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Our first trip to CR

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My husband and I will be traveling to CR for the first time Mid November.
We love the country/nature and wildlife . I have been reading a few threads and it seems Monteverde and Arenal is a must . We expect to stay 6 nights , arriving around 9:30 pm on a Wed. And returning the following Tues . I'm thinking we should spend the first night in SJ . Then leave to our next destination the following morning . Where should we head first ? How much can we see and where should we go within our time frame ? Should we rent a car or have a driver ?
Should our first stop be Arenal and is Monteverde within the same route ?
Is there a midpoint where we can stay and go back and forth to these places or will I spend too much time traveling ?
Thanks in advance !
Liza

Read more: http://www.frommers.com/community/forum.cfm/central-south-america/costa-rica/first-trip-costa-rica-3/.0#ixzz25bl9GgdN

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