Monteverde to Arenal volcano

No trip to Costa Rica would be complete without a visit to the Arenal Volcano.


The volcano has been active since 1968 and you can, in fact, still see molten lava flowing down its sides and bursting from its top nearly every day! Its iconic cone and fiery lava make it a photographer’s dream, as jaw-dropping images can be captured from every angle and during any time of the day. Activity abounds in the area surrounding the volcano, ensuring that a trip here will never be boring. What’s more, the volcano’s base is stippled with a handful of thermal hot springs, providing visitors with a sensuous way to relax.

You can rent a 4x4 car and make the drive from Monteverde to Arenal yourself (cars without 4-wheel drive are not recommended for the bumpy, pothole-filled roads). However, considering both the cost of driving and the difficulty of navigating Costa Rica’s signless roads, we recommend using a combination of shuttle buses, taxis, boats or tours to get to Arenal.

By Road

Car: It’s 85 miles (136 km) between Monteverde and La Fortuna. Due to the mountainous terrain, there is no direct route. The road from Monteverde to La Fortuna detours by Tilarán and then continues on to La Fortuna. The initial segment of the drive – from Monteverde to Tilarán – is along a road that is in poor condition. This portion of the road is not paved and is quite uneven. The final part of the drive – from Tilarán to La Fortuna – is along a nicely paved road. Still, a 4x4 is recommended, especially during the rainy season when the road gets washed out with water. With a 4x4 car, it takes about 3 hours to make the trip. In a non-4x4, it will take around four hours. It is, however, not possible to make the trip in a car without four-wheel drive during the peak of the rainy season – in October and November – because the road is typically in such bad condition.

A taxi ride from Monteverde to La Fortuna for four people costs around $130. If you choose to take a taxi, make sure that it has four-wheel drive.

Public Bus: The public bus is another way that you can get between these destinations. However, it does take upwards of nine hours to do so.

From Monteverde to La Fortuna: Take the 7:00 AM bus to Tilarán. From Tilarán, take the 12:30 PM bus to La Fortuna. This will get you to La Fortuna at 3:00 PM.

From La Fortuna to Monteverde: Take the 8:30 AM bus to Tilarán. From Tilarán, take the 12:30 PM bus to Monteverde. This will get you to Monteverde around 3:00 PM.

By Taxi / boat / taxi

This mode of transportation involves taking two taxi rides and one boat trip across Lake Arenal. This is a quick and scenic three-hour trip that can go either way between the destinations. The first leg of the journey – from Monteverde to Lake Arenal – is a 1.5-hour drive. You then board a comfortably equipped boat and cross the lake in 40 minutes. Finally, you will be taxied to La Fortuna, which takes about 30 minutes. More information here.

We can also arrange for a special later departure.

Taxi-Boat-Taxi Monteverde to Arenal Times and Booking

Description Start Time and Duration Booking
Taxi-Boat-Taxi Monteverde to Arenal
08:00 AM - 03:30/hrs
02:00 PM - 03:30/hrs
Rates & Booking
Toll Free 1-888-456-3212 or email us
Costa Rica Vacation Planning

By Taxi, Horseback, Boat, and Taxi

The name says it all. This trip includes two taxis, a horseback ride and boat trip.

Travel between the destinations on horseback is exciting and allows for fantastic views of the surrounding area. This trip leaves at 8:00 AM. Generally it is done in a small group (2 to 6 people) with the company of an experienced guide. No experience is necessary. More Horseback to Arenal info

To get more information or to make a reservation, please write to info@monteverdeinfo.com or call 2479-8811.

Monteverde to Arenal Horseback Tour - Lake Route Times and Booking

Description Start Time and Duration Booking
Monteverde to Arenal Horseback Tour - Lake Route
08:00 AM - 05:15/hrs
Rates & Booking
Toll Free 1-888-456-3212 or email us
Costa Rica Vacation Planning

Monteverde to Arenal - Alternative travel routes

Other links of interest

Monteverde info | Activities | Monteverde Reserve | Santa Elena Reserve | Monteverde Hotels | Maps, facts, links, satellite views | Arenal Volcano | Costa Rica Horseback Riding | Rafting | Sky Trek canopy tour | Message board | Photo gallery | Arenal Volcano Tours | Feed-back

San Jose: Hotel Santo Tomas | San Jose Airport Hotel | Manuel Antonio Hotel

transportation to/from Arenal Volcano
Transportation to and from Arenal Volcano