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Best Volcano In Area

Dallas, Texas
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Best Volcano In Area

My husband and I will be in Manuel Antonio for 3-4 nights in May. We’re flying into San Jose & want to stay somewhere 2-3 nights before going to Manuel Antonio. We’ve already been to Arenal &, although we loved it, we want to visit a different volcano just to see a different place. Someone suggested Rincon de la Vieja, but that seems too far and out of the way completely.

Knowing that we’re driving from SJO to Manuel Antonio, what do you suggest?

8 replies to this topic
Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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1. Re: Best Volcano In Area

You could do a bit of detour route via Cartago/Orosi valley if it has to be a volcano. 2 nights in Orosi valley and 1 night in San Gerardo de Dota then down the hill towards Manuel Antonio.

New Orleans...
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2. Re: Best Volcano In Area

I agree with xelas.  The Orosi Valley is a beautiful and relatively undiscovered part of Costa Rica.

The Germans seem to have discovered it before the American tourists.  Some of the local businesses and hotels are German owned, and I'm guessing that their marketing is geared toward Europe.  We have encountered very few North Americans there, but lots of Europeans.

Don't expect an Arenal type of experience on this route.  There isn't that perfect cone popping up out of the landscape.  And while there are some hot springs, this is not to the grand scale of Arenal.

But you will find the oldest operating church in Costa Rica (1743). The church and the attached museum with it's original silver religious artifacts, are both extremely interesting.  You also have the Tapanti National Park.  A truly unspoiled cloud forest.  It is a part of Costa Rica that doesn't get enough attention.

I also like The Route of the Saints (San Gerardo de Dota).  Another beautiful and mostly undeveloped cloud forest region.  Amazing birding, and perhaps the best place in Costa Rica to spot a Quetzal.  This was the first place I ever saw one. 

I do have to slightly (and respectfully) disagree about two nights in one destination, and one night in the other.  I think either one is worth the full three nights (really two full days).  

No matter how you do it, try to visit the Lankester Botanical Gardens on the way through Cartago.  Beautiful and peaceful space, with a dizzying variety of plants.  Mature gardens, that were first planted over 70 years ago. It is now administered by the University of Costa Rica and operated as a research center.  But you don't have to be a horticulturist to appreciate it.

I hope this helps. Let me know if I can offer any further advice.

Warm Regards,

Pat Hewitt

Costa Rica Travel Exchange

Canada
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3. Re: Best Volcano In Area

Xelas and Pat nailed it.

I actually like Irazu volcano more than Arenal because ou can look down into the crate, and Arenal is hidden in clouds more often than not.

There are some very unique accommodations in the area with fantastic views as well. The local public mineral springs are just slightly warn and very basic.but they are less than 5 bucks to get in. Hacienda Orosi, however has beautiful Hot Springs and grounds and on a clear day you can see Turrialba Volcano smoking away. https://www.facebook.com/haciendaorosi/

San Jose, Costa Rica
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4. Re: Best Volcano In Area

I have been driving and guiding tours to Orosi Valley for more than 40 years…and as far as I can remember I drove more americans and canadians than anything else…

Maybe a nice visit to Irazu..then some time around Orosi even Hote Springs around.

Be careful with commission seekers…they will try to sell you anything…

roadadvisor

Canada
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5. Re: Best Volcano In Area

Luis maybe that is because your company focuses on tourists from North America. I spend a lot of time there and definately see more European travellers. (And Ticos on Day Trips)

Dallas, Texas
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6. Re: Best Volcano In Area

Thank you everyone! What about Poás? I saw online that you can visit the top of the crater. Is that still open?

Canada
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7. Re: Best Volcano In Area

Poas is closed. It has been for a while.

Slovenia
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8. Re: Best Volcano In Area

Another problem with Poas is that its crater/lagoon is way too much time unvisible due to clouds and fog. As volcano, it is less scenic in comparison to Irazu, IMO.

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