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COSTA RICA 9 DAY ANNIVERSARY TRIP

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I am new to the forum, and seeking some friendly and experienced guidance. Volcanogirl, I am counting on YOU! I have read so many wonderful posts.

My husband and I will celebrate 10 years June 1. He has never flown or been out of the country, and my experience has been limited. We are dreaming of a Costa Rican vacation! We don't want a packaged trip - we really want to go as explorers. We would like to be able to rent a house in the Central Valley - OROSI. However, we want to be able to branch out from there. We don't want to rent a car because of the hefty security deposit and our unfamiliarity with the highways, etc.

I guess my question is - would it be reasonable to rely on the public bus system to get us from town to town or lodging to lodging, and skip around the country that way? Would we be better off to rent a house for a week, and then hire a driver in town or use the bus system to get to a few places within that vicinity? We are on a BUDGET, but we very much would like to visit BOTH coasts, see at least one volcano, rain forest, etc. We are open to new experiences, and want to sample the authenticity of Costa Rica without the pre packaging. Could we perhaps land in SJO, and take the bus from there for the next 7 days, around the country and to various lodgings?

I appreciate any help/advice.

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