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Costa Rica Adventure Family Holiday

from $3,499.00

Experience Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches, lush rainforest and plentiful
wildlife

  • Reviews 19 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
  • Group Size Small Group
    6 - 20
All about the Costa Rica Adventure Family Holiday.

Costa Rica is a natural paradise, complete with volcanoes, rainforest, waterfalls, wildlife and beaches. Start your Costa Rica family holiday by travelling into the steaming jungle and explore the waterways of Tortuguero by boat, in search of monkeys, toucans and other colourful birds. Visit the Sloth Sanctuary and meet some of its famous inhabitants, stars of their own Animal Planet TV show. Enjoy a night walk in the rainforest, try white water rafting (optional) and splash around in thermal pools at a waterpark near Arenal Volcano. There’s beach time too as we head to both Cahuita on the Caribbean coast and Manuel Antonio on the Pacific, where jungle cascades down to white sandy beaches.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* 14 nights comfortable hotels
* All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport transfers (at designated times)

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Designed for families with children from ages 9-12; suitable as well as ages 13-16.
  • Discover abundant wildlife – monkeys, sloths, birds and frogs are easy to spot!
  • Visit the beaches and waterways of Tortuguero, an important nesting site for Green turtles
  • Meet the residents of Costa Rica’s famous Sloth Sanctuary
  • Have fun on the beaches of both the Caribbean and Pacific Coast
  • Comfortable accommodation throughout, all with swimming pools to cool off at the end of the day
  • Flexible itinerary with plenty of optional activities to choose from: zip-lining, white water rafting, chocolate tour and catamaran excursion!
  • Inquire for reduced child prices
  • Travel by minibus, boat and on foot
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus local leader
  1. Day 1 Start San Jose.

    The group transfer usually takes place from San Jose airport this evening. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. This evening’s welcome briefing is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers.Accommodation: Country Inn & Suites (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  2. Day 2 Morning visit to La Paz Waterfall Gardens; relax by the hotel swimming pool.

    After breakfast, you will meet your guide at 9:00am in the hotel lobby for a short drive to La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Located within the transitional forest between the Central Valley and the Northern Lowlands, La Paz Waterfall Gardens hosts a wide variety of plants and bird life amongst stunning scenery. A short walk along a trail within the rainforest brings us to a great viewpoint from which to watch the cascading falls. Entrance to the gardens includes a visit to the petting zoo, frog exhibit, aviary and butterfly observatory. In addition monkeys, sloths and toucans also inhabit this area, providing a great introduction to the incredible diversity of Costa Rica. The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the hotel swimming pool, or explore San Jose at your own pace.Accommodation: Country Inn & Suites (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  3. Day 3 To Tortuguero N.P.

    We have an early departure this morning, leaving San Jose behind as we travel to the north-east of Costa Rica to Tortuguero National Park in the Caribbean Lowlands. Accessible only by boat or light aircraft, Tortuguero’s vast network of waterways, canals and swamps is remarkably tranquil, unspoilt and devoid of noise pollution. On reaching the pier we board a small motorboat for the one hour fifteen minute journey to our lodge, which is nestled on a small strip of land between the Caribbean Sea and the main lagoon. Our afternoon is spent in Tortuguero village, where it’s possible to visit the Sea Turtle Museum (a donation will be requested at the entrance). Tortuguero is probably most famous as a nesting site for the endangered Green turtle, which can be seen arriving onto the beach to lay eggs from late July to October (as part of an optional excursion). Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Giant Leatherback turtles also nest in this region, and during November to January baby turtles start to hatch and make their way towards the ocean.Accommodation: Pachira Lodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  4. Day 4 Boat tour of waterways in Tortuguero N.P.

    A morning boat trip enables us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero, passing serenely along the waterways. At this time of day, wildlife is usually at its most active and with the help of our expert guide we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300+ bird species recorded here. We return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast by the river. The lodge is a tranquil spot to relax this afternoon if you want to take some time out to enjoy the facilities, or alternatively you can join a second boat trip, visit the beach or follow a short walking trail through the forest.Accommodation: Pachira Lodge (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  5. Day 5 To Cahuita on the Caribbean coast; relax on the beach.

    We leave Tortuguero the same way we arrived by taking a small boat to the pier. Our bus will be at the pier waiting to drive us to the region of Cahuita on the Caribbean coast, where we check into our hotel and have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the pool, beach or discover our new surroundings. Caribbean culture pervades this part of Costa Rica and is reflected in the music, food and laid-back lifestyle. Cahuita’s famous white-sand beach is fringed by tall palms behind which the dense, wet tropical forest of Cahuita National Park can be found.Accommodation: Atlantida Lodge, Villas del Caribe or Namuwoki (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  6. Day 6 Visit Costa Rica's famous Sloth Sanctuary; discover Cahuita N.P.

