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San Jose to Arenal, Rent a Car or Take a Shuttle?

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My boyfriend and I are just finishing up our plans for a 10 days trip to CR. Flying into San Jose, then right off to Arenal, Ocotal, Samara, and back to San Jose and flying out the next morning.

Our flight gets in at 12:30 pm in San Jose, and we aren't sure if we should rent a car at the airport for the whole trip, or take the late shuttle to Arenal(and rent a car for the beach only).

Will we be able to make the last shuttle? Will we save time if we rent a car?

Please share any thoughts or experiences! Thanks so much.

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