Traveling in Costa Rica with kids

What does Responsible Travel recommend?

Even the least adventurous families will feel safe here – with expert, English-speaking guides, well maintained trails and wifi in even the most remote lodges, Costa Rica with kids is more fun than fuss. Younger families will be well looked after in Tortuguero and Monteverde, while older kids will thrive on the rafting, zip lining, hiking and tubing, all graded by age and ability.
If you do want to escape the crowds, head for the slightly wilder regions – they still offer comfortable lodges but with fewer visitors. Parents’ main concern here will be the children nagging them to come back.

Activities for families in Costa Rica

What to do with little ones

Tenille Moore, from our supplier Geodysssey: "You can do an independent self-drive in Costa Rica. It's very popular with families because you can take your time getting from place to place and stop as you go along. You’ll pull up along the roadside and a monkey will be there, or a sloth might be hanging from a tree. Because the country’s so small, the wildlife doesn’t have anywhere to run! It is literally teeming with wildlife."
Hang out in Monteverde – literally! This cloud forest reserve is absolutely jammed with wildlife, and kids can explore with naturalist guides on foot, horseback or walking along a suspension bridge through the canopy. With 30 species of vivid hummingbirds, 1,200 amphibians and reptiles and 100 mammals living here, biology lessons have never been so exciting.
Watching sea turtles nesting and hatching on a moonlit beach is surely nature’s most magical experiences – and sure to bring out the inner environmentalist in children. Visit Tortuguero National Park in the August school vacations to glimpse these incredible creatures dragging themselves into the sand.

Traveling in Costa Rica with kids

responsible travel asks the experts

Natasha Preston, from our supplier Exodus, shares her advice for traveling in Costa Rica with kids: "For families looking for that jungle experience, who want to see the wildlife and do some adventure activities, then Costa Rica is brilliant as it has all that but without feeling too remote or too punishing. You probably wouldn’t take your family down to the Pantanal in Brazil, for example, or to Guyana. You’d see very similar wildlife and birdlife, but Costa Rica has a much better infrastructure. It’s more geared up for the tourist market without feeling overly commercialised."
David Orrock, from our supplier Pura Aventura, shares his advice on traveling to Costa Rica with kids: "Costa Rica is brilliant for families, but make sure that you talk to someone who knows the different areas and gets the right place for the right age kids. It makes the difference between having a good time – and having a really good time. Rio Perdido, for example, is better for older children, whereas Monteverde and Tortuguero would be very good for younger children. Tortuguero is very relaxed; it’s not a high activity area. The main thing is taking boat rides along the canals to spot wildlife, so you don’t need to be in good physical shape or be a certain age. The lodges there have family friendly pools too – it’s just very nice."
Photo credits: [Top box - family on beach: Michiel Van Balen] [Activity 1 - wildlife: Christian Haugen] [Activity 2 - Monteverde: Alex] [Activity 3 - Turtle watching: cireremarc] [David Orrock quote - family on canopy bridge: Sharmil Goswani - Exodus]
Written by Vicki Brown
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