Remote Costa Rica Family Adventure Vacation Itinerary

Turrialba’s Pacuare River & Osa Peninsula’s Drake Bay

This Remote Costa Rica Family Adventure Itinerary is our personal favorite, and visits two incredible areas of the country that are slightly off-the-beaten-path. Turrialba’s Pacuare River & Osa Peninsula’s Drake Bay are considered remote and undisturbed regions of the country with incredible National Parks and Preserves that provide for unforgettable wildlife watching and adventure. An in-country flight is required, providing a jaw-dropping way to see the country from above!

Beaches of Drake Bay | Remote Costa Rica Family Adventure Vacation
The beaches of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula await your family in our Family Adventure Vacation Itinerary

Due to the remote nature and underdevelopment of each location, the Costa Rican Remote Family Adventure Itinerary is best matched with active and well-traveled families with older children who may have already visited Costa Rica or Central America. (Although we have certainly coordinated this experience for families with adventurous younger children as well!) If your family wants to see a side of Costa Rica that is unique and biologically diverse, this is your ideal vacation itinerary.

Top 3 Highlights of the Remote Family Vacation Adventure

  • Corcovado National Park Hiking & Snorkeling Tour in Drake Bay – Explore the “Amazon” of Costa Rica on foot and underwater. Your family will be accompanied by a local, naturalist guide to ensure that you experience the best this national park has to offer.
  • In-country flights to & from Drake Bay – Spot waterfalls, river canyons and smoking volcanoes as you soar at 6,000 feet over the incredible jungle & rainforests of Costa Rica.
  • Pacuare River Overnight Rafting & Night in Indigenous Biological Reserve – Considered by many to be the greatest adventure in Costa Rica, you and the kids will literally paddle through the jungle down one of the top five rivers in the world.

Suggested 9-day Remote Costa Rica Family Adventure Itinerary

Day #1: Arrival – Night in a boutique property on the flanks of a volcano

As soon as you arrive into the San Jose Airport (SJO), an air-conditioned and modern private vehicle will be outside of the airport waiting to greet you for a quick 30-minute transfer to your hotel. This first evening, you will ascend into the agricultural, mostly coffee-growing region of the Central Highlands on the foothills of Volcano Poas to settle into your boutique B&B where you can rest and relax for the adventures to come!

Day #2: Soar over the jungle on your flight to Drake Bay – Afternoon to Explore

After breakfast-with-a-view, you will travel back to the airport for an in-country flight to the remote Osa Peninsula. National Geographic has labeled this part of the country as “…one of the most biologically intense places on earth.” You will land on a tiny airstrip on the beach and promptly board a 4×4 that will take you across a river over the hills to your cliff-side eco-lodge that exists in harmony with the surrounding jungle and beaches. After lunch, your family can take the rest of the afternoon to relax and explore the beach and jungle. All meals are included in your stay at Drake Bay.

Day #3: Underwater Exploration on a snorkel or scuba tour of Isla del Caño

After breakfast this morning, your family will board a boat and journey to the remote island of Isla del Caño, 14 miles off of Drake Bay. This island is a biological reserve consisting of approximately 500 acres surrounded by protected waters swarming with tropical marine life. The island itself contains several artifacts that date back to pre-Colombian times. The snorkeling here will not disappoint! The schools of fish and other marine life tend to be much larger than can be spotted in the Caribbean, and it is not rare to see whales, turtles and various shark species here. After your family’s adventure, the boat will return you to the lodge to watch the sunset together and share stories.

Snorkel tour of Isla del Caño
Your kids will absolutely love the snorkel tour of Isla del Caño

Day #4: Explore the wonders of Corcovado National Park on a guided rainforest hike

Today you will have the opportunity to visit one of the greatest national parks in all of Central America. After breakfast this morning, your family will board a boat and take a quick 25-minute ride south into Corcovado National Park where you will be joined by your guide for a hike of this magical place. The largest of Costa Rica’s protected areas, Parque Nacional Corcovado is made up of 103,290 acres of tropical rainforest, encompassing about a third of the Osa Peninsula and embracing an unbelievable amount of the country’s biodiversity. It has a very diverse population of flora and fauna, including 10% of the mammals found in the Americas. Scarlet Macaws, anteaters, tapiers, and 3 species of monkeys are often sighted here.

Jungle Hike - Costa Rica Family Vacation
Your kids (and you!) will be amazed at the rich biodiversity deep in the jungle

Day #5: Free Day in Drake Bay

A trip to this area of the country is not complete without a day to get out and explore the hidden beaches and hike the jungle trails. Now that you and your family have your bearings, you’ll feel very comfortable getting out on your own to look for wildlife and play in the ocean. We can also set up adventure activities such as horseback riding, zip-lining (a favorite for the kids!) or another trip to Corcovado National Park, too. Enjoy your final full day in this paradise!

Day #6: Transfer through the Mountains to Turrialba

This morning after breakfast, your family will say adios to the Osa Peninsula to catch a flight back to the Central Valley. At the San Jose airport, a private vehicle will meet your family to take you east into the mountainous terrain and river carved Turrialba Valley. This adventure transfer will take the family through tree-shaded coffee farms, sugar cane plantations, and past the small mountainside towns that give this area the nickname, “Switzerland of Central America.” Once in Turrialba, your family will stay in a gorgeous B&B on the east side of town – perfect for watching the sunset over the Turrialba Volcano in the west. Take this day to go for a family hike to a hidden waterfall, swim in the pool or just relax before your final adventure of the trip!

