Side question- In January a few friends are planning to head out to Costa and rent a beach villa vacation rental. Which website did you find the best ones? Any tips.
I actually just went to google maps and drilled down to the area I am interested in and did a search for "rental" and "hotel". I found plenty and I could track them down to which was closest to the beach and distance to town etc.
I am looking at the Puerto Viejo area. They say it is more laid back and a lot cheaper than the Pacific side.