica


So glad to find this forum. I have been busy researching C.R. for the last month at least. Finally have firmed up plans to stay at the Arenal Lodge for five nights and then at the Allegro Papagayo for three nights, plus two nights in San Jose (ten nights total the last two weeks of March). After much research and decision making I've decided I'd rather do the eco type thing rather than sit on the beach for the majority of the time we're there. We love to hike, explore, take pictures, etc and are looking forward to exploring the Arenal area. Can anyone give us any advice on what to do/what not to do or any places that are must see areas? Really, any info anyone can provide would be great as I don't know anyone who has been there before. I'm also a little concerned about all the warnings we've gotten about not drinking the water. Is bottled water readily available? What about eating fruits, lettuce, or things that are washed? What about drinking coffee served at a restaurant? Please help!! Thanks!!

Old Jan 21st, 2002, 11:24 PM
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The Arenal Observatory Lodge has several trips that go out each day around the region. If you like walking, you can go on bunches of guided walks, self-guided hikes, and little strolls around the grounds. The front desk folks are very helpful and can set you up with whatever you want to do. If the weather is good, you should go on the evening lava trip, which might get you into a position to view glowing lava. Almost every morning, a guided trip goes out to the base of Arenal, and across some of the recent lava flows. We learned a lot on that one! There is a steep hike up a nearby volcano (I forget its name) which has a water-filled crater that was quite spectacular and beautiful. We also walked to a nearby waterfall. I wouldn't worry about the food, water, or other beverages in places like Arenal Lodge. Nor would I be concerned over at Papagayo either. In any event, bottled water is available everywhere. A common local brand is Cristal.
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 06:00 AM
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We drank the tap water everywhere and had no problems. It's one of our only vacations US or overseas that my husband didn't get some sort of upset stomach. The water was fine and there was a very good hygiene standard in CR in general.
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 11:59 AM
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My husband and I traveled to Costa Rica last May. Had a wonderful time. Visiting the Tabacon hot springs while at Arenal Volcano is a must.
Visit the Fortuna water fall, Fortuna is the small town in the Arenal area. Nice hike. Monte Verde was wonderful also. It's a 3 hour dirt road, but worth it.
Have a great time.
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 06:31 PM
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My wife and I were in Costa Rica the first two weeks of this year. We stayed at the Arenal Lodge for two nights. It rained constantly once3 we got to the Lodge. On of the earlier messages talked about the Arenal Observatory Lodge. They are two different places. At the Arenal Observatory Lodge you will be on the wrong side of the mountain to be able to see any red lava because it is south west of the mountain. The Lava is flowing on the north side.

As we traveled into the area we could see the Volcano very well. We got pictures of several eruptions. It was great.

The Arenal Observatory Lodge is at the end of about 9 miles of bad dirt road. If you plan to stay there, be prepaired. We drove it thinking that we were staying there. However, it gave us a chance to see the Jungle like no where else on the trip.

Arenal Lodge is a very nice place. Quit a distance from the volcano though. I would recommend that you consider staying at a hotel called the Paridisio. It is just off the highway on the north of the volcano. Once we say it we decided to stay there for a while. Because of the constant rain we went on though.

If you are driving. Make sure that you have a good map! The road is small and is not well marked!

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to send us an e-mail.

Good luck and have a great time!
Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 06:50 AM
sandy schaub
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my husband and i have been to c.r twice now and loved it. we were in carrillo and then tamarindo last march. never had any problems with the food or water. people are great. we were going to go to the volcano,but so many said you very seldom see it erupt and it was a 3 hour drive. hope you have good luck. you will love it their. it is such an was 100 degrees in march, so bring your sunscreen. have a great time. sandy schaub

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