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travel times/trip itinerary

Old Jul 19th, 2004, 08:50 PM
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travel times/trip itinerary

Our family (my husband, 17 year-old daughter, 20 year-old son and I) will be visiting CR August 16th to 26th. Possible itinerary is:

August 16-17 Alajuela area/Pacure raft trip
August 18-19 Arenal Volcano area
August 20-21 Monteverde Cloud Forest area
August 22-24 Manuel Antonio
August 25 return to Alajuela
August 26 flight home

My main concern is whether it is advisable to try to go to Monteverde. The driving to and from sounds difficult and time consuming. Can anyone tell me driving time from Arenal to Monteverde and also driving time from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio. What route would be recommende from Monteverde to MA?

Thanks for any and all help/advice!
lydiaf is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2004, 04:31 AM
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Other than the rafting trip, this is the same itinerary we had our first trip to Costa Rica. We loved Monteverde, wouldn't have missed it for anything. Not everyone feels this way though. The drive was Arenal took about four hours. Only the last 25 kilometers or so is really bad. Even then, it's such a ridiculously bumpy road, all you can do is drive 10 miles an hour and laugh. It's not a 'scary' drive, just slow going. However, we were traveling in the dry season. I don't know what it would be like if it was muddy. The road seemed to be mostly rocks, big rocks, so it might not be so bad. I'd definitely recommend four wheel drive, for clearance alone.

We got lost a couple times going from Monteverde to Manual Antonio, so I'm not sure how long it really takes. I recall we went to the butterfly garden in Montverde before we left the area. So, we probably didn't leave there before 11am. After backtracking a couple of times and stopping for lunch, we arrived at Si Como No sometime around 4pm. The road on that side of Monteverde isn't as rough as coming from Arenal, although it's still slow going. I recall finally getting to the Pan American highway and being thrilled with pavement and road markings...Zipping right along, then, herd of cows on the road. Have to wait for them to cross. This is not like the US highway system. Have fun.

Jean
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Old Jul 20th, 2004, 07:23 AM
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I haven't been yet (we will be in CR roughly the same time as you), but I can tell you what I was told when I booked my transportation. We are also traveling from Arenal to Monteverde and decided to do the taxi/boat/taxi transfer. We booked this through www.arenal.net (which, I believe, is the same as www.montervedeinfo.com) for $25 per person. They say it takes three hours door-to-door, but I'm figuring on four to be safe, although it is supposed to be faster than drving the whole way.
As for Monteverde to MA - The website for Interbus gives the travel time as five hours. They leave at 8 AM and arrive in MA around 1 PM. Website is www.costaricapass.com. $38 per person.
I wonder though, since there are four of you, if you could find a private transfer for a lower total price? If anyone knows of another good transfer services besides Interbus, I'd like to know as well!
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Old Jul 20th, 2004, 07:37 AM
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Thanks to both of you for your responses/help. We already have rented a four-wheel drive vehicle and will definetly be doing our own driving. Driving times/conditions you both gave me are very helpful so that we can assess time commitment/difficulty and decide what to do.
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Old Jul 20th, 2004, 07:52 AM
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we returned a few weeks ago--loved Monteverde!--about 3 to 3.5 hours from arenal to monteverde and not nearly as bad as most posters state--bumpy gravel road for the last hour--then about 4 hours from monteverde to manuel antonio of which about the first hour is a little better than the road in and the last 3 hours are easy driving--have a great time--we loved it and loved driving ourselves
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Old Jul 20th, 2004, 08:50 PM
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Thanks for the precise info. We are definetly going to Monteverde. We feel comfortable doing it after reading your post. My son is sure this is going to be the highlight of the trip!
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