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2 weeks in Costa Rica: Go North or South?

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Hi everyone,

My girlfriend and I will be in Costa Rica for two weeks in late May (flying into/out of San Jose). We want a trip that combines wildlife viewing, jungle adventure sports (canyoning, rafting, etc) and beach time (preferably with good snorkeling).

We're deciding between going Southeast or Northwest from San Jose. I would love your advice about these places or any others you think we should visit:

The Southeast option would include rafting the Rio Pacuare, Beaches along the Pacific Coast, perhaps a stop in Chirripo, and snorkeling/scuba at Isla de Cano, and then lots of jungle adventure around Corcovado, which seems like an amazing place for wildlife as well as adventure tours like canyoning. This sounds like a great tour to me but I'm concerned that it will be rainy in late May.

The Northwest option might give us a better chance for Sunshine (I read that Guanacaste is much drier). We would probably start in the Arenal area because our guidebook said these are great places for canyoning, zipline, bathing in hotsprings, and seeing lots of wildlife. Lake Arenal also looks very nice. We would continue to Ricon de la Vieja, and then probably go down through Monteverde (or maybe a cloud forest near Monteverde that is less touristy) and then head to the beach - either in Guanacaste or maybe down to Montezuma area which seems like a cool town and better for snorkeling.

Thanks again for your advice!
-Joe

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