Costa Rica for Families

Nothing brings the family together like travel, and International Expeditions’ custom Costa Rica ecotour to the Osa Peninsula, Corcovado and Manuel Antonio is the perfect combination of nature and excitement!

Don’t want to travel with the kids? That’s okay! This comprehensive Costa Rica tour is perfect for any nature enthusiast.

What is Custom Travel? The itinerary below is only a small sample of options in Costa Rica. Every traveler can envision their ideal way to see the world. International Expeditions’ experienced Custom Travel Planners create individually tailored tours that match your style of travel, budget and timeline. Tell us the dates you wish to travel, and we’ll take care of the details.

Start planning your journey today by contact Costa Rica Travel Planner Sarah Meffert at 800-234-9620 ext. 124.

custom family costa rica tour  

 

DAY 1

Arrive San José

Upon arrival at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José, Costa Rica, you will be met and assisted through immigration and customs. Be sure to go to bed early — you’ve got eight busy days ahead!

DAY 2

San José/Drake Bay

You are met and transferred to the airport this morning for a charter flight south to the Osa Peninsula, the home of Costa Rica’s premiere wildlife. After landing, your family will be transferred by car and then boat across Drake Bay to La Paloma Lodge. You have an opportunity to explore your new surroundings in this magnificent area. La Paloma Lodge nests atop a high bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and nearby Caño Island, in Costa Rica's isolated Drake Bay. Each room boasts an artistically tiled private bath, expansive balconies with hammocks, varnished hardwood floors and a breathtaking view of the Pacific and sunset over Caño Island. (L,D)

For the Kids: Drop your stuff off in your room then hit the beach! Costa Rica’s beaches are world-famous.

DAY 3

Drake Bay (Caño Island)

You have a full day of your Costa Rica tour to enjoy Drake Bay and the Osa Peninsula. Today, join a local guide for a hike and exploration of Corcovado National Park, the largest remaining virgin rainforest in all of Central America. Nearly 300 species of birds, 139 species of mammals and 116 species of amphibians and reptiles are found within the park's boundaries, including many species on the worldwide endangered species list, such as ocelot, puma, jaguar and Baird's tapir. (B,L,D)

For the Kids: Hits the trails in Corcovado, home to more that half of Costa Rica’s endangered species.

costa rica family vacation  

 

DAY 4

Drake Bay (Corcovado National Park)

Boat excursions are perfect for discovering Caño Island Biological Reserve. This 790-acre island reserve is one of the most valuable archaeological sites in the country — the island was once a pre-Columbian burial ground — and is protected and under the administration of Corcovado National Park. The entire reserve is a sanctuary for marine and migratory birds. During your afternoon of snorkeling or scuba diving, look for the huge variety of coral reefs and fish, whales and even sharks that roam these waters. (B,L,D)

For the Kids: It’s a history lesson (so your parents will be happy) combined with a boat trip and super-old burial ground. Now that’s got the makings of a great ghost story to tell your friends back home!; Wear your parents out with an afternoon of snorkeling or scuba diving!

DAY 5

Drake Bay/Manuel Antonio (Manuel Antonio National Park)

You will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Manuel Antonio. Miles of sandy white beaches outline the most popular park within the system. Join a naturalist for a privately guided nature walk into Manuel Antonio National Park. Located south of San José on the Pacific Coast, Manuel Antonio is one of the best areas to view migrating marine birds. Squirrel monkeys and three-toed sloths hide among the lush vegetation that grows to the edge of the beaches. Marked trails offer excellent hiking and wildlife viewing. The waters are crystal clear and are home to many species of multi-colored fish. Spend the next four nights at Villas Si Como No. Occupying the most idyllic hilltop in Manuel Antonio, this award-winning eco-designed resort and spa provides its own signature version of "barefoot luxury" to all its guests. During leisure time, you can relax on nearby beaches or see the hotel's own wildlife and nature exhibits, which are adjacent to the property. Guests also enjoy a variety of water sports and local shopping. Plus, mom and dad will love that there are NO TVs at the hotel! (B)

