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What is the difference between Arenal and Monteverde?

Folso, CA
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48 posts
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What is the difference between Arenal and Monteverde?

So I've got my plans narrowed down to 3 nights in Manuel Antonio, 3 in Arenal, 2 with San Jose (mostly because our our flight times) and am wondering if i should also do 1 night in Monteverde or maybe 2?

I know there is a night rainforest in Monteverde, is it similar to Arenal area? Are there completely different animals in Monteverde compared to Manuel Antonio and Arenal?

It sounds like Monterverde is one of the top rated things to do, but not sure how much of an overlap it is with Manuel and Arenal.

Any thoughts?

Jenn

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
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8,097 posts
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1. Re: What is the difference between Arenal and Monteverde?

For me I would skip Monteverde. It is a nice area but IMO more for someone interested in birding. If you are a birder than yes it is worth the stop.

Buenos Aires
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2. Re: What is the difference between Arenal and Monteverde?

HI JenninFolsom,

If you have a couple of days and would like to see something different from Arenal and Manuel Antonio, I'd recommend going to Tortuguero, specially if you are travelling during turtle season.

Have a great trip!

Rock Hill, SC
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5 posts
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3. Re: What is the difference between Arenal and Monteverde?

If you are going to Monteverde I would plan on at least 2 nights. We went to both the Arenal and Monteverde areas two years back. I'm glad we went to Monteverde. The climate is different due to the elevation. We hiked in the Santa Elena Reserve and the Monteverde reserve. I can't say we say a lot in the way of wildlife, but we had a good time and the cloud forest are beautiful. That being said, it was difficult place to get to and from. The roads are bad coming, going and even getting to some of sites close to town is a challenge. Personally (since you are planning on going to Manuel Antonio anyway) I think I would do it on another trip. It's different than Arenal, but perhaps not enough to justify it unless you have the extra time and like a challenge.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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47,924 posts
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4. Re: What is the difference between Arenal and Monteverde?

Monteverde and Arenal located at the same mountain system...very much the same vegetation, wild life...but a lot more to do around Arenal...Monteverde is more for bird watchers, people that love hikes, flowers ...insects...

roadadvisor

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!

Folso, CA
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48 posts
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5. Re: What is the difference between Arenal and Monteverde?

Thank you for all the perspectives : )

Jenn

Pensacola, Florida
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12,945 posts
54 reviews
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6. Re: What is the difference between Arenal and Monteverde?

www.monteverdeinfo.com is a true cloud forest eco-system

Arenal is a volcano but no cloud forest the essential difference

www.fondavela.com

www.hotelbelmar.net

worth a couple of nights for me if you have more time

but do not take away from the others...have fun,

Antigua, Guatemala
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2,958 posts
22 reviews
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7. Re: What is the difference between Arenal and Monteverde?

Hey Jenn,

Monteverde is great, but with a limited time, I would stick to Arenal. There are a lot more things to do in that area.

Hope this helps,

Marina K. Villatoro

8. Re: What is the difference between Arenal and Monteverde?

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