Costa Rica Family Vacations

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Are you ready for a family trip to Costa Rica that you’ll never forget? We specifically design our Costa Rica family vacations for families with kids, toddlers, babies…and adults! We keep each member of the family in mind. From the grandchildren to the adventurous uncle, all members of your group will be able to experience plenty of wonderful activities and tours that will engage the children while keeping even the most well-traveled adults entertained.

A highly experienced and personable travel agent will plan your trip and ensure that your vacation is safe, versatile, and fun. You will have the experience of a lifetime! See for yourself what a Costa Rica Escapes family vacation is like.

Here’s what our travelers think about their trip:

Infinite thanks to Costa Rica Escapes for planning the best trip we could have ever imagined. It was the trip of a lifetime! If we could leave tonight and do it all over again, we would in a heartbeat.” – Rebecca

Read more reviews from our travelers on TripAdvisor (and here), Google, and Facebook.

Our proven family vacation itineraries are unique. They are designed with various activity choices to fit a variety of travel styles, from the adventurous and active family with teenagers to the laid-back family that wants to observe nature in a relaxed environment.

We tailor the accommodation choices for your group’s specific needs based on the age of your children and the amount of space that you require. All of our accommodations are boutique properties offering a plethora of things to do in a comfortable and safe environment for everyone.

Our Costa Rica Family Itineraries

Costa Rica Escapes has designed the following vacations for families of all different sizes and ages, and they include efficient travel routes. Each trip offers various levels of adventure and education-based excursions.

When we help you plan one of our family trips to Costa Rica, you will have various options and customizable elements that allow you to make sure the experience is exactly what the entire group will enjoy and appreciate during your special time together in this magnificent country. You will be amazed as to what your family will experience and learn in just a short time traveling in Costa Rica!

Review our family trips below, or customize your own experience.

Remote Costa Rica Family Adventure Vacation

Remote Costa Rica Adventure

Turrialba -> Pacuare River -> Drake Bay

This trip visits a couple of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets and is excellent for adventurous families with teenage children. It encompasses an incredible variety of natural rainforest environments, and the adventures on this trip are uniquely unforgettable. From white-water rafting on the Pacuare River and sleeping deep in a rainforest jungle lodge to exploring the “Amazon” of the Costa Rican rainforest in the Osa Peninsula, families are sure to see (and experience) a great deal of what Costa Rica offers.


Costa Rica Collection

Costa Rica Collection

Monteverde -> Arenal -> Pacific Coast (Manuel Antonio or Playa Hermosa)

This the most popular out of all of our Costa Rica family itineraries. It’s a great introductory trip to Costa Rica and will keep families of all ages/travel experience entertained and engaged. You will visit the cloud forest, rainforest, jungle, and beaches! You will also see volcanoes, experience the mountains and soak in natural geothermal hot springs before relaxing on the beach as monkeys swing in the vines and snack on mangoes overhead. Pura Vida!


Costa Rica Rainforest-to-Beach

Rainforest-to-Beach

Arenal -> Pacific Coast (Manuel Antonio, Playa Hermosa or Samara)

This trip is great for families that want to see both the mountainous rainforest and the beach without the extensive travel time. There is some extra time at the beach built in for those who seek it at the end of their travels. In this trip, you will visit the beautiful area of Arenal to see the amazing volcano before heading west to the Pacific Coast for some rest and relaxation on the beach. This family itinerary allows for both light and high adventure activities. There is always a great deal of wildlife seen on this trip and the final beach location is up to you to choose.


Costa Rica Rainforest Escape

Rainforest Escape

Central Highlands -> Arenal -> Manuel Antonio, Playa Hermosa or Samara

This trip works extremely well for families with younger children. It’s also great for families with students who are interested in learning more about the natural sciences and biology of the rainforest. There are some wonderful light adventures included on this trip. You’ll have the opportunity to explore various national parks with knowledgeable naturalists and local guides. Choose from various different beach locations and try your hand at surfing or deep-sea fishing!

