Monteverde and Arenal are just 25 km (15.5 miles) apart, but with an altitude difference of 1.150 m (almost 4000 ft), a steep drop and several roadblocks makes direct passage between the two towns difficult. Here you can read several easier options for passage between the two.
The several roadblocks which consist of an active volcano, Costa Rica's largest lake, seven rivers and a rugged, densely forested mountain range make it very difficult to get from Arenal to Monteverde or the other way around. The trip by road entails a very bumpy 4 to 5 hour journey by car or an 8 hour journey by bus (with one transfer). The following options make it a lot easier to get from one place to the other:
Taxi-Boat-Taxi: this trip will give you the comfortable door to door taxi (mini van) transportation, with a scenic boat ride in between. On the boat ride you will have beautiful views over the volcano and the forested Tilaran Mountain range. You will also have the opportunity to see a wild range of animals on the lake shore.
Private Taxi-Boat-Taxi: this trip is exactly the same as the Taxi-Boat-Taxi but you will have the privilege of a private mini van and boat.
Horseback ride: this two and a half hour horse back ride will take you through lush rain forest, tropical jungle and farmlands.You will have views of the Arenal lake and the Arenal volcano. You might even spot some wildlife on the way, so keep your eyes open! This ride is suitable for all levels of riders, the ride is very safe, even in rain season. The last part of the trip is a 1 hour and 15 minute van drive, directly to your hotel.