We were in Costa Rica in '97 (pre-kids) and drove everywhere and had a great time. This was before Costa Rica was THE place to go for Americans. Thus, the consideration for Panama.
We are looking for wildlife+beach+rating/adventure activities like surfing/ziplining. I've looked into Bocas del Toro, and this sounds intriguing. My concern about Costa Rica is that it has become too touristy, my concern about Panama is that it's questionable on safety , and there's not the infrastructure for traveling with kids there. It doesn't sound like driving around there is too safe? So we'd need to fly by plane?
If anyone has any thoughts on Costa Rica vs. Panama with kids that would be great. We tend to take our kids to off the beaten path places (for kids anyway-some of my kids faves were trips to the Samana Peninsula in the DR last spring break, and staying in a villa in Tuscany last summer). We would probably only plan to go to 2 places in either Costa Rica or Panama given that we're traveling with the kids.
Any ideas are greatly appreciated!