Costa Rica Vacation with Kids: Adventure & Nature Tour

Costa Rica is the perfect destination for a relaxing beach getaway or an active vacation.
A 8 day trip to Costa Rica 
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You don’t have to be a kid to have fun like one. This active and adventurous family vacation is hand tailored to ensure everyone’s desires are met. Peer into the depths of an active volcano. Soar through the rainforest and feel the wind rush against your cheeks. Search for monkeys and watch turtles hatch from their nests. There is no shortage of sights to see and fun to have. Experience Costa Rica as a family and find the adventure you have all been waiting for.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Turtle at Tortuguero National Park.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

San Jose, Arena, Tortuguero, Vara Blanca

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Fun and Family

San Jose is a city built on history and culture. Mountains encircle the capital and offer a remarkable skyline in every direction. The Central Valley Region rises in the undulating tropical mountain plateau 3,840 feet above sea level. As your flight descends you can see the endless greenery carpeting the far reaches of the fabulous landscape. Your private transfer meets the family at the airport and soon you are relaxing in the gardens of a refurbished colonial mansion hotel. Palm trees offer shade and the view to the mountainside is peaceful and elegant. The city streets bustle with activity.

Locals stroll along Avenida Central and the Central Market is rich with over 200 shops and stalls. The market was constructed in the late 19th century and continues to be a center for shopping, from vibrant tropical fruits that bring a zesty citrus to the atmosphere, to sports shops that offer soccer jerseys of celebrated Costa Rican players. Central Park brims with children playing soccer. Neighborhoods are decorated with murals that capture the everyday life of the people. The colors encompass the same jovial vivaciousness as the life it imitates. The cultures from around the country convene in San Jose to create a city unlike anywhere else in the world.  When the family comes together you can find fun around every corner and the distinct splendor of Costa Rica’s capital.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: The Joy of Adventure

The city comes to life in the morning. The light filters over the mountains and revives the remarkable hues that decorate the homes and history of San Jose. Breakfast is filled with the tropical flavors abundant around the countryside. The kids can show their adventurous side by tasting jackfruit and rambutan accompanied by the familiar creamy taste of fresh banana. After breakfast your private transfer meets you at the hotel and takes you into Braulio Carrillo National Park. The forest canopy overtakes the skyline.

The kids marvel at the lush and verdant landscape. When you come to your zip line adventure their excitement is palpable. Venture through the countryside on 1,200 acres of preserved nature that offers you a 360-degree aerial view of the national park. Your heart beats against your chest and you hear your children cry out joyfully into the treetops. They zip past leaves. When it’s your turn the wind rushes past your cheeks and you have an unencumbered view of the treetops. Orchids can grow up to 125 feet above the forest floor and their pastel petals blossom against the forest’s jade leaves. Bare-necked umbrellabirds nest in the trees.

They grow up to 16 inches in length and are known for the umbrella-shaped crest of feathers around their head. Their glossy black plumage shimmers in the streaks of sunlight that pierce the canopy. After your tour of the treetops you will continue towards the Caribbean Sea. Your guide takes you to the riverbanks in the town of La Povana. Traverse the canals that shape the eastern region and bring you to the edge of Tortuguero National Park; you discover that part of Tortuguero’s allure is in its seclusion.

What’s Included: breakfast lunch, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation 

Day 3: Defining Waters

Listen to the early morning sounds of the wild. Troops of howler monkeys fill the trees and sing out in the cool breeze after dawn. Their vibrant calls can be heard up to three miles away. At breakfast the family imitates the rambunctious sounds. You can’t help but laugh at your children’s enthusiasm to recreate the lively and reverberate monkey. After your meal you return to the canals, step aboard a boat, and traverse the famous waterways of Tortuguero National Park. The tropical rivers move slowly. Birds and monkeys scramble through the treetops. The park encompasses over 120 square miles and remains one of the largest untouched tropical rainforests in the region.

The water is cool and the sun is warm. Your guide points out a poison dart frog along the meandering trees. They are only about a half an inch long but their colors practically glow in the daylight. They maintain aposematism, bright colors that warn predators that the frogs are poisonous. The children go wild over the frogs’ facts and lively behaviors. River otters swim nearby. They lounge on thick protruding tree roots. They have webbed toes to help propel them through the water along with their long, wide tails. Each animal your see captivates the entire family, whether it is as small as a frog or as large as a West Indian manatee. 

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation 

Day 4: Tremendous Turtles

The morning casts its light over the canals and once again cues the energetic howler monkeys. After breakfast the family ventures to Caño Palma, Palm Canal, for an exciting journey along the rich biodiversity. Follow your guide as you paddle through the waterways. Moss climbs up thin palms. The calm canals create a tranquil ambiance. The kids search the landscape for signs of wildlife, from caiman hiding in the brush on the riverbanks to spider monkeys reaching for a fruit. The scent of the ocean comes on the back of the breeze.

