Traveling To Costa Rica With Kids
YOUR GUIDE TO COSTA RICA
It's a conservationist’s dream.
In fact, if conservationists could dream up a country, it would likely be Costa Rica.
Family-Friendly Vacation In Costa Rica:
King Of Sustainable Tourism And Wildlife Conservation:
The moment you arrive in Costa Rica, life starts to get complicated. That’s because you now have too many options to choose from. Like, whether you should go surfing on its unsullied beaches while your kids enjoy the ocean, or would you rather take them on an evening walk to see those pervasive sloths and howler monkeys? Would you impress your family by showing them the crater of a simmering volcano or help your kids track the abundant wildlife in the forests? And it doesn’t get any easier if you choose the forests, for then you’ll only have more options ahead. Would you go on an adventure in the spectacular cloud forests or rather explore the lush rainforests? The list goes on and on, but the plain truth when it comes to Costa Rica is that your family will need a reason to choose. Given the relatively small size of the country and its well-connected road condition and favorable climate, they could very easily do all the above.
"The moment your family arrives in Costa Rica, life starts to get complicated. That’s because you now have too many options to choose from."
"If your kids love adventures, know that you’ve certainly chosen the right journey for them.
"This is the country which our own family had set as a launching pad for the many other journeys that came afterwards."
Considering all that, there’s little wonder then why Costa Rica family vacations happen to be so much on the radar for so many families, especially traveling from North America. But Costa Rica has so much more to offer. It’s kid-friendly, warm, and welcoming to families, and continues to remain an extremely safe place for foreign tourists. For many travelers hesitant to test the true implications of globetrotting, visiting Costa Rica with kids provides them with an international home away from home, where the more novice family travelers are able to hash out the kinks before setting off on a lifetime of adventures around the world. Indeed, this is the country which our own family had set as a launching pad for the many other journeys that came afterwards, both traditional and exotic. Costa Rica had helped us to come of age, it stirred up the environmentalists and naturalists among the kids, and transformed our family into the more mature travelers of today. In fact, the family loved the experience so much that we were dying to come back to the country. And so, six years later when the kids were out on their winter vacation, we did just that.
Costa Rica Travel With Children:
From Renewable Energy To Sustainable Tourism
This time, our family, and especially the kids, who’re the continuing faces of the next generation, were more impressed than ever about the strides the country has taken in judiciously utilizing its abundant natural resources and plentiful flora and fauna. It has now become a leader in ecotourism with well-established opportunities linking up green technology with the kinds of adventure and excitement that families are looking for. There are now many modern ecolodges that generally live up to their expectations for the budget-minded families, even as newer luxury resorts and boutique hotels continue to cater to folks who’d prefer their adventures to be wrapped in a certain level of pampering. Green energy is at the forefront of every decision the country makes, and any newly developing infrastructure is carefully guided by sustainable tourism decisions. Running entirely on renewable energy to power itself for the last several years, Costa Rica hasn’t needed to burn any oil, coal, or natural gas, a feat that no other country of this size has been able to achieve. All this means that this unparalleled country can offer to be a memorable vacation spot for your family and kids.
"Green energy is at the forefront of every decision the country makes, and any newly developing infrastructure is carefully guided by sustainable tourism decisions."
"Costa Rica is the undisputed king of family travel, giving you the conveniences and opportunities that you forever wished you could get to experience in a neat and clean package."
Costa Rica is the undisputed king of family travel, giving you the conveniences and opportunities that you forever wished you could get to experience in a neat and clean package. It’s an ideal destination for all, and especially perfect if your kids love adventures, know that you’ve certainly chosen the right journey for them. In this country, there are adventures abound, and almost all of them have some form of family-friendly or kid-friendly components to them. You might see your kids disappear in a heart-pumping zipline tour high up in the leafy canopy only to see them emerge on the other side ogling a sleepy sloth crouched up high in the branches. You might watch them prick up their ears trying to listen to the subtle whirring of hummingbird wings only to get it drowned out by the boisterous cries of invading howler monkeys up in the tree canopies. Remember that spectacular as the Costa Rican rainforests are, much of the action takes place hidden from view. This almost begs for getting a bird’s eye view, so unless your someone in the family has extreme acrophobia (fear of heights), zipping across the forest on a suspended wire might be just what it takes to get the adrenaline rushing in everyone’s veins. Not to worry, ziplines are perfectly safe, and many are available for even younger kids. For additional peace of mind and security, you can even choose to tether the young ones to the guides who’d masterfully then accompany them for the ride. Either way, when their vacation is over, the kids can share a hundred anecdotes that will make their classmates envious about.
