A Family Journey to Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a great destination for families who love an abundance of outdoor activities and being able to experience the earth’s biodiversity. Costa Rica is renowned for being a kid-friendly country, where children often receive a warm welcome from locals and a substantial discount on park entrances and excursions. Historically, this can be put down to a shift in focus towards youth services and education following the constitutional abolition of the Costa Rican army in 1949. The military budget was redirected to academic and cultural sectors, resulting in elevated social prestige for children in education.
Though, climactically, Costa Rica is quite diverse, it is broadly-speaking tropical all year round, making it an ideal vacation spot for both winter getaways and summer breaks. This article will explore some of the top Costa Rican activities for your family to enjoy. When planning your itinerary, think about adding some of the following excursions to form those memories that will last a lifetime.
Puerto Limon: a Cosmopolitan Seaside Town
Costa Rica is a prime destination for Caribbean cruise vacations. If you are visiting Costa Rica by ship, your first stop is likely to be Puerto Limon – otherwise known as “Limon”. Its thriving Afro-Caribbean community melds Jamaican, Caribbean and Spanish culture into one, making for a diverse urban experience. Head to Playa Bonita to relax on the sandy beach, or for surfing fans, catch some powerful waves. Alternatively, take one of the many wildlife tours on offer in Limon: introduce your family to sights and sounds of the tropical paradise that is the Veraguas Rainforest Park.
Monteverde Canopy Tour
High in the mountains, away from the coast, experience Costa Rica’s rainforests from an entirely new perspective. Several Monteverde tour companies offer routes that feature suspension bridges and zip lines that allow you to view the rainforest from above. With spectacular sights and thrilling descents, this is something your family members won’t easily forget.
Manuel Antonio National Park
One of the most popular natural attractions in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park, combines rainforest, lagoons, coral reefs and beaches all in one place. Stunning sandy shorelines back onto green forests and are flanked by swamps and lagoons that contain a huge variety of flora and fauna. This is the perfect spot for snorkeling and watching wildlife, as the park is home to hundreds of species of animals, birds and fish – many of which are rare. Invest in a hiking, nature, or adventure tour for the delight of adults and children alike.
Situated in another National Park, this active volcano in central Costa Rica features two crater lakes near its summit. As a powerful representation of the geothermal forces that formed Costa Rica itself, the Poas volcano makes for not only an exciting and beautiful excursion for your family, but educational oe too. Arrive early to avoid your experience being obscured by the mist and clouds that surface from the bubbling lakes. Though classified as an active volcano, don’t expect to be dodging lava at Poas: the most recent eruption was in 1954! There is a visitor’s center and a museum that serves food and drink. Several short hikes will take you to different points overlooking the volcano. Entrance to the park costs US 7$ (half price for students). It is open from 8am to 3:30pm.
As you can see, Costa Rica offers a wealth of child-friendly wonders. While your choice of excursions will undoubtedly depend on your children’s ages and your choice of transport, don’t miss out on some of these truly unique experiences that Costa Rica has to offer.