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First time to Costa Rica-- seeking help

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We are going on our first trip to Costa Rica in late July. I've been reading the CR posts here for a few days and am ready to ask some questions. We will fly into San Jose and want to head directly to the Arenal area. We have eight days and are considering staying in two different areas while we are there. We don't plan to rent a car. Questions:
1. How many days in Arenal?
2. If you chose another area to stay for a few days, where would it be?
3. Are ATMS plentiful, and if so, where are they? If not, what's the best strategy for changing money?
4. Do you need to drink bottled water all the time? Where do you get it? I drink a lot of water and know I will want even more in that humid climate.
5. How expensive are private drivers? What are alternatives that are safe, easy and reliable?

Thanks a million for any and all help!

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