Customized Family Vacations to Costa Rica

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Customized Family Vacations to Costa Rica

Family hiking together in the forest
Volcanoes and rainforests and beaches and animals and adventures and hot springs and… oh my! We get it, we’re parents, too. And our specialty is creating stress-free, kid-friendly, parent-pleasing Costa Rica family trips. Browse our customizable packages to get started and get prepared for the tropics. Costa Rica is a family travel experience you’ll remember forever!
Hanging bridges, belching volcanoes, resort pools, and animals galore - especially monkeys and sloths. This is the stuff of a nine-year-old’s dreams! Busy kids, smiling faces, and stunning sunsets. These are the hopes of parents everywhere. 
With your Costa Rica family vacation you can have it all and more. It's an adventure playground and natural wonderland: there's a sight, an activity, and a place for every interest, travel style, and family member no matter how small. Hiking, zip lining, cultural experiences, and lots of beach time are all available. There’s also a curiosity, a discovery, and an adventure to inspire childlike wonder at every age.
Traveling to Costa Rica with kids doesn’t have to be complicated. The last thing you want when you’re with your kids on vacation is to think about logistics, booking issues, or problems. When you book our family packages, you have access to our 24/7 customer service team. Never worry about anything - we’ll take care of everything, while you sit back and enjoy it.

Choose the Right Destination for Families

Once you know what you want to do, you can give some thought as to WHERE you want to do it. Costa Rica has a variety of landscapes and hotels to match depending on the sort of vacation you want to have.
Stay near a peaceful beach where the smaller ones can splash in the water, or visit the rainforest while admiring views of a volcano. Focus on finding wildlife or tiring the kids with plenty of outdoor activities. Whatever your style, we recommend dividing your vacation into at least two locations. That way, you can make the most of your family trip to Costa Rica. Starting with a location with plenty of adventure in the mountains and then finishing with an oceanfront stay to rest is one of our most successful combos. Both parents and children get what they want from their Costa Rica family vacation and there is enough time for everyone to enjoy it.
We can also help you choose the best accommodations in Costa Rica for families. We’re parents who live here, and we've stayed at all the hotels we offer, large and small. Once we know your preferences, we’ll help you find the perfect accommodations to suit your family. Whether you want a boutique experience or the best all-inclusive family resort, there's a place for you to go.

Stress-Free Costa Rica for Family Travel

One of your main concerns when you’re a parent is what you would do if there's an emergency while on the trip, or who you would turn to if there’s a need for local advice regarding toys, food, or diapers. Booking by yourself or with a "faceless" agency can leave you stranded and somewhat alone because you don't have contacts in-country. When you book a trip with Costa Rican Vacations, you can rest assured you’ll have an entire team ready to help you and your family.
Our travel experience team is dedicated to speedy and successful resolutions. Over two decades of experience means we’ve seen it all and can accommodate a large range of requests. From medical emergencies to lost passports or cell phones and on-the-spot helpful advice, we’re just one easy call away. If you decide to book some last-minute tours, need to request special items, or want to discuss the best options for tonight’s dinner, call us. We’re happy to help!
Knowing your household is in safe hands and that you have all the support you could ever need will make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable. After all, you and your family deserve the best.

Tips to Travel in Costa Rica with Kids

Father and children enjoying family pool at Planet Hollywood, Papagayo
A Costa Rica family vacation – well, family travel anywhere – can be tough. There’s a lot of planning and strategizing involved. The planning phase is never complete without some crossed fingers, negotiating, and compromise. This likely has you feeling a little stressed, but with a bit of preparation and a dose of good cheer, these tips on Costa Rica for families will see you through.

1. Book in Advance

Spontaneity is an exciting way to travel, but it’s best left to solo or adults-only vacations. After a long day on the road, you don’t want to arrive in a town with no hotel vacancies. If you promise your kids the turtle-watching tour of a lifetime, don’t find out the hard way that it’s not turtle-nesting season right now. When it comes to kids and happy traveling, it’s better to book and plan well ahead of time.

2. Take Your Time

We can't control every aspect of traveling. Delays, traffic, and missed connections happen. But in our experience, the absolute best gift you can give your traveling group is time.
Once you’ve made it to Costa Rica, don’t pack too many tours and attractions onto the itinerary. Kids, especially younger ones, are all about the journey. They want to touch every rock and inspect every inch of fungus. Make sure you schedule enough time to let kids travel like kids.

3. Pack Important Items

The traditional advice is to pack light. That still holds true. But when you’re traveling in Costa Rica with kids, there are items you can't forget. This could be a special blanket, a favorite book, a preferred snack, or the only song that will get your child to sleep. This guideline extends to brand-name goods, too. Many areas of Costa Rica have stores and supermarkets that carry imported goods. But not all brands and not all goods. For example, if there’s only one diaper brand that prevents your child’s rash, verify with us in advance if it's available here.

4. Buy What You Can Locally

It’s preferable to leave most non-essentials at home. For example, there are dozens of cookies, crackers, and other snacks to discover in any supermarket. Diapers (even swim diapers and pull-ups) are in stores almost everywhere. Baby wipes, antibacterial gel, sippy cups, and coloring books are available throughout Costa Rica as well.