 

 

Common Questions from Parents Traveling with Kids to Costa Rica

  • Is Costa Rica a safe place for families to vacation? – Yes, Costa Rica is very safe for families with children of any age. This is one of the main reasons why it continues to grow in popularity among parents and grandparents as a top worldly destination for family vacations. Healthcare facilities, private clinics, and hospitals with bilingual staff are plentiful and well-developed throughout the country. There is very little violent crime in Costa Rica, and the country of Costa Rica does not have a military. Outfitters and adventure suppliers are well educated and properly equipped. Regulations for tourism and adventure sports are developing each day, but it is very important to use appropriate resources to assist you to connect you with the most capable providers.
  • Is it safe to drive with my family in Costa Rica? Yes, however, it is strongly recommended that you leave the driving up to the professionals and utilize private or semi-private transportation. We highly recommend that you do not rent a car to navigate your family. Driving techniques and rules in Costa Rica are very different and rental cars are quite expensive. Signage and lighting on roads are scarce. Roads tend to be narrow and often times in bad condition. Driving yourself and your family adds an additional layer of stress to your vacation that can be easily avoided.
  • Do I have to purchase airfare before I contact you? No. Airfare can be purchased before, during or after our conversations begin. While we do not purchase airfare on our travelers’ behalf, we can assist in the process by offering advice and suggestions on where to fly to/from, and when to buy flights.
  • Which airport(s) in Costa Rica should I use? There are two major international airports in Costa Rica. There are options to use one airport or both during your trip. This decision is best made based on the experience that you want your family to have. We have some thoughts on this that we can share with you in the planning process.
    1. San Jose (Juansantamaria) – SJO, which is located in the center of the country.
    2. Liberia (Guanacaste) – LIR, which is located in the Pacific Northwest region of the country.
  • Do you offer travel insurance for our family? Yes, based on years of research, we have a preferred provider that we refer travelers to for obtaining trip insurance. However, there are many reputable providers that you can choose from.
  • Is there an in-country emergency contact for us? Yes, along with a 24-hour on-country Costa Rica Escapes contact, you will have contact information for all of the providers that you will be working with during your travels.
  • Will my family need vaccinations? We recommend some additional vaccines for your trip to Costa Rica to consider for your family (depending on where you visit) as recommended by the CDC. Beyond routine vaccines for the whole family, the Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended (babies aged 6-11 months can be given this vaccine) along with the Typhoid vaccine (children aged 2 and older can get some form of this vaccine).
  • Will my family need VISAs or just passports? How long can we stay? You and your family members will only need individual passports according to Travel.State.gov as long as your trip is no longer than 90 days. A return flight is required for entry.
  • Where can I find information on exchange rates for the US Dollar? We recommend XE.com to find current exchange rate for USD (“Dollar”) to CRC (“Colon”). Also check the current currency restrictions at Travel.State.gov.

We offer more detailed insights into questions like these further down on this page.


Steps to Secure your Family’s Trip to Costa Rica

Based on your comfort level, there are various ways to move forward and secure your family vacation with Costa Rica Escapes. The list below should act as a guideline while you move forward in the process. You can always email or call your Costa Rica Escapes’ Itinerary Designer, who will be a resource to you throughout the entire process and is available to answer any and all questions.

1. Contact us to begin discussing your ideal trip

After a review of our vacation options, please email or call us to begin a dialogue about your family’s trip. Based on the outlined itineraries, let us know which one(s) appeal to your family. Tell us about your family and the desired travel experience. Who is going? Ages? Time of year? Duration of travel? We will begin discussing ideas to personalize the vacation of your dreams.

2. Personal Vacation Design Process

We consider a personal, telephone connection as a vital piece of communication as the planning process starts. We fully understand that these trips are an important and big investment. We want to speak directly with you to ensure that Costa Rica Escapes is a good match for your desired travel experience. Our team is available to speak in the evenings and over the weekends as your schedule permits. After a 10-15 minute introductory phone call, we will have what we need to get to work. We’ll create a preliminary itinerary and price range to send to you for your review.

3. Sample Itinerary Review & Revisions

Based on your feedback and follow-up conversations, our team will continue to customize the trip details and price to your specific needs. As these samples and revised itineraries are created, they will be emailed to you and discussed in follow-up conversations. This process continues, and you will be notified of due dates and deadlines for your trip as necessary.

