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Malpais Help!

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Hi everyone!

My boyfriend and I are traveling to Malpais at the end of Feb for 5 nights (Sat - Thurs). This is our first time in CR and looking to you guys for some advice/suggestions. We are in our late 20's. Would be so appreciative of any help!

-We fly in to San Jose (arrive 9am local time) - do you recommend we take flight to Tambor or rent a car and drive? Whichever we decide we would also do on our way back Thurs (flight later in evening).

-We are staying at Casa Chameleon for the last 2 nights. Any recommendations on a hotel that is more "central" for the first 3 nights? I hear CC is far.

-How do people get around at night? Is it dangerous to drive back from dinner/bar in dark?

-We probably will want to do 1 (maybe 2 day trips). Given the fact that this is our first time, any recommendations?

Thank you in advance!