While many may view Costa Rica as an adult adventure vacation destination, a Costa Rica family vacation should certainly be a consideration for families that want a bit more out of their summer vacation than time on the beach or the standard theme park visit.
While traveling with infants or very young toddlers might be a bit of a challenge, elementary aged children and older youth will love to explore the amazing varied terrain that makes up the regions of Costa Rica.
Great Family Activities
For families that enjoy exploring natural beauty, there are tons of activities from which to choose. Because the regions of Costa Rica are so different from one another, you’ll be able to accomplish a wide variety of activities all in one trip, making your Costa Rica family vacation a true multi-sport adventure.
For novice whitewater rafting or a less strenuous float trip, you may choose a ride down the Sarapiqui River. For a true Class IV experience for families that are experienced rafters, the Pacuare may be the river of choice. Whichever you choose, you’ll love exploring the waters of this incredible Central American country, guided by experienced leaders who are eager to teach you about the history and natural beauty of Costa Rica.
For hiking and wildlife viewing, the Manuel Antonio National Park can’t be beat. Here you can find 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds. As a matter of fact, a large portion of your Costa Rica family vacation could be spent in Manuel Antonio Park and you’d never be bored. You can rent bikes or enjoy guided mountain biking tours. If you prefer four wheels, you’ll find that visitors of all ages can take advantage of the great ATV tours available in and around the park. There’s also horseback riding, swimming, sportfishing, diving, and mangrove tours.
The beaches in Manuel Antonio National Park and many other Pacific Coast beaches are also ideal for surfers, with strong breaks and great waves beckoning to both novice and experienced surfers.
You’ll want to include a trip to the Monteverde Cloud Forest on your Costa Rica family vacation. Like a rainforest but at a higher altitude, the Monteverde reserve contains 6 distinct ecological zones and makes for a fascinating trip for all ages.
Here, the bravest families will definitely want to include a Canopy Tour as a part of their itinerary. You’ll travel from tree to tree, coasting along strong, safe cables that allow you to enjoy the birds, insects, and wildlife that live in the tree tops. At the end, you’ll zip back down to the forest floor for more great adventure. If leisure is what you’re searching for, choose the Northern Pacific Coast and enjoy the wonderful beaches there. You can swim, snorkel, dive, fish, or just enjoy some fun in the Costa Rica sun with the kids.
Where to Stay
The large majority of accommodations in Costa Rica are kid-friendly, so finding lodging for your Costa Rica family vacation shouldn’t be difficult.
Choose from the large hotels and resorts of the North Pacific region of Guanacaste or spectacular Tortuga, a little further south. Popular cities for beach lovers include Puntarenas and Tamarindo.
The southern portion of the Pacific Coast boasts some well-known jungle lodges for families that are in search of something a little different.
On the Caribbean coast, lodges tend to be smaller and a bit more rugged, just right for adventurers on a Costa Rica family vacation who don’t mind “roughing it” a bit.