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Last Minute Week in Costa Rica....

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My husband and I have a rare opportunity to leave town together (cold----Anchorage, AK) and warm up for a week in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, I am stumped on planning our itinerary, because I saw a Groupon Deal with Desafio Tour in Arenal, thinking that it would make my travel plans easier, but I assumed wrong. After reading the blogs on Costa Rica it turns out it is recommended to find your ideal lodging and then book your tours once you get there...I did it backwards. Fortunately the tours can be pushed into 2 days which leaves us open to explore, but the last minute timing has made finding accommodations with consecutive days available at the beginning of our trip challenging.

My husband and I have been to Costa Rica before for a fishing trip in Puerto Jimenez (Pacific Side Southern Tip) and loved it. Since then my husband has gone back twice for fishing trips [back to Crocodile Bay once and to Parismina the other (Northern Caribbean side)]. On his last trip he went to Tabacon Hot Springs as a day trip from San Jose while he was waiting for his flight home. He made it sound so magical that we have been talking about going together to Tabacon Springs ever since. Now that the opportunity is here I am very torn because I have research various destinations to the point of paralysis and do not know what to include on my itinerary. Our schedule based on my Groupon purchase is listed below. I have narrowed down my wish list, but I am not sure how to incorporate one or all of them into my itinerary mainly because of limitations of booking last minute accommodations, travel time long between destinations and my lack of knowledge of the Caribbean Coast.

WISH LIST: (1) surprise my husband with a day fishing trip (preferably in the southern Caribbean so I can include wish #2); (2) visiting the Southern Caribbean Coast near the border of Panama (around Manzanillo and Cahuita) where I read the beaches and wildlife is amazing; if (1) and (2) are not doable then try (3) Barra Honda Caves (understand this may not be doable due to it being the end of the rainy season); (4) Northern Pacific Beaches; (5) Stay at the Tree House Lodge outside of Arenal. ****Please make suggestions if there is something that is better or comparable to my wishes...(ie) one response mentioned something about the Cano Negro Tour is a must. or La Playa Ocotal is a must see.

ITENERRAY:
Nov. 25 - Arrive in San Jose 11:10AM
Nov. 25 - Reservations at B&B near Airport (...because all the destinations I checked tfor the 25th are booked up)
Nov. 25 - PM Unknown (looking for activity suggestions for this day we have already experienced the city of San Jose several times)
Nov. 26 - AM & PM Unknown
Nov. 27 - AM & PM Unknown
Nov. 28 - AM & PM Unknown
Nov. 29 - AM Unknown
Nov 29 - PM Check into Arenal Volcano Lodge
Nov. 30 - AM Lost Canyon Canyoneering Tour
Nov. 30 - PM Tram & Sky Trek Tour
Dec. 1 - AM Rafting Rio Toro
Dec. 1 - PM Los Lagos Hot Springs & Dinner
Dec. 2 - Checkout Arenal Volcano Lodge
Dec. 2 - AM Unknown
Dec. 2 - 6:55PM Flight leaving San Jose

Last 2 Questions:
(1) Should we rent a car even though we already have transportation arranged to and from Airport? I saw were we could arranged a car rental to be delivered to the Tree House Lodge outside of Arenal so we could avoid driving to and from San Jose...
(2) There are a lot of comments about how long it takes to drive to and from destinations, we flow NatureAir to Puerto Jimenez from San Jose and it was a relatively easy flight and based on the prices they seem fairly reasonable considering the time savings compared to taking a bus/shuttle service. Would you recommend flying to the Caribbean side to save time and make fulfilling my wish list more feasible.

Thank you so much in advance for any help or suggestions you may have!!!!

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