I'm dragging kids on a 15 day trip through Costa Rica next summer. We'll start at the Poas Volcano Lodge the day of our arrival and then go to the Arenal/Montverde area for five or six days. We will need to be back near SJO for our last night.
So we've pretty much taken care of the Cloud Forest Volcano part of the trip, how can we add a bit of Jungle and Beach to the experience? I've checked into various remote "Jungle Lodges", bu getting to them is prohibitive in either time or money. Tortuguero is a bit out of the way (and will probably be very rainy in August). The Osa Pennisula sounds great, but it is quite far from San Jose, given that my wife and kids hate long drives and that flying 5 people down there from San Jose would be prohibitive (roughly 65% of what it is costing to fly from Washington D.C. to San Jose). Also, the lodging costs for staying in an all-inclusive Lodge when you have three kids runs at least $500 a day so that is out for any length of time.
I could go to Manuel Antonio for a small taste of the Jungle and the beach, I suppose, but it's not really going to have the remote "wild" feel that I'd like to have. Also, the beach there, while nice, reputedly has very dangerous rip tides.
Anybody have any ideas? Are there any affordable solutions that I am not aware of?
Or do I just want too much? (Actually, I know I want too much, but that's just who I am!)