You can always pull the car over
Like many adventurers, when we landed in San Jose our first plan was to get out of the city and into the country, which required a four or five hour taxi ride no matter which direction we chose. And when you leave the airport, you'll see the taxi drivers anticipate this. When you're going to be in the car this long, you obviously want to go with a friendly, helpful driver...not someone pushy or forceful, because you're going to know each other by the end. And many a Costa Rica frequenter calls that same cabbie up every time they land after forging a friendship. While our driver Rudy was informative and enthusiastic about his homeland, what we loved more than the recommendations was his willingness to pull over. Although the drive to Arenal is beautifully scenic, it's also curvy and bumpy, and we needed air every hour or two. This became the perfect opportunity to see our first landmarks, to stop at waterfalls and bridges over creeks rather than gas stations or restaurants, and why not? This route's a part of your trip, too and these are pieces of the whole gorgeous, exotic country. Don't hesitate to pull the car over, whether a taxi or a rental, to take in the air and the view and the sound of rushing water and to know you've arrived and that even more is on the way. You'll be ready to take this country on when you don't wait five hours to see and smell and feel it around you.