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To drive or not to drive to Lost Iguana from San Jose, CR?

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To drive or not to drive to Lost Iguana from San Jose, CR?

Old Jul 18th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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To drive or not to drive to Lost Iguana from San Jose, CR?

We arrive in San Jose around noon and plan to stay at Lost Iguana that evening. My husband has no problems driving but my understanding is the drive can be a bit "bumpy" and roads are not clearly marked.

Being that we will have been up since 4 am and flown for about 7 hours, is it better to bus/private driver (for 3 people) to the lodge and then rent a car in Arenal or is the drive not as bad as some say.

Also, to see the main sites, Sky Trek/Sky Tram, Cana Negro, ziplines, ATV to the volcano and eating in town, will the cost of the car for 4-5 days make sense? We usually drive while in foreign countries but they have all been European or Eastern European.

As always, this forum's advice is appreciated.
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Old Jul 18th, 2007, 08:39 AM
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Hi, sylvia - glad to see you chose the Lost Iguana. I would say whether to drive or not is just a personal preference. Of all the roads we saw, the drive from SJO to Arenal was actually one of the best - really pretty and scenic and seemed like the roads were in pretty good shape. We decided to just hire a driver because we wanted to sit back and relax and enjoy the view, but plenty of people do this drive.

Almost everyone rents a car when they stay at the Lost Iguana, but we didn't. We had originally signed up for one, but our driver told us Lost Iguana had a free shuttle that goes into town around dinnertime and that we didn't really need a car, so we canceled it. After we were finished with dinner, Tabacon, etc. we would just call a taxi to come pick us up - fare was around $15 back; taxis are plentiful. I would not trust the Lost Iguana folks to pick you back up; they offered to do that for us and never came. For a lot of the tours, the tour companies will pick you up at your hotel. If you want the convenience of a car there, I would say it's pretty easy to drive around - La Fortuna is fairly small, and the road there from Lost Iguana is a pretty straight shot - probably 10-15 minute drive.

I think your nephew will really enjoy Cano Negro - that was our favorite thing of the entire trip.
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Old Jul 18th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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volcanogirl: Is it my understanding that a drive is about $120 each way? I think the bus is about $25. I am trying to get my head around this because if it is going to cost us $500 for the car and we won't be driving tht much it would be a waste of time waiting to get it at the airport when we could be on our way to the fun!

By the way, I just heard back from BdC and they do have room - so yipee!!
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Old Jul 18th, 2007, 01:10 PM
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Congrats! Getting a room at BdC is the toughest part - it's so popular! $120 for the driver sounds about like what we paid. The driver we got through Lost Iguana was really good - he narrated the trip for us and answered all our questions about things.


Did you check with LI to see if they still offer the free shuttle into town? The only day we felt like we needed a car was when we wanted to go see the waterfall - the front desk said it would be $50 to take us, so we passed; if we had had a car, we would have gone. $50 seemed way too high to us.

Do you know which room you got at BdC? They're all good, so no worries. I'm really happy you got it.
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Old Jul 18th, 2007, 01:17 PM
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volcanogirl: No I do not know which room, I have sent another e-mail asking that question as I don't think I want a cabin that I have to cross the hanging bridge at night. I was so excited I don't even remember if I asked for a standard or a delux!!

Now that I know I have this reservation I can start getting info on the car, or driver from Lost Iguana. Probably should talk to my husband also to see if he wants to drive this trip. He lets me do all the planning.

To be very honest, I don't know that we would have gone to CR next year if we could not book BdC as we wanted to have that experience from the beginning.

I am sure I will have lots more questions.
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Old Jul 18th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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Agree - I was too afraid of crossing the bridge at night too. My husband and I lingered too long in the Tropical Garden one evening watching the toucans, and coming back over the suspension bridge, we were getting dive bombed by the bats going nuts all up and down the path, and the locusts started getting all buzzy. I thought we have lingered waaay too long. I made a vow then to always bring our headlamps with us because it gets dark so early there and kind of sneaks up on you.
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