Costa Rica is a unique place offering vacation opportunities in many different hotspots across the country to suit all ages and interests: the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, chilly mountain range, rainforests, cloud forests, hot beaches, calm lakes, exuberant rivers and the roaring ocean. Full of exotic animals and rainforests but also child-friendly, Costa Rica is the perfect natural playground for a family adventure.
Probably the only thing kids can not do in Costa Rica is to ski. Besides that, there are activities for kids of all ages and all levels of adventure spirits. Here are a few suggestions.
Eye spy a volcano. Costa Rica is home to 7 volcanoes, some of which are still active! One of the most visited volcanoes is the “sleeping” Arenal Volcano, known for its almost-perfect cone shape and eruption in 1978. It also gives life to the many surrounding hot springs as they rely on its geothermal heat.
Try hot springs. There are many hot spring resorts to choose from in the Arenal Volcano area and kids love exploring the different pools that many resorts offer. The super kid-friendly Los Lagos resort has 12 different pools and fun water slides!
Watch vertical rain in the cloud forest. In Monteverde, you will have the chance to see the unique cloud forest full of lush greenery, humungous leaves, interesting wildlife, and towering old-growth trees. This is the home to some of the best hanging bridges in the country. Children love these tours – they will never forget their cloud forest adventure high above the treetops!
See the wild life. If your kids don’t already have an interest in animals or the creepy crawlies that exist in the Costa Rican forests, they will after this trip! You can visit Serpentariums, Frog Ponds and other nature reserves that offer real life encounters with crocodiles, all types of snakes, cool frogs, beautiful butterflies, and even hummingbirds! Have you ever seen a glass frog? It is so transparent that you can actually see the organs inside of its body! Check out Arenal Natura, Eco-Center Danaus just to mention a couple.
Do a night walk in the Curi-Cancha reserve. To see some interesting creepy-crawlies in the forest at night, be sure to sign up for a nocturnal hike in the private Curi Cancha Reserve. Kids of all ages would love this! The hike runs everyday from 5.30 to 7.30 p.m. for 11,300 CRC (20 USD) per person. Curi Cancha Reserve is said to be the best place to see wildlife in Monteverde. Guides carrya huge telescope that will you to see small insects or illusive birds clearly!
Head out to the beach. If you are looking for a more beach-focused vacation, there are many beaches to choose from that are both beautiful and fun for families. Stick with some of the more popular beaches like Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio and Samara, as they will have more restaurant options, hotels and tours to choose from. All of these areas have resorts if you are looking for a more all-inclusive option. Or if you prefer to stay in town, there are many cute little hotels with swimming pools, surrounded by many restaurants and shopping options. For example, check out the Pequeno Gecko Verde Hotel in Samara for youngsters because of its cute private bungalows, swimming pool, and private beach.
Go on a zipline in Arenal National Park. Costa Rica is most famous for having some of the highest and coolest ziplines in the world. It’ll be a great opportunity to introduce some adventure to your kids’ life. Most kids from 6-12 would love ziplining; to ensure their safety, they can also go tandem with an instructor. Keep in mind that the minimum height for ziplining is 1.20 m!. The most popular and reputed park for ziplining in Anrela is Sky Adventures.
See sloths at the Diamante Sloth Sanctuary. If you’re heading to the Pacific coast, Diamante Eco Adventure Park is a great spot for families who want to see sloths up close and personal. It’s quite difficult to see sloths in the wild for kids as they’re usually high up in the trees. So if you still haven’t seen one towards the end of your trip, head there. The adventure park is home to the largest animal sanctuary in Costa Rica. Besides three beautiful sloths, there are also lots of toucans, butterflies and jaguars who have been rescued and rehabilitated here. Book your entrance tickets here!
Sunset sailing off Tamarindo. Book a sunset sailing trip to experience the bay on a catamaran –your kids would love hanging around the catamaran’s trampoline. The catamaran will also make a snorkeling stop at a tranquil bay. On the way, you might have the chance to see dolphins, turtles or even whales during the right time of the year. Sunsets at Tamarindo are world famous, so you won’t want to miss this!