We will be driving to La Fortuna from Samara for a quick visit. We plan to arrive in Arenal area around noon and will have that afternoon and the next day to explore. We are staying at the Royal Corin. We were thinking about going right to AOL prior to checking in to our hotel. Thought it might save some time. Would this save driving time by avoiding going to hotel and heading back towards AOL? Is there a safe parking lot to have luggage in the car or should we go to hotel first? Thanks!
Yes driving right to the Arenal Observatory would save you time instead of backtracking from Royal Corin. They do have a gate that you must enter through and if you park right near the restaurant/reception it is pretty secure because there are lots of people around that area. But that lot is small and can often be full so they might have you park off on the side, which is less guarded. You’ll still be inside the gate and on the property but it would be a little more risky. Hope that this helps you decide.