4. Airfare & Flight Info

It does not make a difference if you have already purchased your airfare to Costa Rica or not. You can call to discuss things with us at any time throughout the process. You can call us after or before the airline tickets have been purchased and we will tailor the trip around your flight times. Costa Rica Escapes does not purchase airfare for travelers. We can give you advice on how to secure the best airfare during the process, but it will be up to you to buy your flight. You will need to send us your flight information at some point early in the vacation planning process.

5. Applications / Deposit

Once a travel plan and price have been developed and you are comfortable moving ahead, you will need to send a deposit and application to secure your itinerary. We will work with you to define a deposit schedule that works for both sides. Once a deposit is received, details for your vacation accommodations can be shared and reviewed.

6. Reservations & Confirmation of Accommodations Sent

When a deposit has been received, we will verify availability and share the details of the accommodations with you in an email. At this point, you can reconfirm accommodations and give us feedback based on your research. This gives everyone the chance to follow up and make changes to the accommodations, if necessary. We take a great deal of pride in our accommodations and almost always exceed expectations for the travelers that we work with.

7. Detailed Itinerary is Delivered 7 days Before the Trip

One week (seven days) before your trip, you will receive a detailed, day-to-day travel itinerary that outlines your trip and gives you all of the necessary information and instructions to carry out your vacation.


What Our Clients Say:

Just a short note to “Thank You” for making our Costa Rica adventure a “Trip of a Lifetime!” At each point in our journey, the four of us remarked about what a wonderful job you had done to facilitate our joy. — Steve

Your ability to create a vacation that met our needs was really quite amazing. Your connections go beyond the norm of a travel agent. — Christine

You did a tremendous job of designing a program that kept our very active family active while ending the 10 days with some lovely downtime. It was a trip we will cherish for many years to come. — Kim

 

 

Best Places to Stay

A very important part of planning a trip to Costa Rica with your kids is deciding where to stay.

Making your Costa Rica family vacation an adventure is important, and finding the right kind of family activities according to your children’s age is the key. Traveling to (and through) Costa Rica with toddlers is different than bringing your teenage crew!

Choosing the right lodging can be a determining factor to achieve that adventure feel that you are looking for, especially if you see the place you will be sleeping at as being much more than just a place with a bed. The right hotel, bed and breakfast, or lodge should be an active and memorable headquarters for your adventure, even if you stay at multiple places during your trip.

In Costa Rica, you can find all kinds of accommodations, from hostels to five-star hotels. If you are going to a beach lodge, the feel will be completely different than a mountain lodge, even if all you did was drive a couple of hours from one to the other.

At Costa Rica Escapes, we have done our research over many years, and we have our own private lodging relationships for the best places to stay in Costa Rica with kids, whether casual and premier accommodations, but if you are looking on your own, here are some suggestions on what to consider when deciding where to stay.

Destinations/Areas to Stay in Costa Rica with Kids

When planning your visit to Costa Rica, it is hard to decide where to go when you have so much to see and enjoy. But since you are coming with your kids, we suggest you consider choosing those places that have a great variety of activities that you can distribute in different days, are easy to move around, and choose different destinations that are relatively close to each other or that you can hop between them relatively easy.

A very important element to making the right choice for us at Costa Rica Escapes is to choose the places that will let you and your family experience the real Costa Rica. We understand the ease of choosing an all-inclusive resort, but we are certain that you can experience all of that and much more at more adventurous and unique places.

Arenal

Arenal Hot Springs
Arenal not only offers an incredible view of the volcano, but also hot springs!

One of our favorite places to visit in Costa Rica is Arenal, in the northern plains of the country. The communities around this active volcano, like La Fortuna, rose from the ashes – literally – in the late 1960’s and built an incredible array of attractions and activities for people all ages and preferences.

Monteverde

Right next to Arenal is Monteverde, a mountain that welcomed a group of Quakers less than a century ago, who were looking for peace and in return protected a great amount of cloud forest and produced some of the best cheese and ice cream you can buy in Costa Rica.

