I've finally decided on my itinerary, sort of. I've decided to do CR on my own using shared shuttles. I will be spending three nights in Parapiqui and three nights in Lafortuna/Arenal area.
Things I would really like to do are horseback riding, one or two of the education type tours, see lots of hummingbirds and butterflies and monkeys in the wild. And I'm thinking about trying ziplining or white water rafting, although those are things that can be done in the US. I would really like to see CR and feel the nature of it.
As far as hotels, I would like a small place with individual cabins, near a bus stop or a short taxi into a town with some restaurants, et cetera. Cera Azul type, or maybe with just a couple more amenities.
Also, would it be worth two nights in MA just to see the almost guaranteed monkeys in the wild that I've read about? And horseback riding on the beach? Otherwise, not a beach person in anyway.