If you travel to Costa Rica accompanied by your family, especially if you travel with small children or pre-adolescents, not all destinations and not all activities are recommended, especially for affinity and safety during vacation. In consequence, we have made a list of the 10 best eco-tourism destinations in Costa Rica.
Do you wanna do exciting things? We have:
- Descent of Class 3 and higher rapids
- The canopy or zip line tour.
- Boat tours.
- Canoe safaris.
- Sea kayaking.
- Horseback riding.
- Hikes of moderate duration.
- Flora and fauna observation.
And other activities that we recommend for family trips. It is important to indicate the age of the children before preparing the package or tourist circuit, to design a perfect and ideal trip so that children can also enjoy it.
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has taken away the pleasure of traveling and touring the world, in addition to normality as we understood it before masks were here to stay. We have our hopes pinned on 2021, and we hope that, hopefully, all this will remain a memory. We have changed, and our life has taken a turn, but with the illusions of being able to travel again, we suggest you start thinking about an incredible getaway to Costa Rica.
Why have a family vacation in Costa Rica?
The concept of “Pura Vida” (pure life) only makes sense in this country, where approximately 5% of the planet’s biodiversity is found. This data shows the evidence that Costa Rica is a true paradise, and in it, there is more variety of animals and plants than in any other area of the world. It has numerous green spaces and nature reserves where you can enjoy nature at its best.
A quarter of its territory is protected, and it is one of the pioneer countries when it comes to developing ecotourism activities. Among the most demanded by travelers are visits to volcanoes and routes to see wildlife. We tell you the key places to enjoy a family vacation.
Thanks to TUI, the Grand Trips wholesaler of the TUI Group, the largest tourist group in the world, the family adventure you’ve always dreamed of is about to come true.
A family vacation in San José, Costa Rica’s capital
The capital of the country is little known, but it offers tourists interesting “esquinas”. You will land in it, so it is convenient to take advantage and get to know its parks, its history, its museums, and its cafés. This city is a hive of life and color.
A couple of days will be enough to see the most important attractions of San José. One of the most visited places is the Neoclassical-style Metropolitan Cathedral, which has one of the best inside organs in America. Another of the most important tourist spots in the National Theater is the Plaza de la Cultura.
It is also worth visiting the National Museum or the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, the Central Park, and the La Sabana Metropolitan Park. Although, without a doubt, a place that children will love is the Spirogyra Butterfly Garden. You can walk through a vast nature, surrounded by more than 30 species of butterflies and various types of hummingbirds.
Manuel Antonio National Park
This park is one of the most visited. It is located in the center of the Pacific coast in the province of Puntarenas and is one of the twelve most beautiful national parks in the world.
Manuel Antonio National Park has tropical rainforests, white-sand beaches, mangroves, coral reefs, and even a lagoon of more than fourteen hectares. Also, fauna like squirrels, howler and capuchin monkeys, raccoons, pumas, anteaters, pelicans, and sloths.
While you are on vacation with your family in Costa Rica, you should try the guided hike in Manuel Antonio National Park, which combines forest, a bit of hiking, and plenty of beach time inside the park.
Corcovado National Park
You shouldn’t miss Corcovado National Park if you are on a family vacation in Costa Rica. This park is located on the Osa Peninsula and: can only be accessed through water or air!
It is the largest park in the country and is very famous for the large number of species that inhabit it. This park is probably the best to see jaguars, sloths, monkeys, sea turtles, macaws, or giant anteaters. In the surroundings of the Corcovado lagoon, it is relatively easy to see tapirs, as they come to drink water and cool off.
Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero National Park occupies more than 26,000 hectares and in its interior are living about 400 different species of trees, 2,200 species of plants, birds, and mammals. Located on the Caribbean coast, this place is one of the most popular ecotourism destinations to spend a family vacation in Costa Rica.
It is considered one of the wettest areas in the country and among its rivers, canals, and lagoons you can see a multitude of animal species. The fauna of the park is very diverse.
