Are you ready for a family trip that you’ll never forget? Your family can experience it all: sun, waves, beaches, sand, surfing, fishing, sailing/boating, waterfalls, and more…the best tropical experiences a family can have in one of the most beautiful Caribbean destinations in the world…Costa Rica. Pura Vida!
We specifically design our Costa Rica family vacations for families with kids, toddlers, babies, grandparents…and adults! Each member of the family is kept in mind when it comes to lodging, transportation, activities and attractions. 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.
One of our highly experienced and personable travel agents (aka “Itinerary Design Expert”) will help you plan your trip around your interests and budget, and ensure that your vacation is safe, versatile, and fun. We handle your lodging reservations at Costa Rica resorts and hotels for you so that your family vacation package is complete. You will have the experience of a lifetime! See for yourself what a Costa Rica Escapes family vacation is like.
Experience What a Costa Rica Family Vacation is Really 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
Our Family Vacation Itineraries
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.
Review our family trips below, or customize your own experience.
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.
Cost Range: $2,170 – $5,350 per person
Itinerary Duration: 8-11 days (7-10 nights)
Monteverde -> Arenal -> Pacific Coast (Manuel Antonio or Playa Hermosa)
This is 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 while monkeys swing in the vines and snack on mangoes overhead. Pura Vida!
Cost Range: $1,720 – $3,915 per person
Itinerary Duration: 8-11 days (7-10 nights)
Arenal -> Pacific Coast (Manuel Antonio, Playa Hermosa or Samara)
This trip is great for families who want to see both the mountainous rainforest and the beach without extensive travel time. There will be extra time at the beach built-in for those who seek it at the end of their travels. On this trip, you will visit the beautiful area of Arenal and 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.
Cost Range: $1,670 – $4,575 per person
Itinerary Duration: 8-11 days (7-10 nights)
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!
Cost Range: $2,085 – $4,755 per person
Itinerary Duration: 8-11 days (7-10 nights)
Short Answers to Common Questions from Parents
- 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 family destination for tropical 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 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 on your family getaway. 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.
- 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 contact through our travel agency, 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 the 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
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? What ages? What time of year do you want to travel? What will be the duration of your travel? We will begin discussing ideas to personalize the vacation of your dreams.
2. Personalized 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. We will simply 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
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 they always exceed expectations for the travelers that we work with.
7. Detailed Itinerary is Delivered (7 days Before the Trip)
One week 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 say “Thank You” for making our Costa Rica adventure. It was 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 what is expected 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
Get Help Planning a Family Trip to Costa Rica
Unchanged: Complete the form below to initiate the Costa Rica family vacation planning process with our itinerary designers. Contact us below with any questions that you have. We’re happy to talk through your interests and considerations in order to see if we’re a good fit to help plan your family vacation.
The All-Inclusive Costa Rica Family Vacation “Experience”
Authentic Lodging vs Resorts
There are many reasons why you might consider an all-inclusive resort at first thought for your family vacation in Costa Rica, and all of them are valid!
- Don’t you want to know that everything will be taken care of when your flight lands?
- Who can complain about knowing that there’s no need for you to drive around or figuring out transportation?
- Who wouldn’t want to know that while traveling all you have to worry about is to be present because everything else has been organized for you?
- Who can say no to that kind of peace of mind when traveling with children, or in a big group, or right after a very important moment in your life like your wedding?
The problem is that many of these all-inclusive places, as comfortable as they are, come with a catch: they lack authenticity and can offer a generic experience.
The all-inclusive resorts will be very careful to take care of all of your needs, but they will not necessarily show you the Costa Rica that you want to truly experience.
The good news is that our travel planning team has the solution for a more authentic experience, and you can still have an all-inclusive trip planned! If you ask a real expert in Costa Rica to create an itinerary for you, you will have the peace of mind and comfort of the all-inclusive experience with the certainty that your trip will show you Costa Rica, the real Costa Rica, making your trip more memorable and rewarding for the whole family, and avoiding the hustle and bustle of the planning (especially during your trip!).
Authenticity and Diversity vs All-Inclusive Resorts
It is true that all-inclusive resorts offer day tours, but if you are in one place at all times there is just so much you can do that is different and that doesn’t require long drives back and forth.
