Hi, Very much appreciate finding your site! We are traveling to Costa Rica in December and have the following itinerary: 4 days Arenal, 3 days Tortuguero, 2 days San Jose de Dota and 5 days Antonio Manuel. Does this make sense? I am concerned about the time and difficulty of traveling to each place (especially from Tortuguero to San gerardo de Dota). Any suggestions how to travel from Tortuguero to San Gerardo de Dota? We chose the latter because we wanted to go to a cloud forest and liked the idea of a smaller, less known place (compared to Monteverde). Thank you for your advice!
That is actually a really cool itinerary. Yes the drive between Tortuguero and San Gerardo will be the longest leg (probably about 4 or 4.5 hours if coming from La Pavona) but it is all paved until you get to San Gerardo itself. See our Road Conditions post for info on Route 32 to Route 2. Try to avoid San Jose at peak rush hour times, otherwise consider Route 32 to Route 10 (through Turrialba) to Route 2, which is a little longer but less traffic.
An alternative order for the itinerary could be to go to Tortuguero first, then La Fortuna, Manuel Antonio, then go to San Gerardo de Dota last (via San Isidro de El General). Essentially the same amount of driving but the long 4.5 hour drive will be between La Fortuna and Manuel Antonio instead. Either way you will see some great spots and it will be worth the drive. Have fun!
Thank you so much for your message! 🙂