I am planning a trip to CR at the end of Sept and beginning of Oct for about 9 days. I am a single 36 year old male and will be traveling with another single guy. I am a poor Spanish speaker but my friend lives in Miami and has minimal/moderate Spanish skills. I chose CR because I have recently begun surfing and would like to spend some (but not all) of my time surfing and improving my skills. I have booked a flight into San Jose and our initial plan is to rent a car, book a couple of nights of accommodations at the very beginning of the trip at some destination and then see where the rest of the trip takes us. I would like to have an idea of some of the options that exist. I am interested in anything that CR has to offer but most specifically I would like to surf, snorkel, and see some nature. I don't mind staying in a "touristy" location and would like to connect with other travelers in their later 20s-30s if possible. Wouldn't mind a couple of days of isolation but I don't want to spend the whole time in complete isolation with just my travel buddy. I am a beginner surfer but can easily catch the smaller waves we have here on the Atlantic on both a long board and recently a shorter 7 ft board, my friend is just learning and has some very basic skills which he wants to improve on. We are both professionals so the budget is flexible but can easily rough it if it leads to further adventure. I like the idea of keeping things open as I would be upset if I booked 3 days of surfing in advance then found out conditions were horrible those days and there was a big swell or better weather in the forecast immediately afterwards. From my understanding the early Oct time is a bit dodgy with the weather but considered the "low season" so I don't anticipate that we will have trouble finding accommodations on the fly.
Some specific questions: What TYPE of vehicle should we rent...is it essential to get a 4x4?
I have looked at the boards and TA website, I like the idea of a surf camp in or around Tamarindo to start the trip but is there something that would be a good stop-over on our drive from SJO?
Is there anything you would recommend is absolutely essential to do during my trip particularly considering the time of year we are traveling?
Are there any in-country resources that you would recommend for us to book a hotel for the next night or is just walking up and asking if a room is available preferable?
My friend is Jewish and needs to find a Shul for Yom Kippur which is Oct 3-4, any recommendations?
We are truly a blank canvas, help me draw some sketches so I can paint a beautiful vacation.
Thanks so much for your time