Itinerary Highlights
  • With its volcanoes and primary forests, mangroves and endless beaches, you can discover nature in all its majesty with your family
  • Your itinerary includes hiking through the forest canopy, rafting on the Saraquipi River, watching sloths and crocodiles and swimming in Arenal's hot springs
  • Chill out on a Pacific beach with black sand and sea turtles
  • Our local Concierge service and usual additional services make travelling as a family easy

Contact one of our Costa Rica specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120

In Costa Rica, you'll love:

spotting red-eyed tree frogs, as well as capuchin monkeys, tiger herons, crocodiles, iguanas, sea turtles, sloths and quetzals - tasting fresh coconut water - listening carefully to distinguish the different sounds of toucans, parrots and trogons - jumping into the pool at the end of the day, or every night if you want - walking along hanging bridges through the forest canopy - learning to surf the ocean waves - eating 'gallo pinto': a traditional dish made with rice, beans and coconut milk - perfecting your Spanish and taking notes on banana paper - watching an active volcano - mango and guava juice - giant trees - bathing in hot springs with a view of the Arenal volcano - savouring a chocolate binge - playing explorers in the rainforest, looking for the Rio Celeste.
You don't need any vaccinations or malaria treatment, so that'll make things much easier.

Exploring Costa Rica as a family

In a time of climate change and species decline, taking children on a trip to Costa Rica is like taking them to paradise. From primary forests to rustling mangroves, from the slopes of volcanoes to Atlantic beaches, Costa Rica is a world where laughing frogs and howler monkeys live side by side along with myriad bird and insect species. Watch an active volcano, walk through the forest canopy, bathe in the hot springs, dive through Pacific waves - there's so many joyful encounters to be had with nature in all its majesty. An on-shore journey to discover a world inhabited by a multitude of birds, butterflies, a whole population of frogs and colonies of monkeys as cheeky as yours.
Your itinerary includes adventures for young and old alike. In Saraquipi there is a night walk in the rainforest, just as the animals begin to wake up and take over their surroundings. You'll also spend an afternoon floating - with your helmets and life vests on, you'll jump on board a raft for two hours of bobbing along on the clear waters of Rio Saraquipi. Sloths are widespread in Costa Rica; however, as they are lazy and often asleep, they can go completely unnoticed in the landscape. So you will go and observe them with a naturalist guide. Because sloths can make you feel lazy too, you'll then go for a dip in the warm waters of the Arenal - a pure moment of serenity in the wilderness. and totally invigorating. In the Bijagua region, you'll be suspended over the forest canopy on hanging bridges among the monkeys and toucans, and you'll hike on trails in Tenorio Volcano National Park in search of the crystal blue waters of the Rio Celeste. On the Rio Tracoles, it's easy to see the world's largest crocodiles, which can measure up to 23 feet long. You'll be accompanied by a guide who has thousands of interesting things to say and share with you on the subject. Finally, you'll tour Manuel Antonio National Park, which is home to the most beautiful beaches and the cheekiest monkeys of all - capuchins and squirrel monkeys. Between the emotions, the thrills and the rushes of adrenaline, you can take a break in a family-friendly hotel, offering family rooms or bungalows, all with swimming pools. If along the way you need anything else, we have a local Concierge, who can be contacted at any time.

Route

Everything is 100% tailored to you
DAY 1

Flight to San Jose

Arrive at the end of the day; private transfer and overnight stay in a charming hillside hotel. Its communal areas combine Spanish colonial chic with touches of contemporary decor. It's the perfect place to stay the night before you embark on your adventure. You'll love the warm welcome, the lovely swimming pool, the clear view of the surrounding hills and the restaurant, which is one of the most popular in the city.

DAY 2

San Jose - Saraquipi

Pick up your hire car and drive to Saraquipi, winding through pineapple, cocoa and banana fields and nature reserves with protected flora and fauna. The incredible Heliconia Island is home to tapirs, sloths, coatis and other monkeys.
Things to see and do - At Frog's Heaven, nearly 20 species of frogs live side by side; the Snake Garden is home to families of reptiles and amphibians. The Museo Nacional ethnographic museum is dedicated to the indigenous communities of Costa Rica and the preservation of their culture; the museum of indigenous culture houses also an impressive collection: paintings on bark cloth, masks, decorative, domestic and ritual objects.
Your itinerary includes an observation walk at night along the trails of Hacienda La Isla. When night falls, explore the rainforest as the animals wake up and take over their surroundings. Accompanied by the noises of the great forest, you'll see plenty of frogs, nocturnal animals and perhaps even some snakes. From a safe distance, mind.
Spend the night in an ancient hacienda with colonial architecture and surrounded by gardens, which has preserved a simple charm; this can be seen in the rooms, which are furnished and decorated with colonial antiques. Most of all, you'll love the warm welcome and wise advice of the owner. The food is a nice surprise.

