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Costa Rica choices for a senior couple

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My husband and I are strongly considering Costa Rica for vacation this year. We are seniors but we don't have any health issues that would prevent normal activity. My husband has chosen to continue to work although he really could retire so we will be going on vacation for only two weeks (so I can get him away from work for a while). We love nature, animals, etc. and have traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, so we aren't new to travel but believe in going prepared. So, here are a few questions that I'm hoping to find the answer to.

(1) While we usually prefer to vacation in late September/October due to fewer tourist and lower temperatures, I've read that CR has some very heavy rains in that time frame, so I'm trying to get input on whether we should try to schedule it earlier if we choose CR.

(2) We like to rent a car and drive rather than do a canned tour. So, is it normally considered safe in most areas to drive as lone internationals? We also know someone who lives near Liberia that we would like to meet for dinner if we get to that area so how are road conditions? I've heard they are somewhat difficult as they often need some maintenance.

(3) My husband is one who wants a 'schedule' even on vacation. So, I'm looking at the possibility of doing Panama with CR. Is that doable, or is there enough to do in CR (considering we don't do sports or very strenuous activity) or should we consider the second country too and if so, would that require driving or is there a mode of ground transportation between the two?

(4) I have always wanted to see the rain forest there. I recall many years ago seeing one in Puerto Rica and it was so very beautiful. In fact, I'm wondering if maybe a would be worthwhile to make the 'second country' one where the Amazon would be accessible.

(5) While we like to see beautiful beaches and the water, we are not sun bathers and we live in a coastal state, so that's not where we'd want to spend more than a day or two.

(6) We do like to take day tours once we arrive at our destination and we like to do unusual things (we had fun riding camels in the Sahara Desert last year). So, while an occasional museum may be tolerated, we aren't huge museum goers either. We like ethnic music and/or concerts.

(7) Is it better to fly into San Jose or Liberia from the East Coast US?

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks for your input.

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