SJO to Arenal transfer - tight timing

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Jan 3rd, 2007, 12:24 PM
  #1
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SJO to Arenal transfer - tight timing

Hello,
My husband and I are planning a short (1 week) trip to Costa Rica to attend a wedding. We are scheduled to arrive at 1:50 on Saturday afternoon and would like to go directly to Arenal to make efficient use of our time. We've found shuttles from SJO at 3pm via arenal.net and from a hotel near SJO at 3:30pm from Grayline. Since we're not familiar with SJO, I'd appreciate hearing from others as to whether we're likely to make it to the shuttle on time after clearing customs and picking up bags. My feeling is that this is risky and perhaps we should book a private transfer instead. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
andes is offline  
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Jan 3rd, 2007, 04:43 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Unless you are really nervous about it, I'd arrange a rental car and hit the road. You should be on your way by 2:30 or 3:00. It is an easy drive, very pretty, decent roads, fairly well marked, etc. No problem arriving by 6:00 even if you don't leave until 3:00! Good luck whatever you decide!
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Jan 3rd, 2007, 05:45 PM
  #3
jkheigle
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I say... rent a car, relax and drive. It is not so bad at all, and you will like having your own transportation.

We rented from TriColor, very nice people, but we did end up waiting (with their pick up guy) at the airport for their shuttle to the agency just a minute or so away.

The "paperwork" took a while, and for goodness sake, if there is a "newer" vehicle of the same make parked in front, why not demand that one? We got a piece of junk, but made it just fine nonetheless....

The drive to Arenal will take you 2.5-3 hours on the "quick" route -- very pretty, and the road is fine. La Fortuna is easy to navigate, and hotels are easy to find. You'd get there before dark no problem.

Note: Even with a map, and road markers, go ahead and keep note of km distance travelled and that will help you keep a look out for turns, etc. (not many at all) In the US we are so used to getting places fast, covering lots of miles fast.... It just does not happen in CR and what a pleasure....
 
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Jan 3rd, 2007, 08:50 PM
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jk, you got a piece of junk? How did that happen? We've never had that experience--always something brand new or nearly. Once they upgraded us because we needed bigger--at no extra charge. You really should have asked for something better. I can't imagine.
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Jan 4th, 2007, 10:22 AM
  #5
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Thanks for the responses. I've heard mixed comments on driving in Costa Rica and thought we might be better off without a car and using day tours & taxis to get around. We are staying at the Arenal Lodge and heard that road conditions are not great. Did you find that the extra flexibility you get from renting a car was really important in Arenal?
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Jan 4th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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We like the freedom of it, and the road to Arenal is quite decent. Not to worry--I think you'll be surprised!
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