Family-friendly things to do in Costa Rica

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If ever there were a place where you could surrender yourself to Mother Nature, it’s Costa Rica.

If ever there were a place where you could surrender yourself to Mother Nature, it’s Costa Rica. Bursting with lush rain forests and undisturbed wildlife, Costa Rica remains an idyllic example of nature’s bounty – and it’s the perfect place to introduce your little ones to the true beauty of the world. If Costa Rica is in your travel future, don’t miss out on these four great family-friendly things to do there.

Explore Arenal

Tabacon Hot Springs (Image: Jeremy Vandel)
Tabacon Hot Springs (Image: Jeremy Vandel)

The kids won’t soon forget seeing a real volcano. Sitting grand on the Costa Rican skyline, Arenal often amazes visitors with its minor eruptions of steam that fill the sky. Exploring the volcano with the family is easy. Opt for a guided hike through the area or let the kids splash around in the Tabacon Hot Springs after exploring the area’s trails.

Visit the national parks

Capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica (Image: LeafLanguages used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica (Image: LeafLanguages used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

With so much vegetation and wildlife throughout the country, it makes sense that Costa Rica is home to more than 25 national parks. Wow the kids with close-ups of wildlife like capuchin monkeys and sloths at Manual Antonio National Park, or take them on a walk through the mist at one of the country’s impressive cloud forests. Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is one of the area’s top choices thanks to the hundreds of bird, butterfly and mammal species that live in the nearly 10,000-acre park.

Zipline through the jungles

Ziplining through Costa Rica (Image: marinakvillatoro)
Ziplining through Costa Rica (Image: marinakvillatoro)

Let the kids’ inner primate loose with a ziplining tour through the rain forests of Costa Rica. You’ll find tours offered throughout the country, in areas including Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio. Depending on how adventurous your kids are, you can choose a high-speed jungle canopy ride for a rush of pure adrenaline or go for a slower pace that gives you time to spot the howler monkeys and other wildlife that call the Costa Rican jungle home.

Go whitewater rafting

If your kids are a little older and a little more adventurous, you can take them for a thrill ride on nature’s natural roller coasters: the wild rapids of Costa Rica. With younger kids in tow, you can enjoy the more calm rapids of rivers like Sarapiqui or Reventazon. If you’re traveling with teenagers, don’t miss a chance to raft your way down Costa Rica’s Rio Pacuare, the country’s top spot for Class III and Class IV rapids.   (Main image: Apuch used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

Family-friendly things to do in Costa Rica was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Marissa Willman
Author: Marissa Willman (786 posts)

Marissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.