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Cost Rica planning

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We have finally started planning a trip to Costa Rica, and I am overwhelmed with the number of choices. I have a couple of guide books to get started, and I am having trouble narrowing things down.

We are active, independent travelers most interested in flora and fauna. Some guided activities are fine, but we also want some time hiking (day hikes) on our own. We typically stay in mid- to higher-end hotels/lodges. From the descriptions in the books, some of the parks have a lot of visitors. I am hoping to have some time in more isolated areas with fewer people. I think we will be going the first couple of weeks in May.

So far, the following places are at the top of our list:
1. Corcorvado park in Osa peninsula - Maybe stay at Bosque del Cabo lodge? Will we be able to do independent hikes in the park from there, or would guided tours be a better idea?
2. Manuel Antonio Park - How crowded will this be? Maybe Carara would be a better choice for us?
3. Monteverde - Where to stay?
4. Arenal

Is this too many destinations for two weeks? Any suggestions on how to get from one place to another would be great. We are open to renting a car, and I am comfortable driving on rough roads.


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