My husband and I will be in CR for 2 weeks in the end of November, 2011. We are renting 4x4. We are interested in the bird / animals watching, hiking, local culture, quit beach time (NO extreme sports / ziplines / surfing/ golf). So far our itinerary looks like this:
1. Arriving in SJO ( 1 PM) and driving to La Fortuna on the same day.
2. La Fortuna / Arenal - 3 days/ 4 nights.
3. Monteverde / St. Elena - 2 days / 2 nights.
4. Nicoya Peninsula (Maplais / Santa Teresa) through Puntarenas - 4 days / 4 nights.
5. Manuel Antonio - 2 days / 2 nights.
6. For remaining 2 days / 2 nights we need to find place relatively close to the SJO (no more then 2 hours drive) from which we can see some coffee plantations (any suggestions?) and any other interesting places around San Jose.
Our immediate questions:
2. What's are the realistic driving time between our destinations.
3. Do you recommend booking guided tours in the parks in advance or better to book them there?
Any recommendations to our itinerary are appreciated.