For the Kids: Brush up on your Spanish by quizzing your naturalist guide while walking jungle trails (he's NOT going to teach you any naughty words; don't ask).

family costa rica vacation rainforest hike

 

DAY 6

Manuel Antonio (Rainmaker Canopy Walkway)

Following breakfast you depart on a 40-minute drive to Rainmaker, a diverse forest reserve covering drastic elevation changes. Swim in spring-fed streams in a deep pool at the base of a waterfall. Both birds and butterflies that are attracted to the cool shady areas at the edge of the water. In the stream, there are fishes and crayfish, including a species with bright blue claws (watch your toes!). This afternoon, ascend high into the forest canopy. Rainmaker’s Canopy Walk is the area’s most user friendly suspension bridge system. Engineered to U.S.-standards, the six sections total 250 meters spanning from platforms attached to massive hardwood trees to create the most impressive Canopy Walk in Costa Rica. The design allows minimal impact to the forest, while you get a bird’s-eye view to explore the majesty of the forest canopy. Explore the jungle floor while hiking the Rainmaker River Walk, weaving past cascading waterfalls and lush jungle guided by knowledgeable nature interpreters. This view of the forest is quite different from the canopy, and the insects and birds found there are not the same species seen on the forest floor. After visiting Rainmaker, the rainforest will never quite seem the same! (B,L)

For the Kids: Everyone in the water! Swim in streams and clean pools in the heart of the rainforest – SO much better than hitting the pool back home.; Talking to bugs? Calling monkeys? What exactly does an “interpretive” guide do? Guess you’ll have to ask during your hike on jungle trails.

DAY 7

Manuel Antonio (Damas Island Boat Excursion)

Spend three hours on a private boat on the canals and estuaries of Damas Island. You will be met at your hotel this morning (time depends upon the Quepos tides), and transferred to the dock in Damas, a town located about 20 minutes from Quepos. Damas is a delicate strip of land broken and separated from the continent, reachable either from the ocean or from the land by going through the narrow estuary that sets this world apart at both ends. A natural phenomenon —with help from a recent earthquake — divided the island into two sectors. This is what villagers in the area call Damas Island. Certain scientific evidence supports local rumors that the “Damas Island” area is doomed to disappear beneath the ocean waters sometime in the future. Despite being located on top of a seismic fault, the island inhabitants consider the area secure and live peacefully from fishing and tourism. The estuary of Damas Island opens a door to a world where animals still live in primitive ways. The environment has been well preserved and the calm waters of the reserve canals make the area an adventurous territory to be explored. The forest is dense. The movement of tides strips the tree roots, when water levels are lower, offering a scary panorama. White-face capuchin, howler monkey and sloth can be seen, and American crocodile, iguanas, non-poisonous boas and other common reptiles are found in the island. Other interesting living creatures seen in the tour are termite nests and a tremendous number of wading birds that roost in the safety of the mangrove islands. A great variety of flora is also seen in the tour. (B)

For the Kids: WILL Damas Island sink into the Pacific? And why are American crocodiles in Costa Rica? Are they on vacation too? Finally, are your brain and a mangrove swamp twins? These are mysteries you can discuss with the locals and your naturalist guide!

family costa rica tour boat excursion

 

DAY 8

Manuel Antonio

Cap-off your adventure with a full day in Manuel Antonio and the surrounding area. The day is yours to choose from any number of optional activities. (B)

For the Kids: Hiking, snorkeling, mountain biking, swimming, kayaking, deep sea fishing and horseback riding! There’s so much to do, these things are just a few!

DAY 9

Manuel Antonio / San José / Home

Your family is met at the hotel and transferred to the Quepos airport to check in for your flight to San José. Arrive in time to check in for your international flight home. (B)