Osa/Arenal/Jaco too much for 9 days?

May 12th, 2004, 10:27 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Osa/Arenal/Jaco too much for 9 days?

Hi again-
Based on many of your responses, I have once again revised our July itineary and would love some advice from all you experts!
The plan now is:
4 nights in Osa
2 nights in Arenal
3 nights near Jaco (Villa Caletas)

My question really is, since we are going in July, should we skip Arenal all together and do day trips from Villa Caletas (or maybe stay a night at La Paz waterfall gardens?) We were already planning on spending at least 1 day driving to MA and exploring. It appears that the drive from SJO to Arenal is 3 hours and from Arenal to Jaco is 5 hours. We don't want to spend too much time driving versus exploring outdoors, but don't want to miss Arenal if it really is worth it!

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
MelissaBella is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 06:01 PM
  #2  
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I'm posting this again hoping for some responses! Thanks!
MelissaBella is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 06:11 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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This is really a hard one to advise on. Different people will tell you different things based on their favorites! Arenal is a very nice area for 2 main reasons: the volcano and the hot springs. The hot springs are so nice that most don't mind missing out on the volcano viewing due to weather. Also there are the hanging bridges, waterfalls, hiking, etc. Plenty of activity in a beautiful area.

Likewise, La Paz is very nice. We haven't stayed right there at the falls but know that the surrounding area is very interesting--just a little more driving to some of the nearby attractions, such as the Sarapiqui River and the little town of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, La Selva Biological area, etc. The good thing is that the driving in this area takes you through some great vistas.

Hard decision, I know. You really won't go wrong either way. I suppose that if the hot springs sound really interesting to you, you'll want to opt for Arenal. And they are well worth the visit! The plan you have in place would serve you well. If you are like most, you'll want to come back another time and see some more!
shillmac is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 06:03 PM
  #4  
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Thanks so much for your reply. It is a tough choice, so I really appreciate your thoughts! I'm looking at the different activities available trying to choose which is better on this trip. Hiking to waterfalls is my favorite activity, and we want to white water raft, so I'm leaning toward staying near Alajuela/Poas and skipping Arenal right now.

Thanks again!
MelissaBella is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 06:12 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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The area around Alajuela and Poas is very nice to explore and certainly well located especially if you want to raft the Pacuare. This area of the central valley is simply ideal for 2-3 days of just getting to experience Costa Rica. From there, you can raft, visit Poas, take the loop past Poas up to the Sarapiqui River, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, La Paz, Braulio Carillo Park. There are some nice drives and it is an excellent way to get a feel for the country.
shillmac is offline  

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