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10 Incredible Things to Do with Kids in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is the perfect destination for families who want to explore the great outdoors together. With its diverse landscape and plethora of activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

Getting to and around Costa Rica

Getting to Costa Rica is easy – there are direct flights from most major US and European airports. The main airport is in San Jose (SJO), but Liberia (LIR) is a good option if you’re headed to the beaches on the Pacific coast. 

And once you’re there, getting around is a breeze. You can fly between cities, take a bus or rent a car. For example San Jose to Tamarindo can be completed in less than an hour by flying or in around 4 hours by shuttle bus. What’s more, English is widely spoken, so navigation is a snap.

Some of the best towns and cities to visit are:

  1. San Jose – the capital, and a great place to start your Costa Rican adventure. Be sure to check out the National Theatre and Museum of Costa Rican Art.
  2. Arenal – home to Arenal Volcano National Park, one of Costa Rica’s most popular tourist destinations.
  3. Tortuguero – a small fishing village located on the Caribbean coast, known for its vast array of wildlife.
  4. Jaco – a beach town popular with surfers, located on the Pacific coast.
  5. Monteverde – a small town located in the mountains, home to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.
  6. Tamarindo –  a beach town located on the Pacific coast, known for its great surfing and nightlife.
  7. Puerto Viejo – a small town located on the Caribbean coast, known for its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful beaches.
  8. Manuel Antonio – a small town located on the Pacific coast, home to Manuel Antonio National Park.

When to Visit

The best time to visit Costa Rica is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. That said, the country is lovely year-round, so don’t let the rainy season (May to November) deter you. You may also find that you can secure cheaper flight prices during the rainy season and as long as you pack well, the kids will love it!

What to Pack

No matter when you visit, pack plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent, as well as a light rain jacket or windbreaker. If you’re headed to the beach, don’t forget yours and the kids’ swimsuits. And if you plan to hike in the rainforest, pack sturdy shoes and a hat.

Other essentials for travelling with kids include:

  • baby wipes and nappies
  • plenty of changes of clothes
  • snacks and drinks
  • a first-aid kit
  • sun hats
  • any medications that your child/children may need.

If you’re visiting Costa Rica with young children, it’s also a good idea to pack some toys and books to keep them entertained during the long flight. And don’t forget their travel documents!

Things to Do with Kids in Costa Rica

There are plenty of things to do with kids in Costa Rica, from exploring the rainforests to relaxing on the beach. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Visit a national park
  2. Go on a safari
  3. Visit a coffee plantation
  4. Go whitewater rafting
  5. Go zip-lining
  6. Visit a butterfly garden
  7. Take a nature hike
  8. Visit a chocolate plantation
  9. Visit a volcano 
  10. Hang out with sloths

Let’s take a look at each in turn: 

Visit a national park

Costa Rica is home to some of the world’s most biodiverse national parks, including Manuel Antonio National Park, Rincon de la Vieja National Park, and Tortuguero National Park. Kids will love exploring these natural wonders!

Go on a safari

Unsurprisingly, Costa Rica is home to many different species of animals, including monkeys, sloths, and toucans. Taking a safari through one of the country’s national parks is a great way for kids to see some of these amazing creatures up close. Book a local tour guide who can show you the best safaris on offer. 

Visit a coffee plantation

Costa Rica is one of the world’s leading producers of coffee, and kids will love learning about how this delicious drink is made. Many coffee plantations offer tours and tastings, making for a fun and educational experience.

Go whitewater rafting

If you have older kids, then take advantage of some of the best whitewater rafting in the world. Kids will love spending a day on the river, paddle in hand, as they navigate their way through thrilling rapids.

Go zip-lining

Costa Rica is also home to some of the longest and highest zip lines in the world. Kids will love getting an adrenaline rush as they zip from platform to platform, high above the ground.

Visit a butterfly garden

Kids love butterflies and in Costa Rica you’ll find hundreds of species of butterflies. Many of the butterfly gardens in the country also have other animals, such as frogs and iguanas, making for a fun and educational experience.

Take a nature hike 

Costa Rica is full of beautiful hiking trails, and kids will love exploring the jungle with a guide. They’ll learn about the different plants and animals that call Costa Rica home, and they might even spot some wildlife along the way.

Visit a chocolate plantation 

Kids (and adults!) will love learning about how chocolate is made at a plantation tour. They’ll get to see the cocoa trees and learn about the process of making chocolate, from bean to bar.

Visit a volcano

Some of the world’s most active volcanoes are based right in the heart of Costa Rica. Kids will be fascinated by these natural wonders, and they’ll learn about the science behind them on a tour. Plus, they’ll get to see some incredible views from the top!

Hang out with sloths

Sloths are one of Costa Rica’s most iconic animals, and kids will love getting up close and personal with them at a sanctuary. They’ll learn about these amazing creatures

Ready to Book Your Next Holiday to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is the perfect destination for a family holiday. There are plenty of activities to keep kids entertained, and they’ll also learn about nature, wildlife, and the country’s culture. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

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