First of all, I want to thank all of you who take the time to write reviews and answer questions in these forums. This is my first time traveling to Costa Rica and my first time traveling outside of the US where I am actually doing the planning and I can not tell you how helpful your reviews and answers have been thus far in the planning.
We are planning a trip to Costa Rica in early October. I know that some people will say not the best time, but everything I read said it was a great time to see Arenal Volcano and the dry season in Tortuguero and Puerto Viejo. So, we are hoping for the best.
Everything I can find about getting to Tortuguero has a route from SJO, however, we are planning to do Arenal first, then Tortuguero. Google Maps shows a route from Arenal to Tortuguero, going mostly on Route 4, I wondered if anyone had experience with that route, I know some of the roads in Costa Rica can be rough. Is Route 4 a viable option to get to Tortugeuro? Google maps estimates it would take 2.5 hours, but I have been reading that the roads in Costa Rica are different and can take a lot longer. I am concerned about missing the bus from Guapiles to Tortuguero.
Also, I am a bit apprehensive about the parking and traveling to Tortuguero via bus and boat. Is it safe? Is it safe to leave our rental car in one of those parking lots? I know the buses only leave a few times a day, how much time should we give ourselves from when we arrive in Guapiles until the bus leaves?
Thank you in advance.