Arenal Getting Around
Arenal covers an expanse stretching from La Fortuna, around the volcano and across the Lake Arenal. Since many attractions are a 15-minute drive from town, most travelers rent a car, either in San Jose or La Fortuna, to get around. Travelers without a car are better off staying in La Fortuna where there's better access to restaurants, shopping, hotels and buses. Tour operators offer transportation to and from your hotel regardless of where you are.
Arenal on Foot:
Located 11 miles east of Arenal Volcano, the town of La Fortuna is approximately seven blocks long and three blocks wide. Restaurants, shops and internet cafes line the main street. There's a church and a central park in the center of town with shaded benches and views of the volcano.
Bicycle and Scooter Rental:
Bicycles are a great way to take in the scenic beauty of the area, but perilous to ride on the main roads outside of La Fortuna due to a lack of sidewalks or bike lanes. . You can rent a bicycle from one of La Fortuna’s hotels, or head to a bike store located in La Fortuna. Well-maintained street or mountain bikes can be rented for about $20/day or $130/week.
Renting a car is the most convenient way to get around Arenal. There are a few car rental companies in town, with prices comparable to those in San Jose or Liberia. Many car rental services will now drop off a car at your hotel, if you suddenly get the urge to have one mid-vacation.
Taxis are plentiful in town and are an easy (but not cheap) way to get around. All taxis are equipped with meters. For long distance hauls, it is better to negotiate a price with the driver beforehand, as the meter can really add up. Contafor Ocho Rojos operates the red taxi Telephone: 2479-8522 or 2479-9607. Sample taxi fares from the center of town to nearby destinations:
Arenal Lake: $25
Arenal Volcano National Park: $25
Tabacon Hot Springs: $16
Nuevo Arenal: $45
Ciudad Quesada: $56
San Ramon: $120 San Jose: $170
Though there is excellent public bus service for getting to and from La Fortuna, local bus service is infrequent and inconvenient for sightseeing. However, buses leave twice a day (8 a.m. and 2p.m.) from the La Fortuna bus station (one block south of the central park) heading on the highway around Lake Arenal for $5. These buses can drop you off at many of the area's hot springs and Arenal Volcano National Park.
For those on a budget, pick a hotel in downtown La Fortuna, where lodging is within walking distance of many restaurants and other facilities.