Adventure Tours

Costa Rica Family Tour

From €2,195pp tour-only
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9 days
Costa Rica
From €2,195pp tour-only
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Make memories among the evergreen forest, towering volcanos and pristine beaches of Costa Rica on this family-oriented adventure tour.

Discover the incredible biodiversity of Costa Rica – and the culture shaped by the tropical wilderness – with your loved ones, on a trip that’s tailored for families. Pick produce and make dinner with a local family during an agricultural homestay, look for three-toed sloths in the thickets of the Manuel Antonio National Park and walk through the canopy of Monteverde’s cloud forest on a suspended bridge. Take a break from active adventure by soaking in springs heated by Arenal Volcano and lying beneath swaying palms on pristine beaches while the kids play nearby. This adventure takes you into the wild heart of a country many visit but few truly know.

  • Go beyond a biology lesson and immerse yourself in nature, from spotting rare birds in Monteverde to listening for the evocative call of howler monkeys in Manuel Antonio National Park.
  • Get active on guided walks through forest and jungle, plus an incredible canopy walk along suspended bridges in Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.
  • End this adventure by hitting Manuel Antonio National Park, where the evergreen forest grows right up to the long, white beaches and irresistible water.

Make sure you pack some sturdy and comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking around cities and towns and through forests and jungles on this trip.

There are a few days of long travel on this trip as you’ll be covering a lot of Costa Rican ground. These drives are along smooth roads in new and comfortable vehicles, and are great for games, chats and scenery spotting. You’ll also make interesting stops along the way to break up the longer drives.

Is it hot in here? You’re in tropical Central America so it can get very humid. Carry plenty of water, dress in light clothing and we’ll give you every opportunity to cool off with a swim.

With so much to see and do, Costa Rica can sometimes be expensive. Expect to pay more than you would in other Central American countries for a lot of things.

Day 1: San Jose

Welcome to subtropical San Jose! Meet your leader and fellow family travellers at a welcome meeting at 5 pm at the hotel. If you arrive early there is plenty to see in this bustling city, and as the streets are laid out in a grid pattern it’s relatively easy to navigate too. Check out a few of the optional activities below, just note that as these activities are not included, they may incur an extra charge. The Spirogyra Butterfly Garden, for example, is the perfect way to introduce kids (and adults) of all ages to Costa Rican biodiversity while getting some respite from the clamour of the city. After the meeting tonight, perhaps get a taste of ‘Tico’ food (and get to know the other families and your tour leader) with an optional dinner as a group.

 Accommodation: Hotel Auténtico or similar (1 night)

Special information: It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information for each member of your family. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

Day 2: Sarapiquí

Kick off your Costa Rican adventure with a hearty breakfast before hitting the road to make our way to Poas Volcano National Park. In the park you’ll discover untouched nature, an active volcano, and have the chance to breathe fresh, cool mountain air. At the top of this volcano, 2,700 metres above sea level, you can step to the edge of a platform and look down on a smoking sleeping giant – steam can pour out around a sulphuric, bubbling, green crater lake. In the afternoon, make your way to Sarapiqui, a town known for its rich biodiversity. On arrival settle into your hotel then join your leader on a walk through the rainforest, crossing trails as you look out for wildlife. This evening is free for your own discoveries – you may like to book an excursion to learn about the region’s nocturnal creatures.

 Accommodation: Tirimbina Rainforest Lodge and Hotel or Similar (1 night)

 Included activities

  • Sarapiqui - leader led rainforest night walk
  • San Jose - Poas Volcano National Park

 Add on activities

  • Sarapiquí – Night Bat Program - USD25
  • Sarapiquí – Night Hike - USD26

Day 3: Arenal

Today you’ll cross west through the north of the country to the Arenal volcano area (approximately 1 hour), which lies beneath the volcano of the same name. Rising from verdant plains, Arenal Volcano shoots up 1633 metres in a perfect cone and in certain light resembles a storybook drawing. The landscape is mainly cloud forest and rainforest, cut through with rivers, lakes and -- thanks to the volcano’s inner workings -- thermal hot springs. On arrival you are free to explore the area at your own pace. Or perhaps you’d prefer to unwind by the hotel pool in view of the mighty Arenal Volcano. Your accommodation also features onsite hot springs where you can relax your muscles.

