My girlfriend (a serious birdnerd ) just hit me with a nice surprise I had mentioned to her this time last year about wanting to photograph a quetzal so we are headed to Costa Rica next month! She has us flying into San Jose and booked the first 5 nights at Paraiso Quetzal lodge then we have 3 days at Rancho Naturalista.

My question is should we rent a vehicle on our own or just pay the lodges to pick us up? We have traveled quite a bit but neither of us speak Spanish. Will we be able to find these places and how safe is it to travel around there on our own. Thanks for any advice.