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Trying to minimize hotel changes in Costa Rica

Trying to minimize hotel changes in Costa Rica

Old May 11, 16, 3:35 pm
  #1  
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Trying to minimize hotel changes in Costa Rica

Taking our first trip to CR in August. Going for a week into SJO and out of LIR. Want to see Montverde and Arenal, as well as spend time at the beach. Was going to rent a car. My wife wants to limit hotel changes so I'm looking for suggestions on whether to stay near Arenal and do a day trip to Montverde or stay near Montbverde and do the day trip to Arenal. Kids are 10 and 7. To be clear I would do one hotel stay for the parks and another for the beach.
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Old May 12, 16, 7:33 pm
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I do understand the reason for wanting to minimise the number of hotels, but keep in mind that the drive between Arenal and Monteverde, although very, very beautiful, is also very long and tiring. To be precise, the last ~40 kilometres closest to Monteverde take about 2 hours on an extremely bad road and driving that road in the darkness (especially when raining) is not enjoyable at all. Believe me, my wife was very close to a stroke/heart attack. Thus, unless you leave very early for your day-tour you'll be left with hardly any time to see anything/do any activities at the "other" place.

Still, if you still decide for that, stay at the Arenal area and visit Monteverde as the latter has fewer things to offer than the former and is therefore easier 'done" in a few hours.
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Old May 12, 16, 10:36 pm
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I agree that a day trip from one to the other (Monteverde <<<>>>Arenal) would be exhausting. The drive between the two is awful, and it would be a truly awful ride for young kids. I'd say, pick one or the other and that's that. Spend half the week there and half the week at the beach.
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Old May 13, 16, 7:11 am
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Thank you for the feedback. Looking at a map of a new city or country it always seems so close and simple. That is why I like asking the question here. It would seem in this case the hassle of packing up and switching hotels is less than what it will take to go back and forth.

If the goal is to go from SJO straight to either Mt Verde or Arena, which is the better place to go first? I will than go to the other a couple of days later before ultimately heading toward a beach location close to Liberia.
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Old May 13, 16, 1:05 pm
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I'm saying choose Monteverde or Arenal and skip the other. As it stands now, you're trying to pack three destinations into one week. You'd be spending a LOT of time in the car. That's not fun. Seriously, once you get here, you'll see that it takes a lot longer than you think to get around.
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Old May 13, 16, 7:42 pm
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If you decide to follow SJOGuy's suggestion, I'd skip Monteverde. It may be "cuter" than Arenal, but the volcano is awesome and the hot water spas amazing. As for driving, it is very tiring but extremely beautiful. Finally, if using a GPS, try to have it on a silent mode. Otherwise it keeps beeping continuously (narrow bridges, schools, etc.) and, worse, it makes mistakes in its suggestions costing you longer tiring and beautiful driving...
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Old May 14, 16, 11:06 am
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The Arenal volcano has settled into a much less active phase these days. How long that will last is anybody's guess. The area still has a ton of things to see and do.

Yes. Driving in Costa Rica is beautiful, but three destinations in one week still means a lot of hours in the car in a short time. I'd do Arenal and a beach on the north Pacific coast.
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