 Accommodation: Hotel Magic Mountain or similar (1 night)

 Included activities

  • Arenal - Hot Springs (Entrance Fee)

Day 4: Arenal

Get and explore the lush tropical surrounds of this idyllic location with the family. For many, one of the highlights of this trip is the exhilarating fun of battling the gushing rapids of the Balsa River. The level of rafting here is very suitable for families (Class 2 to 3), but please note that the minimum age is 8 years old. After a safety briefing and getting kitted out with an orange vest, you’ll get wet and wild, working your way as a team through increasingly challenging rapids with names like ‘Magnetic Rock’, ‘Congo Loco’and ‘Dredges’.

Along the way, look out for wildlife such as sloths and Toucans – if you’re not too busy getting wet that is. When you finish and return to the hotel.

 Accommodation: Hotel Magic Mountain or similar (1 night)

 Included activities

  • Whitewater Rafting

Day 5: Monteverde

Today you’ll take the scenic route to Monteverde (approximately 4 hours in total). Travel by minibus to Lake Arenal, then cross the water by boat. On the other side of the lake, re-board a minibus and continue on to our destination. In 1951 North American Quakers founded the nearby Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, a sanctuary for the unique flora and fauna of Costa Rica. More than 2000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call the reserve home, and over the next few days you’ll get acquainted with some of them. There may be time to make an optional visit the nearby Butterfly Garden today upon arrival (an additional cost). Otherwise, settle into your accommodation and enjoy the tranquillity of nature.

 Accommodation: Villa Lodge and Hotel or similar (1 night)

Day 6: Monteverde

See the forest from a different perspective on an included canopy walk across the suspended bridges of Monteverde. The sheer variety of bird life in Monteverde is enough to make an ornithologist out of anyone, so don’t be surprised if younger children have a new answer to the question ‘what do you want to do when you grow up?’ While you’re up among the treetops look (or listen) out for the reclusive resplendent quetzal, the blue-crowned motmot or the emerald toucanet. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or partake in some optional activities. You could visit an orchid farm or whizz through the trees on zip-lines. If conditions are right, there might be a chance to hike through the forest at dusk, a unique opportunity to see the area’s nocturnal creatures begin to stir.

 Accommodation: Villa Lodge and Hotel or similar (1 night)

 Included activities

  • Monteverde - Sky Walk (Entrance Fee)

 Add on activities

  • Monteverde - Canopy Zip Lining (Entrance, Equipment & Transport) - USD62
  • Monteverde - Cloud Forest Night Walk - USD35

Special information: Some of the above optional activity prices include an entrance fee only. Transportation will need to be paid in addition to the entrance fee and is subject to change depending on the number of participants.

Day 7: Manuel Antonio National Park

Wave adios to Monteverde and hit the Pan-American Highway for a southward journey past beaches and palm plantations to Manuel Antonio (around 6 hours). Along the way we stop a local family home where you  will have the opportunity learn how to cook authentic local Costa Rican food and share time with 3 generations of Costa Ricans. Enjoying the essence of the Pura Vida. An experience you will enjoy as a family.
Enjoy a free evening to relax before exploring the park on foot tomorrow.

 Accommodation: Hotel Divisamar or similar (1 night)

 Included activities

  • Manuel Antonio - Cooking Class & Lunch

Day 8: Manuel Antonio National Park

After breakfast enjoy a 3-hour guided walk along the trails that snake through Manuel Antonio National Park. Immerse yourself in nature and learn more about the area’s diverse wild and plant life from your guide. Look and listen carefully and you may be able to spot howler monkeys, two- and three-toed sloths, iguanas and more. The afternoon is free to explore this magical area further at your family’s desired pace. Maybe you’d like to relax on one of the idyllic palm-lined bays while the kids splash in the water. Active types have the option to rent equipment to kayak, surf or fish in the glittering ocean (for an extra cost). There are no wrong choices in this balmy paradise.

