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Confused about Monteverde, things to do and drive time...

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Los Angeles Ca.
posts: 12
Confused about Monteverde, things to do and drive time...

Ok, here's the deal. I am heading to Costa Rica in two weeks with two friends, we are all 30 year old males. We are arriving in SJO and plan on driving to Arenal, staying for a few day and then heading to Monteverde. i have gotten very conflicting times as far as driving from La Fortuna to Monteverde. How long should it realistically take? Also, when we leave Monteverde we are heading to Tamarindo. A few websites I have read said it takes about 4 hours, does that seem right?

Lastly, what is there really to do in Monteverde, we are not into birds, and are looking for more adventurous activities. I would prefer not go to Monteverde and spend more time in Arenal, but my partners are insisting. Thank you very much for any help.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 43,141
1. Re: Confused about Monteverde, things to do and drive time...

To drive around the lake from Arenal to Monteverde...no more than 3 hours even less...maybe one night in Monteverde and spend more time in Arenal...

roadadvisor

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 5,758
reviews: 22
2. Re: Confused about Monteverde, things to do and drive time...

Monteverde is well known for its cloudforests, hikes in the national parks and birding. You might get a kick out of a night hike to see the creatures of the dark. It also has reportedly the best ziplines in the country so save your ziplining for here.

If you're looking for adventure I'd definitely choose Arenal over Monteverde. While in Arenal be sure to check out canyoning with DeSafio Adventures. Check out their website for more adventures.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 4,100
reviews: 122
3. Re: Confused about Monteverde, things to do and drive time...

Ziplining is popular in Monteverde. I'd check out Sky Trek. We used them in Arenal and loved it. They have some of the longest, highest lines in the country. Selvatura is also popular. We also enjoyed a guided hike in the Reserve and a night hike at Hidden Valley. We're into wildlife, so not sure if those would interest you or not. I prefer Arenal to Monteverde too. MV was very cold and rainy at night when we were there. We actually had to wear fleece jackets to stay warm. Arenal has a lot more in the way of adventure activities.

Alberta, Canada
posts: 404
reviews: 24
4. Re: Confused about Monteverde, things to do and drive time...

I think it took us about 4 hours to drive from Arenal to Monteverde, only because we were not familiar with the very rocky roads and we stopped a few times to admire the beautiful views.

Monteverde is totally different from the Arenal area. They're both beautiful, but after 2 days in Monteverde we were ready to move to the Guanacaste area (and yes, it takes about 3.5 to 4 hours to drive to the coast). We stayed in Brasilito, not in Tamarindo, but it's not that far apart. Not sure what route you're taking to Tamarindo, we went from Juntas and then over the Amistad Bridge. The first part of the trip is still on rocky road, but once you're past Juntas, it's all paved roads.

Some people like Monteverde better, but we preferred Arenal, because there is more to do. La Fortuna de Carlos is bigger than Santa Elena and we also liked the rainforest better than the cloudforest. Having said that, I'm happy we've seen and experienced both!

Los Angeles Ca.
posts: 12
5. Re: Confused about Monteverde, things to do and drive time...

Thank you guys, and gals, for the quick and thorough responses. Since we have such limited time, and Monteverde is a trek to get to, I'd prefer skip it and spend more time in Arenal, but my buddies are forcing it. I figure we can do ziplining, and hopefully a few other things while up there. Thanks again.

6. Re: Confused about Monteverde, things to do and drive time...

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