    After breakfast we drive to Aviarios del Caribe, Costa Rica’s famous Sloth Sanctuary. This rescue and rehabilitation centre conducts research into sloths and works tirelessly with the goal of releasing sloths back into their natural habitat. It was recently the subject of an Animal Planet TV show called ’Meet the Sloths’. You’ll learn all about these fascinating animals on a two hour tour of the sanctuary, where you’ll take a boat tour along the river to see sloths, monkeys, butterflies and birds in the wild. This afternoon we return to Cahuita and visit the National Park, following a coastal trail through the rainforest. Cahuita National Park has 2711 acres of land and 600 acres of coral reef, which forms Costa Rica’s largest reef system. Accommodation: Atlantida Lodge, Villas del Caribe or Namuwoki (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  7. Day 7 To Sarapiqui; night walk in Tirimbina Biological Reserve.

    We depart for Sarapiqui, a region blessed with abundant vegetation and the beautiful Sarapiqui River. Sarapiqui is one of the main areas of banana production in Costa Rica, although coffee, cardamon, cacao, corn and other fruits are also grown here. This region is also gathering a reputation as a great spot for adventure seekers with plenty of optional activities to keep you entertained! In the evening we take a night walk through Tirimbina Biological Reserve to have a different perspective on the rainforest and its many inhabitants.Accommodation: El Bambu Hotel or Quinta Sarapiqui (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  8. Day 8 Free day in Sarapiqui

    There are various optional excursions to try today: join a chocolate tour in Tirimbina Biological Reserve, take a safari floating trip down the Sarapiqui River, have a go at white water rafting on grade II and III rapids or join a canopy tour and zip-line through the forest. Alternatively, there are a number of nature walks to enjoy in the beautiful surroundings.Accommodation: El Bambu Hotel or Quinta Sarapiqui (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  9. Day 9 To La Fortuna near Arenal Volcano; free afternoon for optional activities.

    We transfer to the area surrounding Arenal Volcano. Following a massive eruption in 1968, Arenal was Costa Rica’s most active volcano until recently when it entered a resting phase. As well as the volcano, this region has plenty to offer with thermal waters, waterfalls and Lake Arenal waiting to be discovered.The rest of the day is free to explore the area either at your own pace or on one of the optional excursions available. You could take the Sky Walk (canopy walk) or Sky Trek adventure (which has an optional zip-wire through the canopy) or enjoy some time at the hotel swimming pool! Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  10. Day 10 Guided nature walk in Arenal N.P.; visit thermal springs.

    This morning we have a guided nature walk through Arenal Volcano National Park. The park has a great system of trails passing through secondary forest and near lava fields created by previous eruptions. In the late afternoon we visit Kalambu Hot Springs as a group to enjoy a hot thermal bath from the volcanic spring water and have a chance to splash around – a refreshing end to the day. Please note that on weekends or Mondays we will visit an alternative hot springs called Ecotermales.Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  11. Day 11 To the Pacific coast.

    We travel southeast along the coast, following the Pan-Am Highway to Dominical, passing African oil palm and teak plantations on the way. Our hotel is on the coast near Dominical, around 50 minutes south of Manuel Antonio. The hotel is set in lush gardens overlooking the river and just a short (20 minute) walk to the beach. We spend the next three nights in Dominical. Depending on our time of arrival we should have some time to enjoy various optional activities this afternoon, visit the beach or enjoy the hotel swimming pool.Accommodation: Villas Rio Mar in Dominical (or similar). Occasionally we stay in Cuna de Angel or Vista Ballena in Uvita instead. *Comfortable Hotel*

  12. Day 12 Explore the beautiful trails and beaches of Manuel Antonio N.P.

    Today we drive to Manuel Antonio National Park. This park consists of a vast marine reserve as well as 1,700 acres of mangrove swamp, primary and secondary rainforest. The forest vegetation stretches as far as the high-tide line and provides a stunning backdrop to the expansive sandy beaches, forested islands and dramatic rocky headlands. We have a guided nature walk today which should enable us to have some very close wildlife encounters. White-faced Capuchin monkeys play in the trees and are frequently sighted on the beaches, whilst noisy Howler monkeys are usually heard moving through the trees and calling to each other before they are seen. The endangered Titi monkey (Squirrel monkey) are fewer in number but can sometimes be spotted in this area. Iguanas, agouti and two and three toed sloths are also commonly sighted in the national park. Manuel Antonio’s beaches are considered to be some of the most beautiful in the country. In the late afternoon we return to our hotel.Accommodation: Villas Rio Mar in Dominical (or similar). Occasionally we stay in Cuna de Angel or Vista Ballena in Uvita instead. *Comfortable Hotel*

