Costa Rica Rainforest Family Escape Itinerary

Waterfall Gardens, Wildlife Center, Poas Volcano Crater & Hot Springs in Arenal

This itinerary works well for families with children of all ages. It is great for travelers that want some extra time at the beach at the end of the trip. We have found that this itinerary can be tailored easily as an ideal travel experience for families traveling with younger children.

Costa Rica Rainforest Escape Family Vacation Itinerary
Explore Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity in the rainforests with the entire family…you might even see a baby sloth! Or monkeys…or parrots…or…come find out!

This is an efficiently organized Costa Rica family vacation that includes light adventures and educational activities. Traveling between destinations is kept to a minimum so that there is plenty of free time at our choice properties for you and your family to enjoy time with each other. This itinerary includes 3 locations along the way and it is a great blend of mountains, rainforest, and beaches. The itinerary starts close to the SJO (San Jose) Airport and continues to the volcano region of Arenal before ending on the beach in the Pacific. Everyone is sure to not only learn a lot about the incredible, varied environments of Costa Rica but also have a lot of fun on this itinerary!

Highlights of the Costa Rica Rainforest Family Escape Itinerary

  • Waterfall Gardens, Wildlife Center & Poas Volcano’s Crater – This is an amazing introduction to the wildlife and biodiversity in Costa Rica. This tour educates you about where you are and what you can expect to see during your Costa Rica travel experience.
  • Arenal Hot Springs & Diverse Family Adventures – A private adventure center provides safe and exciting entertainment for children of all ages. The hot springs at Arenal will make everyone feel rejuvenated, and there will be the option to experience either a river-or-land-based excursion.

Toddler with a Toucan Parrot in Costa Rica

Typical 9-Day Costa Rica Rainforest Family Escape Itinerary

Day #1: Arrival & Transfer to Rainforest Lodge

Your family will be picked up by a private driver at SJO Airport and comfortably transport everyone into the agricultural regions of the Central Highlands before landing in the cloud forest environment of Volcan Poas. You will settle into your boutique property where you will rest and relax before dinner this night!

Day #2: Coffee, Volcanoes, Waterfalls & Wildlife & Transfer to Arenal

Each morning within all CRE itineraries, your family’s breakfast is included at your hotel. You will want to get up early to enjoy the delicious food this morning. While filling up on fresh fruit and “Gallo Pinto,” the beautiful birds and other active wildlife will welcome you to the rainforests of Costa Rica.

Your vehicle will arrive early this morning and take you on a 3-in-1 adventure tour as you transfer further north to the Arenal/La Fortuna region of the country. You will visit the scenic Volcan Poas National Park, where you might have the opportunity to see what the inside of a crater of a volcano looks like. You will also visit an actual working coffee farm where you will see how this magical crop is grown, cultivated, and produced. Of course, you will be able to sample some coffee as well!

Your family will also visit the Waterfall Gardens & Wildlife Center where you will hike to see various scenic waterfalls and learn about the amazing range of animals and wildlife that live here. You might even get the chance to hold a toucan if you’re lucky!

You’ll end this day in Arenal where you will be able to settle into your spacious & comfortable property. You can take a dip in the pool before dinner and bed this night!

Costa Rica Family Vacation (Days 1-2: Waterfall)
One our families’ trip to the breathtaking La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Day #3: All-Day Adventures in the Shadow of Arenal Volcano

Families with children younger in age will have a choice of a land or river adventure, depending on your interests. A fun trip to the river will match the wonder of a child with the magic of the rainforest. Hot springs and river bank picnics are very popular. Thinking about lunch? We have you covered with an excellent restaurant recommendation to make things easy, yet keep your experience authentic.

Families with children ages 13+ years will want to consider a canyoning adventure on this day. The whole family will rappel down waterfalls with professional (English-speaking) guides after ample practice and building confidence. This is both a safe and exhilarating experience descending waterfalls. The rest of your day will be available for exploring nearby La Fortuna. We will provide some insider tips on where to fill your bellies with delicious local food.

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
The majestic…Arenal Volcano. Think your kids want to see this?

Day #4: Zip-Line Canopy Tour – Hot Springs

Today is the day for a family zip line adventure through the canopy of the rainforest! After breakfast, a professional guide will accompany you and your family on a canopy tour that includes hanging bridges and a zip line tour where children as young as 6-years-old can participate. Afterward, you will head back to the hotel for some relaxation time.

Later this evening, we’ll arrange for transportation to nearby natural geothermal pools with a resort-feel. The evening will conclude with a hearty dinner and some much-needed sleep.

Day #5: Explore the Rainforest from a River on an Adventure Transfer to the Coast

Based on your departure airport you could have two river activity choices for your adventure transfer today. If you are departing from Liberia’s Airport (LIR) and you want to see monkeys, sloths, and toucans in their natural habitat, then you can choose to take a wildlife safari float with a naturalist guide. If you are looking for a little more action and adventure, then the white-water rafting trip is for you.

People departing from either airport can participate in the rafting adventure. The white-water rafting adventure is one of Costa Rica’s best adventure sports. There are various levels of rivers from beginner class II and III rapids to intermediate and advanced class III and IV rapids. There is no experience necessary and your guide will give you all necessary instruction as he or she takes you safely down the river. After your tour, you will end up watching the sunset on the Pacific beach.

Families departing from SJO airport will travel to Manuel Antonio by way of rafting.

Families departing from LIR airport will receive prearranged transportation to take you and your family north to Guanacaste where you will have a choice of river adventures.

