Costa Rica Family Holiday

Trip Code: QCFM

Why we love it

Go beyond a biology lesson and immerse yourself in nature, from spotting rare birds in Monteverde to listening for the evocative call of howler monkeys in Manuel Antonio National Park., Harvest produce and come together to cook a rustic meal from scratch during a homestay with family in an agricultural community., Get active on guided walks through forest and jungle, plus an incredible canopy walk along suspended bridges in Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve., Family holidays aren’t always relaxing, but this trip offers plenty of opportunities to take it slow in thermal springs and pools and on beaches., End this adventure by hitting Manuel Antonio National Park, where the evergreen forest grows right up to the long, white beaches and irresistible water.

Is this trip right for me?

Make sure you pack some sturdy and comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking around cities and towns and through forests and jungles on this trip.

There are a few days of long travel on this trip as you’ll be covering a lot of Costa Rican ground. These drives are along smooth roads in new and comfortable vehicles, and are great for games, chats and scenery spotting. You’ll also make interesting stops along the way to break up the longer drives.

Is it hot in here? You’re in tropical Central America so it can get very humid. Carry plenty of water, dress in light clothing and we’ll give you every opportunity to cool off with a swim.

It’s a good idea to try and brush up on as many Spanish words as you can. Costa Ricans have a reputation for being welcoming but somewhat reserved, so knowing some local lingo is a great way to break the ice and show you care about them and their culture.

Important information

1. Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.
2. Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.
3.  A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 17 years and under at time of travel.
4. A single supplement is available on this trip with exception of Day 2 at the homestay
5. Costa Rica is a tropical country so rain can be excepted at any time. The rainy season in Costa Rica runs from May – November. While July and some of August does experience dry spells, families need to be prepared for the rain. Rain does usually come in the afternoons and it can pour. So you will need to be prepared with wet weather gear. Hurricane season in this region is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.
6. Many hotels outside of San Jose have been built further out from the centre of town so travellers can enjoy the countryside, rainforests and views, where people can wake up to birds not cars. Many of the hotels we use are in such locations.
7. Costa Rican food is known for being fairly mild, with high reliance on fresh fruit and vegetables. Rice and black beans are a staple of most traditional Costa Rican meals. Meals in Costa Rican are more expensive than its neighbouring countries.
8. Travel is always an adventure and, as destinations reopen, there are a few challenges as everyone gets back up to speed and adjusts to the new normal. Our leaders are experts when it comes to dealing with anything unexpected along the journey, so pack your understanding and flexibility, sit back and relax while they take care of the rest.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to your family.  Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are also convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT:
Below is a suggestion of what you might find useful to take on this trip. Be prepared for a variety of temperatures and to protect against mosquito bites, you should pack some light-coloured, closely woven clothes with long sleeves/legs - mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours so avoid wearing dark blue or green t-shirts.

* A windproof/ waterproof jacket/kagoul
* Warm mid-layer (fleece or wool) - for cool evenings
* Lightweight walking/trail boots
* Trainers/sandals for relaxing. Sandals in case of wet weather
* Sun-hat
* Swimsuit & towel
* Binoculars for wildlife viewing
* Torch.
* Sunglasses, sunscreen and lipsalve
* Water bottle
* Insect repellent
* Personal first aid kit

Some plastic bags (or dustbin liners) to protect the contents of your baggage from dampness. Humidity or dampness can be a problem for cameras - a plastic bag can help to protect it. A laundry service may be available in some hotels, but we recommend you take bio-degradable travel detergent so you can wash clothes as you choose. Universal bath plug may be useful.

WATER BOTTLE
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation or simply refill with tap water (your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination). When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

Phone and internet access
With the modern world you may want to bring along tablets of smartphones for the children to document their adventure - there are a wide variety of apps out there which we suggest downloading before you depart. There will be opportunities to charge ( just make sure you bring the correct adapter) and there will be wi-fi available on your trip, although it will probably not be at the speeds you are used to at home and it won't be available everywhere., TECHNOLOGY
With the modern world you may want to bring along tablets of smartphones for the children to document their adventure - there are a wide variety of apps out there which we suggest downloading before you depart. There will be opportunities to charge ( just make sure you bring the correct adapter) and there will be wi-fi available on your trip, although it will probably not be at the speeds you are used to at home and it won't be available everywhere.

