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Costa Rica Family Holiday with Teenagers


Discover the incredible biodiversity of Costa Rica – and the culture shaped by the tropical wilderness – with your loved ones, on a trip that’s tailored for families. Pick produce and make dinner with a local family during an agricultural homestay, look for three-toed sloths in the thickets of the Manuel Antonio National Park and walk through the canopy of Monteverde’s cloud forest on a suspended bridge. Take a break from active adventure by soaking in springs heated by Arenal Volcano and lying beneath swaying palms on pristine beaches while the kids play nearby. This adventure takes you into the wild heart of a country many visit but few truly know.

9 days, from

$2,850

per person

GROUP SIZE

16 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: QCFS
Style: Original
Theme: Family

Details

Countries Visited:  Costa Rica
Accommodation: Hotels (8 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle , Boat , Public Transportation
Included Meals:

  • 8 breakfasts
  • 1 lunches
  • 1 dinners

Group size: Minimum 2, Max 16

  • 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.

  • End this adventure by hitting Manuel Antonio National Park, where the evergreen forest grows right up to the long, white beaches and irresistible water.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: San Jose

Welcome to subtropical San Jose! Meet your leader and fellow family travellers at a welcome meeting at 5 pm at the hotel. If you arrive early there is plenty to see in this bustling city, and as the streets are laid out in a grid pattern it’s relatively easy to navigate too. Check out a few of the optional activities below, just note that as these activities are not included, they may incur an extra charge. The Spirogyra Butterfly Garden, for example, is the perfect way to introduce kids (and adults) of all ages to Costa Rican biodiversity while getting some respite from the clamour of the city. After the meeting tonight, perhaps get a taste of ‘Tico’ food (and get to know the other families and your tour leader) with an optional dinner as a group.

Day 2: Sarapiquí

Kick off your Costa Rican adventure with a hearty breakfast, fuelling up for an leader led walk around San Jose. We then hit the road making our way to Poas Volcano National Park. In the park you’ll discover untouched nature, an active volcano, and have the chance to breathe fresh, cool mountain air. At the top of this volcano, 2,700 metres above sea level, you can step to the edge of a platform and look down on a smoking sleeping giant – steam can pour out around a sulphuric, bubbling, green crater lake. In the afternoon, make your way to Sarapiqui, a town known for its rich biodiversity. On arrival settle into your hotel then join your leader on a walk through the rainforest, crossing trails as you look out for wildlife. This evening is free for your own discoveries – you may like to book an excursion to learn about the region’s nocturnal creatures.

Day 3: Arenal

Today you’ll cross west through the north of the country to Arenal (approximately 1 hour), which lies beneath the volcano of the same name. Rising from verdant plains, Arenal Volcano shoots up 1633 metres in a perfect cone and in certain light resembles a storybook drawing. The landscape is mainly cloud forest and rainforest, cut through with rivers, lakes and -- thanks to the volcano’s inner workings -- thermal hot springs. On arrival you are free to explore the area at your own pace. Or perhaps you’d prefer to unwind by the hotel pool in view of the mighty Arenal Volcano. Your accommodation also features onsite hot springs where you can relax your muscles in preparation for an active day tomorrow.

Day 4: Arenal

Head out for a guided morning tour of Arenal National Park with a hike around the lake. Take trails through dwarf cloud forest and listen to the birdsong of several species of hummingbird, as well as the melodious clay-coloured robin. The afternoon is then free for optional activities in the local area. Please note as these activities are not included, some incur extra cost. To get a closer view of the majestic volcano peak, you could take a hike past old lava flows on the Arenal 1968 Trail. There are two options on the 1968, including a shorter route suitable for families with younger kids. Or maybe a slow-paced soar on the Sky Tram is more your family’s speed? Chat to your leader about these and the many other options on offer today.

Day 5: Monteverde

Today you’ll take the scenic route to Monteverde (approximately 4 hours in total). Travel by minibus to Lake Arenal, then cross the water by boat. On the other side of the lake, re-board a minibus and continue on to our destination. In 1951 North American Quakers founded the nearby Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, a sanctuary for the unique flora and fauna of Costa Rica. More than 2000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call the reserve home, and over the next few days you’ll get acquainted with some of them. There may be time to make an optional visit the nearby Butterfly Garden today upon arrival (an additional cost). Otherwise, settle into your accommodation and enjoy the tranquillity of nature.

Day 6: Monteverde

See the forest from a different perspective on an included canopy walk across the suspended bridges of Monteverde. The sheer variety of bird life in Monteverde is enough to make an ornithologist out of anyone, so don’t be surprised if younger children have a new answer to the question ‘what do you want to do when you grow up?’ While you’re up among the treetops look (or listen) out for the reclusive resplendent quetzal, the blue-crowned motmot or the emerald toucanet. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or partake in some optional activities. You could visit an orchid farm or whizz through the trees on zip-lines. If conditions are right, there might be a chance to hike through the forest at dusk, a unique opportunity to see the area’s nocturnal creatures begin to stir.

Day 7: Manuel Antonio National Park

Wave adios to Monteverde and hit the Pan-American Highway for a southward journey past beaches and palm plantations to Manuel Antonio (around 6 hours). Along the way we stop a local family home where you  will have the opportunity learn how to cook authentic local Costa Rican food and share time with 3 generations of Costa Ricans. Enjoying the essence of the Pura Vida. An experience you will enjoy as a family.
Enjoy a free evening to relax before exploring the park on foot tomorrow.

Day 8: Manuel Antonio National Park

After breakfast enjoy a 3-hour guided walk along the trails that snake through Manuel Antonio National Park. Immerse yourself in nature and learn more about the area’s diverse wild and plant life from your guide. Look and listen carefully and you may be able to spot howler monkeys, two- and three-toed sloths, iguanas and more. The afternoon is free to explore this magical area further at your family’s desired pace. Maybe you’d like to relax on one of the idyllic palm-lined bays while the kids splash in the water. Active types have the option to rent equipment to kayak, surf or fish in the glittering ocean (for an extra cost). There are no wrong choices in this balmy paradise.

Day 9: San Jose

Rise and shine for your final morning in this beachside haven. Enjoy your last hours in Manuel Antonio with some free time before making the return drive to San Jose in the mid-afternoon (approximately 3 hours). There are no activities planned on arrival at San Jose. If you’re flying out today, it's important to book your flight for no earlier than 6pm.
The group will be dropped back off at the starting point hotel. Note there is no accommodation included today. If you wish to stay longer in San Jose we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability)..