Costa Rica is the perfect, Kid Friendly Vacation
If you’re thinking about Costa Rica for your family vacation, plan and book now for the best selection. Afterall, Spring break, one of the busiest seasons in Costa Rica, falls in early to mid-March for most of North America this year—not even six months away!
Distinctive Hotels has a number of great, family-friendly options for your spring break Costa Rica vacation with kids.
At Alma del Pacifico, your family will enjoy independence with a private sitting area, kitchenette and terrace. No need to worry about what to do; the problem will be picking from the many options available. ATV tours to ziplines, there are outdoor experiences for any age or interest, on or off the water:
• Surfing, swimming and snorkeling right from the hotel beach
• Horseback riding along the beach or into the hills above Esterillos
• Manuel Antonio or Carara national parks
• Dolphin, whale, sea turtles and more as seen from a catamaran
• A kayak or boat tour through the mangroves of the Damas Island estuary
• Whitewater rafting the Savegre River’s Class 2-3 or the Naranjo River’s Class 4 rapids
• Canopy ziplining
• Climb a waterfall, no experience required; thrill seekers will enjoy canyoneering, climbing or trekking several falls
• ATV tours for travel upriver
• Cruise up the Tarcoles River in time for the Crocodile Man’s twice-daily hand-feeding show
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is so far off the beaten track that you need a boat across Golfo Dulce to get to the 5-star eco-lodge within Piedras Blancas National Park. The isolation of the Oso Peninsula means Nicuesa Lodge does not recommend that you bring very young children, but it does mean a spectacular rendezvous with the natural world for anyone over six.
Piedras Blancas and Corcovado national parks preserve old-growth rainforest, home to an amazing assortment of plants and animals, many of them endangered. Tropical beaches edge the calm, blue-green waters of Golfo Dulce, at your front door, where you’re likely to see whales, dolphins and other marine life while beachcombing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, or paddle boarding.
Within feet of the lodge, trails lead to the rainforest, bursting with some of the rarest wildlife anywhere in the world. Guided, self-guided, and night hikes reveal the sights and sounds of the jungle.
Playa Nicuesa’s educational tours and activities demonstrate how to open coconuts, make chocolate from cacao seeds, explain how pineapples grow, and teach about local insects, and maybe the kids will even sample a termite or two.
Fishing from the pier, shoreline, kayak, or panga boats will have your family on the water reeling in the catch of the day. Offshore sport fishing is some of the best in the world in these waters.
Hotel Belmar emphasizes the “Art of Nature,” with exhibits of Chorotega indigenous art and organic, farm-to-fork tours and classes. The Cooperative of Artisans of Santa Elena-Monteverde (CASEM) fuels the local economy and empowers local craftswomen, while Casa de Arte hosts workshops demonstrating indigenous artistic techniques.
Hiking opportunities near Hotel Belmar include Cerro Amigos (steep but rewarding), the guided Selvatura Tree-Top Nature Hike, the Hanging Bridges, and kilometers of trails in any of the six reserves and parks in Monteverde, including Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and the hotel grounds.
These organizations that manage the reserves work to preserve the temperate cloud forest of Monteverde, where the endangered resplendent quetzal and three-wattled bellbird call home.
For sheer adrenaline, try canyoning at Finca Modelo, which begins with a short hike before rappelling down six waterfalls. Other outdoor activities include horseback riding and ziplining.
Kid-friendly boutique hotels in Costa Rica are a smart choice for family vacations, and I have two excellent reasons you’ll agree: small, distinctive hotels and something new every day.