Day #7: Pacuare River Rafting – Day 1

On today’s adventure you and your family will raft the thrilling white-water of the pristine Pacuare River. Your professional rafting guides are all world-class and many compete in international rafting competitions! They will guide you and your kids safely down the river to the remote jungle lodge, which is equipped with running water, flushing toilets, showers, a full kitchen, hammocks and a million star views. All of the rooms are modern, very clean and fully equipped. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Wait until you try the delicious food! Once you are at the lodge, you can rest and relax or, if your family wants more adventure, guides are available for trips to hidden waterfalls and zip-line canopies in the middle of the rainforest!

Rafting Trip on the Pacuare River with your Family
Rafting the Pacuare River with your family will be one of the most memorable experiences on your trip

Day #8: White-water Rafting – Day #2

Considered one of the top five adventure rivers in the world, the Pacuare River will certainly live up to its reputation today. This biological and indigenous reserve is home to some of the most scenic river scenes your family will ever lay eyes upon! Waterfalls will literally tumble into the river and even into the raft as you prepare to enter a beautiful canyon called Dos Montañas (Two Mountains). Also on day two of the whitewater rafting adventure itinerary, your family will encounter the class III & IV rapids that adventurers all over the world travel to raft down!

Day #9: Transfer to Airport for Flight Home

This is the last day of the Costa Rica Remote Family Adventure itinerary so enjoy a relaxing tropical breakfast and fresh-roasted coffee before your flight home. Costa Rica Escapes will take care of all the arrangements for your family’s private transfer from hotel to the airport. Ciao for now!

Things to Know About the Family Adventure Travel Itinerary

  • Flying in/out of San Jose’s (SJO) Airport is preferred for the Costa Rica Remote Family Adventure itinerary, but we can make travel arrangements from Liberia, Guanacaste’s (LIR) Airport at an additional cost. Extra travel days would be required for this.
  • Recommended age for the Remote Family Adventure itinerary varies by season. In order to include the white-water rafting portion of the itinerary, travelers should be 12 years or older, however, Costa Rica Escapes is happy to customize this trip for families with children under the age of 12 years old.
  • Days at Leisure or days with Optional Activities do not have an included tour, activity or adventure; however, one can be added based on your family’s interests.

Costs for the Costa Rica Remote Family Adventure Itinerary

All pricing is based on the High Season: mid-November – mid-April, June – August


9-Day Remote Family Adventure Vacation Itinerary – as described in above trip

Prices are per person, and based on a family/group of 3 people sharing a room.

♦ Premier Accommodations: $2,795 – $3,395 / person
♦ Casual Accommodations: $1,880 – $2,555/ person

8-Day Remote Family Adventure Vacation Itinerary

Prices are per person, and based on a family/group of 3 people sharing a room.

♦ Premier Accommodations: $2,495 – $3,045 / person
♦ Casual Accommodations: $1,735 – $2,280 / person

  • Day #1: Arrival – Night in Central Valley
  • Day #2: Morning Flight to Drake Bay – Afternoon to Explore or Relax
  • Day #3: Corcovado National Park Hiking Tour
  • Day #4: Isla del Caño Snorkeling Tour
  • Day #5: Flight to San Jose & Transfer to Turrialba
  • Day #6: White-water Rafting on Pacuare River to Jungle Lodge – Day #1
  • Day #7: White-water Rafting on Pacuare River – Day #2 – Transfer to Central Valley
  • Day #8: Transfer to Airport for Flight Home

11-Day Remote Family Adventure Vacation Itinerary

Prices are per person, and based on a family/group of 3 people sharing a room.

♦ Premier Accommodations: $3,420 – $4,170 / person
♦ Casual Accommodations: $2,365 – $3,130 / person

  • Day #1: Arrival – Night in Central Valley
  • Day #2: Morning Flight to Drake Bay – Afternoon to Explore or Relax
  • Day #3: Corcovado National Park Hiking Tour
  • Day #4: Isla del Caño Snorkeling Tour
  • Day #5: Day at Leisure or Optional Activity in Drake Bay
  • Day #6: Flight to San Jose & Transfer to Turrialba
  • Day #7: Canyoning Adventure or Mountain Biking in Turrialba
  • Day #8: 3-Day White-water Rafting Trip on Pacuare River to Jungle Lodge – Day #1
  • Day #9: Day of Exploration in Jungle River Camp – Day #2 – Hiking, Waterfall & Zip-lining
  • Day #10: White-water Rafting on Pacuare River – Day #3 – Transfer to Central Valley
  • Day #11: Transfer to Airport for Flight Home

What Our Clients Say:

I am writing to let you know what a wonderful trip we had to Costa Rica. It was all that I hoped and more. Your ability to create an itinerary that met our needs was really quite amazing. It was also quite clear that you know the country well and your connections go beyond the norm of a travel agent

— Christine

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