Family Vacation: Costa Rica 8 days / Family Vacations
About This Experience
Adventurers of all ages will fall for Costa Rica, a wild paradise, bursting with active volcanoes, tropical forests and pristine beaches. Hike to a crater lake near Poas, to watch the volcanic explosions and soak in hot springs in Arenal. Float down the Corobici River for up-close encounters with birds and monkeys. Catch the rays and ride the waves in Guanacaste. Discover a destination that will dare and delight the whole family.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
7 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 3 three-course dinners with beer or wine
Private deluxe motor coach
Multilingual Tour Director
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
Colorful birds & playful monkeys
The fire-spewing Arenal volcano
Soaks in volcanic hot springs
Floating down the Corobicí River
Guanacaste’s postcard-perfect beaches
You’ll talk about this trip for years to come
San José1 night - hotel info
If you’re too excited to sleep, we understand
Your exciting family vacation begins with a regularly scheduled flight to Costa Rica on an internationally recognized airline. Touch down in San José, the country’s capital. A Go Ahead representative will greet you at the airport after you clear customs and then escort you to your hotel. A light dinner is included upon your arrival.
Arenal Region3 nights - hotel info
Look beyond the smoke and steam to find the rumbling Poás volcano
Poas Volcano, INBioparque
This morning, venture to Inbio Park to learn about Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity. Later, continue on to Poás Volcano National Park, where you’ll see a wide range of landscapes, including dairy farms and coffee plantations. Note that the Poás Volcano is considered the largest geyser in the world. Here, you’ll walk to Lake Botos to explore the area around the volcano. Afterwards, travel to La Fortuna, home of the Arenal Volcano. After sleeping for 400 years, Arenal erupted in 1968. Since then, it has erupted daily at a smaller scale. If the day is clear, you’ll be able to see the lava eruptions that resemble impressive fireworks displays.
Venture into volcanic landscapes and zip through the rainforest
Arenal National Park
Gain an insider’s eye view of this cherished region on a hike up Arenal Volcano. Soaring more than 5,000 feet above sea level, Arenal is one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular sights. This afternoon, immerse yourself in this cherished region with an optional Treetops Walk with the Family through the rainforest on the Arenal Hanging Bridges. Or, if you’re daring enough, you might instead choose to try Ziplining with the Family (minimum age: 4 years) through the tree canopy with safety equipment and experienced guides. This evening, relax with a visit to the local hot springs, which are fed by the natural healing waters of the Arenal Mountains.
Treetops Walk with the Family $49* pp
Take a guided trek through the treetops on Arenal’s hanging bridges, accompanied by a naturalist guide. From your vantage point high above the forest floor, the multicolored world of the tropical rainforest reveals itself to you. In these 600 acres of protected rainforest, you will find six hanging bridges, the longest spanning 326 feet between trees. You’ll discover Costa Rica’s diverse array of birds and mammals, see spectacular waterfalls and enjoy jaw-dropping views of the majestic Arenal volcano. Special child price: $19
Ziplining with the Family $45* pp
Soar through the jungle canopy on a guided ziplining tour. Your kids will love feeling the cool rainforest breeze in their hair, flying at eye level with birds and seeing the Costa Rican cloud forest from a unique perspective. Up in the forest canopy, a dizzying array of brightly colored wildlife lives in a world most people never see. Today, give your kids the chance to be a part of that world.
Linger in Arenal or get a taste of the sweet life in Tirimbina
Today, your family has a free day in Arenal. Alternatively, opt to join a Chocolate & Pineapple Plantation with the Family tour in Tirimbina Rain Forest, home to the longest hanging bridge in Costa Rica. Kids of all ages will try their hand at making their own chocolate cookies. You’ll also stop at a pineapple plantation to learn about how these delicious fruits are harvested and enjoy a tour across the 3,000 acres of pineapple fields, as well as the facility that processes and packs the pineapples.
Chocolate & Pineapple Plantations with the Family $75* pp
Chocolate and pineapples are two of Costa Rica's most important (and most delicious) exports. On today's excursion, you'll learn how these crops are grown and harvested and how they've influenced indigenous and European cultures. You'll visit two working plantations and savor samples of organic rainforest chocolate! Lunch is included. Special child price: $55
Guanacaste3 nights - hotel info
Scan the trees for birds and monkeys on the Corobicí River
Corobicí River Rafting
This morning, depart for Guanacaste. Along the way, you’ll tour Lake Arenal—one of the largest lakes in Costa Rica—and then take a relaxing rafting trip down the Corobicí River. Keep an eye out for glimpses of toucans, falcons, iguana and monkeys. Continue through the cities of Tilarán and Cañas to arrive at the province of Guanacaste, North Pacific Coast. This afternoon is free to spend at your leisure to enjoy the beach and its surroundings.
Thermal springs to volcanic mud baths—Borinquen Hacienda is a blast
Ricon de la Vieja
Today, journey to Borinquen Hacienda to enjoy an array of activities the whole family will love, including thermal spring water pools, volcanic mud baths, natural steam rooms, waterfalls and horseback riding. Lunch is included at the Hacienda.
Play on the beach or sail the seas on the Guanacaste coast
Guanacaste is known for its spectacular beaches, from resort paradises to secluded coves. Spend a free day exploring the area as a family, or opt for a Sailing & Snorkeling with the Family excursion. Tonight, enjoy a final dinner with your fellow travelers.
