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First Trip to Costa Rica-Need Itinerary Help!

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I've been an avid reader of for a long time and am turning to it first now as my wife and I just decided to plan a 9 day trip to Costa Rica in early February. We'd like to see (i) Manuel Antonio, (ii) the Cloud Forest, and (ii) Arenal Volcano & surrounding park. My plan is to fly into San Jose and do a loop, first to a hotel/resort near Arenal, then one near the Cloud Forest, then one near Manuel Antonio and then back to San Jose. We'd probably hire a private driver to take us between each hotel (many seem to be recommended on this forum)

I was hoping someone could provide some insight as to how many nights they think we should stay in each area and any hotels/resorts they like. Right now, I was thinking of doing 3 nights in each (but I assume that is probably not right). In terms of our travel tastes, we are in our early 30's and would like to have a more adventurous trip (although I fully plan to do a lot of relaxing at Manuel Antonio) and we would like to only stay in 4 or 5 star hotels/resorts.

Thanks in advance. The advice I get on these Fodor's boards is always so helpful and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.



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