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Itinerary Question - Playa Negra - Arenal (or Monteverde) - Selve Verde??

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I am STILL trying to fine tune this trip for my family of 6 (kids ages 7, 6, 4, 1).

This is for the end of April/early May - 2 weeks.

Budget for lodging is $1000/week.

We have mostly ruled out southern nicoya (which was my first choice) due to it still being too hot/dry AND because it is a little too remote for our family at this point. (This is our first international trip since our daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and we would prefer to be closer to some medical facilities.

We have also mostly ruled out MA because it just seems too crowded for our preferences and we couldn't find a house within our budget anyway.

We've already been to Dominical and so we wanted to try something new.

So, we found a house in Playa Negra - the house looks perfect for us - I am just still not sold on the area. BUT - my husband is - it is well within our budget - has a great pool for the kids - walkable to the beach - other beaches to explore - hoping for the chance to see turtles nest or hatch at Playa Grande or Ostional - apparently it has lots of wildlife at the house b/c it is along the river.

Due to flight issues and not wanting to backtrack all over the country with 4 kids, it looks like we may be able to do the following with a one way rental:

Fly into Liberia - drive to Playa Negra for 7 nights. Explore beaches, tidepools, relax, swim, Lola's, turtles?, Diria Natl Park day trip?, etc.

Drive then to either Arenal or Monteverde for 4-7 nights (We have been to Arenal pre-kids but have never been to Monteverde.) Since we'll be at the beach for a good chunk of time, I really want to pack in the wildlife experience on this week. So....possibilities are:

Arenal for 4 nights and then Selve Verde for last 3 nights (flight departs SJO at 1230 so we cant be too far away)

Monteverde for 4 nights and then Selve Verde for last 3 nights (is that too much driving from Playa Negra to MV and then MV to Selve Verde.....and will we regret just passing through Arenal on our drive and not stopping there?)

A Combination of MV and Arenal - 3 & 4 nights....where to stay the extra night? Skip Selve Verde...

Just stay in Arenal for 7 nights....and skip MV and Selve Verde - do a Sarapiqui day trip from Arenal....water boat cruise, Hanging Bridges, Proyecto Asis, La Fortuna Falls (I can't recall if this is doable with kids), possibly hot springs, etc.

Fly out of SJO

Any thoughts on this? Any hidden gems that I should know about? Houses or things to do?

We wanted a week beach and a week jungle....but I prefer more hands-on experiences for the kids with wildlife than just straight beach days.


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