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 trip 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!

Toddler with a Toucan Parrot in Costa RicaHighlights 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.
  • Multi-Adventures & Hot Springs in Arenal – The kids will never forget this action-packed day of adventures at a private adventure center. With unlimited use of the natural hot springs, the choice of 1 river adventure and 1 land adventure, there is something for everyone.

Typical 9-Day Costa Rica Rainforest Family Escape Itinerary

Day #1: Arrival & Transfer to Rainforest Lodge

After arriving into the SJO (San Jose) Airport, an air-conditioned and modern vehicle will be outside of the airport waiting to greet you. From there, your personal driver will escort you on your transfer north. You will ascend 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” you will be able to take in the beautiful birds and other wildlife that is active each morning in 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 & produced. Of course you will be able to sample some as well. You will also visit 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 the Arenal Volcano

For families with younger children, the multi-adventure activity is for you. The multi-adventure activity includes a choice of one land activity and one river activity. Your family will spend the day enjoying a river that flows through the Arenal rainforest. You will also be able to relax on the banks of a river, and explore the hot springs. There is a great restaurant where you will have lunch. For families with older children (13 years and older), Canyoning is a great option for today’s adventure. Guides will instruct your family on how to descend a canyon’s waterfalls by means of rappelling. You will have an orientation and practice with your professional and bilingual guides before you set off on this epic journey into the jungle and descend 5+ waterfalls by way of ropes! The late afternoon and evening are open. This is a great time to explore the lively town of La Fortuna – we’ll let you in on the best places to eat in town.

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

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

Today will begin by you and your family zip-lining 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., you will return to the hotel to relax. Later this evening, a vehicle will transfer you to a hot springs resort where you will soak in natural geo-thermal pools. A delicious dinner is included this night before you return to your new home to melt into bed.

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 & III to intermediate & advanced class III & IV. There is no experience necessary and your guide will give you all necessary instruction as (s)he takes you safely down the river. After your tour, you will end up watching the sunset on the Pacific beach. Families using SJO as their departure airport will travel to Manuel Antonio by way of rafting. If you are using LIR as your departure airport, a driver will take you and your family north to Guanacaste and you have a choice of river adventures.

Day #6: Morning to Relax & Afternoon Snorkel & Sunset Catamaran Sail

Take this morning to relax at the pool or explore the beach at your resort. You will have the first part of this day open. After lunch, you and your family will board a catamaran sailboat to go on an incredible snorkeling and sailing excursion. Your guides will take you to a secluded beach where you can explore the marine life that exists underwater. A late lunch along with beverages of your choice will be provided as you and your kids watch the gorgeous sunset that this area of the country is well-known for. You will return to your hotel to relax, have dinner and enjoy another evening with your family.

Day #7: Guided Hike of National Park – Afternoon at Beach & Evening to Relax

The country of Costa Rica is full of amazing 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 relax on the beach and play in the beautiful surroundings that the Pacific Coast offers. Return to your property for a little R&R before a family dinner in town or at the hotel tonight.

Day #8: Day at Leisure or Optional Activity

Take this day to do a family activity or absolutely nothing at all. There are plenty of ½ day tours for the morning or afternoon that will cap a memorable week of your family’s adventure and Costa Rica Escapes will be happy to make these plans for you. If you choose to plan nothing for today, you can relax at the pool or visit a hidden beach (we’ll let you in on which one & how best to get there). This evening should be spent out having a family dinner at one of the many great restaurants in the area that we recommend!

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

Day #9: Transfer to Airport for Flight Home

Based on your flight home, Costa Rica Escapes will handle all the arrangements for you and your family to arrive to the airport with plenty of time. Ciao for now!

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
  • Canopy Tour’s minimum age is 6 year’s old – children can ride on cable with a guide
  • White-water Rafting’s minimum age is based on the season & ranges from 8-10
  • Multi-Adventure Activity’s minimums ages are: Kayaking – 8, Tubing – 8, horseback – 6, climbing wall – 8. In some cases, underage children can be accompanied by a guide

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


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: $2,525 – $2,995 / person
♦ Casual Accommodations: $1,735 – $2,090 / person

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

♦ Premier Accommodations: $7,100 – $8,400 / family
♦ Casual Accommodations: $5,140 – $5,780 / 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: $2,290 – $2,710 / person
♦ Casual Accommodations: $1,665 – $1,950 / person

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

♦ Premier Accommodations: $6,450 – $7,555 / family
♦ Casual Accommodations: $4,775 – $5,245 / 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: $3,075 – $3,660 / person
♦ Casual Accommodations: $2,120 – $2,665 / person

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

♦ Premier Accommodations: $8,800 – $10,300 / family
♦ Casual Accommodations: $6,285 – $7,000 / 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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