After learning I cannot drive a rental car between Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama - I have to choose one country to spend two weeks in. I'd rather drive myself around the country since it gives me more freedom and I end up seeing things that I wouldn't normally see. Given this, I'm looking for suggestions of which of the three to choose - and why. I understand posting this in the respective county's forum might lead to biased responses, but I'm hoping for people who have been to all the countries. Or just to hear something that stands out.
I'm looking to stay away from fancy resorts and just see some small towns, beaches, mountains, forest, etc... via driving, hiking, or just sitting around on a beach for a few days. I don't like the idea of somewhere flooded with tourists which is why I'm somewhat turned off of Costa Rica. But I could be way off on this.
Help me out....thanks!