The last 3 times I rented a car and drove...except over to Tortugero. I prefer drivingto save time and many of the buses and public transportation drivers really scare methere. Too fast, crazy and reckless for me. It is a small country and interesting thingsto see everywhere, so I prefer driving. It isn't very far from one place to another, butthe mountain roads can be challenging. I prefer to drive more slowly and safely myself.I would recommend 4WD.
I stayed at the base of Arenal on the north side. Look on the map for the town of Fortuna. Between Fortuna and Tabacon to the west there are a lot of small lodges and hotels along the road 142. I can't remember the name but I stayed in one that had little "cabins" and the grounds were really nice and open with great views of the volcano, birds everywhere. The cabins all had big windows facing the volcano. Stay in one of the places on the north side of 142 for the best views of the volcano. I thought the birding in this area was the best for the variety and quantity of birds. It is hotter and more humid here.
I stayed in Monteverde twice. The first time was about 20 years or more and I was there onmy bike, so not birding so much. I can't remember where I stayed. The second time I wasthere for two weeks at Spanish school and lived with a family. I went birding several timesin the Monteverde park with a guide, but I don't have his info any more. There are lots ofgreat places to stay. I found the guide through the school...maybe they can recommend someonehttp://www.cpi-edu.com/monteverde.htm
If you know Michele Pantenaude, she was there in the fall and probably has good, morerecent recommendations for guides.
Have fun! Sarah Rosedahl
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From: Fernando B.Corrada <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sunday, January 17, 2016 11:19 AM
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Costa Rica
Thank you Sara for your reply. I did read the reviews of the Trogon Lodge and it is highly recommended. How far were you from Arenal and Monteverde? Fly or drive from the Trogon Lodge to a birding/Eco lodge in the Monteverde area? Thank you.