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Silencio del Campo or Arenal Observatory

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Mississauga, Canada
posts: 17
Silencio del Campo or Arenal Observatory

We will be staying in the area for 4 nights and can't decide on where to stay!! I will be travelling with kids and will most likely have a car!

Thanks for your help!

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
posts: 3,671
reviews: 75
1. Re: Silencio del Campo or Arenal Observatory

Depends on what criteria are important to you?

AOL is very remote, which means great hiking, wildlife, and the best volcano views of anywhere in the region--when the lava was going, the tours at night would go to the AOL road.

But, that also means it's very remote and far removed from any restaurants and hot springs in town. At leat 30 minutes each way. It is close to the Arenal Hanging Bridges though.

By all accounts, Silencio de Campo is a lovely place with hot springs on site, with pretty good volcano views. We haven't been there, but have heard nothing but positives.

I guess one is more of a comfortable hotel while the other is a wilderness lodge.

Edited: 9:55 am, March 08, 2013
Toronto, Canada
posts: 495
reviews: 32
2. Re: Silencio del Campo or Arenal Observatory

I've never stayed at Arenal Observatory but it sounds like a lot of fun for kids.

I stayed at Silencio and loved it, but I didn't have my 4 yr old with me when I was there. The food in their restaurant is excellent. The hot spring is awesome and I love love love their spa! Their villas/rooms are so pretty it was just perfect for our honeymoon. It's close to town but I don't remember seeing much wild life in the area.

So if you have a car, I would say Arenal Observatory suits you more.

Edited: 12:34 pm, March 08, 2013
Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
posts: 3,671
reviews: 75
3. Re: Silencio del Campo or Arenal Observatory

After being to the AOL twice, we were surprised whenever people at other locatoins got excited at seeing coatis (aka pizotes). They're so common there we thought they were incredibly abundant in CR.

Pensacola, Florida
posts: 624
reviews: 160
4. Re: Silencio del Campo or Arenal Observatory

I would say it depends, at least partially on you age and health. If you are younger and in good health, AOL is a good option. If you are a little older and maybe not in quite as good of shape, where creature comforts are more important, AOL is probably not your best option. We had reservations here a few years ago, and once my wife looked at the rooms, she refused to stay here. Not that they are all that bad, just very basic and the decor was definately thread bare. In fairness, we are both older and prefer to have comfortable accomadations. We don't mind the dirt and mud and water during the day tours, but at night we want to be in comfort. As far as coatis are concerned, we saw more coatis at the Westin resort on the Pacific that we have any where else in Costa Rica, so I am not sure that is a true testimony to the wildlife around the resorts.

San Francisco...
posts: 302
reviews: 5
5. Re: Silencio del Campo or Arenal Observatory

Personally, I think four nights at AOL is too much. You're too isolated from other activities and the food is too mediocre for that long of a stay. I would do two nights at AOL and two nights at Silencio. We split our time between those two hotels when we visited (1 night at AOL and 2 nights at Silencio), and thought it worked out well.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 4,082
reviews: 93
6. Re: Silencio del Campo or Arenal Observatory

If you want a big expansive property with hiking, go with AOL; if you want to be closer to town and have hot springs go with Silencio del Campo.

Mississauga, Canada
posts: 17
7. Re: Silencio del Campo or Arenal Observatory

Thank you everyone for your insight!! I think it will be Silencio!!

La Fortuna de San...
Destination Expert
for La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 1,200
reviews: 7
8. Re: Silencio del Campo or Arenal Observatory

Good choice, you cannot go wrong with Silencio. The owners are nice, hot springs are right there on the property and they have cool little bungalows.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
posts: 3,671
reviews: 75
9. Re: Silencio del Campo or Arenal Observatory

In addition to coatis, we saw two different species of monkey, kinkajou, and a jaguarundi all within 50 feet of the main lodge building.

Silencio is a fine choice--enjoy!

Edited: 7:48 am, March 09, 2013
10. Re: Silencio del Campo or Arenal Observatory

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