Costa Rica Rainforest-to-Beach Family Vacation Itinerary

Arenal Volcano, Rainforests, Hot Springs, Pacific Coast Surfing, Sailing & Snorkeling

This itinerary is ideal for families with younger children who don’t want to travel a great deal while experiencing the best Costa Rica has to offer – rainforests and beaches… with some volcanoes, rivers, and zip-lining as well! The itinerary can be customized for children (and children at heart) of all ages.

Rainforest to Beach Family Vacation Itinerary
Your family will explore rivers, jungles, rainforests and beaches on our Rainforest to Beach Family Vacation Itinerary

Your trip will begin in the highlands of Costa Rica where the Arenal Volcano makes a perfect backdrop to the jungles, rainforests, rivers, and hot springs of the region. Here you and your family will experience some of the best adventure activities in the country – hanging bridge tours, guided hikes around the volcano, wildlife safari river floats, canyoning and white water rafting! After all of those thrilling activities, you and your family will travel to the Pacific to bask in the sun, and play in the waves. There you will also have surf lessons, go on a private guided hike of one of Costa Rica’s famous beachfront national parks, and cap your trip with a sunset Catamaran snorkeling sailing and snorkel tour.

The Rainforest to Beach Family Vacation Highlights:

  • 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.
  • Surfing, Catamaran sailing & snorkeling on the Pacific Coast – Enjoy the waters of the coast as you glide gently along on a catamaran sailboat stopping to explore the underwater marine life and explore remote beaches.

Typical 9-Day Costa Rica Rainforest-to-Beach Family Itinerary

Day #1: Arrival Day & Private Transfer to Arenal Volcano

After arriving into Costa Rica via either the SJO (San Jose) airport or the LIR (Liberia) airport, an air-conditioned and modern vehicle will be outside of the airport waiting to greet you and your family. From there, your personal driver will escort you to your boutique hotel at the base of the Arenal Volcano.

Day #2: Multi-Adventure Day

Wake up to enjoy the sights and sounds of this unique rainforest region of Costa Rica along with a delicious breakfast of tropical fruits and gallo pinto. Today’s activity is for the kids & kids at heart! You will find a true adventure offering some of the most unique adventure activities in Costa Rica including: Inflatable River Kayaking, River Tubing, Horseback Tours, Rock Climbing and Rappelling, Hiking Trails, Nature Tours, Hot Springs, and a Wildlife Preserve for rescued animals. Before, during or after your activities you can relax in the hot spring pools just meters away from the scenic Arenal River or take a dip in a natural river pools where hot water percolates from the sand beneath your feet. In certain areas of this pool you can lay in the hot sand while the cool river water flows over you. There are also numerous hiking trails where you can take a quick circular loop hike and see natural hot springs welling up from the forest floor. This is very close to the Ring of Cats and Monkey Rescue Center so you can combine a visit to the area with a scheduled tour of the Wildlife Preserve.

arenal-volcano-river-rainforest-jungle
The jungles and rainforest rivers are simply breathtaking and will “wow” your entire family

Day #3: Rainforest Canopy Tour

Today your family will go on a unique and private rainforest canopy experience that begins in the morning and includes two adventures in one. You and your family will begin the day with a guided tour through a rainforest reserve with access to the hanging bridges. You will walk through a series of bridges located high up in the canopy of the rainforest while your naturalist guide educates you on this incredible environment. Not only will he point out local flora, fauna & the occasional waterfall, but he will help you spot rare wildlife & birds, too. After your early morning hike you will return to the base where you will be suited up and oriented to the adventure activity of zip lining. Many visitors say this is the experience of a lifetime as they ride a through a circuit of zip line cables stretching across canyons and between treetops. This evening you and your family will relax soaking in the therapeutic geothermal hot springs unique to this area of the rainforest.

Day #4: Adventure Transfer to Pacific Ocean

Today begins in the rainforest and ends on the Pacific Beach! But en route to the beach, you and your family will challenge yourselves as a professional guide accompanies you down the white-water, rolling rapids of a white-water river. There will be an awesome opportunities to stop and play in the tranquil river pools in an isolated rainforest river canyon! After you get out of the river, lunch will be provided and the driver and guides will help you with your luggage and transport you to the Pacific coast where you and your family will check into your quaint, boutique hotel to watch the sunset over the water. Based on your preferences & departure airport, the sunny beaches of Guanacaste can be used for the beach portion of the trip. If you fly from Liberia’s LIR Airport, this is recommended. If you fly from San Jose’s SJO Airport, we recommend visiting the Central Pacific Coast. These recommendations are based on logistical efficiency.