  13. Day 13 Free day to relax, enjoy the beach or optional activities.

    Today has been left free for you to relax – make the most of the hotel swimming pool, visit the beach or explore the local area. There are a few optional activities available in the Dominical area, such as a whale and dolphin watching boat trip (seasonal, from mid-July to October and mid-December to March) or visit the indigenous territory of Boruca.   Accommodation: Villas Rio Mar in Dominical (or similar). Occasionally we stay in Cuna de Angel or Vista Ballena in Uvita instead. *Comfortable Hotel*

  14. Day 14 To San Jose; relax by the hotel swimming pool or visit San Jose

    Today we return to San Jose. If you wish to travel into the downtown area by taxi you will have some time to see the modern capital and pick up some souvenirs. Alternatively you can relax by the hotel swimming pool.Accommodation: Country Inn and Suites (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*

  15. Day 15 End San Jose.

    The trip comes to an end today after breakfast and it’s time to bid Costa Rica and the rest of the group goodbye. Transfers to San Jose airport are available to all clients (at designated times).**

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Where you stay

Hotels & Lodges

14 nights in comfortable hotels and lodges, all with swimming pools.

In Tortuguero we stay in a beautiful and tranquil lodge located directly across from the main canal. Rooms are comfortable with ceiling fans. The area of Tortuguero is perfect for wildlife viewing and bird watching.

In Cahuita we use various properties located in and around this small laid back village on the Caribbean coast. Atlantida Lodge is a very short walk to the beach although one of the more simple accommodations we use on this holiday.

Whilst visiting Manuel Antonio National Park we usually stay in Dominical, around 50 minutes to the south. This enables us to have accommodation away from the incredibly busy tourist areas of Manuel Antonio, in a lovely setting by the river, just 20 minutes walk from the beach.

Please note that where triple rooms are booked, these usually consist of one double and one single bed, so these rooms are suitable for 2 adults and 1 child. We generally don’t recommend 3 children in one triple room unless two of the children are comfortable sharing a double bed.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners are included in the price of the tour, allowing you plenty of flexibility for non-included meals to be taken as a family or with the group.

Costa Rican specialities include ‘Gallo Pinto’, a black bean and rice dish considered to be a staple part of the local diet. Soups, stews and fresh fish are also common, and most hotels offer International menu’s as well. There is a lot of fresh fruit in the tropics – you may need to share your bananas with monkey’s from the hotel gardens!

Please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests, vegetarians can usually be well catered for.

Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)

Designed for 9-12 year olds, also suitable for 13-16 year olds.

Our family activity levels are aimed at children in the primary or ‘Designed for’ age group. We are confident it is also suitable for those in the ‘Also for’ age range, however please note if your child is in this secondary category they may find it a little easier. Please see the family activity levels on our website for further information. When grading our trips we consider multiple factors, such as the pace, the level of activity involved, the amount of time a family will spend travelling and the weather is an important factor too.

Reaching Costa Rica will involve approximately 11 hours of air travel (or 14+ if you travel on indirect flights) and when you get there it can be hot and humid, which can be tiring.

This holiday aims to show you the best of Costa Rica using buses and boats. Whilst the driving distances are not huge and most roads are good, some sections are of poor quality/pot holed, which can result in slower driving times. The longest journey will be reaching Tortuguero on Day 3 (approx 6 hours of travel). The rest of the journeys are around 4 hours and all drives will be broken up with regular stops. On some travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise the time at our next destination.

There are some dangerous insects and snakes present in the jungle, although incidents are extremely rare. Advice from the guide must be heeded at all times – it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that children listen to the guide and don’t stray from paths.

