Costa Rica is known as “Heaven on Earth”. but we all know that when traveling with children, heaven applies only if the kids are having fun and are active. Therefore, if we want to avoid the well-known situation of bored and complaining kids. it is essential to plan ahead the trip and activities in the way what will suit the children. To be honest in Costa Rica that mission is quite simple. as this country has everything to offer that a child would dream of.
A bit of knowledge and preparation will allow you to guarantee for you and the kids an unforgettable experience! Unique animals, rainforest hiking on hanging bridges, horseback riding, diving. And even snorkeling, surf lessons, zip lining between the trees in the cloud forest, waterslides in the hot springs, amazing waterfalls, breathtaking views and much more! Also, the climate is very comfortable. The locals are so nice and friendly. Sriving from place to place is simple, all this makes Costa Rica a great place to travel as a family. Enjoy the complete guide to travel costa rica with kids.
costa rica travel with kids – list of the destination:
Arenal was the most active volcano in Costa Rica until 2010 and since then it has been relatively quiet. Although you are unlikely to see lava eruptions on a tour as before. The scenery is still stunningly beautiful. And the volcano is surrounded by a national park which you can explore in a variety of interesting ways.
Arenal’s Hanging Bridges Park is a 3km trail in the tropical forest. built from 16 suspension bridges that reach as high as 60 meters. The bridges are suitable for children of all ages and are more of an interest to children rather than a regular walking tour. The difficulty level of the park is appropriate for families and lasts about 3-4 hours.
The tour also includes the lake, which is an artificial lake at the foot of the volcano with a beautiful view. Arenal is the largest lake in Costa Rica and you can enjoy activities such as: Kayaking, fishing, windsurfing and more. that’s a great place to travel in costa rica with kids.
Not far from the volcano there is a special nature phenomenon of hot springs. Created by the geothermal energy in Arenal.
There are several sites where you can enjoy a dip in the springs, an unforgettable experience for both adults and children. It is important to choose from these sites in places that are more suitable for families with children. And make sure that they have pools with cold water because not all children love the sense of hot water. Especially when it comes to infants and toddlers. If you have energetic and active children, you may want to choose the larger “Baldi” or “Tabacon” hot springs. Where the children will enjoy the water slides and pools at different temperatures.
For families that prefer a quieter environment, it is recommended to visit “eco termales”. which is the smallest of the hot springs in La Fortuna, and limits the number of visitors to 100 guests. In all the springs you can purchase an entrance ticket that includes a meal at the local restaurant.
Another possibility that will be the ultimate experience for children is the kalam water park. It is different from the hot springs mentioned above, because it is a real water park that combines: water slides, artificial ponds and natural hot springs. Unlike the previous sites which are designed more naturally. If you have children who need to unload a lot of energy this will certainly be a great experience for them, as well as suitable for toddlers as there is a special compound.
A lot of travelers fall in love with Arenal & La Fortuna area and choose to spend more than a couple of days there. Another popular hike is to the impressive 70 meters tall La Fortuna waterfall. You can either hike by foot or take a horseback riding tour to the waterfalls. Might not be suitable for families with toddlers as it’s a bit of a steep way down.
Other attractions are getting to know the variety of animals in the area, and are highly recommended for families with children and suitable for all ages. Among the fascinating and unique possibilities you will find: animal rehabilitation centers, butterfly farm, night tours to watch the night life of the many frog species, butterfly farms, bird watching tours and more.
Proyecto Asis: is an organization that offers tours at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. And as part of the activities the children are really involved in animal rehabilitation activities. The tour takes a close encounter with the wildlife of Costa Rica and educational activities that teach about nature conservation and animal protection. The tours are held in English and Spanish.
Arenal Oasis: a hotel that hosts families who are interested in an authentic nature experience. It is an ecological farm that takes part in the conservation of natural resources such as: wildlife protection, recycling, environmental education and more. There are nightly bird watching tours, morning tours to watch the birds and more.
Arenal Natura Ecological Park is an educational animal park with a view of the volcano. There are guided tours of nature in Costa Rica and efforts to preserve it, you can visit the park’s frogs and snakes and watch alligators.
This is a huge nature reserve that includes: five waterfalls at different heights, Safe walking trails in a rainforest, a cloud forest and a zoo that is actually a rescue center for animals that have been harmed and cannot return to life in nature.
It has more than 100 species of wild animals and its butterfly farm is very large and impressive. And is considered an extraordinary experience unlike anything else. In the park there are also various exhibitions such as frogs, jungle cats and more.
The park recommends a minimum of two hours for a walking tour. But the variety of attractions available there actually allows you to spend an entire day. The La Paz garden reserve is very convenient for families. Since it includes a variety of unique activities suitable for children, and is concentrated in one place without the need to travel from one place to another.