5. Don’t Forget the Meds

If any family members are on medication, be that prescription or over-the-counter… pack it. Even with OTC medications, you may not be able to find your brand locally.

6. Ready an Activity Bag

Create an activity bag your children can take on the plane, shuttle bus, or in the rental car. It helps to include standby favorites like a busy book for toddlers or handheld game along with the latest diversions.

7. Pack the Tablet

Even if you avoid extended screen time at home, traveling can be the perfect time to bend the rules. Download some age-appropriate apps, load up the tablet with a few movies, and let your children veg out during long transfers or layovers. (And don’t forget to grab the charger!)

8. Be Prepared for Costa Rican Weather

Packing weather-appropriate clothes is essential for a family trip to Costa Rica. Being too cold or too hot can cause crankiness. Costa Rica has many microclimates so one single vacation can take you from windy mountains to sunny seas. If you’re traveling to higher elevations, like Monteverde, bring layers and cozy pajamas. If you’re hitting the beach, pack plenty of ocean-friendly sunblock.

9. Embrace a Routine

Children thrive on routine. When you’re traveling through Costa Rica with kids, that routine is often thrown out-of-whack and kids can become irritable as a result. Plan activities, transport, and logistics around your children’s bedtimes, meal times, and other important routines. Most tours have morning and afternoon departures, so it’s easy to pick a time that works for your family. If hotel check-in and check-out times could cause problems, ask to request early check-in or late check-out.

10. Involve Your Kids in Planning

One of the most important parts of your family trip to Costa Rica is the pre-planning.  Take time to tell the kids about where you’re going. Set the scene: let them know they’ll see monkeys or that the beach will be right outside their hotel room door. Get them excited and involve them in everything you’ll see and experience.
Give your kids the chance to pick at least one activity—totally their choice. If this is a little too intimidating, let them choose from a parent-approved list. There are so many choices for family fun: hanging bridges, safari river floats, kayaking, canopy zip lines, and horseback rides.

The Number One Tip When Planning a Costa Rica Family Vacation

Whatever else you do, make sure to pick tours that’ll wear them out. Whether it’s zip-lines or whitewater rafting, a full day of activities or hikes, choose tours they’ll love. Remember, you’re in a kid-friendly and adventurous paradise. Costa Rica is the perfect choice for traveling with kids, from the youngest infants to surly teenagers and beyond. So, take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy your vacation!
Family fishing together in a river in the mountains

Costa Rica Family Trips for Every Occasion

If you’re wondering what types of family vacations you can arrange to Costa Rica, the answer is "the one you need."

Extended Family Celebrations

Gone are the days when family travel meant long car rides or standing in line at a mega-theme park. Today, families are traveling further afar than ever before. The dynamics of groups are also changing. Destinations like Costa Rica no longer only serve the traditional nuclear family. Today, grandparents, cousins, and multiple families plan epic, multi-generational journeys. Every day, we help families plan adventures that inspire, invigorate, and educate.

Graduation Events

Oftentimes, groups travel together to celebrate a monumental occasion or event, and a high school or college graduation is an important milestone to celebrate together. This monumental accomplishment is typically followed by a life change. That may mean the graduate won’t be able to travel as freely as they once did.
Many of our clients gather their extended families for one last big trip before the graduate embarks on the next stage of life. For these groups, balancing sightseeing with relaxing together as a family is important. Oftentimes, graduation celebration trips are simply about celebrating and spending time together with extended family.
Costa Rica has a wide range of private vacation rental homes and villas. These come complete with staff that can accommodate even the largest groups. This ensures your group is well looked after, so you can make the most of your time.

The Family Adventure

Family doing ATV tour in the mud
Did you know Costa Rica is the spiritual home of the zip line? This country offers opportunities galore for adrenaline-seeking families to play and explore. From remote jungle lodges to beachfront resorts, families celebrate events together while also having adventures together. You and your kids can zip line through the forest, hike up volcanoes, or take surf lessons.

Working Together to Support Conservation

Though Costa Rica totals only 0.3% of the planet’s landmass, but it holds 5% of the total biodiversity. This is unlike anywhere else on the planet. There are a few ways travelers can get their hands dirty, helping scientists preserve Costa Rica’s environment. If your child is embarking on a conservation internship or volunteer program in Costa Rica, consider joining your young conservationist here, before or after the program.

FAQs About Customized Family Vacations to Costa Rica

Is Costa Rica good for a family vacation? 

Costa Rica is great for a family vacation because of its fantastic weather, tropical beaches, abundant wildlife, activities, and relatively short flying time from North America. So we’d say Costa Rica is perfect for a family vacation.

Where should I travel with kids in Costa Rica? 

It depends on what you’re looking for as a family. Most kids love the chance to see monkeys, sloths, and parrots, so a stay in the rainforest - whether that’s in Arenal or Manuel Antonio is a must. Then you know they’re going to love the beach. So ask us about the most child-friendly beaches in Costa Rica for your family!

Is Costa Rica family-oriented? 

Yes. Like in most Latin countries, Costa Ricans adore children and embrace family life. As a result, children are welcome in Costa Rica and made to feel special.
Parents and children enjoying a beach bed at Four Seasons Papagayo

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