This action packed family itinerary is the perfect way to explore the highlights of Costa Rica. From horse riding through the rainforest, hiking active volcanoes and exploring wildlife-rich National Parks there is something for everyone.
Top 5 family properties in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is regarded as one of the safest, friendliest, most diverse and exotic destinations in the world. And if that wasn’t enough to highlight its family appeal, it is now also possible to fly direct from London with British airways, making it also easily accessible. Here, Imagine Latin America round up five the best family friendly properties in the country to get you started:
1. Si Como No Resort, Manuel Antonio
This is an eco-friendly resort ideal for families looking for the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. Tucked away in verdant rainforest overlooking the shimmering Pacific Ocean, it is centrally located to make the best of Manuel Antonio. Set on a 24 acre private wildlife refuge, guests can enjoy complementary self-guided walks along the manicured trails and visit to the crocodile lagoon, amphibian garden and butterfly atrium. See monkeys frolicking in the trees and giant morpho butterflies fluttering by. When not exploring Manuel Antonio, the family friendly pool is an excellent place to spend the day, with its custom built slide, swim up juice bar and spectacular views overlooking the ocean. Come evenings, the cinema room shows nightly movies which are a great way to entertain the children.
The area of Manuel Antonio has everything on offer for family fun: miles of white-sand beaches, tropical rainforest, an abundance of wildlife and numerous adventure activities including canopy tours, white-water rafting and horseback-riding. Manuel Antonio National Park is the smallest in the country and jam-packed with wildlife. With its short- well maintained trails, it is easy to get around and hosts a number of facilities from bathrooms, showers and picnic tables.
2. Lapa Rios, Osa Peninsula
Set in a nature wonderland teeming with wildlife, pristine tropical rainforest and wild beaches, Lapa Rios is a magical experience. Although it’s far to get to and children under the age of 6 are not recommended, a stay here is an experience of a life time. With no phones, TVs or internet, you can completely immerse yourself in nature, see a plethora of wildlife and learn about the environment and sustainability practices the lodge employs to protect the local flora and fauna. The 16 thatched cabins are spacious enough to add an extra bed and can sleep up to four. The staff are incredibly attentive and the kids menu at the restaurant can accommodate even the fussiest of little eaters.
While staying at the lodge there are a wealth of activities for the family to enjoy. With kid-friendly hiking trails throughout the reserve, a plethora of wildlife can be spotted, from sloths to monkeys and scarlet macaws to vibrantly coloured frogs, the list goes on. Every little hiker is provided with complimentary wellington-style boots and mini walking sticks so they feel the part. Swimming in secluded waterfalls, kayaking through tangled mangroves and learning to surf on the gentle waves are a great way to explore the area. Plant your own tree and contribute to the lodge’s reforestation program, experience the magic of the rainforest at night or walk along the rugged coastline in search of starfish, crabs and sea-cucumbers.
3. Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Arenal
This top luxury hotel located at the foot of Arenal Volcano serves a great base for enjoying Arenal’s jungle adventure playground. Enclosed in a tropical oasis featuring 12 hot spring pools and lagoons (some with slides), lush garden trails and wild waterfalls to swim in - it’s a water park like no other!!
The activity-hub of Arenal will keep an adventurous family occupied for hours. Days are spent trekking around the volcano, horse riding, swimming in waterfalls, mountain biking around the lake or, for the real thrill seekers, zip lining over the canopy. Plus, there’s nothing better after an adrenaline-filled day than relaxing in the natural thermal pools at the Tabacon Grand Spa.
4. Hotel Capitan Suizo, Tamarindo
Set on a calm section of beach, this boutique hotel has an excellent location. Surfboards, boogie-boards and kayaks can be rented from the hotel to explore the secluded bay which is just footsteps from the hotel. Ping pong, volley ball and board games are also on offer to keep the kids entertained. In the lush manicured gardens, monkeys are often seen hanging around, as well as green iguanas, armadillos and a wide variety of birds. The pool is a great place for kids and adults alike and the spacious rooms can accommodate up to three- for the larger family the four-bedroom suite can occupy up to eight people.
Tamarindo is a lively surf town with something to offer for everyone. Home to some of the most tranquil currents on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, it is considered one of the safest beaches, perfect for learning to surf, kayaking, boogie-boarding and swimming. With its central location in the Guanacaste province, there are a host of tours and activities to please the entire family including day trips to national parks, snorkelling trips and white-water rafting.
5. Four Seasons, Peninsula Papagayo
It’s one of the most exclusive hotels in Costa Rica, and well-known for going above and beyond in welcoming children. With a complimentary kids club and teen area, children can indulge in cooking classes, football, volleyball, sandcastle building, playing the Nintendo Wii and much more. With child-size bath robes, children food menus and their own personalised toiletries, they certainly won’t feel left out.
With four swimming pools, two beaches, five tennis courts, a golf course and wide array of water sports from the hotel alone- there is plenty to do and enjoy. Horse-back riding, kayaking, sailing and fishing can also be enjoyed at additional cost.