DAY 3

Saraquipi - Arenal

Departure for the La Fortuna region. You'll cross large pineapple plantations before ending your journey with the peak of the Arenal volcano as the focal point.
Included in the itinerary - Floating down the Rio Saraquipi, an ideal place for safe rafting, or floating for the little ones. The rapids follow on from one another, but from time to time quieter stretches of water allow the opportunity to look at the flora and fauna.
Spend two nights in a bungalow in the middle of the countryside, opposite the Arenal volcano. Here, it feels like you are as close as possible to a true Garden of Eden. The song of the many birds that have chosen to live in this haven of tranquility, in harmony with nature, can be heard all around. There are 22 bungalows with terraces perfect for R&R, while the hot springs invite you to relax.

DAY 4

Arenal

Included in the itinerary - Observe sloths with a private nature guide. Hanging from their branch, they look melancholic with their black markings like commas around the eyes, and their slow, languorous movements. Then, in the evening, nothing is more pleasant than a dip in the warm waters of the Arenal volcano. The pools are integrated into the tropical jungle with murmuring noise of the forest in the background. A moment of pure serenity, surrounded by nature, and totally invigorating.
Option - A walk along the peaks - go up to the tree tops by cable car and then zip line back down.

DAY 5

Arenal - Bijagua

Drive to Bijagua. Rarely visited because it's off the beaten track, the region offers amazing misty and leafy landscapes, crossed by an intense blue river, and with the volcano's three peaks as a backdrop. The river splits into a splendid waterfall and hot springs which you can swim in. It's pretty blissful.
Included in the itinerary - A family outing on the hanging bridges in the heart of the forest canopy with a private nature guide. In the foothills of the Tenorio Volcano in the Heliconia private reserve, there are 185 acres of primary rainforest with spectacular views of Lake Nicaragua. During the walk, you can observe monkeys, sloths, toucans, a myriad of insects and, if you're lucky, some tapirs.
Two-night stay at the foot of the Tenorio and Miravalles volcanoes. The twelve bungalows dotted around the natural surroundings are mainly glass, so you fall asleep under a blanket of stars. In the morning, the hummingbirds buzz and squirrels come to nibble food out of the owner Christine's hand. Christine succumbed to the charms of the simple life, or 'la pura vida' as they call it here, and always gives good advice. We love the tranquillity of the place, the comfort of the bungalows, the red cedarwood hot tubs, surrounded by orchards of citrus trees of lemon, bergamot and grapefruit, and gardens of orchids and tropical plants.

DAY 6

Bijagua

Included in the itinerary - A day of hiking in the Tenorio Volcano National Park with a private guide. Walk one of the country's finest trails covering jungle, waterfalls and natural hot springs. The Rio Celeste waterfall sounds like a deafening thunder. The river is renowned for its surreal turquoise blue colour caused by the minerals in the waters contrasting with the intense green of the tropical vegetation - or according to local legend, the colour is due to the fact that God washed his brushes here after painting the sky blue.

DAYS 7 & 8

Bijagua - Tambor

Head to Tambor, at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, on the Pacific coast (about a four-hour drive). Tambor is renowned for its beautiful and black sandy beach - in the dry season, whales can be seen frolicking in the bay.
Things to see and do on the way - Crossing the Rio Tempisque - the sandy shores of the Colorado Gulf - the beautiful beaches on the outskirts of Nosara.
Two-night stay in a hotel with traditional decor; the rooms are simple, but well-appointed. Above all, it stands out for its extraordinary location on the edge of a beautiful beach, isolated and perfect for swimming. It is naturally enclosed on both sides by rocks. Enjoy abundant nature, tranquillity and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
Things to see and do - The Curu Reserve, a refuge for purple, orange and multi-coloured crabs, sea turtles that come every year to lay their eggs along the beaches, and thousands of bird species. The Isla Tortuga seabed is also protected; splash around in a mask and snorkel among colourful shoals of fish, barracudas, moray eels and other porcupine fish. In Montezuma, a picturesque seaside town with a laid-back atmosphere and a hippy influence leftover from the 1970s, the golden sandy beach is calling out for you to go swimming.
Option - A boat ride through the mangroves.