The trip involves some short, easy walks in tropical conditions. There are also several optional activities, such as a zip wire canopy tour, rafting tour, etc. Experience of these activities is not required as a full safety briefing will be covered at the start, and all necessary equipment will be provided. Please be aware that some activities may be changed as a result of the weather.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

COSTA RICA ADVENTURE

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Zip lining across the rainforest canopy ............ just as a thunderstorm was starting.  I have a rubbish head for heights but its just so exhilarating and fortunately kind Fiona distracted me by relaying her favourite recipes whilst my teeth were chattering waiting on the platform to take off.  My daughter of course found it a doddle.  I have to say that I also found the kids on the trip inspirational - they bonded and had a great time and when we visited a local school everyone joined in and had fun.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Fab - knowledgeable, funny, helpful and so enthusiatic.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect to be dinner, lunch and breakfast for the mosquitoes!  Long sleeves, long trousers, deadly sprays, natural remedies - nothing stands in the way of the mosquitoes in Tortugera but then the sight of the butterflies makes it all worthwhile..................

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Family fun in Costa Rica

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching turtles lay their eggs on the beach late at night.. very lucky, very magical.. White water rafting - just the right amount of exciting! Seeing coasts, volcanoes, cloud forest, rain forest - getting a good picture in just 2 weeks of all that Costa Rica has to offer..
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Really excellent.. We felt very lucky to have him on our tour. Edward is a really experienced leader who is passionate about conservation and knows lots about Costa Rica's flora and fauna, about the country's history and geography. He was really organised and made everything seem effortless and had a lovely sense of humour which really contributed to the group's enjoyment of the week. He wasn't too intrusive and also not too aloof, just right. Can't fault him on anything..
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Light clothing with long sleeves/ trousers to cope with mosquitoes especially at rain forest locations. You only need dollars, no point taking local currency. Take a decent camera.. wildlife photography opportunities are endless. Save money on water by taking a water bottle.. All hotels let you fill them up from water coolers. Take up the optional activities - turtles, rafting and ziplining are definite highlights.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Holiday of a lifetime

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was an inspirational moment almost every day...Exhilarating white water rafting through spectacular scenery; ridiculously brightly-coloured poison dart frogs; experts interpreting the night-time sounds and sights of the forest; pairs of scarlet macaws flying in front of the forest (viewed whilst floating in the Pacific); following columns of leafcutter ants to find their nest; boat trips through the rainforest to find ibis, herons and crocodiles; local food in lively restaurants.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Edward was absolutely brilliant. You could not have a better guide. His knowledge, insights and gentle humour really enhanced our trip. He enjoyed sharing his love of nature - and all things Costa Rican - with us all. His organisation was flawless, and he always told us what to expect and what to bring. He was superb with the children, patiently helping them to identify bugs, birds and reptiles. On the last night my younger daughter left a treasured soft toy in a restaurant several miles from the hotel, but a few phone calls (and a half hour drive) later Edward had retrieved it for her. Hernan, our driver, was also superb. I felt safe at all times in the minibus.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Listen to your guide - you will learn a huge amount. Go on all the trips - every one was fascinating, and most were led by real experts (although avoid the zipwire trip if you are afraid of heights.) Take plenty of mosquito repellent. Check your flights carefully, and make sure the flight bookers have allowed enough time to change planes - two families had more exhausting than necessary journeys as a result of missing connections.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a brilliant holiday. The only downside of going on it was that it had to end sometime...

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

The Perfect Family Holiday

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlights of the tour are The Tortoguero Canals, the Hanging Bridges in Monteverde, the rafting in the Sarapiqui river and the optional Mangrove Boat Tour in Manuel Antonio, while the Hot Spring in a fine Hotel in La Fortuna, the Coffee Tour and Manuel Antonio’s beautiful tropical beaches add to the variety of this holiday.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Edward, was very friendly and professional, he flawlessly arranged all the extra activities. We all wisely followed his suggestions on the choice of restaurants, and I have to say that some of them were excellent. Also a mention for our driver, you could not get a better one than Campbell!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was surprised how few mosquitos we encountered, I believe the fact we chose to go to Costa Rica at the beginning of the dry season, which starts at the end of December, was an advantageous factor. So if you worry about mosquitos, choose a tour during the dry season. Use DEET or Incognito Insect repellent, wear long sleeves and long trousers and you will be fine. The sun is much more powerful than in the Mediterranean, therefore caution and moderation are needed on the tropical beaches of Manuel Antonio, not just suncream!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are serious about nature, you must book the Mangrove Boat Tour at the Damas Estuary near Manuel Antonio, it is a fantastic optional tour. You may even do it kayaking!

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Family holiday in the rainforest

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the rainforest downpours and all the great animals.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader was first class, amiacable and helpful. He listened to people's needs within the group and was always enthusiastic to show us the scenery and wildlife. Nothing was too much bother.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't forget your going to the rainforest. At times it may be wet and difficult to dry things but the weather is warm
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A couple more local eateries would be nice but realise that sometimes have to stick to a schedule.

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