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Stop in Sarapiqui on the Way to Arenal?

Wichita, Kansas
Level Contributor
154 posts
4 reviews
Stop in Sarapiqui on the Way to Arenal?

Hello. I was wondering if it was possible to stop in Sarapiqui on the way to Arenal? Let's say, for example, that we get a flight into SJO that arrives in the evening. Then, we stay near the airport for the night. Could we leave somewhere around 5:30 am the next morning, make it to a guided hike of La Selva at 8:00 am, eat lunch, and then continue on to Arenal after that? What is the drive like from SJO to Sarapiqui? What about from Sarapiqui to Arenal?

8 replies to this topic
Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
20,038 posts
62 reviews
1. Re: Stop in Sarapiqui on the Way to Arenal?

It is about 2 hours drive ... but from the other side of San Jose. Traffic at San Jose is awful and noone could tell you if you will need 1 hour or 2 hours to cross from one city limit to another. So it is almost 8mpossible to say if you will get to Selva Verde within 8:00 am. Selva Verde to La Fortuna is easier, max 90 minutes.

Wichita, Kansas
Level Contributor
154 posts
4 reviews
2. Re: Stop in Sarapiqui on the Way to Arenal?

Thanks. So, maybe instead of La Selva we could try to do an afternoon chocolate tour at Tirimbina and then just walk the trails there self-guided beforehand. That way we have nothing scheduled until later but can still enjoy the place if we get there early.

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
20,038 posts
62 reviews
3. Re: Stop in Sarapiqui on the Way to Arenal?

OK, La Selva. But does not change the driving situation. Indeed, do start early, and when you will arrive in Sarapiqui you will know your options for the day. Don't leave towards La Fortuna too late; driving after the sunset is not an enjoyable experience, on Ticos roads.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
11,094 posts
23 reviews
4. Re: Stop in Sarapiqui on the Way to Arenal?

The fastest route we’ve taken to Sarapiqui goes thru Alajuela toward Poas with a right hand turn to Varablanca a good ways up the hill. This route does not go thru San Jose so I think it would work with your original timing.

Santa Ana, Costa...
2 posts
1 review
5. Re: Stop in Sarapiqui on the Way to Arenal?

thats for sure !!!

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
7,704 posts
149 reviews
6. Re: Stop in Sarapiqui on the Way to Arenal?

That could work if the driving conditions on the road via Alajuela and Poas and if you don't get lost on the way. But you'd be cutting it close and then puked have very little margin fur error.

Wichita, Kansas
Level Contributor
154 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: Stop in Sarapiqui on the Way to Arenal?

I am a little worried now about having luggage in our car when we stop in Sarapiqui. If we went to Tirimbina but were only doing tours there and not staying the night, do you think they would watch our luggage for us? If not, maybe Sarapiqui would be better as a day trip instead of something we do on the way? I don't know. I am second guessing myself now.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
7,704 posts
149 reviews
8. Re: Stop in Sarapiqui on the Way to Arenal?

Your luggage should be okay at these places, but probably a good idea to ask those places ahead of time.

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