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Are you looking for a fantastic place to take your family on vacation? A destination with something for everyone, from stunning beaches to incredible adventures? If your family is looking for an authentic, immersive, eco-friendly experience, you must head to Costa Rica. This country is filled with lush rainforests, active volcanoes, world-class surfing waves and unforgettable national parks. Coming from the U.S., it’s also relatively easy to get to with direct flights from many major airports and is extremely family-friendly. This blog post will cover everything you need to know about planning a trip to Costa Rica with kids in tow.
But first, let us cover why you should plan a trip to Costa Rica.
Why Costa Rica Is The Best Family Vacation Destination:
No matter what time of year you visit Costa Rica, there are incredible opportunities for both relaxation and adventure. Located in Central America, Costa Rica’s climate is beautifully warm year-round. Average temperatures hover between 80°-90° Fahrenheit along the coastal regions and a pleasant 75°-80° in the countryside. Peak season months between December and April guarantee sunshine and see little to no rain in most of the country. Although summers are humid along the coast, a refreshing breeze blowing through the air keeps the temperatures comfortable. The incredible climate is only one of the many reasons why Costa Rica is the best family vacation destination. Costa Rica even ranked amongst our top family vacation destinations for the year 2022!
Costa Rica is the perfect place for families who want to stay active on their vacation. In addition to lounging on the beach or exploring the rainforest, active families can try ziplining, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, rafting and much more. You will never find yourself bored in Costa Rica, and even your most fussy travelers are guaranteed to have a fantastic vacation! Costa Rica is the best destination for families because there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether your kids are into adventure, nature, wildlife or relaxation, they’re sure to find something they love. We have put together a one-week adventurous travel itinerary for Costa Rica, take a look!
The Beaches are Stunning
Costa Rica is a top destination for families with its gorgeous coastline, warm weather, and abundance of activities for kids. Costa Rica is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. From colorful coral reefs teeming with fish to gentle waves perfect for swimming and surfing, there’s a beach in Costa Rica that will suit everyone in your family. And don’t forget about those incredible sunset views. If your family enjoys staying at the beach, you will be spoiled for choice in Costa Rica. However, the options can seem overwhelming with over 800 miles of coastline. To help you narrow it down, here are a few of our favorites.
The 5 Best Beaches in Costa Rica for Families
1. Playa Grande, Guanacaste Province
Located northwest of Costa Rica, Playa Grande is renowned for its strong surf and Turtle Beach Conservation Area, where you can see giant sea turtles nesting. The Costa Rican government created the Las Baulos National Park to protect the endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle nesting sites that line the area. These majestic creatures are the largest turtles in the world. As their numbers have sadly dwindled over the past few decades, they require protected areas to nest their eggs. Leatherback sea turtles lay eggs on Playa Grande every year. Local guides even offer private boat safari tours through national parks.
To visit the area, guides offer Las Baulas National Park tours during the leatherback nesting season from October 20 – February 15. The tours are done at night and timed according to high tides. The total number of visitors is restricted to 30 people per turtle, unregistered visitors are not allowed, and reservations are required. If your family loves national parks, consider booking a trip to several national parks!
In addition to witnessing the incredible leatherback turtles, kids will love playing in the waves, surfing, swimming and building sandcastles on the beautiful beaches. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby should you need a break from the sun.
2. Playa Flamingo, Guanacaste Province
Playa Flamingo is another excellent option for families in Costa Rica. This beach is well-known for its calm turquoise waters, making it ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Plus, stunning views of nearby mountains await you at this beach. There are also several restaurants, shops, and hotels in the area. A few of our favorite properties nearby to Playa Flamingo include Casa Chameleon, W Reserva Conchal and Westin Reserva Conchal.
3. Playa Hermosa, Puntarenas Province
If you’re looking for a truly spectacular beach, look no further than Playa Hermosa. The name translates to ‘beautiful beach’ in Spanish, and Playa Hermosa deserves the title with idyllic beauty and lush jungle surroundings. Located in Guanacaste, just 20 minutes from the Liberia airport, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind with your family. Stay at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort or El Mangroove, Autograph Collection
The kids will love exploring the two-kilometer-long grey sand beach, the surrounding tropical jungle and crystal clear water.