"Zipping across the forest on a suspended wire might be just what it takes to get the adrenaline rushing in everyone’s veins."
Family Fun In Costa Rica:
La Paz Waterfall Gardens Activities
At or near the top of your Costa Rica family vacation list should be La Paz Waterfall Gardens, one of the most impressive sights in the country, located no less in an exquisitely scenic area, right on the slopes of the Poás Volcano. This is hot among family travelers, but it’s not only the five striking waterfalls in this region that traveling families are attracted to. On the other hand, if you’ve never known the miracle a bath under a soothing waterfall might do to your inner being, this Costa Rica vacation is your chance to experience just that (lucky you!). And if you’d like to bring your kids along for a magic dip, try to find one that’s easy to hike to, and is also safe to swim.
"Costa Rica is a hot destination among family travelers."
"The number of different species of hummingbirds that you’ll see here is sure to make the kids giggly."
La Paz has a multi-layered approach to offering up its attractions for all nature and wildlife lovers, and so everyone in the family, even the kids, will have something to love about it. But there’s a lot more to do here for the family, like marvel at the beautiful hanging bridges, verdant forests, and buzzing hummingbirds all around you. In fact, the number of different species of hummingbirds that you’ll see here is sure to make the kids giggly – this place has more than can be found anywhere else in Costa Rica. So, it’s no wonder the place is a mecca for hummingbird-watching, but even for the photographers in your family, it gives some great opportunity to learn the tradecraft. Usually, it’s difficult to achieve a degree of sharpness when taking pictures of these fast flyers, but here, they seem to care so little of your presence, hovering midair in a holding pattern just inches from your face so you can actually feel the wind from the flutter of their wings. Unless of course, your kids are carrying their nectar feeding tube, when they might even occasionally consider landing on them. With flashing unearthly iridescence from their wings, without fail, I’ve seen kids of all sizes being magically drawn towards this pavilion. And given how much everyone adores these birds this might end up being one of the biggest highlights of your Costa Rica travel with kids.
Wildlife is abundant around most places in Costa Rica, but since seeing them in the wild requires ample patience, and I know that some in the family could get fussy until their favorite animal deigns to show up. But since you’ve made Costa Rica travel with kids your primary objective, keeping them entertained would go a long way towards a hassle-free vacation for all. So, to counter the apparent shortcoming, one recommendation could be to take them on a boat ride through the rainforests. This journey by itself should be an adventure for the kids, leaving them fully engaged and excited during the trip. Such a water cruise should be able to present ample wildlife viewing opportunities, such as several species of monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and a plethora of feathered friends to up the ante. Turtles and caimans are obviously a little more difficult to spot, although depending on the season of travel the kids might find themselves lucky to spy on a dole of turtles getting ready to lay their eggs on the wide-open beaches. If you are really interested in turtles, know that some, like the Olive Ridley Turtle, are endangered, so it’s advisable to always maintain a safe distance so as not to disturb them. You can sign up for a turtle tour, but if the kid or anyone else in the family are really into all things wildlife, you might consider visiting the superb animal sanctuaries or rescue centers of the region, which will surely get you a closer dose of creature comfort.
"You might consider visiting the superb animal sanctuaries or rescue centers."
Abundant Wildlife, Endless Adventures:
How To Plan A Family Day At The Monteverde Cloud Forest
You might think that to some independent nature-lovers, Costa Rica will forever be synonymous with cloud forests. But know that for the rest of us trying to juggle several concurrent activities on our Costa Rica travel with kids, a trip to the Monteverde Cloud Forest should still be mandatory for their sake. Famed not only for forests that show off their elevations, these also offer a wide range of engaging vacation activities for families. The hike here in these forests should generally be a comfortable one for the family and the kids, although keep in mind that the place is definitely very hot and humid, so the weather here could have a way of getting to everybody. Kids will absolutely love the Butterfly Garden, Frog Pond, and Bat Jungle, all within the same region, so you can easily spend all day exploring and educating them about the local flora and fauna.
