Your Family Adventure Playground
12-day Family Holiday from £1700pp
It's hard to think of a country that's better set up for a family holiday than Costa Rica. For a small country, it packs in an unbelievable amount of variety: you can be whale-watching on the Pacific coast one day, and spotting monkeys and sloths on the forest-covered slopes of Mount Arenal the next! With an unbelievable array of wildlife and adventure activities, but beautiful beaches and scenery as well, we can guarantee to keep even the fussiest family member happy...
- Day One: Arrival in San Jose
- Day Two: La Paz Waterfalls
- Day Three: On to Tortuguero
- Day Four: Tortuguero National Park
- Day Five: Drive to Arenal
- Day Six: Sky Tram
- Day Seven: River Safari
- Day Eight: On to the Beach
- Days Nine and Ten: Beach Time!
- Day Eleven: Alajuela Reserve
- Day Twelve: Overnight flight back to the UK
Day One – Arrival in San Jose
We will be waiting to meet you all at San José airport today, as you touch down in one of the world’s most beautiful and peaceful countries, Costa Rica! Most international flights arrive in the late afternoon, and we’ll take you straight to your grand hotel, so you can freshen up and head out for dinner on the first night of your family holiday!
Day Two - La Paz Waterfalls
You'll have a free morning to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and a lie-in after your flight yesterday, before we pick you up and make the short drive out of the city to the private ecological park of La Paz. Here, five incredible waterfalls are linked by a number of jungle trails, which you can explore at your own pace. It’s a great introduction to Costa Rica, and as well as beautiful forests there is also an aviary, butterfly house, and animal sanctuary, home to many species, including pumas, jaguars, spider monkeys, macaws and toucans. All the animals here have been rescued, and cannot be returned to the wild. The sanctuary plays an important role in the country’s conservation efforts, breeding five of the six endangered wild cats of Central America. You’ll have a huge buffet lunch in the park’s restaurant, and then some more time to continue exploring. We will then pick you up and take you back to your hotel in San Jose later this afternoon. (Breakfast and Lunch included)
- Today's tour is sure to be a hit with the whole family, but slightly older children may prefer a more adventurous extended day trip, visiting the Poas Volcano with its sulphur crater lake as well as the eco-park. Alternatively, perhaps you’d prefer to spend the day sightseeing in the city of San Jose. Just ask us for more information!
Day Three - On to the Caribbean
It’s an early start this morning, as we pick you up from your hotel and head to the north-eastern coast of the country, to the national park surrounding Tortuguero. Most of Costa Rica is covered with dense jungle, and you’ll begin to see how wild and tropical the scenery is here, as we leave the city behind and drive through the cloud forests of the Braulio Carrillo National Park. We’ll stop en-route for a traditional breakfast, before continuing on through the banana plantations, Costa Rica’s main industry. We’ll arrive at the Caño Blanco pier just before lunch, and board a small boat which will take us along the canals and through the rainforest. Upon arrival at your hotel, we’ll enjoy a delicious lunch and a refreshing cocktail to help you get into the holiday spirit! This afternoon we’ll take another boat ride to the friendly and colourful town of Tortuguero, on the banks of the river. This area is a real haven for a variety a turtle species, which you may have already spotted during your journey along the jungle canals, so we’ll visit the turtle conservation centre to learn a little more about these fascinating creatures. Tortuguero hosts the largest green turtle rookery in the Western Hemisphere and is also an important nesting site for populations of leatherback and hawksbill turtles. The Costa Rican legislature declared Tortuguero National Park in 1975 to protect the nesting turtles, the beach and the adjacent terrestrial habitats. You’ll return to your hotel in time for dinner this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)
- There are a whole variety of jungle lodges in the national park, each with its own charms. We really like the Mawamba Lodge, as it offers a bit of everything, but just let us know if you’d prefer to look at alternatives!
