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Costa Rica or Nicaragua?

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I am trying to plan a summer trip (Green Season) for my husband and I next year and have been considering Costa Rica and Nicaragua. I'd like to do a 10 day trip and stay within a budget of $4.5k, not including airfare but still get to see the beauty of Central America. At first, I was really leaning towards Costa Rica, but it appears that I might be able to enjoy many of the same things in Nica at substantially less cost....and with the benefit of seeing the beauty of Granada (I am a History major). We would definitely want to see the following, regardless of the country:

- cloud forest
- volcano area
- beach
- wildlife (i.e., birds, monkeys)
- hot springs/waterfalls

We have done rafting, kayaking, and zip-lining before so that is not a must-do for us. We are both certified scuba divers so that is definitely a possibility.

Also, while I don't want to skimp on budget hotels, I also don't want my entire budget to be eaten by hotel costs either. Also, I'm anticipating that it is perfectly fine to self-drive in both countries?

Thanks in advance for your advice and suggestions!

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