DAY 9

Tambor - Tarcoles

Arrive at the quay in Paquera. The ferry crossing accompanied by pelicans and frigate birds offers a moment of great serenity, and after an hour in the sun we land in Puntarenas where freshly prepared coconuts await. Then head for the Central Valley and follow the southern Pacific coast to Tarcoles.
Opposite the Gulf of Nicoya sits the small village of Tarcoles, at the mouth of the river of the same name, it offers remarkable bird watching sites. The wet primary forest in Carara National Park is particularly famous for its populations of scarlet macaws, parrots, parakeets and hummingbirds. Those who are lucky enough might get to see peccaries, agoutis and kinkajous.
Included in the itinerary - Crocodile-watching on the Rio Tarcoles in a private boat. Some of the largest crocodiles in the world live here, measuring up to 23 feet in length. This boat trip is also an opportunity to see that mangroves are home to countless species of tropical birds, including the famous scarlet macaw.
Spend the night in a hotel where simplicity is the key. The best things about the lodge are the layout of the rooms, which are great for families, as well as the lush garden where macaws and monkeys hang out.

DAYS 10 & 11

Tarcoles - Uvita

Head south to the Pacific coast. The Uvita region is protected from tourism but the region's large beaches are a haven for surfers. The road runs through small villages and along palm plantations to Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park. After that, the landscape becomes wilder with lush vegetation. In Uvita, the green of the forest meets the blue ocean on deserted beaches.
Already included in the itinerary - Entry tickets to Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in the country. Walking along the forest trails, you'll find capuchins and squirrel monkeys, sloths and raccoons, who come to the beach to steal a mango or a piece of chocolate from swimmers. The forest is surrounded by beautiful beaches, where you can bathe in warm water before setting off into the forest to look for stick insects and chameleons.
Two-night stay in a hotel with colonial-style rooms and beautifully manicured gardens that open out onto the jungle-covered mountain and the sea. It's just a stone's throw from the beautiful wild beaches of Marino Ballena National Park.
Option - Snorkelling at Ile del Cano.

DAYS 12 & 13

Uvita - San Jose - Return flight

Return to San Jose, return the hire car and catch your flight home. Overnight flight, arriving the next day.

A la carte

Arenal - Glide through the Jungle

Discover the Arenal volcano in a truly unique way, with a two-stage forest canopy ride: climb to the top of the trees by cable car, where you will come across monkeys and sloths. Then descend by zip line from platform to platform. Thrills guaranteed!
Option - Half day

Tambor - By boat through the mangroves

With its vegetation, mangroves are the perfect place for nesting and are home to thousands of animal species. After crossing the bay, you'll see pelicans, parrots, kingfishers and herons from the still waters of the mangrove.
Option - With a private skipper

Snorkelling at Ile del Cano

Board a motorboat in Sierpe for private trip to Isla del Cano. The water is clear with a huge variety of fish on show: fluorescent-striped fish, manta rays, eagle rays and giant turtles. Dolphins glide on the waves and with a bit of luck, migrating humpback whales can be seen from July to September.
Optional

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The estimated cost for this trip is £3,700 to £4,600 per person*. This trip is tailor-made to your exact specifications so prices will fluctuate. The cost varies according to several factors, including the level of service, duration of the trip and how far in advance you book. The final cost will vary according to several factors, including the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be shown on your personalised quote. The average price for this trip is £4000 per person*. * These prices are per adult as well as per child, based on two adults and two children under 12, sometimes sharing the parents' room.
  • International flights with a scheduled airline
  • Airport taxes and fuel surcharge
  • Access to the lounge at your departure airport
  • Personal airport reception and assistance
  • Private transfer from the airport to the hotel on arrival in San Jose
  • Car hire for ten days
  • Ferry from Paqueras to Puntarenas
  • Overnight stay in San Jose, in a family room with breakfast
  • Overnight stay in Sarapiqui, in double rooms with breakfast
  • Two-night stay in Arenal in a family villa with breakfast
  • Two-night stay in Bijagua in double rooms with breakfast
  • Two-night stay in Tambor in a family room with breakfast
  • Overnight stay in Tarcoles, in a family bungalow with breakfast
  • Two-night stay in Uvita, a family suite with breakfast
  • An observation walk at night along the Haciendia La Isla trails with a guide
  • Rafting or floating on the Rio Saraquipi with an instructor
  • Sloth-spotting with a private guide
  • Bathe in the hot springs, followed by dinner at Arenal
  • A private walk on the suspension bridges of Heliconia with a guide
  • A private visit to Tenorio Volcano National Park with a guide
  • Observe the crocodiles in the Rio Tarcoles with a guide
  • Entry tickets for Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Our local Concierge service
  • A GPS navigation service accessible from our app, loaded with your itinerary, hotel details and places to visit
  • A few of the benefits of travelling with us
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    Contact one of our Costa Rica specialists