If you’re looking for the perfect adventure to expose your children to nature travel, Costa Rica should be at the top of your family travel bucket list. The combination of a short flight, comfortable resorts and ecolodges, adventure activities and rich biodiversity make Costa Rica an ideal first international trip for families. To test out the kid-friendly potential of this small country, one of the IE staff spent a week-long Costa Rica tour with her nine-year-old son. Here are the top 5 adventures Conor named as “must try” for kids.

“Nothing beats going really fast through the canopy, seeing all of the birds, ants and animals just sitting in the trees!”

White-Water Rafting
“When we hit the first rapid, a wave washed over the boat, our raft shook and I almost bounced right out of the boat.”

Swimming in the Pacific
“At Tamarindo there are some really big waves. So, I think you should take surfing lessons or at least try body boarding in the Pacific. I liked that there weren’t a lot of jellyfish like we find in the Gulf of Mexico. Take my advice: Remove your sunglasses before swimming! My parents both lost their sunglasses within 10 minutes.” Note: While IE's standard Costa Rica tours do not include the Pacific side of the country, you can extend or stay or check out our custom travel options.

Seeing Monkeys in the Wild
“While I got to hear some other species of monkeys, howler monkeys were the only kind I saw…but I saw them EVERYWHERE! During our Costa Rica tour we saw howler monkeys in the rainforest, at the hotel, and even on the side of the road. Some kids may think monkeys – and most wildlife – would run away in the wild. But I was surprised that they allowed me to stand really close.”

Climbing Hanging Bridges
“Want to be even higher than the rainforest? Then you have got to try the hanging bridges at Arenal Volcano!”


Have you traveled to Costa Rica with someone young (or young at heart)? Let us know what their favorite activities are in the comments below.