The Caribbean Sea laps at the nearby shores. Four separate types of turtles nest on the soft sand shores around Tortuguero, creating a haven for the sea turtles. Leatherback turtles are the largest sea turtle in Costa Rica and hatch from April to November. They can grow to almost six and a half feet in length; however, when they first hatch they are less than two and a half inches long. They break through the buried nest and crawl onto the cool sand. The sound of the current fills the air. The moonlight reflects off of the water and attracts the newborn turtle. Once in the wake the turtle swims away and disappears. Nature in its pristine form mesmerizes and enchants the entire family, no more so than when you witness wildlife in action.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation 

Day 5: A Blast of a Time

Leave the sweeping canals behind you on your flight from Tortuguero to Arenal. The region is known to house the most active volcano in the country. Arenal Volcano rises 5,357 feet above sea level and erupted continuously from 1968 until 2012. The night would become illuminated with a natural lightshow as lava poured out of the crater in a display of raw power and exceptional beauty. Once in Arenal you will have the chance to visit an organic farm near the town of La Fortuna. The farm utilizes over two acres of land incorporating organic and sustainable practices.

Follow your guide through the orchards and plots to witness over 30 different exotic fruits and vegetables thriving in the volcanic soil, from pineapples to sugar cane. The tall grass creates a savanna-like atmosphere. Arenal Volcano continues to rise over the surrounding countryside. The aromas around the farm are sweet and earthy.  Sample sugar cane juice and taste the semi-sweet drink, sometimes flavored with lemon. Settle into your accommodation near the foothills of the volcano. Underground rivers course through the hills and are heated naturally by the volcanic activity. In the evening you can enjoy some time in the hot springs or take in the remarkable view.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, transfer, accommodation 

Day 6: Together in the Trees

The quiet trickle of hot springs coursing around the foothills is a soothing wake up call. After breakfast you will set out on an enticing tour through the canopy on a series of hanging bridges that offer picturesque views of both the landscape and wildlife. The family practically steps into a photo of National Geographic on a privately guided tour around various separate suspension bridges that spread over two miles of rainforest. Through openings in the trees you can see Arenal Volcano looming in the short distance. The summit towers over the treetops in a distinctive and unforgettable skyline. The glassy water of Arenal Lake shimmers against the verdant hillsides. It is the largest lake in Costa Rica covering over 33 square miles.

The children are impressed and impassioned by the jade leaves and expansive panorama. They imitate howler monkeys once more and hope to see them calling out in the trees. But instead you find white-headed capuchin monkeys. They sit at the edge of the dense rainforest and watch the children scramble past. Their white and black fur stands out in the trees but allows them to blend into the distant shadows. Their tails can grow to a length of 21.7 inches, which is longer than the rest of their bodies. Watching the family interact with the wildlife is ineffable, creating unforgettable memories in the treetops. 

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, transfer, tour, accommodation 

Day 7: Everlasting Fun

The simmering summit of Arenal fades into the horizon as the family makes its way to Vara Blanca. The area is home to both Poas Volcano National Park and La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which allows for an entire day of wonder and fun. Poas Volcano has a summit at 8,885 feet that overlooks around 14,000 acres of protected national park. You can walk to the top and look down into one of the deepest craters in the word, descending more than 1,000 feet. The jade lake inside the crater is known as Lagunas Calientes. Steam rises from the hot water. The lunar landscape encircles the upper reaches of the volcano’s active area. Botos Lake is situated on the nearby summit of an extinct volcano.

The difference from Poas’s landscape is immediately apparent. The trees are lush and provide a light, floral aroma to the air. When the forest opens you find the cold jade water with a diameter of 1,312 feet. Hummingbirds hover around blossoming flowers. Their wings pulse up to 70 times per second and you can hear them flutter in the midmorning quiet. Their feathers are iridescent in the beams of sunlight. You have become captivated by the natural splendors of Costa Rica, from the landscape to the wildlife. Even your children are enraptured by the country’s majesty, the exceptional panoramas down to the color of the birds’ feathers.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation 

Day 8: Another Day Together

The rolling volcano peaks capture the morning light. The soothing sounds of the La Paz Waterfall repeats in your mind. The flicker of light off of a hummingbird’s feathers becomes a fantastic looping image in your thoughts. Breakfast comes with the savored flavors of rich coconut and juicy pineapple. Your private transfer meets the family at the hotel and escorts you to the airport in San Jose. There are no doubts that everyone had a blast during their time in Costa Rica, soaring through the treetops and exploring the various depths of volcanoes, searching for turtles and discovering monkeys. The only thing the family wishes is that you could all stay longer, and you absolutely can.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

Price

Starting Price 

$1,435
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.