We are a family of four, with a 14 and 15 year old, that like nature, hiking and adventure. We travel light and do not mind changing locations to explore new areas. We are looking forward to our trip to Costa Rica in April. Here is our planned itinerary. Please let me know if it looks realistic. All suggestions are welcome.
Friday - Arrive 920 pm SJO and stay at Hampton Inn near airport
Saturday - Pick up rental car and drive to Paos Volcano for hike and La Paz waterfall gardens - drive to Arenal area before dark and stay near La Fortuna for 2 nights - possibly at Hotel El Silencio del Campo
Sunday - DeSafio rappeling and rafting full day - relax at night - springs? (La Fortuna overnight)
Monday - La Fortuna Falls then travel by car to Monteverde (3 hours) - stay 2 nights in Monteverde
Tuesday - Monteverde Cloud Forest early tour then explore on own, Hummingbird and Sloth areas (Monteverde overnight)
Wednesday - Selvatura Park and canopy tour, lunch and then drive to Tenorio (3 1/2 - 4 hours) - possibly stay at LaCarolina Lodge (1 -2 nights)
Thursday - Go with guide to Rio Celeste - Stay again at LaCarolina Lodge or not?
Friday - Rincon de la Vieja - hike to Blue Lake and Cangrejo Falls and possibly Las Pailas trail - drive and stay in Playa Flamingo for 2 nights
Saturday - relax on beach and possibly 2 pm sailboat for 4 hr trip (sunset)
Sunday - relax at beach and then drive late afternoon to Hilton Garden Inn Hotel near Liberia (drop off rental car)
Monday - very early flight home from Liberia
I welcome any thoughts on the following questions:
1. Best way to drive from Tenorio to Rincon de la Vieja? How long a drive?
2. Best way to fit Rincon de la Vieja in itinerary. Are we better to try and stay in Playa Flamingo for three days and visit Rincon de la Vieja from there rather than on the way between Tenorio and Playa Flamingo?
3. Suggestion for lodging for time at Monteverde (2 nights) based on planned activities.
4. Thought on early morning vs. night guided tour of Monteverde Cloud Forest
5. Car rental agency suggestions since renting car in SJO and dropping it at LIR - read lots on forum - have CDW through credit card and relaize need to have liability insurance
6. Thoughts on Hotel El Silencio del Campo location based on activities selected for La Fortuna area. Would Tree Houses Hotel Costa Rica, La Fortuna de San Carlos be a better option?
7. Would hanging bridges fit in at Monteverde or be too much ?
Thank you for any suggestions and guidance in advance.