The unique biodiversity and geography of Costa Rica make it an ideal playground for the entire family. In fact, it’s challenging to narrow down the choices for the best activities for a family vacation in Costa Rica because there are so many incredible and awe-inspiring options. Now that school is out for summer, the time has never been better for planning a vacation, and Costa Rica makes an outstanding destination. Keep reading to learn about the most popular Costa Rican activities for the entire family to enjoy.
Lounge, Swim, and Surf at Extensive Beaches
One of the most attractive features of Costa Rica is its vast collection of stunning beaches on both the Caribbean and the Pacific oceans. The beach is an idyllic spot for members of your family to enjoy various activities.
Of course, swimming and relaxation are some of the main draws for beach lovers. You and your family can spend hours or even days admiring the beautiful water and collection of multi-colored sand beaches in Costa Rica, ranging from pink to black and beige.
Costa Rica is also known for its world-class surfing and paddleboarding conditions. Rent paddleboards and explore calm waters. Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, surf lessons are available for all ages and skill levels.
Finding special accommodations near a beautiful beach in Costa Rica is easily accomplished, especially with help from Small Distinctive Hotels.
Explore a National Park
Costa Rica is home to 27 National Parks. Hiking through a National Park is an excellent way to get an up-close look at the country’s unique flora, fauna, and native wildlife. A guide can help you explore and direct you to the best places for spotting animals like monkeys, iguanas, bats, sloths, and more. Many of Costa Rica’s National Parks also contain beaches allowing you to combine several activities into one. Just make sure to bring bug spray, sunscreen, and your swimsuits.
Manuel Antonio, located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, is the most popular National Park for tourists. It is conveniently located near the beach, is an excellent spot for viewing some of Costa Rica’s unique biodiversity, and gives you access to other fun activities suitable for the entire family.
Marino Ballena National Park is another tourist favorite on the West Coast. It is inside the Osa Conservation Area, which creates a safe area for the migration of humpback whales. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot one.
Learn About Local Animal Species at a Wildlife Sanctuary
If you and your family love unique wildlife, Costa Rica is also home to many nature preserves. Visiting a wildlife sanctuary will teach your family about unique species and their preservation while providing you with an up-close look at animals that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Sloth and sea turtle sanctuaries are some of the most popular options. Sloths are beloved animals by people of all ages, and Costa Rica is the perfect place to learn about them. Your family may also enjoy a hike to a sea turtle preservation area. You can watch sea turtles nesting or hatching depending on the time of year.
Admire Breathtaking Waterfalls
Due to the geographical diversity of Costa Rica, it is also a fantastic location for viewing breathtaking waterfalls. Many are also safe for swimming. The La Fortuna waterfall is a local and tourist favorite. It has a 250-foot drop that can be viewed from multiple levels. After descending hundreds of steps, your family can enjoy time swimming in the pool at the base. Just remember, you will have to hike back up when you are done.
Visit an Active Volcano
Costa Rica is home to six active volcanoes and many more dormant volcanoes. The impressiveness of an active volcano is sure to inspire awe in each member of your family.
While Poas Volcano is the most active, Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna is the most popular tourist destination. You can schedule educational guided tours during the day or night, but we recommend the latter.
Visiting Arenal and La Fortuna also gives you access to other activities like horseback riding, hiking, zip-lining, rafting, multiple hot springs, and more. Hot springs are a nearby must-see attraction thanks to the thermal activity caused by the volcano. Your family can go for a couple of hours or the whole day. What’s not to love with family-friendly activities like varying temperature pools, water slides, food, and drinks?
Zoom Through the Jungle On a Zip Line Tour
Zip-lining is another excellent activity for the whole family. Regardless of where you stay n Costa Rica, the chances are high that you will have access to a zip-lining tour. While zip-lining is for the more adventurous, it is a fun, fast-paced way to zoom through the jungle and rainforest on full and half-day tours. Many zip line excursions provide you with lunch and allow you to view remote waterfalls that would otherwise be inaccessible.
White Water Rafting
Some of the best conditions for white water rafting in the world exist in Costa Rica. It is home to large beautiful rivers, and white water rafting is another action-packed way to explore the jungles and view waterfalls. Rafting guides are well-equipped to navigate your family safely down the country’s rivers. Again you can plan full or half-day tours, and many include snacks or a light meal somewhere along the way.
Get a View From Above On a Canopy Tour
Another remarkable way to view the rainforests and lush jungles of Costa Rica is with a walk through the canopy. If the weather is in your favor, you may even be able to walk above the clouds. Hanging bridges give you a unique perspective for admiring exotic plants, flowers, trees, and a view from above. The Cloud Forest in Monteverde makes a fabulous day trip for the family.
Which Activities Will Your Family Enjoy the Most?
As you can see, there is no shortage of unique and exotic activities for families in Costa Rica. Now, the hard part is determining which activities you and your family will enjoy the most. All things considered, it may be easiest to narrow down your choices based on what region of the country you will be visiting. Even so, with all of the many options, you may be unable to do them all. That’s ok, though; you can always go back!