So I've been researching CR and trying to figure out how to get the most out of the 2 weeks we're there. We land in San Jose. I was considering the Carribbean side for part because supposedly it will be less rainy during the "rainy season". Some people recommend Tortuguero, some recommend further south like Puerto Viejo. I also did read about a Carnival-like festival in the region of Limon. Not sure if it would be worth heading that way. We could be there around Oct 15th?
We were originally planning on just renting a car and winging it because it is the off season and there should be plenty of availability. However, my poor spanish, the roads, the possible loads of rain have made me worry about not having a set itinerary. Also a friend thought that not booking ahead may subject us to hotel "rack rates"- highest rates and high rental car rates (especially without local language).
We want to stay at some small more quaint places to get a feel for the local culture (although I do really prefer warm showers) and some nicer places, but a good mix. Of course we're on a budget and want to get the best value possible.
So my big questions are:
What should we book ahead of time? I do not want to be on a group tour.
How easy is it to wing it, i.e. having an idea of where you want to go, renting a car and looking for places to eat and stay while on your way with a guidebook?
Given 2 weeks in the end of October what are the most recommended places to spend the time?