Sailing & Snorkeling with the Family $89* pp
From Tamarindo, embark on an unforgettable sailing voyage aboard a classic yacht. On your cruise, helmed by a crew of three, you’ll head out into Taramindo Bay to encounter turtles, jumping rays and dolphins. If you're feeling adventurous, take advantage of the available snorkeling equipment and jump right in. The cruise provides plenty of time to sit back and unwind with snacks and beverages as you listen to relaxing music and enjoy the spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. Special child price: $65
Passport & Visa
In order to enter Costa Rica, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, contact the Costa Rican consulate for your particular entry requirements.
If a Child will be traveling with adults other than the parents or with only one parent, a notarized letter must be written by the parents or non-traveling parent granting authorization to travel, including the dates of travel. Please contact the appropriate consulate and airlines as they may have additional requirements or recommendations.
Travelers should be reasonably fit (see “Walking on Tour” for more information). Take proper care for sun exposure.
There is also some risk of mosquito-born diseases, especially in the rainforests and national parks. Consult your doctor at least eight weeks prior to departure about possible preventive measures and personal travel requirements.
Transportation / Walking on tour
Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Guanacaste (Liberia). Included transportation on “Costa Rican Rainforests” is by private motor coach. Destinations on tour are all easily walkable, although some local buses may be available.
Clothing & Packing Tips
Your Costa Rican itinerary focuses on the outdoors, so your family’s clothing should be casual and appropriate for outdoor use. Loose-fitting, layered clothing that can accommodate varying temperatures will probably be most comfortable for you and will allow you a range of options for your family. We encourage you to pack bright colors so your family can find one another easily in a crowd. Don’t forget your sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a bathing suit. Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots will help ensure dry, comfortable feet (and happy kids!). Occasional rain showers are common in the areas you will be visiting, so pack light rainwear. Binoculars are very useful for bird- and animal-watching. Insect repellent is highly recommended for visits to the rain forests.
For the plane, kids should pack their own carry-ons, with plenty of games, toys and books to keep them occupied. Adults may want to bring snacks aboard the plane as many airlines do not carry enough kid-friendly snacks.
The Costa Rican colón is the currency you will be using on your tour,
but U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere. Better rates of exchange are
available at your destination rather than in the United States, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take a combination of debit/bank cards and credit cards, which may be exchanged at local banks for cash as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
Please note: It has been increasingly difficult to exchange traveler’s checks outside of Costa Rica’s major cities—both at banks and shops—and they often attract higher fees.
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity.
We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalency of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2USD/CAD per local guide.
Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
Coffee is the best shopping deal in all of Costa Rica. Although the best Costa Rican coffee is supposedly shipped off to North American and European markets, it's hard to beat the coffee that's roasted right in front of you. Best of all is the price: One pound of coffee sells for around $3. It makes a great gift and truly is a local product.
Family Vacation : Costa Rica
We really enjoyed our vacation in Costa Rica. The country is absolutely gorgeous !!! Edgar our tour guide deserves a 5+ rating in the areas of entertaining, knowledgeable, reliable and going over and above the call of duty trying to trouble shoot our poor and unexpected accommodations which were not his responsibility. Our bus driver Marvin was also a wonderful guy who had fun with the adults as well as the kids and teens. He participated in the tours and got us extra snacks and treats after some lengthy bus rides. Our second hotel was different than our itinerary and did not have the amenities nor rating that we were given prior to our departure. It was adequate but not what we paid for. The third accommodation was misrepresented on the internet for sure !!! We waited close to 3 hrs. before we were assigned our rooms inspire of arriving 3 hrs. after check-in. Everyone was very tired after touring all day then spending 3.5 hrs. on the bus. We had rooms that were still being renovated. We were told the furniture had not yet arrived but would be there the following day. We were lucky to have a bed to sleep in ? We had a bed but no dressers, chairs, towel racks, blow dryer, glasses or lamps. Their was one very large, vey bright light fixture on the ceiling. Their were no shower curtains nor was their any warm water for the first two days. The third day we had no running water at all until we complained. We were anxious to get home and take a warm shower after our 3 day stay at a supposedly 4 star resort which i would've given 2 if I were being generous. They installed a towel rack but it fell right off the wall twice before check out. The food there was average but not great !!! The management was rude, unreliable and not at all apologetic or accommodating. We definitely did not get our moneys worth here. If I were to repeat this trip, I would demand a finalized itinerary prior to departure and check out the accommodations very thoroughly. Check reviews on Trip Advisor because those are quite reliable . Unfortunately i found that out after the fact and not before but as i mentioned earlier we were given a different hotel entirely for our second stay so checking the review would not have done us any good. Our #1 hotel was the best but we were only there for less than 24 hrs. Our tour group was a great bunch of people whom we have shared photos with online and we hope to stay in contact with them via the internet. My biggest complaint was the accommodations / hassles we had and still contest we did not get our moneys worth in that aspect of the trip. The tours were great and well worth the money. I feel like we got a variety of experiences considering we were only there for 8 days. I highly recommend Costa Rica just make sure you have your hotels completely reviewed and if their are any questions ask before leaving so you do not encounter the problems our group did because we were locked in with no way out and no other hotels had any vacancies to accommodate us. Our Go Ahead coordinator was unable to be reached due to the Holiday schedule so we simply had to make the best of it.