Planning a Family Vacation to Costa Rica

If your family is dreaming of an international vacation but aren’t ready to cross the ocean, Costa Rica is a great mix of the familiar and new. This Latin American destination is quickly becoming a favorite for families due to its affordability and resources. Ready to go? Here are a few ideas to start planning your vacation.


You have many choices for accommodations in Costa Rica. Choose a secluded mountain hut or a tropical beach resort. Opt for an all inclusive or rent your own apartment on a site like Airbnb. Each has pros and cons depending on your budget and what kind of experience you would like to have. This is likely to be the most expensive portion of your stay. Spending time researching different offers that meet your needs can help reduce your overall costs.

Things to Do

Outdoor adventures are plentiful in Costa Rica! Imagine hiking on an active volcano or taking a dip in a hot spring. There are rainforests in Costa Rica and plenty of trips take you into the natural areas to get up close and personal with wildlife like the loveable sloth! The Manuel Antonio National Park is one to keep in mind if you’re traveling with smaller children. The park is easy to manage and there are guides trained to work with families. Just outside the park are beaches with activities like snorkeling and surf schools. If youv’e got guts then hit up one of the many zipline parks in the country.

If your kids love animals then you must include a visit to Tortuguero on the Caribbean side of the country. This is a nesting site for sea turtles and depending on the time of year you visit you may see turtles hatching (usually June-August)! Another popular stop is the Monteverde Cloud Reserve to go quetzal sighting. See these birds and many more from this park.

If you would rather leave the details to someone else there are many tour operators that run multi-day tours in Costa Rica. If you decide to go with this option take time to research their track record and experience with families like yours.

If you’re more interested in sticking to a city the capital of San Jose is a good base. You can easily take day trips from here if you do want to see more. The San Jose Children’s Museum is a hands on museum that has activities and was one of the first of its kind in Central America. If you want to see how locals live and shop head to the Central Market and pick up some groceries for a picnic or just wander around. Finally check out the Barrio Bird walking tours. If you have older kids this can be a great way to see unique sides of the city you might otherwise miss.

While you will find Costa Rica to be a great vacation destination it also can be pricy. Try to travel in low seasons to get a better deal and save extra money by preparing a few meals on your own or opting for more affordable accommodation.



  1. kristen visser says

    how cool! i never thought of Costa Rica as somewhere I would bring my girls but there is actually plenty of things to do to entertain the whole family! Would love to visit Tortuguero to see the animals

  2. Anne Taylor says

    What a beautiful trip this would be. I have a friend who goes to Costa Rica regularly and just loves it!

  3. That looks like an amazing trip

  4. Sounds pretty amazing and a great place to vacation!!

  5. A friend of my husbands relocated to Costa Rica when he retired – can you imagine?. Heaven!!

  6. I’ve never been to Costa Rica, but it looks like a beautiful place. Our family is three dogs, so I’d have to find some pet friendly accommodations.

  7. I haven’t had the chance to go to Costa Rica yet, but it’s on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing this info.

  8. I have always wanted to explore that island! This makes me more determined to go there! I want to bring my family all over the place!

  9. Traveling with kids is completely different from traveling alone! You have to consider a completely different set of activities!

  10. Jenna Wood says

    My travel is limited to the 48 states- I think I’d want to go through a travel agency to plan a vacation like this. I don’t like to over stress my relaxation! Thanks for the tips!

  11. I would love to travel to Costa Rica. I don’t travel though and hope to in the years to come after my kiddos are a bit bigger!

  12. I dream of being able to take my family to a location like this! I love the ocean and any place warm when we travel.

  13. I have never been to Costa Rica but my girlfriends hubby is from there and tells me about it all the time. SOunds like such a great place to visit, it is definitely on our must do list

  14. We would definitely have to see some wildlife. I think it would be pretty cool to try something in the mountains away from the beach resorts for one trip.

  15. Scarlet of Family Focus Blog says

    We went to Costa Rica for our honeymoon. It was fantastic. Volcanoes, rain forest, beach- what more could you ask for?!

  16. A family vacation to Costa Rica would be a dream! I would love to stay at a tropical resort but also take advantage of some of the outdoor adventures they offer!

  17. It has been many years since i was in Costa Rica. It is so beautiful there i have always dreamed of going back for a few weeks. It would be a great vacation spot for kids.

  18. Costa Rica looks so beautiful. It is in my bucket list to go here for a vacation. I am hoping to cross it off my list in the next year or two.

  19. i have always wanted to visit costa rica. i used to work with a guy from there and he would tell me stories of how beautiful this place is.

  20. Costa Rica is definitely a place that I would love to visit one day. I will add your suggestions to my bucket list!

  21. I have a friend who’s from Costa Rica. She always tells me about how beautiful this place is. I hope to visit it someday.

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