Day Four - Tortuguero National Park
After breakfast this morning we’ll board our open boat again for some more time on the canals of the national park. The wide canals allow close wildlife viewing, and silent approaches on the water permit unusually close contact with the fauna. River otters, caimans, and howler, spider, and white-faced monkeys are easily sighted, as are birds such as oropendolas, toucans, and jacamars and other waterfowl. After lunch in a local restaurant we’ll take to the canals again for some more time in the national park. (B)
- Between the months of July and November 300-pound Green Sea Turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of Tortuguero National Park. Both the nesting and hatching are incredible events to witness, and it’s something we highly recommend adding on, though the experience may not be suitable for under 8-year olds
Day Five - Travel to Arenal
After breakfast this morning we’ll leave the jungle behind as we board the boat to take us Caño Blanco, so we can continue by land to the active volcano of Arenal. Your luxury hotel for the next few days is located at the base of the volcano, and benefits from seven hot spring pools for you to enjoy this evening! (B)
Day Six – Sky Tram
We'll pick you up after breakfast this morning for your Sky Tram tour through the rainforests of Arenal Volcano National Park. You will ascend into the mountains in a glass gondola, covering over 1,200 metres of primary forest. The ride takes approximately 1-hour, and there will be a guide on hand to help you get your bearings and point out any birds and animals you pass. You will arrive at a wide observation platform at the highest point of the reserve, where the views to Arenal Volcano and its lake are simply amazing. There is also a short walking trail here, giving you the opportunity to spot some of the more than 50 species of native birds that can be observed in this region. We’ll take you back to your hotel in time for lunch, and then the afternoon is yours to spend as you wish! (B)
- Adventurous families might want to spend more time in the park this afternoon, where there are many fun activities on offer, including a hair-raising combined zip-line and river rapid drift to get your heart racing!
Day Seven - River Safari on the Peñas Blancas
You'll have a morning at leisure, at then we’ll make the 45-minute journey to the Peñas Blancas River. This slow-flowing, meandering river is the perfect place for a relaxing rafting safari. There are no rapids, but plenty of animals to look out for. An expert guide will be on to help you spot monkeys, sloths, iguanas, caimans, and many different kinds of tropical birds, so don’t forget your binoculars! (B)
- For something a little faster, we could take you to the nearby Rio Balsa for some white-water rafting! Alternatively, perhaps a gentle hike or horse-back ride would be more appropriate today?
Day Eight - On to Playa Potrero
We'll pick you up this morning and drive you to Costa Rica’s western Pacific coast, to the beachside fishing village of Portero. This peaceful haven is a fantastic destination for families, as the village itself is safe and quiet, with miles of beautiful sandy beaches and clear waters. Further down the beach you have the trendy resort of Playa Flamingo, where you’ll find some great upmarket restaurants. We’ll arrive this afternoon, and then you’ll have the rest of the day free for a dip in the pool! (B)
Days Nine and Ten - Beach Time!
We've left you with a couple of free days for your family to make the most of the beautiful sunny weather and calm seas. Unlike some of the busier beaches along this stretch of coastline, Potrero is not as popular with surfers, so a paddle in the sea and some snorkelling for the older kids is perfectly safe here. (B)
Day Eleven - Alajuela Forest Reserve
After breakfast this morning we'll take you to the nearby airport for the very short flight back to San José. Upon arrival we’ll take you to your hotel near the city of Alajuela, close to the international airport, for your final night here in Costa Rica. Your hotel for the night is set in a protected forest reserve, with waterfalls and trails, so this afternoon you could take a leisurely walk into the forest for some final wildlife-spotting! (B)
Day Twelve - Last Day in Costa Rica
Unfortunately, today marks the end of your family holiday in Costa Rica. We'll pick you up this morning and drive all the way back to San Jose international airport, where you’ll arrive in plenty of time for your departing flight home. (B)
Our standard price for this family holiday in Costa Rica is £1700 per person, which is based on a family of four sharing family rooms throughout in our standard hotels and lodge.
That price includes all your accommodation, internal transport, transfers, tours, guides and entrance fees, plus all the specified meals.
We don't have any "local payments" or sneaky charges: everything you have read about on this itinerary is included in that price. And because everything we do is tailor-made, we don't have fixed departure dates or minimum numbers for our trips. Outside of national holidays or other special events, this price is valid for the whole of 2020.
So with the exception of a few meals, everything on your holiday is included. What we don't include as standard is your international flights, because with these you have a huge range of options depending on the date you want to travel, the route you want to fly, and your preferred departure airport in the UK.
We aren't tied to any particular airline, and we will be delighted to discuss all options with you, or you can even book the flights yourself if you prefer: it's totally up to you.
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