Explore Costa Rica with kids in 3 weeks! Costa Rica a great destination for the whole family. The diverse landscapes, many activities and vibrant nature are the right ingredients for some great adventures, but there’s also beautiful beaches to relax. Costa Rica will definitely satisfy all the traveling needs of your family.
You will explore Costa Rica by travelling around in your own rental car. We’ve adapted the schedule to families with children, making sure that distances are not too long. In three weeks you’ll see a lot of this beautiful country and have enough time to really get a feel for the pura vida, or pure life, that Costa Rican’s themselves enjoy so much.
During this tour you will among others travel to Costa Rican’s Caribbean coast. Here’s you’ll get to know the reggae culture and the relaxed lifestyle of the locals. You’ll stay in a beautiful wooden house in the jungle where the howler monkeys wake you up in the morning!
The jungle is very much alive in Costa Rica and you for sure will spot frogs, monkeys, beautiful birds and other animals. After dark, it’s great to book a guided jungle hike to discover what the jungle looks like in the evening. Also, you will stay with a local Costa Rican farmer’s family that will invite you to help them at the farm. A great way to experience life in the countryside. We think this journey is and adventure for your family and you for sure take home a suitcase full of memories to remember!
San José, the capital of Costa Rica, is your first destination of this Edventure! The center of the city is busy and lively, but easy to explore.
A great way to get to know San José better is to join a free city tour. You can of course also walk around with a city map. Be sure not to miss the Mercado Nacional, where they sell a great variety of exotic fruits and vegetables. Nice restaurants and bars for evening entertainment are found in Barrio Escalante, a nice neighbourhood not far from your hotel.
When it rains, the Children’s museum and the Museo de Oro are worth a visit in order to learn more about Costa Rica’s history and culture.
Finally, if you’re not much of a city person, around San Jose there’s also lots to do! You can book a coffee tour, climb active volcanoes or visit a beautiful butterfly garden!
From San José you travel to Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast. The journey, by bus and boat is already an adventure in itself. Along the way you’ll pass banana and pineapple plantations and you might spot your first toucan or iguana!
Your lodge has beautiful swimming pools and comfortable rooms in a nice garden setting. Your guide informs you about activities and tours upon arrival. All your meals are included in your stay.
Are you visiting Tortuguero in July or August? Then don’t forget to book a turtle tour in the evening so that you can (hopefully!) watch large sea turtles laying their eggs on the beach, a unique experience!
Check out Jaimy’s vlog to experience the atmosphere!
In the deep south of Costa Rica, on the Caribbean coast, you will find the small village of Manzanillo. Here you will sleep in a beautiful wooden house in the middle of the jungle and near the beach.
In the morning you wake up to howler monkeys and you prepare your breakfast with parrot sounds in the background, this is Costa Rica’s Pura Vida to the max! From your house it’s a 5 minute walk to a large, mostly deserted beach.
You can also rent bicycles to further explore the area. Do you ever want to see a sloth or baby monkey up close? Then visit the Jaguar Rescue Center, a nice animal shelter in the area.
Want to know more what else you can do around Manzanillo and Puerto Viejo? Check out Jaimy and Lisa’s vlogs and blogs about their adventures on the Caribbean coast.
Near the village of La Virgen lies a small heaven of hospitality. Don Rodolfo and his family run their own finca and warmly welcome visitors from abroad.
The family used to grow house plants (for export to Europe and North America), but a few years ago he changed course and together with his family, he turned his finca into a cozy bed and breakfast.
Don Rodolfo is passionate about everything that grows on his farm and he will share that passion during a 2 hour tour around the finca. Be prepared to taste the sweetest pineapple ever!
Besides, there is plenty to do in the area. You can go rafting on the Sarapiqui River. And a visit to Jose’s Frog’s Heaven comes highly recommended!
La Fortuna is a lively village at the foot of the immense Arenal volcano. The Arenal volcano is Costa Rica’s most famous volcano and the town of La Fortuna subsequently grew into a major travel destination.
This also means that there’s lots to do. You can hike to beautiful waterfalls, visit the Arenal National Park, but you can also go quad biking or even bungee jumping!
Edventure clients are very enthusiastic about the Volcano Valley Hike. This is a full day hike with a guide, who takes you along vocanoes, through rainforest and lets you relax in natural hot springs at the end of the day.
Zapotal de Miramar is a tiny Costa Rican village (about 200 people live) in the mountains not far from Monteverde. The residents here really live off the land and are happy to share their daily routines with you.
You stay in a cabin or with a local family and your hosts will show you around upon arrival. Your stay here is a unique opportunity to really experience life in the countryside in Costa Rica. Join the villagers’ daily routines and work along in the garden or on the farm, learn to cook a typical Costa Rican dish or watch “tapa dulce” being made into a delicious sweet drink made from sugar cane. You can also explore the area and hike to a beautiful waterfall.
Do note that not all the villagers speak English, but with the help of Google Translate and common sense, it will all work out and we’re sure your stay here will be an unforgettable experience!
You will head to the coast where you will be guests at a nice and intimate beach camp. Wake up to the sounds of the sea and enjoy breakfast in front of your luxury safari tent. It’s not camping but glamping in Matapalo!
The tiny village of Matapalo is visited by very few tourists and you almost feel that you are alone in this paradise. The beach camp invites you to relax, but you can also join a fantastic kayak tour through the mangroves. This is a fun way to spot birds, crocodiles, monkeys and other wildlife up close.
You can also make nice trips in the nearby area. The surfers’ hot spot Dominical is only 20 minutes away. Besides the good waves for (starting) surfers, the town is also known for the Nauyaca waterfalls and beautiful guided tours at Hacienda Baru.
The beautiful beaches of Uvita and Ojochal and the national parks of Manuel Antonio or Marina Ballena are also close by and are definitely worth a visit.
