After the year we’ve all had in 2020, it’s no surprise that people are now eagerly looking to reunite and travel with their friends and family.
Travel demand is surging as more people get vaccinated and restrictions ease. And what better way to celebrate the end of a pandemic than by a special trip with loved ones?
We spent 2020 indoors, and with restrictions dwindling, families across the world are searching for ways to travel and opt outside. With its mix of nature and culture, Costa Rica is an excellent choice for an unforgettable family reunion.
Costa Rica Covid-19 Considerations
First things first: While the coronavirus pandemic is winding down in the United States, that’s not the case in many countries, including Costa Rica, that haven’t had as much access to vaccines.
Costa Rica is encouraging tourism and has higher vaccination rates than any other Central American country, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends that anyone traveling abroad be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Visitors must meet Costa Rica’s Covid entry requirements, which include purchasing travel insurance and completing an online health form. And in Costa Rica, everyone is expected to wear a mask in public, indoor settings.
Make sure to follow official information from the Costa Rica Tourism Board, the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, and the Costa Rican government.
Choose What Airport to Fly into Costa Rica
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make when planning a big family reunion in Costa Rica is deciding on an arrival and departure airport.
Costa Rica has two international airports: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), which serves the capital of San José, and Liberia International Airport (LIR), which serves the northern zone, and Guanacaste province.
More airlines fly to San José from more destinations, so in general, it’s easier and cheaper to get a big group there. San José is also closest to Irazú and Poás Volcanoes, the Caribbean, and Pacific Coast destinations like Manuel Antonio National Park and the Osa Peninsula.
Flying to Liberia means you’ll land near some of the best beaches in Costa Rica — and not far from volcanoes, waterfalls, and other natural attractions and things to do. While there are typically fewer flight options to LIR, you can find nonstop routes from Minneapolis, Washington D.C., and Boston, as well as most major southern U.S. airports (e.g. Miami, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Atlanta).
Choose Where to go with Family in Costa Rica
From the rainforests to the mountains, to the hot springs, to the beaches, the reason so many people choose Costa Rica is due to the plethora of outdoor activities that are suitable for the whole family. And because of the country’s geography, it’s easy to experience several different ecosystems during your trip – or even in a single day!
Some of our most popular family vacation itineraries include time at Arenal Volcano, one of Costa Rica’s most picturesque destinations. Arenal is a spectacular stratovolcano that’s active but resting. Surrounded by lush rainforest and Costa Rica’s largest lake, the Arenal area is a hub for ecotourism in Costa Rica, which makes it perfect for a big group.
Another popular, well-developed family destination in Costa Rica is Manuel Antonio, a wildlife-rich national park that borders some of the country’s prettiest white-sand beaches. The tranquil, swimmable waters make Manuel Antonio perfect for kids.
For mountain-lovers, Monteverde has unique biodiversity that lives in its magical cloud forests. Hiking, ziplining, coffee tours, and birdwatching are just some of the activities that are fun for all ages.
Choose Family Activities & Tours in Costa Rica
There’s something universal about the magic of seeing a toucan in flight, or a thundering waterfall in the jungle. Kids and adults of any age will find joy in the outdoors in Costa Rica.
One of the best family activities in Costa Rica is ziplining, which was invented here in the 1970s. Most tour operators accept large groups, and typically anyone ages 5 and up can participate. Nothing brings a family together like a shared adventure and gliding through the rainforest canopy certainly qualifies.
Families that prefer to stay on terra firma will enjoy Costa Rica’s famous hanging bridges. Arenal and Monteverde are both famous for these structures that let you search for wildlife while suspended dozens of feet above the rainforest floor. Braver groups can choose a night hike, the best option for seeing snakes, frogs, and spiders.
Costa Rica is an agrarian country, and coffee and chocolate are some of the country’s key exports. Families can experience that firsthand with plantation tours that let you experience the whole process, with a treat – coffee for the adults, chocolate for the kids – at the end.
Speaking of food, Costa Rica can accommodate a wide array of dietary needs. From Costa Rica’s traditional dishes to the wide variety of fruits and vegetables, to high-quality international restaurants, even the pickiest eater will find a memorable new flavor.
And all this doesn’t even begin to cover some of Costa Rica’s other group experiences, like whitewater rafting, ATV or horseback riding, spectacular waterfalls, family-friendly beaches, and thermal hot springs.
Why Book with a Boutique Travel Agency
Planning a big family trip can be a difficult experience. Boutique travel agencies like Costa Rica Escapes can take the challenge and stress out of your trip and help you enjoy every moment.
Agencies that are certified by the Costa Rica Tourism Board will prepare an itinerary that is perfect for you and your family. While travel planning can seem challenging, companies like Costa Rica Escapes have 15 years of expertise and will ensure you have an unforgettable, authentic vacation.
For example, Costa Rica Escapes can arrange a private hanging bridges hike — meaning your family can explore the rainforest before trails open to the public.
Summary: Planning a Family Reunion in Costa Rica
As we begin planning for life post-Covid, many people are choosing Costa Rica as the ideal destination for a big family reunion. The abundance of ecotourism and wellness activities are just some of the reasons people visit Costa Rica, and they’re the foundation for a once-in-a-lifetime family reunion.
Whether you choose rainforest, the mountains, or the sea (or all three), Costa Rica is an ideal destination for you and your family to relax, recharge, and reconnect.
Contact us to see how we can plan the perfect reunion in Costa Rica for your family!
John Rabenau has been working in the eco-tourism & adventure travel industry in Costa Rica since 2002. He has worked in a variety of capacities from Outdoor Educator & Principle Guide to Itinerary Design Manager & Business Owner for numerous organizations. He has grown Costa Rica Escapes into one of the most reputable Costa Rica travel agencies since its creation in 2006, hosting more than 5,000 people with custom vacation itineraries.