Manuel Antonio & Quepos

Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most beautiful areas in Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio and Quepos in the central pacific of Costa Rica are also great places to visit with your kids. Not only you can visit Manuel Antonio National Park and have close encounters with monkeys, sloths and coatimundis, but you can also enjoy amazing adventures in land and sea!

Drake Bay

Drake Bay
Can Drake Bay get any more relaxing? Nope…it can’t!

If you are looking for wild and remote, Drake Bay is the best option. Just getting there feels like an adventure, and once you are there you can either visit amazing places like Corcovado National Park or Isla del Caño, but you can also take a stroll in town to experience one of the most charming rural parts of Costa Rica.

Qualities to Look for When Staying in Costa Rica with Kids

High-Quality Family Run Lodges

There is no better feeling than feeling at home. Sometimes that feeling comes from the structure that you call home, sometimes from the people that share the structure with you. Choosing a family-run lodge or hotel in Costa Rica will do just that for you, by offering you a nice (sometimes super nice) setup and an actual family that will do everything they can to make you feel like home.

Unique Accommodations & Surroundings

A lot of the accommodations that you can find in Costa Rica pride in where they are located and therefore have been carefully designed to fit the surroundings without leaving aside comfort and safety. What comes out of that detailed process is unique lodges and hotels that enhance the beauty that surrounds them. They become part of that environment.

We have included a great example of this unique feel in The Remote Costa Rica Adventure Itinerary, where a multi-day whitewater rafting experience in one of the most beautiful rivers of Costa Rica is divided by nights at a jungle lodge designed only for those who sign up for this adventure.

We also include a lot of boutique deluxe bed and breakfasts in our itineraries. In our Costa Rica Collection Family Itinerary, you arrive in Costa Rica and that first night you travel to Monteverde, a renown mountain in the Pacific of Costa Rica, and submerge into the feel of nature from the first night on.

Getting a Local Feel

Even though Costa Rica is a very small country, it’s topography is so varied that it offers something for all types of travelers. And each one of those tucked-away corners and peaks and valleys has its own cultural feel. Try to look for those accommodations that want to share with you what their life is all about.

One of our favorite places in Costa Rica is Drake Bay, a very remote and small community in the south Pacific coast that believes (and lives) for the conservation of the biodiversity that surrounds it. That is why the accommodations in this area pride on being called “eco-lodges,” because their business model follows the community’s mission. Check out our Remote Costa Rica Adventure Itinerary if you want to consider this part of the country.

Another part of Costa Rica that we love at Costa Rica Escapes is everything that surrounds Arenal Volcano. The communities like La Fortuna are an ode to the magnificent volcano, and they want to share with visitors everything that rises out of it. Our Costa Rica Rainforest-to-Beach Family Vacation Itinerary includes the best activities and accommodations in Arenal area that make sure to give you that local feel.

Look for a Garden

Imagine enjoying a great cup of Costa Rican coffee early morning as you spot hummingbirds frantically flying from one flower to the next, or a toucan eating a banana, or a coatimundi roaming the gardens right in front of your room or your breakfast table. That is why you must choose accommodations with green spaces.

No matter how packed your trip is, you will always have those early and late hours of the day at your hotel, so you have the make the most of them to keep your kids interested and enthusiastic. And, if you have budgeted some time to relax with no activities, it’s all the more reason to make sure you will be spending that time in a place that will offer you the opportunity to discover and be amazed by them. Our Costa Rica Rainforest Family Escape Itinerary is all about that.

Safety First When Determining the Best Place(s) to Stay

We know you probably have safety at the top of your list when looking for where to stay. You have probably been looking at all kinds of consumer reviews and client comments around the web. Nonetheless, there is nothing like hands-on experience. That’s why we have handpicked the best places for your family trip and will be honored to help you put together your next adventure.
 

 

Top Costa Rica Family Resorts

Looking for the best Costa Rica family resorts for planning your vacation? Well, we’re going to make it easy on you. Here’s the top resorts that we include in our itineraries for Costa Rica family vacations.

