Costa Rica with kids(5 Posts)
We're planning a hol to Costa Rica with kids who will by then be aged 6 and 8. Does anyone know of any great places to stay by the beach that are good for kids - prefer small/quirky places no big hotels - or good adventures/week-long trips to go on?
The above is current Foreign Office advice on this country.
You need to be very careful of the beaches in Costa Rica particularly on the Atlantic Coast. Rip tides are common there.
We went to Costa Rica in March of this year. It was fabulous! For the first time ever we used a travel company - Thomson Family Adventure Vacations (no connection to Thompson in the UK). They are a specialist family tour company. You travel in a group with other families with children of the same or similar ages. They provide a mentor who is there for the children - she entertained them during downtime, organized soccer games, crafts etc. I cannot say enough good things about this vacation - there was so much to do but also plenty of relaxation. Our guide Giaconda was an amazing source of local knowledge. Our lodges and hotels were all quirky places - one was right in the rain forest another had to be reached by a pedestrian only suspension bridge. I strongly suggest you check out their website - there were families from all over the world on our particular trip. We plan to go to Machu Pichu with them in December. The tour we took was the multi-sport adventure so take a look! www.familyadventures.com/
Jaco is a nice relaxed beach town and close to Carara national park where you can explore real rainforest very easily on well-kept paths. In Jaco there are loads of places to stay, you just wander along the main street and check them out.
Also Quepos, close to the Manuel Antonio National park which has amazing beaches. Small town, lots of nice cabinas which are little self-contained chalet things that you rent for as many nights as you like.
Further south and more adventurous, Puerto Jimenez is a lovely town close to very serious rainforest with tons of wildlife. You'll want to get guided tours though if you go there as it's very wild, but really really worth it if you want to see amazing animals.
Tortuguero on the caribbean coast is also small and villagey but has some very nice luxury hotels and fab wildlife and beaches - a good way to go there is to get a coach tour with a few nights in a hotel included.
For children, check beaches very carefully because some can look lovely but really are not safe because of rip tides/currents. Always ask locally and look out for signs, or just stay out of the sea.
Oh and I forgot the volcanoes - Volcan Poas is close the capital san jose and you can go on a coach tour - it's very well-managed and safe and you can go right up to the crater. Volcan Arenal is near a small town Arenal which has lots of low-key places to stay, and you can visit the volcano (though not go to the top) - seeing it erupt by night is really incredible, would be great for kids if they're into that sort of thing.
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