4. Manuel Antonio Beach, Puntarenas Province
Manuel Antonio Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica, thanks to its beautifully clear waters and lush jungle surroundings. The beach is located near Manuel Antonio National Park, where you can find an incredible array of birds, reptiles and animals frolicking in the trees. Costa Rica is a renowned monkey habitat, and the Manuel Antonio National Park is home to howler, squirrel, spider and white-faced monkeys. Sloths, coatis, pacas, anteaters, crocodiles, iguanas, boa constrictors and many other species also call the park home.
Families will enjoy staying at the Los Altos or Arenas Del Mar Hotels. You can easily spend a week exploring this area with plenty of restaurants and shops nearby. Note that this beach can get crowded during peak season but is well worth visiting.
5. Cahuita National Park Beach, Limon Province
Cahuita National Park Beach is located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and is famous for its coral reef (the second largest in the country). It’s a great place to go snorkeling or diving with your family to see colorful fish and other marine life up close. Visitors can also hike through the park to see waterfalls and spot animals like sloths and iguanas in their natural habitat. Please note that Cahuita National Park has an entrance fee of $15 per person (free for children under 12 years old). If you are looking for a more idyllic and uncrowded destination, this is it!
You Can Unwind in Style
After days spent exploring and being active, you and your family are bound to be ready for some R&R. Luckily, Costa Rica has no shortage of luxury resorts where you can enjoy wonderful amenities, from delicious food and drinks to world-class spa treatments. Just pick your paradise and relax! While we mentioned a few of our favorite beach hotels above, make sure also to check out Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa, Pacuare Lodge, Lapa Rios Lodge and Nayara Tented Camp. These resorts are amongst the top 9 best luxury wellness resorts in North America.
The Food is Delicious
Nothing beats fresh seafood caught right off the coast and cooked in front of you the same day. In Costa Rica, that’s precisely what you’ll get—not to mention an incredible variety of fruits and vegetables grown right in the country.
Be sure to try traditional dishes like Gallo Pinto (rice and beans) or Casado (a meaty rice and bean dish), commonly served with fresh plantains on the side. Yum!
You Can Get Away from it All
If you’re looking for a true escape from everyday life, Costa Rica is the place for you. With its incredible natural beauty and lack of light pollution, Costa Rica is one of the best places in the world to stargaze—an experience that’s sure to be magical for kids and adults alike. This unique experience is one of the reasons why Costa Rica is the best family vacation destination. A luxury travel advisor can help you find hidden gems and the best adventures when booking your trip!
The People are Friendly
One of the best things about visiting Costa Rica is how warm and welcoming the people are. Everyone you meet from your taxi driver to your hotel staff will go out of their way to ensure you have a wonderful experience in their country.
It’s Easy to Get Around
Another great thing about vacationing in Costa Rica is that it’s straightforward to get around—even if you don’t speak Spanish! English is widely spoken throughout Costa Rica (mainly in tourist areas), so communicating with locals will never be a problem. Thanks to the well-developed infrastructure and plenty of English speakers, you’ll have no trouble feeling comfortable traveling around the country.
Safety is always a top concern when traveling with kids, but luckily, there’s no need to worry about that in Costa Rica. The country has a very low crime rate, so you can feel confident letting your kids explore without worry. With plenty of activities to keep kids entertained, you can relax and enjoy your vacation without worrying about your safety.
It Will be an Unforgettable Experience
With Costa Rica the best family vacation destination, one can assume that the experiences are outstanding. From rainforests to waterfalls, there’s no shortage of breathtaking scenery. With endless activity options, beautiful hotels and resorts and friendly people, there’s no doubt that a trip to Costa Rica will be an experience your family will never forget! So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!
If your family are true adventure lovers, consider visiting Iceland. Check out our blog to uncover the joys of a one-week family adventure to Iceland and how to snorkel in Silfra.
