Things to do in Costa Rica with kids
OUR TOP FAMILY ACTIVITIES IN COSTA RICA
With both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts and then a whole wetland of waterfalls and white water in between, you are going to get a soaking at some stage. Costa Rica is water baby heaven, especially as it is really well set up in terms of organised activities with some of the world’s best instructors. The most popular is white water rafting on a choice of rivers such as Pacuare, Sarapiquí or Balsa. The north Pacific coast is the main hub for scuba diving and PADI instruction as well as great surf. The southern Caribbean also has its surf hangouts, or take a boat trip out from Puerto Viejo to get splashed by dolphins dancing around you. There is superb reef snorkelling on the Osa Peninsula too. Be sure to check the minimum age for a water activity. Rafting, for example, is usually 12 years old but sometimes 14 depending on the operator.
If you Google ‘Costa Rica’ what usually comes up is wildlife. And, even though this country is about a fifth of the size of the UK it is home to four percent of the planet’s diversity, in some of the wildest and most wonderful habitats. However, a family Costa Rica vacation is also about going a little bit wild too, stepping out of that cotton wool environment and into the rainforest, pacific surf or volcanic terrain. Go ziplining on a 770m long wire through Monteverde Cloud Forest or in the foothills of Arenal Volcano. Camp out in pristine jungle along the Savegre River on the Pacific coast. Or stay in an ecolodge in Caribbean rainforest where you fall asleep to the slightly creepy cry of the howler monkey and wake to the screech of toucan. If you are wild at heart, then Costa Rica will get definitely get it racing.
Get willing to help
One of the most popular family volunteering vacations at Responsible Travel works with ongoing conservation projects that strive to protect sea turtle populations in Costa Rica. Turtle nesting season is July to December, so you have three school vacation windows to get out there and help. Staying in a community of about 200 people on Nicoya Peninsula.
As well as being a wildlife and adventure hub, Costa Rica is one of the most exemplary ecotourism destinations in the world, with grassroots community projects aplenty. So, be sure to include some cultural trips on your itinerary, as it is a diverse place. From the Creole-speaking Afro-Costa Ricans of the Caribbean, to the Bribri of the Talamanca Mountains or the rural coffee farmers, they’re all well worth getting to know.