If you chose your all-inclusive resort wisely, then you won’t have to travel long to reach that one adventure that you definitely do not want to miss while you are in Costa Rica.
But when you book a customized family trip to Costa Rica that feels just like an all-inclusive experience, you do not have to choose just one adventure and stick to it. Instead, your desires and dreams will guide the planning with your itinerary provider, and you can include plenty of adventures that please the entire family.
A customized trip will give you the opportunity to travel wisely and visit different parts of Costa Rica, which offer very different kinds of activities, ecosystems, landscapes, weather, and more. If you don’t believe that a small country like Costa Rica can offer so many different experiences, visit our Where to Go in Costa Rica pages and be surprised.
Authenticity and Food vs All-Inclusive Resorts
Perhaps you play it safe when it comes to food. You like your comfort food, like pizza or a tasty burger. An all-inclusive hotel will mass-produce food in a way that will please you (and the majority), and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But imagine how gratifying it could be if you also get surprised with unique ingredients that make international dishes so much more special and memorable.
Visiting different parts of Costa Rica in a carefully planned customized itinerary can do that for you, and since most meals are pre-arranged, all you have to do is mention what you love to eat and your travel planning experts will make sure to take you to the right place.
Or it could be that you love trying different things at all times and you crave the opportunity to come to Costa Rica and taste the flavors that make this country special. You might have a small taste of Costa Rican food at an all-inclusive resort, but it will never have the authentic taste that comes only when food is prepared by talented local chefs and cooks at small restaurants that specialize in cooking with what the land around them offers, and what their family traditions and community traditions have thought them.
Authenticity and Local People vs All-Inclusive Resorts
Service is very important in Costa Rica. Everywhere you go you will always find kind people that want to serve you and make sure you have a great experience in this small but beautiful and diverse country. An all-inclusive resort will not be the exception and they will employ service-oriented people, but most likely a lot of them will not necessarily come from where the resort is located.
If you book a customized trip to Costa Rica you will have the opportunity to move around to those places that interest you and find the locals that treasure that part of the country. Local people will tell you the stories that make that place unique, stories that will not repeat at your next stop.
The diverse world that characterizes nature in Costa Rica also characterizes the people and their stories and there is no better way to get to know it than taking a trip that allows you to explore different parts of the country.
Authenticity and Freedom vs All-Inclusive Resorts
Freedom to choose and discover is very important when you travel. All-inclusive resorts know that at some point you will want to have more choices either of food, or tours, or daily activities inside the hotel. Nonetheless, that freedom can only go so far when you are inside a big all-inclusive resort, and on top of it, you know (even before arriving) how many options you will have and when…with no room for surprises.
When you book a customized trip with an expert like Costa Rica Escapes, you will always have days that are open for leisure or for exploring something that you just discovered interests you, or you never thought existed! Also, talking about food, it gives you the opportunity to have nights when dinners are not pre-arranged so you can decide that night what you feel like having or craving…and find a local one-of-a-kind restaurant to dine at (we always give great suggestions!).
Although it feels safer to know you have everything planned, aren’t you coming to Costa Rica for some adventure? Please know that a country like Costa Rica will always have room for surprise and discovery since, no matter how many guidebooks you’ve read or how many websites you have visited, there will always be undisclosed discoveries to be had!
Authentic and Unique Costa Rica Family Vacation Experience vs All-Inclusive Resorts
All-inclusive experiences were carefully designed, built, and put into action by travel companies looking to appease the masses. But what was done is done. We don’t want you to think that choosing an all-inclusive experience at a resort will take away all of what Costa Rica has to offer, or that your experience will not be pleasurable. That’s not the case.
But when deciding how to travel with your family, your significant other or your friends to Costa Rica, we do know that the all-inclusive experience will be the same experience that thousands of other people have before you, and will experience after you, with little to no room for personalizing.
If you decide to get help from authentic Costa Rica travel experts like us and have a trip designed for your needs, dreams, interest, level of adventure, and peace of mind, you will also be rewarded with uniqueness because nobody else in the world could ever match what you will experience in Costa Rica.