Costa Rica is a pioneer of eco-tourism, and a quarter of the country is made up of protected reserves and national parks. This makes it the perfect adventure playground for children and parents alike. Begin your explorations by heading for the Caribbean coast, taking in waterfalls and the world’s largest butterfly collection en route, and travel by boat into the Tortuguero National Park to discover the rich jungle and marine life of this coastal rainforest. Between July and October, sights include the rare green turtle, which comes ashore to nest on the beaches.

This small Central American country is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, crammed with a greater variety of plants and animals than you can shake a stick at - although we don't advise that. Anyone, whatever age, who has a keen interest in the natural world, will be as happy as a squirrel in a nut shop in Costa Rica.

In the north of Costa Rica, the majestic Arenal volcano is one of the highlights of the country. The eruptions, though frequent, are moderate and you can often view them from safe distances, allowing your family to see a spectacular sight, especially at night when the glow from the crater stands out in the darkness. River safaris, white-water rafting, horse riding, mountain biking, wallowing in natural hot springs or windsurfing on Lake Arenal are some of the huge range of activities available in this region. The Arenal Hanging Bridges is a hugely memorable experience, allowing the kids to get to grips with the fascinating and colourful world of the rainforest canopy.

Adrenaline seekers should head the cloudforest of the central highlands, where you can swoop through the treetops on zip wires, or if you prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground take part in a nocturnal nature walk. Costa Rica has a combination of dramatic scenery and wildlife, such as squirrel monkeys, tree frogs, mud turtles and the rare quetzal bird. However no trip to Costa Rica is complete with out spending a few days relaxing on the sandy beaches of the pacific coast.

Perfect for families

Family activity

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Frog, Costa Rica
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This small Central American country is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, crammed with a greater variety of plants and animals than you can shake a stick at - although we don't advise that.

Saskia, Original Traveller

Where to go

Costa Rican landscape

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a picture perfect and pocket-sized country with two beautiful coastlines separated by a spine of extremely active volcanoes.

What to do

Volcano Tours

Volcano Tours

There are two highly impressive volcanoes within easy reach of San Jose, and well worth day trip's for anyone staying in Costa Rica for more than a flying visit.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Searching for birds and big cats in the wild is all well and good, but at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens you’ll find them all conveniently in one place so you are guaranteed some spectacular close ups of many of the country’s most rare and endangered species.

Where to stay



There are no roads in Tortuguero, so access to Manatus involves a two-hour boat trip through the canals and waterways that criss-cross the park.

Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel

Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel

Located in Alajuela in north-central Costa Rica, Villa Blanca offers access to some of the country’s pristine cloud forest.

Xandari Resort & Spa

Xandari Resort & Spa

On a former coffee plantation just 20 minutes from San José's airport makes Xandari a great spot to relax and unwind after a long flight, before setting off to explore Costa Rica.

Poas Volcano Lodge

Poas Volcano Lodge

Poas Volcano Lodge is a boutique hotel situated on the edge of a protected sub-tropical cloud forest, with views of Poas Volcano and the northern Caribbean Plains.

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