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Suggestions for length of stay in Monteverde & Arenal?

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Madison, WI
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Suggestions for length of stay in Monteverde & Arenal?

We're planning to travel to CR for 14 nights in February 2014. Our travel party will include my parents, my husband, me, and our then 1 year old and 3 year old. As of right now, our plan is to fly into San Jose, possibly spend the night there before spending 3 nights in Manuel Antonio. From here, we would like to go to Monteverde and Arenal before finishing our trip in Guanacaste. I'm trying to figure out how much time we should plan to spend in each place. I was thinking 2 nights in Monteverde and 1 night in Arenal to allow for daytime travel, but it seems like more people stay in Arenal for longer based on the vast number of accommodations. Will this be long enough in either place, keeping in mind we will have very young children, so we won't be able to be over-ambitious.

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11. Re: Suggestions for length of stay in Monteverde & Arenal?

Hi David,

One more question for you...

We are planning on staying in SJO the night we arrive as well as the night before we leave. I'm good on coming back to SJO the night before we leave as we leave CR fairly early. But I am questioning whether we really need to stay in SJO the night we arrive. Our flight arrives at 4:00 pm and thought by the time we go through customs, get our rental car etc. it would maybe be dark and I've read you really shouldn't drive in CR after dark. But, on the other hand if we headed right up to Manuel that afternoon, we would be ready to go the following day, and wouldn't have "wasted" a day! What are your thoughts?

London, England...
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12. Re: Suggestions for length of stay in Monteverde & Arenal?

Hi again!

We top and tailed in SJO also and funnily enough had the same issue - but the other way round. We arrived late so transfer straight to the hotel (w/ hire-car delivered the next morning) was a no-brainer. However our return was 3pm departure from SJO so we weren't sure whether to drive from Manuel Antonio that morning or do the night before in SJO, We went with the safe option but it probably wasn't the best option, in hindsight.

For you, personally, and despite the fact I'm always say driving in CR isn't anywhere near as bad as made out, I wouldn't suggest driving down that day. Not for your first experience driving in the country. The roads will likely be busy skirting round San Jose and the run into Quepos is unlit - I also didn't like anything about Quepos at night which you'll have to drive through to MA - the last stretch being very dark and twisty indeed.

13. Re: Suggestions for length of stay in Monteverde & Arenal?

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