I am currently planning a trip to Costa Rica for 16 days and this if the itinerary I have come up with thus far. I am looking for feedback and opinions on whether a place I have chosen is redundant or not an easy location to visit.
1)Fly into San Jose and spend a day touring the city, then whether by ourselves or with a tour group, move northwest to the Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna
2) then onto the city of Monteverde and the central highlands of Costa Rica
4)then south down the Pacific cost to Montezuma and the Nicoya Peninsula Region of Costa Rica.
5) once in the tip of the Peninsula a ferry or boat ride back to the mainland and onto the city of Jaco.
6)One hour south of Jaco to Manual Antonio - Quepos
Then I have come upon an issue. The final destination we want to see in Costa Rica is the Caribbean Coast; Especially Puerto Viejo and Tortuguero. However, it is on the exact opposite side of the country from our second-last stop of Quepos. I google mapped it, and it's a 6 hour milk run all the way back through San Jose, through Limon, and then south to Pueto Viejo.
It would be such a shame to miss the Caribbean Coast but I don't know of an easy way to see it with this itinerary.
As well, I was told that when seeing the Arenal Volcano and in Monteverde it is wise to be with a tour group, does anyone have any reputable tour companies they can recommend? As well. what have you found to be the easiest way to get around since we will not be renting a car.
Thank you for any help you can give!