Costa Rica is a country that can fill your heart, your mind, and your soul, not as an individual but as a family. Find inside tips about traveling to Costa Rica luxury family resorts, luxury family tours, adventures such as Ziplining, hiking, and surfing, share a sample itinerary, and show how your family can experience Costa Rica through the eyes of luxury.
You may have realized as a family; you don’t want to go on a “typical” family vacation, whether driving across the country to see the National Parks or going to a very crowded amusement park. As a family, you may have recognized that this doesn’t sound enjoyable anymore.
Beaches, Ziplining, volcanos, surfing, and luxury hotels for you and your family? Does this sound enjoyable to you?
Have you ever thought about coming to Costa Rica? Costa Rica is one of the most visited countries in Central America, and when the pandemic came about, the country was hit hard, as tourism is one of the primary sources of income. However, the country is resilient and it’s still a top destination for a luxury tropical vacation.
First and foremost, the most common question that luxury tourists ask is, “Where do we stay as a family if we are looking for a luxury setting?” When you look at the hotels, remember there are many other options, which are considered on the same level and price point. Remember, Costa Rica Escapes is here to guide you that best suits your goals and needs.
Second of all, what does the family want to do? Adventure? Chillaxing? Or a little bit of both? Let’s talk about three different, luxurious places to stay in Costa Rica that can include a volcano, a river, or a beach.
“Take Me to the Volcano” | The Spring Resort & Spa at Arenal
What makes this resort luxurious, at-a-glance: Waking up seeing Arenal Volcano with the family, connecting during family adventures, and spending time in the spa. This luxury resort takes you to a whole new world, as this property that CNN Travel voted on as the top 7, as the most spectacular views in the world.
Only 2.5 hours from Liberia Airport, the family will look at the incredible views of the Arenal Volcano; the hotel provides opportunities to visit hot springs, pools, adventures for the kids, and a spa day for the parents.
Wake up to your Costa Rica coffee, look out at the active Arenal Volcano, enjoy breakfast at Tres Cascadas with the family, and head out to the Club Rio Adventure Center, where the family can choose so many adventures from horseback riding, tubing, kayaking, and a wildlife sanctuary. If you want to go adventure out beyond the resort, there are many local tours that the hotel can connect you with, ranging from waterfalls, to ATV tours, to Safari Float by a raft and zip lining.
After a busy day of adventure, The Spring Resort & Spa has many lunch options for the family but does Mom or Dad need a getaway for the afternoon? Check out The Spring Resort Spa as there are plenty of services, such as a massage, facials, hand and foot treatments, along with a state-of-the-art fitness facility to get your sweat on before you head to dinner with the family.
“A Dream is Just a River” – The Pacuare Lodge on The Pacuare River
What makes this resort luxurious, at-a-glance: The Pacuare Lodge is a luxury hotel nestled in the banks of the Pacuare River, the beautiful whitewater of Costa Rica. Only having 20 suites on the property, the family will feel like royalty, while experiencing luxury accommodations and cuisine.
The Pacuare Lodge is about 3 hours east from the San Jose (SJO) Airport, toward the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.
The Pacuare Lodge is a luxury eco-hotel with only 20 suites and sits on the edge of The Pacuare River. Imagine the family sitting for breakfast surrounding the beautiful nature of the Costa Rican rainforest.
During the time spent at the Lodge, there are plenty of adventures for the family, such as whitewater rafting, hiking, bird tours, and canopy adventures. And while the family may get a little dirty and wet during these adventures, the laughs and memories will last a lifetime.
Since the resort is quite remote, the lodge does have a minimum age of 7 to stay, and the rafting tour requires a minimum age of 12.
“Every day is a Good Day at the Beach” – The Four Seasons in Papagayo
What makes this resort luxurious, at-a-glance: The views coming into Liberia Airport at 15,000 feet and when the family gets to this luxury resort. There is no disappointment. One of the best luxury beach resorts for families in Costa Rica, with plenty of beach activities for the adults and the kids.
The Four Seasons is about an hour from the Liberia Airport, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. From the top of the line accommodations, such as private villas to a Kids Club (4 to 12 years old), with adventures out in Costa Rica or staying on sight, while Mom and Dad are working out for FREE yoga or a Spa Day.
The Four Seasons in Papaygo has plenty to do for the family. If the family is looking for adventures from land, there is plenty to do, such as stargazing, bike tours, hiking, canopy tours, and Ziplining (if you didn’t go at The Springs Resort). If the family is looking for adventure from the ocean, The Four Seasons provides that, such as fishing, scuba diving, private boat cruises, and sailing.
