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Arenal-Monteverde-Cape Blanco in a long day?

Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
25 posts
Arenal-Monteverde-Cape Blanco in a long day?

Have a morning arrival in San Jose. Driving to La Fortuna for

2 nights, and then driving on to Cabuya for 5 days exploring Southern Nicoya.

Plan is to drive around lake and then drop down to Highway 1 and ferry across to Paquera.

Is it feasible, (and desirable) to drive via Monteverde and experience the cloud forest area? Or best to drop down to Canas, spare the passengers, and make it in time for sunset over the Pacific?

Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
19,961 posts
62 reviews
1. Re: Arenal-Monteverde-Cape Blanco in a long day?

The drive from Tilaran to Monteverde and down again will add 3 additional hours on a pretty rough road, but nonetheless a scenic one. I assume you will have a 4x4 vehicle thus driving up the rocky road will not be so uncomfortable. Be aware that all you will be able to do is to enjoy the views (weather permitting) and maybe a lunch and ice cream in Santa Elena.

Fort Lauderdale
Level Contributor
258 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: Arenal-Monteverde-Cape Blanco in a long day?

Do not invest the time for just lunch in Santa Elena...the driver wont see anything on the way up except the road directly in front of them and the passengers wont enjoy lunch knowing they have to endure the ride down in a short while, regardless of the vehicle. Minimum 1 night in monteverde and 2 nights to really enjoy it. I do recommend a stop in Monteverde, we did 3 nights at cloud forest lodge.

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
25 reviews
3. Re: Arenal-Monteverde-Cape Blanco in a long day?

"Stopping by" Monteverde makes for a very long day. It's 3.5-4 hours from the Arenal area to Monteverde and another 5 hours to Cabuya. Is this really how you want to spend your vacation?

I would much rather just head from Arenal to Cabuya which would be 6 hours. Get an early start and you can have a somewhat leisurely day.

4. Re: Arenal-Monteverde-Cape Blanco in a long day?

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