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Costa Rica Adventure Family Holiday

from $3,449.00

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

  • Reviews 10 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 20/09/2019
5/5

Costa Rica Family Adventure

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    White water rafting at Sarapiqui - instructors were great - really good with the kids and great lunch provided afterwards.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Jorge was inspirational - his knowledge of the wildlife was exceptional. He was great with the kids.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A plastic poncho - raincoats even the highest tech do not shelter you or backpacks enough from the torrential downpours, and invariably it takes jackets a long time to dry out. The luggage is packed onto a minibus so we found that smaller wheelie cases worked well.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would like to remain anonymous

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Great adventure - our expectations were blown!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many, it's impossible to choose! But I think the Costa Rican wildlife in all its glory was the highlight. Seeing a baby humpbacked whale swim alongside our boat will stay with me forever, as will the crocodile eating a monkey - but in a different way. Our driver spotting a group of scarlet macaws as we drove along the highway, and then spending several minutes watching them with our mouths open was another highlight. On another level, the white water rafting was exhilarating and such fun. But the whole country and its people was inspirational too.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Gio was amazing - his wealth of knowledge about Costa Rica, its history, geography and nature was amazing, as was his engagement with the group (kids and adults). His lovely last speech as Roberto was driving us to the airport brought tears to my eyes! He was always very mindful of our safety, which was so important when you factor in the excitable kids (and adults) who could potentially forget themselves and make unsafe decisions. I am also extremely grateful to him for just ignoring my travel-related migraine (and vomiting) within minutes of meeting him at the airport!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you, like us, want a real adventure, but are nervous about how to do this when you're not that confident travelling, this is a definite trip to consider. This was our first trip abroad as a family, but has set the bar very high for future trips!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Roberto, our driver, was also fantastic. It was just a shame we couldn't converse with him as he didn't speak English.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Family Adventure

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the turtles laying eggs at night time, although the scenery, the oceans and the wildlife are all inspirational.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour guide, Hector, was excellent, very knowledgeable, good English, gave us options to consider, and dealt with the few problems that arose very well. He made sure that we did as much as we wanted, gave good commentaries and has very good knowledge of the birds, animals and insects. He was very patient with the children. The two drivers we had were also professional and drove safely.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A great family holiday, the children of various ages all got on well together, but the humidity can make drying clothes almost impossible. However the laundry services offered by the hotels were generally cheap and quick.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our third Exodus holiday, all have been excellent. Exodus policy of using local staff is very good.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Brilliant family adventure

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the green turtles lay their eggs and watching the kids follow her back to the Caribbean sea.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing: Gustavo looked after us so well and knew so much.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take warm clothes, when it rains it's quite cold (we went in Aug) - it rained most days but was manageable. If you need special diet food take your own.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Excellent intro to Costa Rica - outstanding guide Edward

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing our first sloth in the wild!

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