Greetings experts! I keep going back and forth on how to split our time for our first ever trip to Costa Rica. We are two adults in 40s, no kids looking for nature, wildlife, hiking, and then beach time. Not as much into "adventure" activities like zipling or rafting. Basically we want to soak up as much of the flora and fauna this amazing country can offer. Looking to travel jan/feb 2014 for 12 nights. Planning on using shared/private shuttles for transportation.
Here are my initial thoughts:
Fly into SJO and spend 4 nights in Arenal at AOL. Enjoy hiking trails on the property, trip to a hot spring, Proyecto Asis, and day trip to Rio Celeste.
3 nights in Monteverde area hiking the reserves, maybe the Sky Tram, night hikes etc. Looking at Arco Iris Lodge.
Then 4-5 nights in Manuel Antonio. Looking at Tulemar if we can swing it financially, or La Posada, La Parador or San Bada. We specifically want relatively easy access to the beach, (walking or by shuttle), nature trails on site or nearby. Will plan on Rainmaker Reserve, Mangrove Tour and maybe a guided night or early morning bird tour for activities.
So my question: Should we just skip Arenal since we are not as into the adventure activities. We really want to see Rio Celeste. Is it possible to do this from Monteverde as an all day tour? Or just stay one night near Rio Celeste? Looking at all there is to do in MA, not sure if we want to spend more time there?
Any thoughts most welcome!