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Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

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San Francisco, CA
posts: 14
reviews: 5
Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

We (2 adults one 11 year old) are traveling to CR in February for 7 nights. The plan is to rent a car and drive but I am concerned about what I've read about road conditions in the Monteverde area. According to Fodor's, "The roads to the area are some of the worst in the country" yet "don't let that deter you from a visit". Our intinerary is SJ to Manuel Antonio then up to Santa Elena (Monteverde) and back through San Ramon to the airport. That time of year is purported to be warmer and drier so presumably driving will be the most optimal. I am also confused by one post (the reverse drive from Monteverde to MA) from 2007 which indicated it is a 5 hour drive (roads were in the process of being paved) while Google Maps says 2 1/2 hours. Have the roads been paved since then? Is it worth the effort and would you recommend Arenal over it? Part of the reason for going is to stay at Hidden Canopy. I have a detailed map so I'll be able to follow detailed comments.

31 replies to this topic
Ottawa, Canada
posts: 114
reviews: 32
21. Re: Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

I agree with road advisor. We just came back in the beginning of February. The 12 km of road is dirt. Just take you r time.

We had a Hyundai Elentra and had no problems.

Enjoy the beautiful country!

San Francisco, CA
posts: 14
reviews: 5
22. Re: Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

We're back! Thanks again to all who advised us. MA was everything it was purported to be and the drive to Monteverde was as expected. Our Montero 4x4 easily tackled the dirt road leading to Monteverde. The reward was indeed worth it--sun and blue sky and fairly mild temperatures, though it was somwhat unseasonably windy according to the locals, especially at night. We experienced the true character of the cloud forest upon arriving in San Ramon for our last night before heading home. Looking forward to our next trip to see other parts of this wonderful country.

CALI
posts: 223
reviews: 11
23. Re: Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

Will the GPS work in monteverde and the roads to monteverde?

San Francisco, CA
posts: 14
reviews: 5
24. Re: Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

Yes. It's a bit quirky but if you plug in the town and then a point of interest , i.e. hotel (we were instructed by the rental car company not to bother with addresses) it will work fine. Also, buy full insurance coverage. It's still cheaper than having to pay for a repair. Also, have you explored hiring a driver? Many do. Renting a car may not be a money saver but it does provide flexibility.

Los Angeles Ca.
posts: 12
25. Re: Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

So it's an hour and a half to Monteverde? From where?

San Francisco, CA
posts: 14
reviews: 5
26. Re: Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

Hi drewmyma. I'm not sure if your question is based on something I said or someone else said responding to my original question. As I recall, it took us an hour and a half to drive from Monteverde to San Ramon (southeast) which is on the way to the airport. What is the basis for your question?

Los Angeles Ca.
posts: 12
27. Re: Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

Hey, thanks for the reply. I was referring to a post by roadadvisor said about an hour up to Monteverde. I don't know where that was coming from.

San Francisco, CA
posts: 14
reviews: 5
28. Re: Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

Now that I have reread it, I believe roadadvisor means an hour or so after you leave the highway and drive the unpaved road up to Monteverde. I didn't bother to mention it because it wasn't relevant to my question, but we did see two vehicles on the opposite side which had just had an accident about ten minutes from the top. The result obviously of driving too fast or not paying attention. Not only is the drive either dry and dusty (right now) or wet and muddy, but the road is narrow with an elevation climb and twists and turns. So while it may not be that much idistance-wise, all of the other factors make you to drive slowly.

Edited: 10:02 am, March 19, 2012
San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 3,527
29. Re: Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

Great point gtgsf even with a 4x4 you have to drive slow at those roads in Monteverde. Some people claim they can drive from Monteverde to Arenal in 2 or 3 hours the only way to do it in that time is speeding and that is not recommend it at all.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,684
30. Re: Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

And some people claim they can drive from Arenal to Monteverde in 4 hours...it is possible if you drive backwards...

Thanks to people like the one below...I can keep writing in this forums knowing that I´m not trying to confuse others...my life is more a lot of more than hate and making money I love people!

21. Re: Driving to Monteverde from Manuel Antonio

Mar 10, 2012, 2:52 PM

I agree with road advisor. We just came back in the beginning of February. The 12 km of road is dirt. Just take you r time.

We had a Hyundai Elentra and had no problems.

Enjoy the beautiful country!

Of course I drive great cars...and we have great drivers...our own fleet...not old Mercedez Vans or old Corean vans...

I drive to Monteverde from Sardinal ...in no more than 1.5 hours...I have had been doing that for well over 35 years...now days of course with the raod it is is 100% possible...maybe for a new drivers or in terrible shape vehicles...maybe more...but you can read here in the forum...that not one of our costumers nevere ever complaint about any one of our vehicles driving way to fast...

Some fake travel agents with an old Mercedez van...maybe they have to drive at 5mph going up...and driving around the lake with the same old van maybe at 3 mph...

Hard for some fake travel agents to accept that they have not a clue about our roads or driving times...and trying to bad mouth others than know the roads and of course offer better vehicles...ASHAMED!

roadadvisor

Edited: 12:36 pm, March 19, 2012
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