Our Favorite Costa Rica Family Resorts & Hotels

The Peace Lodge, Costa Rica Family ResortPeace Lodge

The Peace Lodge is a gorgeous family resort located just under an hour’s drive from San Jose, Costa Rica. This fantastic location keeps your family’s “home base” right at the resort, where you’ll venture out from when exploring all that Costa Rica has to offer on one of our family vacation itineraries. The cloud forest is nearby, along with the famous Poás Volcano. This lodge is truly a magical place, nestled in the mountains on the grounds of the La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park.

The Springs Resort & Spa (Costa Rica Family Resort)The Springs Resort & Spa

The Springs Resort & Spa is a luxurious family resort adorned with hot springs on-site, majestic views of the Arenal Volcano from each room and features multiple restaurants offering sushi to other fine dining experiences. There are nearly 20 on-site artesian hot springs that will replenish your body with natural minerals. This makes for a resort experience that the whole family will remember…one of tropical luxury.

Bosque Del Mar (Costa Rica Family Resort)Bosque del Mar

The Bosque del Mar hotel is a beachside resort located in Guanacaste (Playa Hermosa area) that is founded on ecological harmony with its gorgeous surroundings. There are numerous pools and jacuzzis to keep the kids (and you) in total comfort after your daytime excursions. Also included on-site are a laundry service, Wi-Fi, a gourmet restaurant and lounge bar. Looking to scuba dive? There’s also an on-site scuba diving facility. Room types range from smaller suites with double queen beds + living room to oceanside suites that feature their own jacuzzi. For the ultimate experience, book one of three penthouse suites that include a kitchen for making meals with the family.

Tulemar Bungalows (Costa Rica Family Resort)Tulemar Bungalows

The Tulemar Bungalows are a sight to behold, offering just over 600 square feet of living space with one of the best views in Costa Rica. Treat your kids to a treetop experience! Each bungalow comes with a small kitchen space, air conditioning for escaping the heat and humidity, different bed types and a TV for lazy evenings. The eight-sided layout of the bungalows offers amazing views from any part of the bungalow. Also, the windows can all be opened to allow a truly outdoor experience inside the bungalow. This is an authentic jungle experience that the whole family will love. There are also four on-site pools.

Costa Verde (Costa Rica Family Resort)Costa Verde

The Costa Verde resort is nestled on a rainforest cliff near Manuel Antonio. The views are simply amazing. Also nearby are the Quepos village and Costa Rica’s capital (two-hour car drive). This makes Costa Verde a convenient resort for shorter stays in addition to longer stays that don’t require the first night’s stay to be in San Jose. Patrons of Costa Verde often use the resort as a home base for day excursions that include hiking, fishing, surfing and beach lounging at the nearby Manuel Antonio beach. This resort offers tropical luxury and an ecotourism experience that the whole family will love.

Cada Turire (Costa Rica Family Resort)Casa Turire

Casa Turire is reminiscent of a gorgeous plantation home of the colonial days gone by. This fantastic family resort is due east of Sanjose, just a couple of hours (by car), in the lush landscape of Turrialba (known for its agriculture). Casa Turire is nestled right on Lake Angostura, behind the backdrop of Turrialba’s majestic mountains. The resort features an on-site restaurant serving traditional Costa Rican cuisine, lush gardens alive with tropical birds, an inviting outdoor pool, jacuzzi and canoes/kayaks for use on the lake.

Alma Del Pacifico (Costa Rica Family Resort)Alma del Pacifico

A multi-award winning hotel, the Alma del Pacifico is located in Costa Rica’s Central Pacific area, along the Playa Esterillos Este. This ocean-front resort is exactly what you’d imagine…sandy beaches and lush cliffs overseeing the vast, diamond-crested ocean waves. Verdant gardens filled with herb and vegetable plants, tropical wildlife and fresh rainforest vegetation are literally right out the front door. The hotel features a spa with natural therapies and a restaurant/bar specializing in local fare and spectacular tropical views.