 Accommodation: Hotel Divisamar or similar (1 night)

 Included activities

  • Manuel Antonio National Park - (Entrance fee)
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike

Special information: Visitor numbers to Manuel Antonio have been reduced from 3000 per day to 1000. This means it is more difficult to secure entrance tickets for both tour groups and individual visitors. Over school holidays and peak travel season, it is especially difficult. We do our best to secure entrance tickets, but it is possible that on occasion demand will be too high. In these instances, we will include a visit to Carara National Park, home to a variety of animals including crocodiles, monkeys, and two-toed sloths.

Day 9: San Jose

Rise and shine for your final morning in this beachside haven. Enjoy your last hours in Manuel Antonio with some free time before making the return drive to San Jose in the mid-afternoon (approximately 3 hours). There are no activities planned on arrival at San Jose. If you’re flying out today, it's important to book your flight for no earlier than 6pm.
The group will be dropped back off at the starting point hotel. Note there is no accommodation included today. If you wish to stay longer in San Jose we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability)..

 Accommodation: Hotel Auténtico or similar (can be booked on request)

1. Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age of 10 years old. Please note that anyone under 18 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or legal guardian.

2. A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 17 or younger at the time of travel.

3. Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase entrance tickets to Manuel Antonio National Park. Delays in providing this information may result in changes to your itinerary, and we cannot guarantee entry. Details provided must be accurate as per the passport bio page.

4. First day - there will be a group meeting at 5 pm on Day 1
Last day - This trip finishes at the San Jose Airport on Day 8. Please do not book onward flights until after midday due to transfer time to San Jose Airport. Alternatively, if you wish to book post-accommodation, we can book this and provide a complimentary transfer to the hotel.

5. Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together, and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

6. Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 10.

7. A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 17 years and under at the time of travel.

8. This tour finishes on arrival to Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) on Day 9. Please ensure that your departure flight is booked to depart after midday. If you wish to stay longer, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability) and provide a complimentary transfer back to the hotel. Please enquire about these services at time of booking.

9. A Single room supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.

10. Costa Rica is a tropical country, so rain can be excepted at any time. The rainy season in Costa Rica runs from May – November. While July and some of August does experience dry spells, families need to be prepared for the rain. Rain does usually come in the afternoons, and it can pour. You will need to be prepared with wet weather gear. Hurricane season in this region is from June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors any situations that arise and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.

11. Many hotels outside of San Jose have been built further out from the centre of town so travellers can enjoy the countryside, rainforests and views, where people can wake up to birds, not cars. Many of the hotels we use are in such locations.

12. Costa Rican food is known for being relatively mild, with high reliance on fresh fruit and vegetables. Rice and black beans are a staple of most traditional Costa Rican meals. Meals in Costa Rican are more expensive than its neighbouring countries.

Price per person is based on 1 adult & 1 child sharing and includes:

  • 9 Day Costa Rica Family Tour
  • Meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
  • Transport: Private vehicle, Boat, Public Transportation
  • Accommodation: Hotel (8 nights)
  • Included activities:
    • Sarapiqui - leader led rainforest night walk
    • San Jose - Poas Volcano National Park
    • Arenal - Hot Springs (Entrance Fee)
    • Whitewater Rafting
    • Monteverde - Sky Walk (Entrance Fee)
    • Manuel Antonio - Cooking Class & Lunch
    • Manuel Antonio National Park - (Entrance fee)
    • Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike

Please ask us about adding great value:

  • Flights from Ireland- we'll find the best fares for your chosen travel dates and departure airport
  • Travel insurance
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply.  Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you. Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old. 

For more information please call us on 021 427 7094 or 01 696 5135, email, request a call back using the red button or submit an enquiry through the form below.

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