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From Arenal to Monteverde !!

May your trails be crooked, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into, and above, the clouds. ~ A Prayer for the Traveler, Edward Abbey, 1927-1989

A scenic alternate way to the far side of the mountains, without going around Lake Arenal, is to head north from La Fortuna to San Rafael and up to Upala (the road between San Rafael and Upala is narrow but drivable) and take the road that crosses the valley between the Tenorio and Miravalles volcanoes. The rural road reaches the Inter-American Highway about seven km/4.4 miles north of Cañas.

H ow do waterfalls, thermal springs and mineral mud pits within a national forest sound? Even better is that fact that it’s only about a twohour drive to the beach!

O nce you come to the Inter-American Highway, your choice is to proceed north to Liberia and the coast, or drive south through Cañas and backtrack up to Monteverde. If you choose, there is also a gravel road shortcut from Tilarán to Monteverde, bumpy and rough but passable with four-wheel-drive. A public bus follows the same route. If you go this way you’ll pass El Trapiche, an old-fashioned sugar mill. The route is “iffy” during the rainy season, so ask first.


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