How to plan the trip:
If you’re ready to start planning your trip to Costa Rica, you’re in for a treat! You might also want to hire a luxury travel agency to take the burden of planning out of your hands. But before you start packing your bags, there are a few things you need to know about how to plan a trip that will be enjoyable for the whole family. Here are our top tips on how to plan a family trip to Costa Rica that everyone will love.
1. Getting There
The first thing you need to consider when planning a trip to Costa Rica is how you will get there. Luckily, Costa Rica is home to two international airports, San Jose and Liberia. Both airports have daily flights from the United States.
2. Choose the right time of year to travel.
The weather in Costa Rica can vary depending on what part of the country you’re visiting. For example, the Caribbean coast is generally hottest and most humid from December to April, while the Pacific coast is driest from December to April.
The mountainous regions can be chilly, especially at night, so if you’re planning to spend time in the mountains, consider traveling during the warmer months of May to November. Keep the weather in mind when deciding when to travel to ensure everyone in your family will be comfortable during your trip.
3. Secure Family Friendly Accommodations
Costa Rica offers many different accommodation options; some places are better suited for families than others. For example, staying in a hotel in Guanacaste might be a good option if you’re looking for a luxury resort close to the beach. On the other hand, if you’re looking to be immersed in nature and close to National Parks, staying in a condo-style property like Los Altos Resort in Manuel Antonio might be a better fit.
Plenty of great resorts and hotels in Costa Rica cater to families. Which is why we feel Costa Rica is the best family vacation destination. When choosing accommodations for your trip, look for a place with activities and amenities that everyone in your group will enjoy. For example, some hotels have kids’ clubs where children can participate in supervised activities while their parents relax by the pool or explore the surrounding area.
Other hotels may offer babysitting services so parents can enjoy a night out without worrying about their kids. And if you’re traveling with teenagers, look for hotels with teenage-friendly activities like surfing lessons or ziplining tours. Planning and quality research ahead of time will ensure the accommodations you choose will make your trip even more enjoyable for everyone involved. If you are nervous about traveling International with your family, read our top 8 myths about international family vacations – debunked.
4. Plan activities that everyone will enjoy
Costa Rica offers a plethora of activity options on land and sea. When planning your day-to-day itinerary and choosing activities, keep everyone’s interests in mind. Try to mix things up so that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. For example, if your kids are young, they might enjoy going on a nature hike or visiting one of Costa Rica’s many animal sanctuaries.
Older kids, teens and adults might enjoy more adrenaline-pumping activities like rafting or rappelling into waterfalls and natural pools. White water rafting in La Fortuna is known for being one of the best! Or, if you are wanting an adrenaline-pumping activity, consider cliff jumping off the waterfalls of Manuel Antonio.
Ziplining is another excellent activity for kids (and adults) of all ages. Many zipline tours are available throughout Costa Rica, so finding one suitable for your family shouldn’t be too difficult. When researching companies that offer this experience, ensure they are reputable and safe. Also, make sure your kids are good with heights before signing up.
Surfing – Kids as young as five can start learning how to surf in Costa Rica! Plenty of beginner-friendly surf spots are dotted along the coast, so all you need to do is find one close to where you’re staying and sign up for a lesson or two. Ensure your kids are comfortable in the water and strong swimmers before attempting this activity. There are plenty of private surf lessons to introduce the sport to children.
And of course, no trip to Costa Rica would be complete without relaxing on one of its beautiful beaches! By planning various activities, you can ensure that everyone in your family has a great time during your trip.
A family vacation to Costa Rica is an unforgettable experience everyone will enjoy. Planning a trip to Costa Rica with kids doesn’t have to be complicated! Following these tips on planning a trip can ensure that your vacation is smooth sailing from start to finish. Just remember to give yourself enough time to get there, choose the accommodation that suits your needs and budget, and pick activities that both kids and adults enjoy. With just a bit of planning, your family trip will be one that everyone will remember fondly for years to come!
Now that you have learned all about why we feel Costa Rica is the best family vacation destination check out our list of the top 10 best international family vacations to take in 2023!
Boutique Travel Advisors is a full-service, luxury travel agency. We specialize in creating bespoke itineraries for discerning clients around the world. Please visit our website or call 480-787-1477 to speak with a dedicated travel expert.
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