1) More things available to do on your own that it may sound. I even went to Braulio National Park and hiked from the entrance at Barva Volcano. Went with a friend who had a car. The hardest thing was to find the roads to get there, not marked at all. Met only 2 couples of Ticos, no tourists at all, very magic.
I also went to Volcan Poas, under clouds and very touristic. Went to Volcan Irazu with a tour because i did not have a car. Irazu was CLEAR and spectacular. Tour took us to a few other areas, most notable the Orosi Valley and Cochi Reservoir.