Day #5: Surf Lessons & Day at the Beach

Wake up to a delicious breakfast and the sounds of the waves crashing against the sandy coastline. Surf lessons are on deck for today for all those who are interested. A trained and professional guide will give you all of the instruction and guidance necessary to try your hand at this famous water sport. For those who just want to soak up some sun or lounge under the palm trees, the breathtakingly beautiful beaches of the Pacific Coast will provide plenty of opportunity for relaxation and fun.

Surfing on the Pacific Coast
Surfing on the Pacific Coast is a dream of many, and an activity that you can experience on this trip!

Day #6: (Private) Guided Hike of National Park or Charter Fishing

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 privately guided 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 #7: 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 #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!

Costa Rica Cactus Pillars
Costa Rica’s culture is founded in nature and will leave a lasting impact on your family.

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-to-Beach Family Vacation

  • This itinerary can be adapted to the use of both or a combination of Costa Rica’s two major international airports: SJO & LIR.
  • 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 8-13.
  • If you are going to Guanacaste on Day #4 a relaxed, wildlife safari float can be substituted in place of the river rafting.
  • 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-to-Beach Family Vacation

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 Family Rainforest to Beach Itinerary – as outlined above

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

♦ Premier Accommodations: $2,395 – $2,855 / person
♦ Casual Accommodations: $1,695 – $1,995 / person

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

♦ Premier Accommodations: $6,800 – $7,800 / family
♦ Casual Accommodations: $5,190 – $5,900 / family

8-Day Costa Rica Family Rainforest to Beach Itinerary

  • Day #1: Arrival Day and Transfer to Arenal
  • Day #2: Multi-Adventure Day & Hot Springs
  • Day #3: Rainforest Canopy Tour
  • Day #4: Adventure Transfer to Pacific Coast
  • Day #5: Surf Lessons & Day at the Beach
  • Day #6: Private Guided Hike in National Park or Charter Fishing
  • Day #7: Morning to Relax & Afternoon Snorkel & Sunset Catamaran Sail
  • Day #8: Day at Leisure or Optional Activity
  • Day #9: Transfer to Airport for Flight Home

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

♦ Premier Accommodations: $2,145 – $2,555 / person
♦ Casual Accommodations: $1,520 – $1,790 / person

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

♦ Premier Accommodations: $6,400 – $7,190 / family
♦ Casual Accommodations: $4,820 – $5,400 / family

11-Day Costa Rica Family Rainforest to Beach Itinerary

  • Day #1: Arrival Day and Transfer to Arenal
  • Day #2: Multi-Adventure Day & Hot Springs
  • Day #3: Rainforest Canopy Tour
  • Day #4: Adventure Transfer to Pacific Coast
  • Day #5: Surf Lessons & Day at the Beach
  • Day #6: Private Guided Hike in National Park or Charter Fishing
  • Day #7: Morning to Relax & Afternoon Snorkel & Sunset Catamaran Sail
  • Day #8: Day at Leisure or Optional Activity
  • Day #9: Transfer to Airport for Flight Home
  • 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: $2,945.00 – $3,505.00 / person
♦ Casual Accommodations:  $2,045.00 – $2,445.00 / person

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

♦ Premier Accommodations: $8,600.00 – $9,675.00 / family
♦ Casual Accommodations: $6,440.00 – $7,390.00 / family


What Our Clients Say:

I wanted to take a moment and THANK YOU for the wonderful trip arrangements you helped make for our families’ trip to Costa Rica. It was AMAZING, and we all thought it was a great success. The pace and activities worked very well for our families. We met great people, ate well, and had an adventure/activity every day.

— Scott

Plan a Trip! Contact Us for a Free Quote:



  • Planning Tip: Please include your phone number. We want to respect your time. A quick 5-minute phone call is a mutually beneficial way to start planning your dream trip to Costa Rica!