Hi Gela: I went for 10 days in November over the Thanksgiving holiday. It rained a lot (well, the entire country is just about rainforest), but it was very warm and so beautiful. Never seen so many rivers and waterfalls! I did not hit the Pacific side - went to Zarceras, Fortuna (a very cool town), Arenal Volcano, Tabacon Hot Springs, which was one the the most beautiful places I have ever seen! (north central part), then over to the Caribbean Coast, through Limon and down to Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo. I was lucky to have my own private tour guide, a friend that lives down there.
The food is good and it is cheap to travel there. I bought so many cool things (gifts and things for myself) and still brought home a bunch of money. The coffee cannot be beat. I loved the local beer, Imperial. And, I saw a lot of wildlife. Really, it was like Jungle Book!
I heard that Puntarenas is a place to avoid, but on the Nicoya Peninsula, Samara Beach is supposed to be beautiful and does not have the touristy feel, such as Jaco. So, I guess I would have to say (from talking with lots of people down there) to try to get to Nicoya Penisula.
Brush up on your Espanol. I found a lot of people do not speak English there, at least where I was. If you have any other questions, you can always e-mail me at LaurieMar@msn.com!
Hey, I heard you just recently went to Maui. Where did you stay?