Planning the Ultimate Costa Rica Family Adventure Vacation (with Kids) in 2023

As a parent, you probably worry about your kids’ health, education, and entertainment. Well, there is no better way to give your kids all of that at once than to come to Costa Rica on a family adventure vacation.

  • A family adventure in Costa Rica will be healthy because it will allow your family to participate in healthy activities and eat great food.
  • The trip will be educational because you will have close encounters with so much wildlife you will talk about it for days and days.
  • The trip will be entertaining because you and the family can do all those activities and close encounters in enjoyable and safe settings.
  • A family adventure in Costa Rica is fun for all ages. You and the family can take time away from the phones, computers, and tablets and explore together.

Any adventure vacation with kids can only bring good to a family, but an adventurous family vacation in Costa Rica will be unforgettable.

What Would Make a Vacation with Kids an Adventure?

An adventure means having an exciting and unusual experience. Therefore, you need to add elements of surprise, unknown, and thrills to your trip!

River Rafting Adventures that Bring all the Thrills

Imagine taking your kids on a multi-day whitewater rafting trip where not only will they experience level 3 and 4 rapids (out of 5!), but they will sleep overnight under the most beautiful star-filled sky. Do not worry; this adventure is about safety and comfort so you (as a parent) can sleep like a baby, as you’ll be in great hands with tour guides.

An overnight rafting trip on the Pacuare river is considered by many to be the most incredible adventure available in Costa Rica. Imagine paddling down the river through a lush jungle while experiencing one of the most revered rivers in the world. It’s nothing short of spectacular!

Experiencing Incredible Biodiversity

Next, imagine visiting a remote corner of Costa Rica and hiking the most biodiverse place on earth, Corcovado National Park. This renowned national park is located in the south Pacific of Costa Rica, in the outer part of the Osa Península. To access the heart of the park, you can either hike more than 20 km (13 miles) or take a long-hour boat ride from Drake Bay or Puerto Jiménez. Of course, since you are coming with kids, we recommend you take the boat!

All the hikes inside Corcovado National Park are relatively easy to walk, with minimal elevation change starting at sea level. As you hike the trails, you will most like run into several species of monkeys, a herd of peccaries, inattentive anteaters, and, more common than one would imagine, tapirs and cats like pumas and jaguars.

Our Remote Costa Rica Adventure Itinerary includes both of these adventures (Pacuare River overnight rafting + Corcovado National Park hiking), especially for families with older kids. But an adventure doesn’t need to feel dangerous, as long as you incorporate an element of surprise into your trip!

A Variety of Family Adventure Activities for Your Vacation

If your family has younger kids, you probably want to feel you’re in a controlled environment. Still, if you are reading this article, you also want to see a lot of the crazy variety of landscapes and wildlife that make up Costa Rica. There are so many surprising activities you can do with your kids in Costa Rica, like seeing an active volcano, being able to feed wild birds, surfing in the Pacific Ocean, or enjoying the sunset from a Catamaran.

Please take a look at our Costa Rica Rainforest Family Escape Itinerary, where we considered all of these activities as we designed an adventure with little kids in mind, as well as the tired parents that want to have a few extra days to relax by the beach.

Costa Rica’s biodiversity, landscape, and people’s way of living can change in just a few kilometers. This is good news for those families that want to spend most of their time adventuring and not moving from one region to another.

Some iconic parts of the country, like the towns and natural areas surrounding Arenal Volcano or the southern Caribbean Coast, can offer your family an incredible array of adventures without traveling far. Check out our Costa Rica Rainforest-to-Beach Family Vacation Itinerary. We can line up for hanging bridge tours, guided hikes around a volcano, wildlife safari river floats, canyoning and white water rafting, surf lesson, hiking, snorkeling, catamaran, and more with short distances between lodging.

“Big Group” Family Adventure Vacations

Now, if your adventure involves a big group of people with kids of all ages, you probably need to think this through. The big kids will want the adrenaline and thrills, and the small kids need to be surprised but feel safe. Here we recommend that your kids be able to see the forest from above and the underwater world from below. Combining hanging bridges and canopy tours with snorkeling and sailing is the answer to creating the unforgettable adventure you want. We have created this trip for you with our Costa Rica Collection Family Itinerary, our most popular itinerary!

Time on Foot

Make sure to include several hikes (long or short) in your adventure through Costa Rica. Walking a national park trail, the sidewalks of a town, long sandy beaches, or the open fields and gardens where you are lodging will give you the time and opportunities to discover the unknown. For example, you might run into a crazy-colored spider working on its web between bushes or a noisy monkey hanging from a branch. You may find a charming fruit stand with a friendly Costa Rican ready to introduce you to tropical fruits or even a funny-looking gardener that can point out a hummingbird nest with little chicks waiting for food.

Is Costa Rica Safe for Families?

Yes, Costa Rica is safe to travel with families, but you must proceed with essential caution like any vacation.

For example, when you are away from the hotel, ensure you put your passports, extra money, and electronics in the lock. If the hotel or Air BNB doesn’t have one, ask.

Another example is ensuring you keep everything valuable in your car and on the beach. Even if you are close to your vehicle and you step away for a bit, either have someone by the car, lock it or take your valuables with you.

Is the ocean safe?

If the kids are out playing in the ocean, there is generally no lifeguards at the beaches, so please keep an eye out for them if they are not strong swimmers. Some hotels will have boogie boards to rent or borrow, but please ensure that the kids are comfortable in the ocean. Also, be mindful of some jellyfish that may be lingering around. It is the ocean, as you know.

Is the water safe to drink?

Yes, it is. Our families and friends drink tap water all the time. However, you may want bottled water if you have a sensitive stomach. If you are in a remote area, ask the locals if tap water is good to drink.

These are some of the basics of being safe in Costa Rica.

What Makes Adventure Travel with Kids Memorable?

No matter how your adventure in Costa Rica with your kids ends, remember that the best experience you can give them is learning something new that will make them better people. So make sure to explore a lot with them and point out those natural wonders that can spike interesting conversations about not only the natural world but also your life as a family and your community back home.

Take advantage of your encounters with Costa Ricans, especially if you take guided tours like white water rafting, floating, canopy tours, or sailing tours. Ticos are amicable people and will be happy to answer your questions.

Plan a Trip to Costa Rica

Are you ready to experience Pura Vida!?

Contact us today to discuss our itineraries or create your own custom itinerary. No family adventure trip is too big!

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