My husband and I are planning our second trip to Costa Rica...we just got back from a 2 week long stay in March and are planning on returning in January! If it wasn't for that pesky thing called work, we would be back tomorrow! :) Anyways, in March we spent time in Arenal and Dominical---splitting our time between both but also taking some "day trips" in both places. We loved, loved, LOVED both areas and really liked that we did a lot of active adventures in Arenal (hiking, zip lining, etc) and spent our time in Domincal area relaxing at the beach and pool.
As we start to plan trip #2 we would like to see different areas, but have the same type of experience-- i.e. being able to do active things and also relax at the beach. What areas should we hit for trip #2? Although we loved La Fortuna, the town itself was a bit touristy for us. In Domincal area we spent most of our time in Hatillo, as Playa Dominical was also much too toursity for us. I was looking into Tamrindo, but that seems WAAAAAAAAAY too touristy for us! Also looking into Caribbean coast, however when we were in Costa Rica in March several locals and ex-pats alike told us to avoid Caribbean side as they said you cannot drink the water there (is this true?) and crime and drugs are high in that area (not very high, but "noticeable".) I have not ruled Caribbean side out, but also don't know much about it. Any suggestions on stops for our next trip would be much appreciated!