San Jose, Braulio Carrillo National Park, Rio Pacuare, Puerto Viejo
Dates are customizable for private departures.
Handcrafted and customizable to all ages, this one-week tour will celebrate Pura Vida and includes all the essential elements of a Costa Rican vacation. Caribbean Costa Rica is where everybody can play. You can lounge on tropical beaches, encounter jaguars and sloths, traverse through the jungle, and escape into the country’s largest national park. From beach life to monkeys and outdoor adventure, you will adventure in Braulio Carillo, Rio Pacuare, Puerto Viejo, and Manzanillo.
San Jose – Costa Rican Culture
Before jumping into the outdoor adventure, you will have a day in the city to rest and refresh after your flight. You will be met by a guide at the international airport and transferred to your accommodation in the heart of San Jose. The surrounding area teems with colonial-era mansions and is a beautiful place for a stroll. Your guide will customize the afternoon around your energy levels and mood. It is hard to know whether or not your kids will need some space to run off steam or a quiet place to rest after your flight. For dinner, your guide can provide you with recommendations.
Braulio Carrillo National Park – The Rainforest Canopy
Braulio Carrillo is Costa Rica’s largest national park and receives far fewer visitors than Arenal, which is the country’s most popular destination. Rolling hills and dark green rainforest set the scene along with swirling mists and a sense of old-world mystique. An open gondola will provide a perfect introduction to the rainforest nature, and these aerial trams travel slowly through the rainforest canopy and are an ideal size for families. From the rainforest canopy, you can explore with your eyes and ears without needing to hike or get muddy on the trails. After half a day in the national park, you will spend the evening at a lodge that is hidden inside the trees.
Braulio Carrillo National Park to Rio Pacuare – Hiking and Ziplining
You will continue your rainforest adventure this morning with a mix of hiking and ziplining adventures in Braulio Carrillo National Park. The open gondola is best-suited for exploring during the middle of the day. Hiking is better during the morning because it is cooler and less humid. Your guide will outline a variety of possible trails, so your hike can be tailored to the ages and fitness levels in your family. After the rainforest floor, you will return to the canopy, but this time, by zooming between the trees on a zipline. After lunch back at the lodge, you will be transferred to Rio Pacuare and a charming lodge on the river.
Rio Pacuare – White Water Rafting
Today, you will be able to feel the seclusion of a river that is mostly inaccessible by foot or road. On a private white-water rafting trip, your family will be in the same raft as a guide. You will start with some gentle beginner rapids and grow accustomed to the experience, especially how to paddle and what to do if you fall into the water. After covering half of the river, you can choose whether to continue or to stop for the day. This will also be up to your guide, who can make a decision on whether it is safe enough for you to paddle on to more advanced sections. It is hard to predict the situation before you arrive, but you will have a full day on the water, exploring an exotic landscape that sees very few visitors.
Puerto Viejo – Friendly Caribbean Culture
Puerto Viejo is an enchanting town on the Caribbean coast that is dominated by Afro-Caribbean culture and rich swathes of nature. After a transfer to your hotel, you will be met by a local guide who can tailor the day to your interests. Your guide can arrange a cultural Puerto Viejo tour, which includes a Caribbean dance lesson or Caribbean cooking class. Cahuita National Park is another option, and here, you can indulge in a short stroll to hidden beaches, searching for howler monkeys and tree-hanging sloths along the way. Superb snorkeling can be enjoyed inside the national park, and this is also accessible from the shore.
Puerto Viejo – Jaguars and Sloths in Manzanillo
Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is semi-wild and great for families. Its lush rainforest is similar to Braulio Carrillo, but the animals are concentrated in a relatively small area, which means that you can see many without a zipline or gondola through the canopy. During this week in Costa Rica, you should encounter at least three different monkey species along with a full repertoire of tropical birds. Jaguars are a different story because these magnificent creatures are rarely ever seen in Costa Rica’s national parks; however, Jaguar Centro de Rescate will provide you with an almost guaranteed experience with this predatory legend of the Americas. You will meet some of these animals, and almost every family visit includes time with a jaguar. After a morning in Manzanillo, the afternoon will be at your leisure.
