My 20 year old daughter and I will be volunteering in San Jose in January. After we are done we plan on traveling for 4-5 nights. What parts of the country do you recommend. We could fly out of Liberia if you think most of our time should be spent in that area, like Monteverde and Tamarindo. We are not renting a car, but plan on a private driver or smaller shuttles. We aren’t too adventurous but would like to see wildlife in a jungle with some hanging bridges( we have zip lined before so not a top priority), maybe do a mild water rafting tour, see waterfalls, coffee plantation, and end at a beach in a decent hotel with air conditioning. I know you suggest La Fortuna and Manuel Antonio. If we do those, do you recommend staying in those towns? Jaco looks fun too. Also, we could try the small planes you mention to travel in between cities. I am assuming they are safe! Thanks!
That’s great that you will have some time to explore with your daughter. It sounds like La Fortuna would be perfect for you. It has hanging bridges, wildlife, waterfalls, jungle, rafting, etc. and is easy to get to from San Jose by shuttle. Yes you should probably stay in/near town if you won’t have a car. Tour companies (rafting, for example, will often pick you up). Check out our La Fortuna Hotel Guide for some ideas on where to stay. After 3 or so nights in La Fortuna you could make it to a beach in Guanacaste before flying out of LIR. Guanacaste has a lot nice beaches, you could check out our Map page to see the ones close to LIR (Tamarindo, Brasilito, Hermosa, etc) and read the articles associated with them. If Guanacaste doesn’t work out, Jaco is another good option like you mentioned and not too far from SJO (1.5 hours or so).