Costa Rica is an extremely family-friendly country and traveling to Costa Rica with kids is a truly enjoyable experience. You will find a variety of places when it comes to adventure trip with children in Costa Rica. This amazing country has a lot to offer: beaches, volcanoes, waterfalls, mountains, jungles and rainforests! The choice might seem overwhelming, especially if you want to plan your trip with kids in advance and choose your travel destinations. Below are the 7 places to visit in Costa Rica when traveling with kids. Remember if you are interested in Camping in Costa Rica with kids to check out our Costa Rica Campsite map!
Monteverde Canopy the best in Costa Rica with kids
Zipping across the cables is a great and fun activity for your family. Some canopy tours are not adjusted for small kids, however, Monteverde Reserve offers this option. Children can enjoy canopy activity while being attached to a guide, so it is completely safe. Monteverde is the first canopy spot in Costa Rica and is suited even for small children. To get to Monteverde Reserve, you should take a highway from San José and then take an Inter-American highway north, on kilometer 133. After that, turn right at the gas station and drive around 30 kilometers towards Santa Elena. Once you are there, just follow the signs and drive for another 5 kilometers. You can rent any small car when traveling to Monteverde during the dry season. However, you might need a 4×4 if you visiting this reserve during the rainy season because the part of the road is unpaved. Get your amazing and safe 4×4’s here for your Costa Rica with kids Adventure!
Llanos de Cortés Waterfall
If your kids love swimming and playing in the water, you must visit Llanos de Cortés waterfall, located around 3 kilometers north of Bagaces town, in Guanacaste province, close to Liberia city. This wonderful waterfall is around 12 meters high and you will be able to hear it from the parking lot. The pond near the waterfall is big and perfect for kids. It has sandy beach and it’s not too deep. Your children will love it! Llanos de Cortés waterfall has bathrooms and there are some local sellers offering coconut water or ceviche. To get to this beautiful place, you will need to rent a 4×4 car. Alternatively, you can travel to the waterfall by bus and ask to drop you at the entrance to the place. However, you will need to walk around 1.5 kilometers to reach the Llanos de Cortés waterfall.
Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most visited parks in Costa Rica. Not without a reason! Manuel Antonio is a habitat of rich fauna and flora, including sloths, few types of monkeys, birds and more. You and your family will enjoy park’s white sandy beaches and wildlife watching. It is not unusual to see monkeys right in front of the beach, close to people. Sometimes you can also observe dolphins. Manuel Antonio National Park is a perfect place to get some family time. It is recommended to visit this place during the dry season, so you can enjoy a day there without rain. Manuel Antonio National Park is located south of Quepos, around 132 kilometers from San José. Manuel Antonio is one of the most crowded parks as well – if you want to get away from the beaten path AVOID THIS PARK at all costs!
Arenal Volcano National Park
Arenal Volcano National Park is located around 90 kilometers northwest of Costa Rica’s capital San José. It is easy to get there by car or by bus and you don’t need a 4×4, no matter the season. This park offers various activities for everyone, including kids. Arenal Volcano National Park has canopy tours, river trips, biking, hiking, hanging bridges (you kids will love them!) and waterfalls. You can also enjoy some wildlife watching with your family, as there are a lot of animal and bird species in the park. If your family likes swimming, you may want to enjoy hot springs and swimming in the area. To enjoy Arenal area to the fullest, stay here not less than 2-3 nights, you will not regret visiting this place! Even now that the lava has stopped flowing it is still an incredible destination. Several great places to camp in arenal – some even have hot springs! Campsites in Arenal and camping in arenal is very fun and easy to do.
Tortuguero National Park
If your kids like jungle, you should visit Tortuguero National Park. This park is located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Tortuguero National Park is a rainforest and it is known for turtle nesting. However, that’s not the only activity you will enjoy in this little jungle. Only getting there is an adventure that your family will never forget. Although there is an airport in Tortuguero, many people get there by boat. This boat trip will last around 1.5 hours and it is very enjoyable and fun. The surroundings are filled with wildlife, just don’t let your kids touch the water because there are crocodiles there. Grab your camera, waterproof clothes, insect repellent and sunscreen when traveling to Tortuguero National Park.
Stay One Night in a Tree House Lodge
There is nothing more fun for kids than to imagine that they are in a cartoon. Spending night in a tree house will be extremely exciting for them! There are many family friendly accommodations in Costa Rica with kids, and Tree House Lodge is one of them. This lodge is surrounded by tropical garden and is close to the beach. Tree House Lodge is a rustic place, but offers family rooms, small kitchen, private toilet and showers and all the facilities you will need there. Stay in this place includes free breakfast and there are restaurants and a supermarket in the area. Tree House Lodge is located around 120 kilometers from San José and is easily accessible.
If you planning on visiting one of the Costa Rica’s gorgeous beaches on your Costa Rica with kids vacation, you should probably add Playa Samara to your list. This sandy beach is located in Guanacaste province, Nicoya Peninsula. Playa Samara is perfect for vacation with children because it is one of the most beautiful and safest beaches in the country. You and your family will love aquamarine water and white clean sand. You can rent boogie boards for your kids and they will enjoy riding the waves! Playa Samara offers relaxed ambient and various activities and services. There are various restaurants, shops and bars there, you can enjoy sport fishing, snorkeling, kayaking and more. It is easy to get to Samara by bus from Liberia, Nicoya or San José and there is a small airport right near the town. There are several campsites to visit in Playa Samara as well. One option for camping on the beach in Playa Samara is camping Cocos – camping right on the beach in Costa Rica with kids!