I am having some difficulty pulling the trigger on making my Costa Rica trip official by purchasing my airline tickets. Travel websites and most of the posts on here make CR seem absolutely amazing, but the more research I do the more weary I get of going to CR. Some websites and travel blogs have stated Costa Rica is incredibly expensive and travelers would be better off going to neighboring countries in Central America to get the same beauty and experience for a more reasonable cost. Is there any truth to this? I am also concerned about renting a car---am hearing that the roads are pretty bad to drive on (not well maintained, pot holes, etc) and also that police often target tourists in rental cars and corruption runs wild (i.e. give me all the money in your wallet and I won't arrest you for speeding---story on a blog, obviously I cannot verify its accuracy!). While I TOTALLY understand that going to any country is not going to be "perfect", I am trying to cover all my bases while planning an ideal trip.
Costa Rica looks absolutely gorgeous and I imagine it is spectacular, but I am starting to lean towards visiting other Central American countries. Any thoughts from people who have actually been there or from locals? Who knows how many of these blog writers have factual information. :)