Physical rating

 
2

Joining your group

Autentico Hotel, Calle 40 with the corner of Avenida 5, San Jose, 10101, COSTA RICA, Phone: +506 22225266

This streamlined modern hotel is a 15-minute walk from Contraloria train station. Unfussy rooms with warm decor offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and coffeemakers, as well as safes and ceiling fans. Breakfast and parking are complimentary. Other amenities include a landscaped garden with an outdoor pool and seating, and an understated restaurant and bar that hosts regular themed buffets.

Joining instructions

Intrepid offers a pre-arranged arrival transfer service from San Jose International Airport [SJO] at an additional fee. If you have pre-booked this service, please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised. If you plan to arrive earlier, this transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.

If you have pre-booked this service; you will be met after exiting the terminal building to the outside. As you exit please look for the Intrepid sign with your name on it. There is no designated area for transfer drivers to wait inside the building so please take your time to look around after exiting to the outside through the last glass automatic door.
If you have any problems and cannot locate your driver on arrival, please call our Intrepid Emergency number listed under the ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your Essential Trip Information document. If you don’t have a device or mobile coverage, San Jose Airport has a free Wi-Fi connection so you can call that same number via an online application such as Skype. There are also several information desks and tourist information desks around if you require further assistance.

Otherwise, you can travel from the San Jose Airport to the hotel by taxi. We recommend you use either the authorised taxi services organised from inside the terminal, or the authorised orange taxis outside the terminal building. They will charge you approximately USD$30 for a trip to downtown. The drive to where the hotel is located is approximately 35-45 minutes depending on traffic.

Finishing your trip

Autentico Hotel, Calle 40 with the corner of Avenida 5, San Jose, 10101, COSTA RICA, Phone: +506 22225266

This streamlined modern hotel is a 15-minute walk from Contraloria train station. Unfussy rooms with warm decor offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and coffeemakers, as well as safes and ceiling fans. Breakfast and parking are complimentary. Other amenities include a landscaped garden with an outdoor pool and seating, and an understated restaurant and bar that hosts regular themed buffets.

Intrepid offers a pre-arranged departure transfer service to San Jose International Airport [SJO] at an additional fee. If you require this service, please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure.

If you have pre-booked this service, your transfer driver will collect you from your hotel 3.5 hours before your flight time. If your transfer has not arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled pickup time please ask the hotel reception to call our Intrepid Emergency number, listed under ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your Essential Trip Information document.

Alternatively, you can travel from the hotel to the airport by taxi. The hotel reception will be able to assist you with a taxi. The drive to the San Jose Airport will take approximately 30 minutes depending on traffic and will cost approximately USD$30.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 9

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 1

While travelling with us you and your family experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. Please ensure you tell them of any dietary requirements you and your family may have. We know children can be fussy eaters at times so we do recommend you bring any snacks from home to have throughout the trip.

To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you and your family to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

Costa Rican food is known for being fairly mild, with high reliance on fresh fruit and vegetables. Rice and black beans are a staple of most traditional Costa Rican meals. Meals in Costa Rican are more expensive than its neighbouring countries.

Climate & seasonal information

HURRICANE SEASON:
Hurricane season in this region is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

Intrepid’s Local Operator: +506 6022 4721

Accommodations

Accommodation is clean and simple. You'll mainly stay in small, locally-run, 2-3 star hotels and guesthouses, which reflect the character of the area,generally these will be a twin room with private facilities. Sometimes you'll stay in larger, more comfortable hotels or occasionally rustic accommodation with basic facilities. We use a variety of accommodation on most trips; chosen for their value for money, location and atmosphere. We also try and incorporate unique accommodation experiences, such as a night with a local tribe, or sleeping under the stars in the desert.

GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:
Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.
Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in a handful of places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.
Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

Transportation


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