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Driving from Arenal to Monteverde? Bad idea?

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nyc
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Driving from Arenal to Monteverde? Bad idea?

Planning to drive from San jose to Greci and then to Arenal Volcano. While i'm reading that taking a boat from there to Monteverde is ideal, what would we do with our rental car??? Renting locally is more expensive than booking somethign from here online, plus we would have to rent twice. But is it REALLY THAT BAD driving from one location ot the other??? I'm reading mixed things. Thanks!

Tampa, FL
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for San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Driving from Arenal to Monteverde? Bad idea?

Its not REALLY THAT BAD. Plenty of people do it all the time. But it isn't really all that great either. Expect 4+ hours on scenic but often bumpy roads and the possibility you might take a wrong turn (only slight if you are reasonably careful and well prepared). Since you have the rental car anyway it won't cost you any more than the extra gas. However, I still think you should consider taking the boat. Here's why:

A) It will take less time 2.5hours vs. 4+. Okay, it's not that big a savings or sufficient reason by itself but still is a factor.

B) It's more comfortable. You'll still have about 1.5 on the road but not the bumpiest part which is on the north side of the lake AND someone else will be doing the driving.

C) You will be doing plenty of driving elsewhere in CR. This will allow you to experience something different during your stay - a short but relaxing cruise on a beautiful lake wth the volcano as the backdrop.

...and last but not least, your concern

C) EVEN IF YOU HAVE A CAR YOU CAN STILL DO THIS. For an extra charge they will transport your car around the lake while you are on the tour.

There are 2 related websites you should check out in general for great info on both areas: www.arenal.net and www.monteverdeinfo.com. I took this info from the Arenal site on the taxi-boat-horseback page but I'm sure it is available for the taxi-boat-taxi version as well:

"If you have a car, and would like to do the horseback trip Arenal - Monteverde, we can drive your car around the lake, and meet you at the destination. We take written full responsibility for your vehicle, and ask $35 for the driver."

NY
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2. Re: Driving from Arenal to Monteverde? Bad idea?

It's not that bad. Plenty of people do it. We did it in December. When are you going, by the way? If it will be raining the driving will be worse for you. Search the Costa Rica forum here for Tilaran and you will see my post from yesterday in response to someone else asking for directions there. One thing you should check on if you decide to do the boat tour - what are your insurance responsibilities and do you have to add an extra driver because someone else will be driving your rental car?

Tampa, FL
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for San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: Driving from Arenal to Monteverde? Bad idea?

travel10000,

I don't know the details, but my understanding is that insurance coverage is no problem. They do the paperwork and contact the rental agency and assume full responsibility for the trip (which they certify in writing). Of course, that's easy for them to say and it might not be worth the paper its printed on, so it certainly does bear checking into to verify, particularly with the rental agency, rather than simply taking their word. Their driver is more experienced driving those roads than any of us and therefore my GUESS would be your car would be in safe hands. Also just a GUESS but I would think they wouldn't be offering this service if there wasn't a market for it and if there had been any problems we'd have heard something about it. But I could be wrong (wouldn't be the 1st time). Has anyone here actually done this themselves (with the car)? And what was their experience?

nyc
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4. Re: Driving from Arenal to Monteverde? Bad idea?

Thank you so much! I'm happy to hear that the boat is still an option if we have a car! We are planning to go the end of April, so it's getting down to the wire regarding firming up our agenda. Originally i wanted to be a little more flexible regarding our travel plans, but it seems like hotel reservations pretty much have to be made in advance.

Thanks!

Los Angeles, CA
11 posts
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5. Re: Driving from Arenal to Monteverde? Bad idea?

I've driver around the lake 3 times. Twice from

Arenal to Monteverde and once to Tamarindo. It can be rough going if it's raining and there are plenty of potholes..but the drive is very scenic.