Costa Rica with Children


Costa Rica may not be the first country you think of for family travelling, but it is definitely the destination for family travel. The “Pura Vida” lifestyle, the pace of life and the abundance of nature make it the best playground for the whole family.

So if you are in doubt to visit Costa Rica with children, read this article!

The Caribbean East Coast

To demonstrate, this region has a beautiful mix of Central America with Caribbean roots. Especially Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, this is where you want to start your trip to ease into the Pura Vida lifestyle. Base yourself just outside the village between Playa Cocles or Manzanillo. Generally speaking, this is a quiet and peaceful area. The beaches are stunning and never feel crowded and because you’re not allowed to build right on the beaches in Costa Rica – this makes the view totally unspoilt and well preserved.

Manzanillo Costa Rica

Coast of Manzanillo, Costa Rica

What to do?

By all means, take surfing lessons at Playa Cocles. Go on a cocoa tour and learn how the best chocolate is made. Visit the market in Puerto Viejo on Saturdays. Certainly go dolphin watching and don’t forget to indulge in the delicious (local) cuisine. Additionally, you can  take part in easy hikes around the Refugio National Manzanillo. But mostly, just tune into the rhythm and enjoy the sweet life. 

People come to visit Puerto Viejo and never leave, because life is too sweet…

Where to stay
Congo Bongo – An eco-village property with beautiful open villas with direct private access to the beach.

Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel A boutique beachfront hotel with swimming pool and a great restaurant

The Enchanting Cloud Forest

Get ready to be transported into a wonderland of green and nature. This is probably one of the favourite parts for children in Costa Rica. North West of San Jose, travel to Monteverde and spend a few days exploring the amazing Cloud Forest.

What to do?

This different landscape will lend itself to more adventurous activities such as zip-lining, and suspension bridge walks. Wildlife is everywhere, take the opportunity to go visit the Aguti reserve, the butterfly gardens and learn about animal conservation.
Notably, this place is all about nature and wildlife, a children’s paradise! At the same time, temperatures are also much lower, so come prepared and bring some extra layers for the chilly evenings around the fire.

Where to stay
Senda Monteverde A beautiful Eco property in a peaceful setting with outstanding service!

Costa rica animal reserve

The lively Nicoya Peninsula

Time stops on the Pacific Coast. Base yourself in Nosara or Samara and enjoy the surfers life (even if you don’t surf!). At the same time the beaches are wide, beautiful and safe. The villages and the locals are welcoming and it’s so lovely to walk around. Needless to say that the food is delicious! There is a certain inexplicable atmosphere that lends itself to slowing down and living in the moment.

sunsets above Nosara
Nosara sunset

What to do?

Here is a lot about surfing and the culture around it. If you have never surfed, you cannot miss that opportunity so dig in! Be sure to visit the National Wildlife Refuge in Oscional to witness hatching baby turtles and mother turtles laying eggs. Nevertheless, spend time on the beautiful beaches of Nosara. You can even go horse riding on the beach or join in a yoga class. Just be.

Where to stay
Montelaguna Boutique Hotel Perfect location to enjoy Carrillo beach. A small boutique property with good family rooms.
Ride On beach house A cool surfer hotel with swimming pool and private access to the beach.

Surfing in Nosara Costa Rica
Kids can easily join in the surf!

The peaceful South Pacific

This one is off the beaten path with less and less tourists. Uvita is the beautiful place you want to stop at. No fancy or flashy touristy town. This is a small village blessed with one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Uvita is a perfect stop along the way to Corcovado, where very few venture and the nature is totally unspoilt.

Uvita, Costa Rica with Kids

What to do?

This part of the country is really about living in the moment. The sunsets are the best ones. There are a few great places to get surfing lessons and locals are very welcoming. In season, whale and dolphin watching is a must do. Make sure you head out early in the morning. It is interesting to consider exploring this area with a campervan, to really enjoy the remoteness and wilderness.

Costa Rica Views

Costa Rica is a relatively small country, quite easy to navigate, but you need to rent a car, especially with kids. It is very safe on all fronts and you don’t need to take any particular precautions. Furthermore, the food is absolutely delicious and kids will for sure enjoy all the sweet fruits. And by the way, every morning around 5 am, the sun rises and the jungle wakes up. Don’t be surprised or scared by the howler monkeys…

So, are you ready to visit the jungle of Costa Rica with your family after reading this article? I surely hope so!

Pura Vida and happy travels,

Marta x

*Marta is one of our guest editors. Born in Poland, raised in France and she currently lives in The Netherlands. When she doesn’t travel herself, her main job is to plan and curate outstanding tailor-made travel experiences for families. Follow her on @unique_family_travels.

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1 Comment
  • Judith
    Posted at 13:24h, 14 August Reply

    Geweldige plekjes! Maar de genoemde accommodatie is bijna allemaal meer dan > 300 per nacht. Dat maakt het lastig deze blog te volgen:(

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