Buena Vista (Costa Rica Family Resort)Buena Vista Hotel in Alajuela

The Buena Vista Hotel is a boutique Costa Rica family resort located just 15 minutes from the nearby international airport in the Poas area. If you prefer mountains rich with wildlife and tropical vegetation along with volcano views, then this is a resort to consider for your family vacation with us. This central valley area of Costa Rica is also home to local coffee plantations. As you can see from the photo, the resort includes a gorgeous pool that lights up in the night, and all of the expected amenities are offered (restaurant, bar, nature trail, tropical gardens and more). In fact, a free tropical breakfast is served to all patrons each morning. This resort truly takes care of its patrons.

Los Logos (Costa Rica Family Resort)Los Lagos Resort

Are you interested in a hot springs hotel for your Costa Rica family vacation? If so, the Los Lagos Resort is the perfect fit for you. Featuring a massive natural outdoor area (more than any other hotel nearby), this is one of the most incredible family resorts near Arenal Volcano. This hotel is as close as you can get to the volcano, but still be considered safely located. The local culture, food, and tropical rainforests are everywhere in the area, so you won’t have to travel far to enjoy what you came to Costa Rica for in the first place. For the foodies, this hotel serves “Gallo Pinto,” Costa Rica’s traditional breakfast cuisine.

Fonda Vela (Costa Rica Family Resort)Fonda Vela

The Fonda Vela hotel, nestled in the rich countryside of Monteverde, is the place to stay if you want to be near the cloud forest and friendly locals. The local weather in Montverde is quite pleasing due to all the moisture. The hotel’s location is also elevated 4,200 feet above sea level, so the views of the Nicoya gulf are nothing short of breathtaking. The hotel features lush gardens and colorful architecture. Each room features large windows that open wide to allow you to bring the outdoors into your room.

El Encanto B&B (Costa Rica Family Resort)El Encanto B&B

The El Encanto Bed & Breakfast is quaint little beachside hotel located right next to the village of Cahuita. Boasting this Caribbean coastal location in Costa Rica, this hotel is equipped with only a few tropical bungalows along with an apartment and a fully furnished house offering a kitchen, dining room, living room, and three bedrooms. There is private parking on-site, and a private swimming pool for a day or night relaxation. The hotel serves a fresh tropical breakfast each morning to its patrons and welcomes them to explore their wondrous gardens.


These are the best Costa Rica family resorts, and they’re all available in our custom family vacation itineraries. Contact us for a free quote. We’ll ensure your family’s safety and adventure throughout the entire trip.
 

 


Costa Rica Family Vacation Guide

Below, we go into more detail on considerations for you planning your ultimate Costa Rica family vacation. We believe that an informed traveler is a happy traveler, and educating yourself before planning your trip is the best way to maximize your experience!

When to Come to Costa Rica on your Family Trip?

Probably the best time to come to Costa Rica with your family will be during the dry season, from December to April, because you will have more time to be outside and explore with your loved ones. One thing to consider is that this is considered the high season (spring break, etc.), so prices are a bit higher and getting reservations with short notice is harder.

The dry season will help ensure plenty of sunny beach days

Nonetheless, the rainy season, May to November, is pretty charming and offers the visitors deep green and lush forests to explore.

Review our Weather in Costa Rica article for an explanation of the different seasons throughout the year and suggestions on when to pick one or the other for your trip.

Also, please browse our Best Time to Visit Costa Rica page where not only we have listed descriptions of the different seasons, but also different holidays, events and festivals you should consider for your trip and how crowds and cost will affect it.

Where to Go in Costa Rica on your Family Trip?

Costa Rica offers so much diversity that you would need several months to actually see it and absorb it all. We know that you probably only have a week or two to spend in Costa Rica, so deciding where to go is extremely important and requires time, thought, and expert consultation.

Make some time for the beach, where you can enjoy the water and sun as you relax between activities (there are endless activities in Costa Rica). We have prepared some advice on what we think are the best beaches for families.

puntarenas beach
Gorgeous sunset at Puntarenas beach

Looking for some countryside and rainforest exploration? The highlands of Costa Rica, with its mountains and valleys, offer incredible views, diverse activities, and more comfortable temperatures (the coasts can get real hot!).

