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Mal Pais or Montezuma Suggestions for family of 4?

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Hello fellow Costa Rica lovers! We are almost done planning our 12 Day itinerary (driving route) from San Jose to Arenal to the Nicoya Peninsula and are trying to decide whether we stay in Mal Pais or Montezuma. Any location suggestions for a family of 4 (kids ages 6 & 8)?We are wanting to do some hiking to waterfalls, several beach days, possibly zip line and a day of ocean fishing for my husband? We'd like to check out Tortuga Island as well if we can make it all happen. We will be in Costa Rica for a total of 12 days - 2 of which are full travel days so we plan to stay in/around San Jose the first and last night. We are debating whether we should stay in the hills w/a pool overlooking the ocean or in walking distance to the beach. Probably can't go wrong in such beautiful surroundings!
p.s. I'm familiar w/Arenal area and Tamarindo but haven't experienced the Southern Nicoya Peninsula.

Thanks

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