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Where to spend and stay the first day in Costa Rica around San Jose?

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We have almost finished planning our 2 weeks vacation in Costa Rica. The last hotel left to book is around San Jose. We will be arriving to San Jose at 9:30am and have the wholle day to spend. Next day we will be picked up in the morning for the 2 days rafting tour and wil arrive to Arenal after the rafting.
I was reading that there is not much to do in San Jose so I was looking to stay somewhere around where we can see/do something and stay in the nice place.
I was thinking about Poas volcano but read that we would not see much in the afternoon there.
Look forward to any suggestions.
I was reading about Peace Lodge but it is pretty expensive. We will be staying in their Spring and Spa resort in Arenal and not sure if it is worth to spend this much for one nigh. Does anybody know if guests have to pay for an entrance to La Paz waterfalls and for the tours?

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