T minus 5 months... Arenal Qs, Nature Air

Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 02:35 PM
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T minus 5 months... Arenal Qs, Nature Air

Hi everyone,

Our trip is less than four months out and I'm getting around to some of the details. I have a few logistical questions. A bit of background: we arrive at 9:30pm on a Thursday. We'll overnight in SJO and then drive to Arenal on Friday morning.

#1: Is Lost Iguana a nice choice for Arenal? It's more expensive than a lot of options. Could we do better elsewhere?

#2: We have to be in San Jose at 8:30AM on Tuesday for our Nature Air flight to the Osa. Should we drive back to Arenal on Monday afternoon? Or, could we get up really early on Tuesday and make it?

#3: We purchased our Nature Air flights and got cheap "loco" fares. We arrive in San Jose at 10:35 am. Our return flight on Delta is scheduled for 2:00pm. Please, oh please, tell me this is enough time.

#4 - where to stay in San Jose? Our first night, we get in so late that I don't want to go far. Where do you get a rental car from the next day?

Thanks in advance. What a lot of details.
alw1977 is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 03:18 PM
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#1 -- volcanogirl and other give rave reviews for the Lost Iguana, however we've all noticed their prices going up as well. Boo! We loved El Silencio del Campo, lovely little bungalows and lovely grounds, great staff, smaller place. It's more convenient also if you don't have a car, but since you do you can be very flexible there.

#2 -- I would drive back on Monday afternoon, not Tuesday morning, ick! You could stay somewhere convenient to Pavas airport (assuming you need to return your rental car to SJO first)?

#3 -- If the Nature Air flight is on time this should leave you plenty of time to deboard and taxi to SJO without a problem.

#4 -- Hotel Villa Bonita is a nice B&B about 5 min from SJO. You can have your rental car delivered for a fee or pick up yourself upon arrival or the next morning.
hipvirgochick is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 03:40 PM
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We are on the exact same flight plan in a few weeks: Nature Air arrival in Pavos at 10:20am, connecting in SJO at 2pm Delta flight. I'll let you know how it wrks out, but I think it'll be fine. Earlier I posted, concerned about making a 1pm connection, but now at 2pm, I think we are good. Be sure to take the time on arrival at SJO to take care of your departure tax, so you don't have that errand left to do when you are stressed to make the last connection. Slip the tax receipt into your passport or ticket papers so you don't lose track of it while vacationing!
4explore is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 08:19 PM
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I'd definitely drive back the day before to catch your Nature Air flight, you'd have to leave Arenal around 4am and even that would only give you a 30 minute cushion. I'd stay somewhere like Grano de Oro or Don Carlos hotel, both are reasonably close to Pavas.

On your first night you could stay at Orquideas Inn. It's about 15-20 minutes from the airport and they will pick you up for $10. You could arrange to have the rental car dropped off there and as a plus it's on your way to Arenal.
tully is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 08:31 PM
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We definitely loved the Lost Iguana; it was worth the cost to us - very nice, great balcony with beautiful volcano views, lush landscaping, right next door to the Hanging Bridges, pool on site, breakfast included, frig. in room, plus jacuzzi on balcony - it was pretty great. If you stayed here, I really think you would enjoy it, but you might be just as happy somewhere else too. I totally agree with everyone else that you should drive back to Arenal Monday afternoon - too heinous to do it all on the same day so early in the morning. We stayed at Grano de Oro in San Jose and really liked it; our room had a bathtub which seemed pretty posh for CR standards, and the onsite restaurant was great. The hotel is cute, built in an old mansion with lots of little twists and turns, gardens, hot tub and gardens on the roof - cute spot and pretty affordable; the service was wonderful there - really friendly.
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