"To some independent nature-lovers, Costa Rica will forever be synonymous with cloud forests."
Arenal Volcano is another place where all kinds of adventures are born, and many of them are born here catered towards kids of all ages. Here, there are easy bridges to hike on, including beautiful hanging bridges upon which kids can safely walk on, but there are also activities that will be too intense for kids. The most extreme activities, like whitewater rafting in a more challenging environment, might be ideal for serious adrenaline junkies in the family. Kids six years or older can as a matter of fact ride river rapids, and even younger kids can be led out on what’s called “safari floats” in a safe and kid-friendly experience.
"All kinds of adventures are born here, and many of them are catered towards kids of all ages."
"If your kids love nature and wildlife, then this isn’t one of those vacations they’ll easily forget."
Before you bid farewell to a thrilling Costa Rica family vacation make sure to sit on the white idyllic sand beaches in Manuel Antonio National Park for one last time, and you’re likely to forget that the nearby forests brim with fascinating wildlife such as howler, squirrel, and spider monkeys, two-toed and three-toed sloths, raccoons, coatis, giant anteaters, pacas, white-tailed deer, and occasionally, even the shy, well-camouflaged ocelots. If your kids love nature and wildlife, then this isn’t one of those vacations they’ll easily forget. I know ours never will.
Costa Rica With Kids: A Family-Tested Recipe
What What can your kids do in Costa Rica? Well, the possibilities are endless, so let us begin:
Kids love hummingbirds, but you knew that, right? Let’s start right there. La Paz Waterfall Gardens has some 26 hummingbird species, probably the largest concentration anywhere in the world. It’s also barely over an hour’s drive from the capital, San José, so no fussy kids in car. And finally, something for the kids to make their school buddies envious about!
Have your kids spend a day hiking the lush rainforests around La Paz. It is hot and humid, and the kids get to splash around in the waters that look like crystals. For that matter, bring in the entire family to bathe underneath the cool and inviting waterfall. And, oh, there are not just one, or two, or three of them nearby. There are as many as five stunning waterfalls here, all waiting to be explored. Remember to just find one that your kids will love and that will be safe for them.
Forget going for the roller coaster rides inside those metal cans at Disneyworld. Going to Costa Rica with kids is the real deal. If you’ve always wondered why it is that the adrenaline starts to flow when there’s nothing more going on than a high-speed descent over the jungle canopy with nothing but a piece of wire fighting it out with gravity, book your family adventure on zipline tours to find out. Not only will you have your answer, you can even let your kids learn from the practical experience. Ziplining tours are all over the country but not all of them are kid-friendly, so do your research. Kids love water, but by now you already know that. This journey though is made on, not in, water.
Take your kids for surfing lessons. Feeling left out? Quit whining, and have the entire family break the surf.the kids ride out the rapids on a “float” while the rest of the adults in the family plan for an over-the-top whitewater rafting adventure. Many of the places have provision for childcare, so having kids in tow is not an adequate excuse for missing out.
Let the kids ride out the rapids on a “float” while the rest of the adults in the family plan for an over-the-top whitewater rafting adventure. Many of the places have provision for childcare, so having kids in tow is not an adequate excuse for missing out.
Kids get oodles of fun hearing the howler monkeys, well, howl. They aren’t difficult to find, although having them scream for entertaining humans might need more patience than your kids are willing to provide.
Take your kids for surfing lessons. Feeling left out? Quit whining, and have the entire family break the surf.
Bring the kids with you at riding over the river rapids, which the younger ones can safely perform on “safari floats” in a safe environment.
Hike up the absolutely picturesque Arenal Volcano with your kids. Recommended starting point would be the trails originating off of Arenal Observatory Lodge.
Introduce the kids to such weird and varied creatures as sloths, blue Morpho butterflies, and poison-dart frogs. Why not make this both fun and educational? Stir the born naturalists in your kids – they’ll thank you later.
Did you know that sloths are in fact slower than snails?
Did you know that blue butterflies aren’t really blue but an optical illusion due to their iridescence make them appear so?
Did you know poison-dart frogs sweat poison and are the most poisonous animal alive?
Go ask your kids, maybe they knew these facts already.