Day #6: Relaxing, Snorkeling & Catamaran Sailing

How does some poolside or beachside relaxation sound? The first half of the day will be open to doing just that. Once everyone has lunch in their bellies, the entire family will experience a wonderous snorkeling adventure on a catamaran sailboat.

A secluded tropical beach awaits your family, offering sea life as you’ve never seen before. A late-afternoon meal will be provided as the sun begins to set before your eyes. Some relaxation time awaits your family in the evening before dinner and quality family time helps you wind down into slumber.

Day #7: Guided National Park Hike, Beach Time & Evening Rest

Costa Rica is known for its world-renowned National Parks, many of which have beaches. Today you will take the time to explore one of these National Parks. If you are in Manuel Antonio you will visit Manuel Antonio National Park. If you are in Guanacaste, you will be visiting Santa Rosa National Park.

On this tour, you will see wildlife such as the various species of monkeys as well as elusive birds like the macaw. After your tour, take time to just chill on the beach and play in the beautiful surroundings that the Pacific Coast offers. Return to your property for a little rest and relaxation before a family dinner in the local town or at your hotel.

Day #8: Leisure or Activity…Your Choice!

You might find that your family will want a day off. That’s okay! This is what today is for. If you’re still interested in adventures, we can arrange a half-day tour either before or after lunch. We can arrange whatever you feel your family will want. You can choose from hanging by the pool, exploring a hidden beach, or whatever else interests your group. However, we will want to arrange a family dinner in town to soak up just a little more culture before you head home. This will be a great time to share in the memories that the entire family has experienced on this trip!

Gorgeous Costa Rica Beaches
This beach has your name on it…

Day #9: Head to the Airport & Fly Home

We will arrange transportation for your family so that you safely arrive at the airport with ample time to spare. Everyone will be thinking about coming back to Costa Rica again!

Things to Know About the Rainforest Family Escape Itinerary

  • San Jose’s (SJO) airport is the best airport for this trip & required on arrival day
  • Liberia’s (LIR) airport can be used as the departure airport if you’d prefer to visit the Guanacaste beaches
  • The minimum age for a canopy tour is 6 years (professional guides are available to assist children during their ride)
  • The minimum age for white water rafting is largely based on the season and typically ranges from ages 8 to 10 years
  • The minimum age for kayaking, tubing and climbing wall activities is 8 years
  • The minimum age for horseback riding is 6 years
  • Underage children may be able to be accompanied by a guide for some activities

Costs for the Costa Rica Rainforest Family Escape Itinerary

Prices are per person and based on a family/group of at least two people sharing a room. All pricing is based on the High Season: mid-November – mid-April, June – August

Click to view seasonal pricing details >>


9-Day Costa Rica Rainforest Family Escape Itinerary – as outlined above

The following prices are per person, and based on minimum of 2 people sharing a room

  • Premier Accommodations: $2,775 – $3,470 / person
  • Casual Accommodations: $1,885 – $2,365 / person

The following prices are per family of 4: based on 2 adults & 2 children (12 yrs or younger) sharing a room

    • Premier Accommodations: $7,800 – $9,350 / family
    • Casual Accommodations: $5,590 – $6,555 / family

8-Day Costa Rica Rainforest Family Escape Itinerary

      • Day #1: Arrival – Transfer to Central Highlands Property – Relax
      • Day #2: Volcano Craters, Coffee, Waterfalls & Wildlife – Transfer to Arenal
      • Day #3: Arenal Adventure Choice
      • Day #4: Rainforest River Adventure – Hot Springs
      • Day #5: Zip-Line Canopy Tour – Transfer to the Pacific Coast
      • Day #6: Morning to Relax & Afternoon Snorkel & Sunset Catamaran Sail
      • Day #7: Day at Leisure or Optional Activity
      • Day #8: Transfer to Airport for Flight Home

The following prices are per person, and based on minimum of 2 people sharing a room

      • Premier Accommodations: $2,540 – $3,185 / person
      • Casual Accommodations: $1,815 – $2,225 / person

The following prices are per family of 4: based on 2 adults & 2 children (12 yrs or younger) sharing a room

      • Premier Accommodations: $7,150 – $8,505 / family
      • Casual Accommodations: $5,225 – $6,020 / family

11-Day Costa Rica Rainforest Family Escape Itinerary

      • Day #1: Arrival – Transfer to Central Highlands Property – Relax
      • Day #2: Volcano Craters, Coffee, Waterfalls & Wildlife – Transfer to Arenal
      • Day #3: Arenal Adventure Choice
      • Day #4: Rainforest River Adventure – Hot Springs
      • Day #5: Zip-Line Canopy Tour & Hanging Bridges Hike
      • Day #6: Transfer to the Pacific Coast – Evening to Relax at the Beach
      • Day #7: Morning to Relax & Afternoon Snorkel & Sunset Catamaran Sail
      • Day #8: Day at Leisure or Optional Activity
      • Day #9: National Park Tour/Surfing Lessons – Afternoon to Relax
      • Day #10: Day at Leisure or Optional Activity
      • Day #11: Transfer to Airport for Flight Home

The following prices are per person, and based on minimum of 2 people sharing a room

      • Premier Accommodations: $3,325 – $4,135 / person
      • Casual Accommodations: $2,270 – $2,940 / person

The following prices are per family of 4: based on 2 adults & 2 children (12 yrs or younger) sharing a room

      • Premier Accommodations: $9,500- $11,250 / family
      • Casual Accommodations: $6,735 – $7,775 / family

What Our Clients Say:

I want you to know that we had a fabulous time! It exceeded our expectations! 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. Thank you so much. It was a trip we will cherish for many years to come!

— Kim

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