Let’s not forget about the food at The Four Seasons; whether you dine by the beach or grab some grub in your room, you will not be disappointed.
Zip-lining: Sky Trek Arenal Volcano Zipline Adventures
Feeling like royalty at some of the top-of-the-line resorts, the family will feel the same way, zip-lining through Costa Rica with Sky Trek Zip-line Adventures. From the very moment of getting in the harness to the last zip line, the family will feel safe and secure with the incredible guides.
Costa Rica is known for its ziplining adventure, and the one that is highly suggested is the Sky Trek Arenal Volcano Zipline Adventures. With this zipline adventure, you will be hanging almost 600 feet above the ground through treetops and canyons of Costa Rica. Side note: Children under the age of 8 are not allowed on Sky Trek.
Surfing: Playa Guiones Beach in Nosara
Surf in Nosara
On your Costa Rica luxury family itinerary, Playa Guiones surfing is a must, whether the kids take a lesson or the parents take a lesson, “Hang 10” with some well-known surfers and celebrities, that you may or may not recognize, is a way to connect with everyone on the beach.
Head down for a day trip to Playa Guiones, Costa Rica’s most famous surfing beach. You can take lessons, rent a surfboard if you are already a surfer, or enjoy a picnic on the beach with the family. In addition, there are many incredible places to eat after a full day of surfing, by Playa Guiones and in the town of Nosara, for more local flair.
Hiking: From Rainforests to Beaches to Mountains
On your Costa Rica luxury family tours, the family can connect with nature through a private guided tour. When the family surrounds themselves with nature, and a beautiful waterfall, the phones, and the iPads are forgotten.
There are many places to hike in Costa Rica with the family, ranging from hiking through a rainforest, watching sunsets on many beaches, and climbing a mountain, it depends on what you are craving as a family along with the family’s fitness activity level. When looking for hikes, find a local guide who understands everything about Costa Rica, who can find those Scarlet Macaws or the sloths hanging around in the tree, that you may not see on your own.
Tenorio Volcano National Park
This area is one of the better-kept secrets (an alternative to visiting Arenal) and has everything from Luxury to Casual accommodations, based on style and budget. The family can connect with nature through a private guided tour.
Take a day hiking trip to see one of the most photographed waterfalls of Costa Rica, with the stairs heading down to the bottom of the waterfall to the bright blue colors. The trails can get very muddy, so make sure you have hiking shoes, plenty of water, and some rainproof gear. You can wear shorts but don’t forget to protect the camera and phones. Total miles of hiking is about 4 miles, AND make sure you get there when the park opens, as they have been limiting entry due to COVID.
A Typical 10 Day Luxury Costa Rica Family Itinerary:
- Day #1: Arrive in Liberia, Costa Rica and travel to The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal Volcano and enjoy a beautiful dinner to celebrate the start of your family luxury vacation.
- Day #2 – #4: Family time for adventures, zip-lining, seeing animals, monkeys, possibly sloths, horseback riding, playing in the hot springs and pools, and allowing Mom and Dad to enjoy their workout time and a spa day.
- Day #5: Travel Day: Travel over to Rio Celeste to check out the bluest of blue waters but remember you can not swim in this river, so don’t try. Then finish your travel day to The Four Seasons in Papagayo.
- Day #6 & 7: Chill at the beach, and adventure out on the resort. Remember to reset and enjoy the downtime to a vacation.
- Day #8: Day Trip to Nosara to check out the waves on Playa Guiones, as one of the best places to surf in Costa Rica with all the locals. Take a surf lesson from many surf companies around Nosara and many incredible places to eat.
- Day #9: Chill day at the beach
- Day #10: Travel back home and make unforgettable memories.
Costa Rica memorable vacation, from spending time at a volcano to hiking a waterfall to heading to the famous beaches. And there is plenty of time to take time for each other. So put the phones and the iPads away, grab a book, grab some beach toys, make a sandcastle, and experience a Costa Rica Luxury Family Vacation that the family will never forget.
Contact Us to Plan a Luxury Trip to Costa Rica!
Jen Rulon is an avid traveler and writer for Costa Rica Escapes. She is also a triathlon coach and author. You can find her knowledge as an author and speaker ranging from Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Men’s Journal Online New York Times.
As she has retired from the triathlon space, Jen’s love of Costa Rica began. She realized that she loves the beaches, and the coffee of Costa Rica and now wants to share through the eyes of what she sees with Costa Rica Escapes. Read Jen’s stories and advice for travelers who wish to see the authentic side of Costa Rica on their vacation.