Hi There! Your site has been absolutely invaluable as my partner and I plan our trip to Costa Rica in the fall– thank you! We’re flying into Liberia the last week of Sept and first week of Oct, which I know is the height of the rainy season. We’re thinking we’ll visit the Guanacaste region, La Fortuna, and hopefully something on the Caribbean coast (suggestions?) Do you think it’s smarter to avoid Manuel Antonio at this season, or should we trek down? As far as getting from La Fortuna to the Caribbean coast, do you recommend renting a car, or some other method? And finally, we’re wildlife/nature lovers– do you recommend getting a guide to lead us through various natural areas, or is it not worth it? (Are tours typically group or single affairs?). I hate to think we’re missing stuff, but since we only have 2 weeks, we want to make the most of it. Many thanks!
You should definitely focus some time on the Caribbean coast as it is actually one of the driest times there (see our Weather Post for more info). Puerto Viejo is a great town and Cahuita is nice too (smaller). There is also Tortuguero, which has a lot of wildlife. If you can find time to visit Manuel Antonio (Pacific coast), it’s really nice also but you might already have enough for two weeks. As for getting to the Caribbean, yes renting a car or taking a private or shared shuttle are the most popular options. Lastly, we would recommend guides for certain things/parks. They can really point out a lot more than you would see on your own. But doing tons of guided tours can be repetitive so it’s nice to do a mix and go out on your own too. If you use a guide early on, you might pick up some tips for spotting things later in the trip too.