In general, we can say that a visit to one of the coasts is a must. To make it easy for you, consider visiting Manuel Antonio in the Central Pacific coast, or Puerto Viejo in the south Caribbean coast. These two destinations have a vast array of options when it comes to lodging, food, and activities.

You can find other suggestions in our “Where to stay in Costa Rica” blog post. There you can read about the coolest destinations, best places for families, best places for couples, and more. If you want to go more in-depth about places to go with your kids, visit our “Best places to stay in Costa Rica with kids” blog post. And if you are looking for a family adventure vacation, we also have a lot of advice to share.

We suggest you choose three or four locations for your family trip, depending on the time you have. In our guide on Where to go in Costa Rica, you can read more about specific and well-known destinations in Costa Rica.

What resorts are like in Costa Rica?

Like we said before, the problem with large resorts, in Costa Rica and everywhere else in the world, is that they lack the real Costa Rican feel and be very generic. It is tough to find a resort that can actually offer the opportunity to get to see and know Costa Rica since most of them aim to please the generic traveler.

We can not deny that larger resorts can provide a good experience for the most part. There is a peaceful feeling when you know that logistics, amenities, and services are already taken care of and have been created to provide comfort and ease of mind. Add to that that staff at larger resorts are used to handle very large groups of people, which can be convenient if your family is big. We at CR Escapes can actually recommend some resorts that have made an effort to combine in the best possible way resort-comfort with the real Costa Rica.

costa-rica-hanging-bridges-kids
An authentic experience of Costa Rican will provide kids with memories for a lifetime

Accommodations in Costa Rica for your Family Trip

Finding the right lodging for your family is very important, and you might feel a little overwhelmed when you start looking around for different options since Costa Rica has a lot to offer, from small, family-run bed and breakfast accommodations to five-star hotels that are commonly visited by Hollywood stars and their families.

We suggest, besides looking at your budget, that you take an unbiased look at your family’s interests and decide what would be best for them. If you prefer a small boutique hotel or a charming B&B run by a Costa Rican family because your family functions better in more private spaces, then look for places that have gotten good reviews by other travelers. Or, if you prefer big hotels, try to find that chain that is familiar to you as it most likely exists in Costa Rica. Note: we already have an excellent selection of different types of lodging that we are ready to share with you during the itinerary planning process).

Looking to stay in areas that best suit your interests? We have listed some suggestions in our previous article, The Best (Authentic) Places to Stay in Costa Rica with Kids. You might be considering an “all-inclusive” resort, but before you settle for that, consider that you can take a different approach by booking more authentic lodging, and still enjoy the safety and comfort of an all-inclusive experience. Read our article, All-Inclusive Costa Rica Family Vacation Experiences: Authenticity vs Resorts.

How can families have an authentic experience in Costa Rica?

With expert guidance, you can get the comfort, security, and peace of mind that the resorts offer, and still get to see and experience the real authentic Costa Rica. That is what we do at Costa Rica Escapes. We put together the perfect family itinerary by finding the correct amenities and qualified service providers.

When we are working on designing those custom itineraries, we always look for boutique-style hotels located in places that are “off the beaten path.” At those accommodations, unforgettable trips can happen.

Smaller hotels tend to appreciate business more, and therefore they want to make sure all of their guests have the best possible time. But also the people that run amenities at those destinations believe in personalized service within a welcoming and secure atmosphere.

The “off the beaten path” destinations and attractions also make an extra effort to look after Costa Rica’s culture and biodiversity as they share it with visitors.

What to Do in Costa Rica on your Family Trip?

The good news is that, in Costa Rica, you can do basically everything that doesn’t involve snow! The bad news is that it means you have lots of activities to choose from for your family.

If you are looking for a family adventure vacation, then consider a whitewater rafting trip, a canopy tour, an interpretative hike in the forest and maybe some surfing lessons. Our Remote Costa Rica Family Adventure Vacation Itinerary will give you a place to start planning and getting ideas.

If your goal is to show your family the natural wonders that Costa Rica holds, it is very important that you try and visit at least two or three different kinds of forest, hopefully including a hike in a national park, some time in the ocean spotting wildlife and an experience immersing yourself in nature (like bathing in hot springs or taking a boat tour through a mangrove forest).

