Costa Rica is a fascinating destination for parents and kids to explore together. Costa Rica family vacations are perfect for nature loving families looking for a bit of adventure. Costa Rica is home to more than 500,000 species of plants and animals. This is a country of biodiversity and micro climates that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans with mountains, rain forests and volcanoes in between.
Costa Rica family vacations are for families who are active and looking for adventure. Costa Rica is also a land of diversity when it comes to accommodations. Families can enjoy 5 star luxury all inclusive resorts, condo style villas, rain forest cabins and depending on the itinerary you choose...all of the above.
Adventure tourism has certainly hit Costa Rica in a big way... rainforest hikes, swiming in volcano pools, bird watching in the jungle, zip lines, horse back riding in the mountains. At least that's what our Vacationkids staff did with their families when they visited Costa Rica. The infrastructure here hasn't really caught up yet with the influx of tourism. Many of the main roads here are comprised of dirt and potholes. Three of our tours were interrupted by flat tires and broken axles. Each of these detours created some wonderful seredipitous adventures...a visit to a local school, finding a secluded surfing beach and meeting a local artist. For this reason, families visiting Costa Rica need to arrive with the correct expectations. If you are the type of travel that expects everything to happen like clock work and hates inconvenience then select a different destination. If you are open to exploration, adventure and serendipity then consider Costa Rica family vacations.
Speaking of expectations, you really cannot expect a baby or toddler to tolerate long, bumpy rides thru jungles without melting down. For this reason most guided tours have strict age requirements. For this same reason, our staff is hesitant to recommend Costa Rica Family vacations to families with young children. If you're planning to stay put in a condo or at an all inclusive resort, no problem. If parents are expecting to go sightseeing or exploring with little ones in tow...yeah, NO! Our vacationkids staff generally recommends Costa Rica family vacations for parents with tweens and teens. Older kids will have more tolerance for adventure and be able to better appreciate all that this wonderful destination has to offer.
There are two main airports in Costa Rica - San Jose and Liberia on the west coast. Depending on your departure airpor and your planned itinerary, families may need to fly into Liberia before sightseeing on the west coast. This is a 4 hour airport transfer thru the jungles or a very small hopper flight. For this reason, we recommend if you fly into San Jose, plan on at least an over night stay if you are venturing onward so that your journey can be completed in daylight.
If you're taking to the roads, we HIGHLY recommend that you stick with a guided tour. Costa Rica family vacations are safe, the people here are warm hearted and wonderful but the roads can be VERY difficult to navigate. Car rentals here are usually 4 wheel drive complete with a satellite phone and machette for a reason. Local guides will certainly ease stress while they share amazing area and cultural insights that you would otherwise miss.
To really get a good sense of Costa Rica it's best to plan at minimum a 7 night stay. 10 nights are better if your schedule permits. This will give you some time to relax and enjoy your amazing surroundings in between touring and your adventures.