We loved Costa Rica. The variety of Flora and fauna was amazing. It is a safe easy country to drive around independently. The Costa Ricans are very friendly and helpful.
Their communication was excellent. The punctuality of everything organised was incredible. Everything went very smoothly. The accommodation, tours they arranged were very good and matched what we had requested.
The drivers and guides were very good.
I wouldn't worry about a self drive. It was no more difficult than driving in Europe. Maybe spend only 2 nights in Fortuna as very touristy and perhaps avoid Manuel Antonia as very touristy as well, unless you love beaches. We liked the quieter ares better eg Tenorio. Would recommend Torteguero and Drake's Bay as well.
The birds! We loved Casitas Tenorio and visiting all the National Parks.