Costa Rica is famous for its incredible nature and biodiversity. The country’s landscape is characterized by rainforests, volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls, and rivers. These form a perfect playground for countless outdoor activities suitable for the whole family. In Costa Rica, you’re guaranteed to have a family vacation filled with fun and adventure!
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Family Vacation in Costa Rica: Top Accommodations
The Best Destinations for Family Vacations in Costa Rica
With Costa Rica's abundance of national parks and natural sites, choosing your destination can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry: here are some highlights to help you get started.
1. Arenal Volcano National Park
The conically shaped Arenal volcano is one of the most popular landmarks in Costa Rica, and a must-see. Hike the area's trails, or take it easy and soak in the thermal hot springs at the foot of the volcano. If you have energy left, you can visit the nearby La Fortuna waterfall and its natural pool. From here, make your way to Lake Arenal, where you can enjoy watersports such as windsurfing, kayaking, fishing, and paddleboarding.
2. Monteverde Cloud Forest
This misty forest got its name because of the low-hanging clouds here. The sky basically touches the forest, meaning you can literally walk in the clouds. Walking across the suspension bridges gives you unique panoramic views of the rainforest. Because of its unique climate, the park boasts vast biodiversity and is home to several species that can’t be found anywhere else on earth. And if that’s not enough, the park also features one of the longest ziplines in the country.
3. Manuel Antonio National Park
This park consists of a huge tropical rainforest inhabited by many species of wildlife, such as howler monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys, three-toed sloths, deer, and raccoons. The many hiking trails make it a perfect place for a day of hiking and animal encounters. The park is also home to white-sand beaches with turquoise waters, where you can take a refreshing dip after your jungle adventure.
Best Places to Stay for Family Vacation in Costa Rica
Things to Do During Your Family Vacation in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a true paradise for adventure lovers. There are plenty of options suitable for all ages, ranging from windsurfing and kayaking to horseback riding and ziplining. Some of the most popular activities for a family vacation include the following.
1. Canopy tour
This concept originated in Costa Rica and has since been exported throughout the world. Glide along by means of a pulley attached to a harness and cables between trees. You'll feel like you’re flying through the treetops, and will be treated to views of the canopy from up close.
Costa Rica’s rivers have great rapids amid amazing landscapes, making whitewater rafting an experience not to be missed. The epic rafting conditions in some of the rivers make this one of the best whitewater destinations worldwide. However, there are also plenty of options for those who have never rafted before. There are suitable spots for all skill levels, so you can take your pick and go for a high-adrenaline adventure or some easy-going paddling.
3. Spotting wildlife
Costa Rica is home to many different species of plants, birds, and other animals. Therefore, you can look forward to wildlife encounters when visiting one of the national parks. Costa Rica takes the protection of its natural wealth seriously and aims to educate visitors about nature conservation – in addition to having fun with your kids, you can all learn at the same time.
Recommended Accommodations for Family Vacation in Costa Rica
What to Pack for Your Family Vacation in Costa Rica
When preparing for your outdoor adventure, make sure you pack these essential items.
1. Hiking boots
Your family vacation in Costa Rica will surely include a nature walk or hike of some sort. Hiking boots are essential to support your feet and ankles when walking through rugged terrain.
2. Light waterproof jacket
As you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors and tropical downpours are not unusual in Costa Rica, it’s smart to be prepared and bring a light raincoat to keep you dry. Remember that temperatures are generally high, so breathable and lightweight fabric is preferable.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but think again. You’ll see some unique plant and animal species that you wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else. Take spectacular pictures of all the animals you encounter so that you can share the beauty of Costa Rica with your loved ones back home.