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 and 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
The beaches of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula await your family in our Family Adventure Vacation Itinerary

This Costa Rica family vacation is best matched with active and well-traveled families with older children who may have already visited Costa Rica or Central America. The destinations within this itinerary are somewhat remote and less-developed. 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

  • Hiking in Corcovado National Park Hiking & Snorkeling in Drake Bay – Considered the “Amazon” of Costa Rica, this park is a sight to behold. A local guide will provide your family with a safe and adventurous tour. The whole family will enjoy snorkeling!
  • Convenient local flights to and from Drake Bay – Your family will be amazed at towering waterfalls, volcanos, and gorgeous canyons below as you take flights in and out of this popular destination.
  • Overnight Pacuare River Rafting & Indigenous Biological Reserve Experience – Experience what international travelers dream of with a safe and exciting rafting trip down one of Costa Rica’s best-known rivers. The kids will never forget this!

Suggested 9-day Remote Costa Rica Family Adventure Itinerary

Day #1: Arrival – Overnight stay in boutique lodging with a volcano view

Upon arriving at San Jose Airport (SJO), a comfortable private vehicle (with a friendly driver!) will pick up your family 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, tapirs, 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. Private transportation is arranged at SJO airport to provide your family with a scenic drive through the eastern mountains toward Turrialba Valley. This adventure transfer will take the family through mountain communities filled with coffee and sugar cane plantations. It’s no wonder that travelers have described this area as a tropical “Switzerland.” Your family will check into a beautiful bed and breakfast upon reaching Turrialba. During the day, go for a family hike to a hidden waterfall, swim in the pool or just relax before your final adventure of the trip! Watch the sunset over the volcano tonight!

Day #7: Pacuare River Rafting – Day 1

This will be a big day. Your rafting adventure on the Pacurar river will commence and the entire family will be excited. We ensure that you are paired up with expert rafting guides with years of experience (including international competitions). A safe but thrilling trip down the river brings your family to a well-equipped and up-to-date jungle lodge. You will have all the typical amenities that you need (bathroom, kitchen, etc.) and you’ll find hammocks conveniently placed for stargazing. What a view! You’ll never forget this experience. Yummy meals and short excursions to see waterfalls and zipline-accessible canopies will complete your rainforest experience.

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

Your river rafting adventure down the Pacuare River continues in grand fashion today. Towering biological wonders of the rainforest will surround your family while on the raft, and breathtaking waterfalls will glide down the canyon walls around you. Your family will pass through the Dos Montañas canyon and the rapids will get more exhilarating as they reach class III and IV. This river rafting trip is what dreams are made of!

Day #9: Transfer to Airport for Flight Home

Today marks the final day of the Costa Rica Remote Family Adventure itinerary so enjoy a relaxing tropical breakfast and fresh-roasted coffee before your flight home. We set up private transportation to take your family from the hotel to catch your flight back home. Stories will be told…guaranteed!

Things to Know About the Family Adventure Travel Itinerary

  • Flights to and from SJO (San Jose) airport are suggested for this itinerary, however, arrangements can be made for LIR (Liberia, Guanacaste) at an added expense. Please know that this will also require extra travel time.
  • This itinerary is recommended for families with kids ages 12 and older (due to the rafting experience), however, we can arrange appropriate accommodations and activities on this trip for families with younger children if requested. It can also depend on the season.
  • There will be some days for leisure and optional, independent activities that can be suggested in order to suit your family’s passions and interests.

Costs for the Costa Rica Remote Family Adventure Itinerary

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

Click to view seasonal pricing details >>


9-Day Remote Family Adventure Vacation Itinerary

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

  • Premier Accommodations: $3,045 – $3,870 / person
  • Casual Accommodations: $2,030 – $3,130/ 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: $2,745 – $3,520 / person
  • Casual Accommodations: $1,885 – $2,555 / person

8-Day Itinerary Summary:

  • 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: $3,670 – $4,645 / person
  • Casual Accommodations: $2,515 – $3,405 / person

11-Day Itinerary Summary:

  • 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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