One of the main attractions of this park is the observation of sea turtles. It is the most important area in the western half of the Caribbean for the nesting of the green turtle, which is also in danger of extinction. Other species of sea turtles also lay their eggs on its beaches, such as the leatherback and the hawksbill. The nocturnal visits that are made to observe the spawning are highly valued.
A family vacation in Cahuita, Costa Rica
In the south of Costa Rica, very close to the Panamanian border, is the small town of Cahuita. Its main attraction is the Cahuita National Park, for its beautiful black sand beaches. This region is considered an ideal tropical paradise to enjoy its calm and warm waters. It’s also a perfect place for snorkeling, diving, hiking, and family vacation in Costa Rica.
This place has more than 23,000 marine hectares and more than 1,000 lands. Within its limits, there is a set of incredible ecological systems, such as coral reefs that, due to their structure and diversity, are considered the most developed in the Costa Rican Caribbean.
Cahuita is also home to incredible beaches. The best known is Playa Blanca, although Puerto Vargas, Playa Negra, and Playa Grande also stand out.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
If you are going to spend your family vacation in Monteverde, Costa Rica, for example, it is recommended to do the night tour, the walk on the hanging bridges, a horseback ride, a tour in the cloud forest reserves of moderate duration or a visit to the museum of reptiles and amphibians.
This reserve is one of the most spectacular in Costa Rica. It is currently one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country, receiving some 70,000 tourists a year. Inside there are more than:
- 2,500 species of plants.
- 100 mammals.
- 400 birds.
- 120 reptiles and amphibians.
If you are patient, you will be able to see one of the most beautiful birds in the world: the quetzal. You will also have the opportunity to see toucans, monkeys, jaguars, and pumas, although the latter is much more elusive.
A family vacation at the Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
To spend a family vacation in Costa Rica is always exciting. There are many volcanoes, but none are as beautiful as Arenal. It’s located in the Arenal National Park.
It is also highly recommended to visit Lake Arenal. Furthermore, it’s surrounded by many hills and offers one of the most magnificent views of the volcano from almost any point of view.
In Arenal, there are several activities, such as the boat tour to Cano Negro, some moderate horseback riding, the hot springs as well as rafting tours on the Peñas Blancas River, windsurfing, and kitesurfing, especially between November and April, although it is also an ideal area for hiking.
This volcano is one of the most popular in Costa Rica, especially due to its proximity to San José. Likewise, it’s one of the most active and largest in the world, with a height of more than 1,600 meters, and one of its main attractions is its bubbling lagoon. It varies from aquamarine to green and has easy access routes and impressive viewpoints.
There are trails to each of the three crater lakes. They offer a unique view. One of them is more than 300 meters deep, which makes it the largest volcanic lagoon in the world.
More than 80 different species of birds live in its interior, where the quetzal stands out, although there are also hummingbirds, toucans, and tanagers.
A magic family vacation in Coconut Island, Costa Rica
For a family vacation in Costa Rica, this is a place you never, ever, shouldn’t miss. Isla del Coco is known as The Galápagos of Central America. It became a National Park in 1978 and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997. It is located 550 kilometers from the Pacific coast and is one of the ideal destinations in Costa Rica for nature lovers, scientists, biologists, and scuba divers.
Its large population of giant manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins, and other marine life is truly spectacular. It’s one of the few places in the world where thousands of hammerhead sharks are concentrated. In Isla del Coco there are more than 50 species of fish, more than 90 mollusks, more than 50 crustaceans, two species of lizards, seven land birds, and more than 70 seabirds, some of them endemic. All this biological variety is due to its humid and oceanic climate.
Caño Island Biological Reserve
If on land Costa Rica is a hive of life and virgin nature, the seabed of this country couldn’t be left behind, especially if you are on vacation with your family. On its Pacific coast, five of the best places to dive in the world stand out, but the best, without a doubt, is the Isla del Caño Biological Reserve.
It is surrounded by coral reefs, which are also among the best preserved. They bring together a multitude of species of tropical fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and sharks.
On the opposite coast of the island is the Gandoca -Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, with a reef of more than five square kilometers where up to 600 different species of mollusks coexist. It’s also easy to see tropical fish, dolphins, sea turtles, and even manatees.