Spend some time hiking with your kids in Costa Rica

These types of activities will give you a taste of what Costa Rica has to offer. We have put together the perfect itineraries for this type of trip! Review our Costa Rica Collection Family Itinerary and Costa Rica Rainforest-to-Beach Family Vacation Itinerary.

Driving and transportation in Costa Rica for families

We already mentioned that driving yourself in Costa Rica can be a bad idea, and we go in detail about it in our blog post. You should know that there are many transportation options in Costa Rica, and believe it or not, they could be much better than renting a car.

Choosing to have a driver take around means peace of mind, freedom to enjoy as you look out the window and many times having a human “Wikipedia” about Costa Rica with you.

Some of the public transportation options like buses, trains, airplanes, and taxis, also have their charm. All of those options are safe, but they have their uncomfortable side, which usually relates to the length of the trip, scheduling, and in the case of air flight, it can be costly.

Traveling with Kids to Costa Rica? Thought so!

The suggested places to visit or activities to consider for your family will always be limited by the age of your children. It’s very different planning a trip with teenagers, who would probably love a whitewater rafting trip, compared to a trip with preschoolers, who might just want to have a pool nearby (and frequent snacks!). Visit our page, Costa Rica with Kids: Travel Advice, to learn more about what we think you should consider for your trip.

Once you have your trip planned (hopefully we are helping you!), make sure to read, print and/or memorize these Facts about Costa Rica that you can share with your kids at any point in your trip. Learning while traveling is fun!

If you are Traveling with Babies & Toddlers to Costa Rica

Now, if you have small children with you, the pace of your trip will be different. We have put together an article with all of our suggestions and considerations when it comes to visiting Costa Rica with toddlers.

Is Costa Rica safe for families?

We already mentioned that Costa Rica is considered one of the happiest countries in the world…several times it has ranked as the happiest country in the world. To us, this can mean only that Costa Ricans do feel safe in their territory. Sadly, the region of Central America differs from Costa Rica’s reality, and many other countries suffer from violent realities.

In spite of this, you should not lower your guard. There are still security problems in Costa Rica, like pickpocketing around tourist areas, and on public transport. Also, muggings, particularly in the city of San Jose are not uncommon, and like anywhere in the world, violent scattered events also exist.

But don’t let this scare you. Just like anywhere in the world, the most important thing is to be vigilant and listening to your gut as a first step to stay away from danger.

Another thing to consider is that weather can bring some problems in certain parts of the country at certain times of the year. Heavy rains do happen in Costa Rica, especially in September, October, and November, and those storms could lead to flooding causing road damages. Therefore you might have a harder time moving around the country during that time of the year.

However, prices can be cheaper and there is still plenty of good weather to be experienced during that time of year. If budget isn’t of concern and you want to experience the driest season, consider a trip in late December through April. The shoulder season, May through August, is a common travel period for families due to summer vacation and provides a good balance of lower cost and enjoyable weather. Learn more in our articles on the best time to visit Costa Rica and Costa Rica’s rainy season.

So…pick the right time of year, avoid driving and stay vigilant just as you would in any big US city with your family. Check! Let’s move on.

Family Vacation Packages vs Customized Itineraries

The main reason you might consider taking a Family Vacation Package is to find a more competitive price for your trip. Those packages typically take place at the most crowdest areas of the country, and they usually include larger hotels that can offer lower discounts based on the high volume of visitors they see every year. These vacation packages are generally all-inclusive options which we understand has several advantages too, but it also comes with a price.

Choosing to come to Costa Rica on a vacation package means giving up the flexibility of the configuration of the trip because only certain elements can be included in these packages for the itinerary to make business sense to the travel agency.

That is why we will always advise you try to get a custom itinerary for your Costa Rica family vacation. This way, you will have more choices when it comes to programing excursions and hotels. Also, the trip will be designed based on your needs and specific requests and always looking for the best authentic places for you to enjoy with your family.

Want Help Planning a Family Trip?

Contact us below with any questions that you have. We’re happy to talk through your interests and considerations to see if we’re a good fit to help you. 

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