I am planning a 9-day trip to Costa Rica. I know that I want to spend a day or two in Monteverde. I had originally planned on going from there to Manuel Antonio, and then to Corcovado. I'm beginning to think, however, that it may be best to spend most of my time in one of the places, and really explore it a lot rather than just getting a glimpse.
To tell you a little bit about what I am interested in, I LOVE wildlife and nature. I also love beaches, and like the idea of being able to spend half the day in the jungle and another part of the day out at the beach. I would like to be able to swim in the ocean, at least a little bit. I would also like to see some wildlife and waterfalls, as well as go kayaking or rafting. I tend to enjoy hiking that is not totally flat, but changes elevation over time. I will be with a friend who has pretty similar preferences.
So for those of you who have been to Manuel Antonio and/or Corcovado, which do you prefer? What are the differences between the two areas?
Or, would you recommend some other place instead? I really want a combination of jungle and beaches (and I want to see some monkeys!), but with that in mind, I am completely open to other suggestions.