We (parents & 3 college age kids) just returned from a wonderful vacation in Costa Rica - what an amazing country! The people were friendly and the varied parts of the country were so different.
I appreciated all of the opinions that I read on Trip Advisor.
Vista Valverde B&B, San Ramon-amazing views
Waterfall Rappelling with Puretrek (LaFortuna)
Arenal Observatory Lodge - never saw the volcano due to cloudy conditions, great trails on property to hike especially Waterfall Trail, we thought that the dinner & breakfast were good
Playa Carrillo - the most beautiful beach: white sand, flat (not slanted) so great for walking/running, ocean not cold, good waves. Playa Carrillo is NOT touristy (and hopefully will stay that way), stayed 4 nights at VRBO 162116/HomeAway 268455 Casa Sevana & would highly recommend
Rios Tropicales: overnight trip, rafting (experience depends on water level - it was medium level for us), guides are safety conscious/professional/fun, hiked to several waterfalls with option to climb and jump off, trails, short zipline, good food, lodge with decks/open air kitchen and simple rooms.
**overnight trips allow only small backpack per person & leave your luggage/valuables in locked storage area.
San Jose: Casa 69 B&B - gem in the city
Vamos Rental Car: GOOD experience, paid for full coverage, cell phone, GPS (definitely need but not always correct). Rep picked up our car at our hotel in San Jose (for $7) and very professional - checking the car, finalizing the bill.
DRIVING: overall challenging, do not recommend driving at night, need GPS as there are no or limited road signs, we came upon a "random checkpoint" and required to produce the passport of the driver,
SHOES: we preferred running shoes (not water shoes) for activities, need good soles due to hiking on rocks, slippery and uneven paths during activities
MONEY: I brought small bills (American $) and most everyone took it or credit; I did get CR $ at the ATM but not until 1/2 way through trip
AIRLINES: Coming home, Spirit airlines decided not to have a plane in Ft Lauderdale for our connection, total chaos, arrived home 24 hours late...oh well, we all LOVED Costa Rica!!!.