The activities are also suitable and interesting for children of all ages. It is an hour’s drive from San Jose airport and many choose this reserve as their first destination after landing in Costa Rica. *suitable for a trip to Costa Rica with kids.
Please note that many travelers used to continue from La Paz to the Poas volcano in the area. But since April 2017 the volcano is closed to visitors due to increased and unexpected volcanic activity. As of today, the park is closed for an indefinite period.
Manuel Antonio National Park is the smallest of Costa Rica’s national parks. But is considered the most beautiful and popular one, especially because of its unique combination of soft white sand beaches and a rainforest that goes right up to the beach. The park features 12 small islands that are often visited by dolphins and sometimes even whales.
There are well-marked hiking trails in the park, each with a different character. Of course, with children it is important to plan in advance, and it is recommended to combine additional experiences for walking. There are various companies that offer horse or ATV tours in the area, you can visit the butterfly farms and reptiles.
In addition to the hiking trails in the park there are marine attractions such as surfing or boating. Various companies offer water tours that include watching dolphins and whales. Others offer diving trips or snorkeling, and other trips such as rafting, surfing, kayaking and more.
It is recommended to but tickets to the activities in advance, you can buy them in all the hotels in the area of Manuel Antonio and Quepos .
Most of the attractions include a shuttle from your hotel, whether in Quepos or in Manuel Antonio.
Monte Verde nature reserve is one of the most visited destinations in Costa Rica. Cloud forests are cloudy and misty due to their high location, well maintained, and many walking paths of varying degrees of difficulty.
It is important to note that it involves a difficult journey, since it is a mountainous area with roads that are broken and pass over the side of the mountain. Therefor the trip may take longer than expected.
As a family it is important to consider whether such a trip is suitable for you and your children. Other possible ways to consider other than renting a 4×4 vehicle are using a shuttle service or booking a private shuttle. There are several companies that offer these services.
The most recommended attraction in this area is the canopy tours, which are common and famous in all of Costa Rica, but Monte Verde are the longest cables and the largest number of lagoons anywhere else. And the views on these trips are amazing and special.
For those who prefer less challenging activities or who travel with relatively young children. You can take walks on foot with hanging bridges or a cable car ride. When you are in Monte Verde or in neighboring Santa Elena, you can book in advance at any hotel and book a trip that combines the attractions for you. Most of the companies also provide shuttle services as part of the organized trip and will pick you up from your hotel. As in many other places in Costa Rica, there are many other attractions in the area of Monte Verde and Santa Elena such as: visiting a butterfly farm, bird tours, night tours to watch the night animals. There are also tours in factories such as cheese, sugar, chocolate, coffee that can be good to travel in costa rica with kids.
Jaco is a vibrant, young and colorful beach town on the Pacific coast known mainly as an attraction for many surfers. Many families choose to start their trip in Jaco because of the location being relatively close to San Jose airport. As well as the convenience of staying with your children at the most developed coastal town in the area. And because of its many activities for children.
The town of Jaco offers surfing classes, horseback riding in the wild, ATV tours in beautiful areas with a variety of animals and more.
One of the most prominent advantages of Jaco is that it is very convenient for day trips. You can stay for a few nights in the town and from there you can leave for fascinating tours every day, a short and convenient ride for a family with children.
Jaco is about an hour’s drive from the famous nature reserve of Manuel Antonio. A few minute’s drive from the famous beach of Playa Hermosa. A 20-minute drive from the Crocodile River Tarcoles. A 40-minute drive from the Monkey River, twenty minutes from the entrance to the Bijagual Falls between the highest waterfalls in Costa Rica. A short drive from Playa Blanca is one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica.
Active volcanoes are part of the natural wonders of Costa Rica. And the most recommended for visiting in costa rica with kids is the Rincon de la Vieja volcano surrounded by a huge national park. The most recommended route in the park is las pailas, which is located in the western part of the park. With many evidences of volcanic activity such as natural hot springs, earth’s crust openings, boiling mud pits and, of course, the active volcano
If you and your family love nature trips and are not afraid of walking in the mud or traveling in potholes than Rio Celeste is a must. In Rio Celeste you will find a unique natural phenomenon of bright blue river. The unique color of the water that many visitors come to see, is the result of the combination of special materials which in the water cause the reflection of sunlight to appear in this color.
The magical waterfall of Rio Celeste, whose waters pour into a beautiful azure lake with leave you breathless.
The trip to Rio Celeste is unique in its beauty and is suitable for a one day trip because it is a few hours’ walk. You can go on a day trip from where you are staying in one of the areas within an hour’s drive. Or you can park for a night or two in one of the hotels near the park.
My name is Tony Ashkenazi , author of the article and owner of hotel “Las Orquideas”, and a surfing school in the town of Jaco. I would be happy to host you during your visit to Costa Rica. Discounts for a variety of attractions and trips guaranteed to all visitors. call us or message on facebook. Our hotel is most suitable for accommodation in Costa Rica with kids.