Drake Bay was discovered in the 16th century by explorer Sir Francis Drake. Now, almost 500 years later, you will still find untouched jungle and vast beaches around the village.
It is a beautiful place to completely unwind, but certainly also to discover what is going on in the jungle. The Corcovado National Park is close by and a so-called “biodiversity hotspot”. It is the place where you can spot monkeys, sloths, toucans and tapirs and maybe see traces of jaguars and cougars. And pizotes, which you can see in the video on the right!
Please note that nowadays only a limited number of visitors per day are allowed to enter the park (always accompanied by a guide). Therefore, make your reservation on time via Edventure.
Besides a visit to the National Park, you can also explore the mangrove by boat or book a snorkel tour at the uninhabited island of Isla de Cano. Of course you can also spend a day relaxing in your hammock on the beach!
Today you will drive further to San Gerardo de Dota. This is a charming village in one of the most beautiful areas of Costa Rica. It lies on Cerro de la Muerte, the mountain range that separates the Caribbean and Pacific coasts.
Just before the highest point (3300m) you descend to the beautiful green valley, carved by the river Savegre, where San Gerardo de Dota is located (2500m). Enjoy the breathtaking views along the way!
In the 1950s, a few Costa Rican families settled in this area. They proved to be fervent advocates of nature conservation and now promote sustainable tourism in the valley and the surrounding cloud forests. It is also one of the few places in Central America where you can still see the quetzal, the sacred bird of the Mayans in Mexico, now the national symbol of Guatemala, and without doubt one of the most extraordinary birds to be seen in the wild in Costa Rica.
Your vacation is almost over and for your last night you stay in a comfortable hotel near the airport in Alajuela.
The hotel has a nice tropical garden with swimming pool and also restaurant. The perfect place to dive into the pool for the last time and spot hummingbirds or oropendulas before you board the plane again …
If you fly only in the evening, then you might consider visiting the Poas or Irazu volcano. In addition, the chocolate tour in the vicinity of the hotel comes also highly recommended, mmm!
In August we had an unforgettable holiday in Costa Rica. The three of us, myself, my 2 year old daughter and my 26 year old brother, have traveled through Costa Rica for over 3 weeks. We all agreed that the tour was really great. A trip through Costa Rica with children is highly recommended!
The destinations were all very beautiful and the diversity of the country was impressive. Costa Ricans are very friendly and everybody loves little children, making it rather easy for me to travel around with Siena, my s 2 1/2 years old daughter.
Our trip was well arranged by the employees of Edventure and the hotels they selected were also wonderful. We want to thank you all for putting together this unforgettable journey and all your help before and during our holiday. (2017)
In 2017 and 2018 we went to Panama and Costa Rica with our children. Edventure has brought us to the most special and beautiful places. All the accomodations were truly special and had fantastic owners.
A few real highlights were:
San Jose: A pleasant and nice hotel! Good central location, great breakfast, nice beds.
Manzanillo: Fantastic, what a great place
Canaan: Beautiful hotel, good breakfast, excellent service!
In August 2018 we traveled around in Costa Rica with our children. Edventure did a great job in putting together a nice trip for us. We will not forget the personal welcome to San Jose and going to the market with Ed, Renee and Youp was great fun!
The first stop after San Jose was very nice. In Tortuguero we stayed in a fantastic resort. Nice pool and great food. In the evening we watch leatherback turtles laying their eggs under a starry sky, a fantastic experience! The tours were also very nice, nice guides. Our journey in short was unforgettable!
In Manzanillo we stayed in a really nice house in the jungle. There is a lot to do in the area, especially in Puerto Viejo. (2018)
In August 2017 we made a wonderful tour with our 2 children (then aged 3 and 6) in Costa Rica. Edventure put the trip together for us. We were amazed we could stay in all these fantastic places and could never have arranged this ourselves!
Costa Rica is a very diverse country and Edventure really let us experience this. We slept in hotels, cabins and even in a safari tent. In the middle of the jungle, on the edge of the forest or right on the beach.
For 4 weeks, we very much enjoyed all the beauty of Costa Rica and we’re happy we did not have to worry about the next location, because it was already booked for us. With all the clear descriptions of Edventure, we were able to find our destinations rather easily. In the Netherlands we had already booked a few tours. Marlou and Renée were also available for questions during our trip, which was really nice. We would therefore recommend everyone to book a trip with Edventure. (2017)
Traveling to Costa Rica with children was great! We liked Tortuguero, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Rincon de la Vieja and Drake Bay the most. Arenal was unfortunately very wet, so we could do little when we were there.
We really enjoyed the beautiful nature, all the beautiful animals, the fun activities, the delicious food and all the nice places we have been to.
In retrospect, if we were to redo this trip I would allow for a slower travel pace and stay 3 nights everywhere instead of 2. Now we thought to have not enough time in various locations. But…all in all a great trip and lots of great memories! (2016)
The finca in Sarapiqui stood out; what a warm family! We enjoyed our stay here and were pampered enormously. Together with our local hosts, we made chocolate, went for an evening stroll around the farm and spotted red-eyed frogs… This destination made our trip to Costa Rica with children complete (2016).
Exploring Costa Rica with children is actually not complete without getting to know Costa Rican families and children. You will experience that in Sarapiqui and Zapotal de Miramar where you will be staying with local families. In addition, a visit (non-touristy) to the Bribri Indian Reserve is recommended and easy to arrange from Manzanillo.
The Bribri is one of the last Indian tribes in Costa Rica that still maintains its original traditions. Spend half a day with a Bribri family and see how they use nature in daily life (when making medicine, but also jewelry). Edventure can also arrange an overnight stay with a Bribri family, you can contact us directly for more information.Book here