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12 Day Itinerary in Costa Rica (family of 4)

Hello. I just booked tickets to fly into San Jose with my husband and 2 kids (ages 6 & 8) in April. My husband and I are familiar w/ Tamarindo, Arenal and Monteverde when we visited 10+ years ago. We are excited to take our children this time and would like to re-visit Arenal Volcano (for the kids) and are thinking of the Puntarenas Coastal area- maybe near Jaco or Montezuma and/or Mal Pais but it seems maybe too far from both San Jose and Arenal. Based on our flight arrival and departure times we plan to spend the first and last of our 12 day trip in San Jose because they are full day flights. So that will leave us with the remaining days for the other two areas and we have a rental SUV. We are looking for a combo of adventure, lush mountain and/or beach views w/safe beautiful beach areas for my young kids, hiking, waterfalls and national park reserve visit, etc. Neither my husband or I will be able to do snorkel tours and we don't surf so that isn't an issue. My husband does want to do one day or half day of deep sea sport fishing. I personally tend to like the more tropical beach cove-like settings versus huge beach areas but I'm flexible as long as the currents/tides aren't too harsh. The only definite would probably be to have our coastal lodging be not far to the beach, within walking distance or if not, have a great view of the ocean. I don't think we want to have a 20 plus minute drive to get to the beach if we are doing a lot of driving throughout the trip already. We aren't your gated resort type of people, like to meet locals, etc. and take in all the culture of the new surroundings as long as it's generally safe! The more I look, the more confused or undecided I get! Any advice is appreciated. - Amy

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