San Jose – Beach and Departure
The private transfer from Puerto Viejo to San Jose will take four and a half-hours. That does allow a little morning time to enjoy the beach although you may be busy making sure everything is packed for your journey home. Your hotel is literally on the sand, so your kids can have space to run around and swim before you venture back toward San Jose. For morning departures from San Jose, you will need to stay another night in the capital. Later flights are better as you can savor some final hours on the Caribbean coast before starting the trip home.
- Encounter jaguars and sloths during a morning of wildlife adventure in Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
- Indulge in a day of white-water rafting down the Rio Pacuare, navigating rapids on an adventure that can be tailored to all ages
- Feel the pulse of Caribbean life with two nights in Puerto Viejo, which is a lively town on the beach
- Come face to face with white-faced monkeys on an open gondola tour through Costa Rica’s largest national park
- Enjoy downtime on superb Caribbean beaches with the option to walk to beaches that are inaccessible by roads
- Hike and zipline through Costa Rica’s rainforest, learning about flora and fauna as you go
- Explore modern culture and live the Pura Vida on your arrival day in San Jose
The Costa Rican atmosphere is dominated by Pura Vida, and this idea of pure life is perfect for families. A laid-back culture will set the scene and make you feel comfortable in the capital city and on the Caribbean coast. Exotic national parks can help you to escape the modern world, where the splendid scenery is matched by thrilling wildlife encounters with monkeys, jaguars, and more. You can relax on pristine beaches before diving into Afro-Caribbean culture, and with this tour, you can create an adventure that is tailored to every age and every mood with private activities and transfers throughout your journey.
This handcrafted, family tour of Costa Rica includes many of the activities that the country is famous for, such as ziplining, rainforest hiking, and rocking away in a hammock on the beach. This journey does stay clear of the country’s most touristic destinations, so you can focus on Caribbean Costa Rica, where there is greater natural diversity and far fewer tourists. Destinations on the Caribbean side are better-suited to customizable activities. For example, when rafting, you can choose different sections based on the age and adventurous spirit of your kids. Braulio Carillo is Costa Rica’s largest national park, and you can choose from dozens of different trails. When on the coast at Puerto Viejo, you can lounge around a beach that is backdropped by small cafe shacks or venture to beaches that are inaccessible by road.
With one week in Costa Rica, you can really discover the country’s allure without having to travel too far. You will begin with a day in San Jose, which is the capital city that will provide you with a lively introduction to the country’s fun-loving atmosphere. On day two, you will ride an open gondola through Braulio Carrillo rainforest, which is a private family activity that will introduce you to a stunning wealth of wildlife. This is the country’s largest national park, and you will also have half a day to hike the rainforest floor and zipline through the canopy. This means that within 48 hours of landing in San Jose, you can have enjoyed many of Costa Rica’s most iconic experiences.
The rest of your vacation will be all about the water. You will spend two nights on the Rio Pacuare, which allows for a full day of white-water rafting down the river. There are 16 different sections, and your guide will tailor the experience to your ages and interests. It is a great family activity because you can ease into the rafting on flatter waters, enjoy the stunning green scenery, and choose whether to continue on a roaring stretch of river. You will culminate your Costa Rican family vacation with two nights on the coast in Puerto Viejo, which is a laid-back Caribbean town with a unique vibe and friendly culture.
In Puerto Viejo, it can be easy to spend your time on the beach, and you will have the most immaculate beaches from which to choose. Soft, turquoise waters are perfect for young swimmers while isolated strips of sand can be found after a short rainforest hike. There are beaches for learning to surf, snorkeling along the coastline, and enjoying endless sand to run around. On day six, you will explore Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, where rescued jaguars and baby sloths provide very intimate wildlife experiences. Cahuita National Park will also bring wildlife encounters, both above and below the water. A private guide will accompany you at each destination and, Pura Vida means taking it slow and enjoying everything that life in Costa Rica has to offer.
$1,255 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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.
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