Family holidays in Costa Rica

Description of Family holidays in Costa Rica

Fun activities, high quality small hotels, varied landscapes, amazing wildlife and a beautiful beach at the end. Not a bad family adventure right? Best of all, we firmly believe that a family holiday should be as fun and engaging for the adults as it is for the children - no compromising nor trade offs.

You'd struggle to come up with somewhere better than Costa Rica to do just that. This can make the country rather busy, so it pays to take a more thoughtful approach to planning your holiday here. We've balanced the best bases for activities with some peace and quiet away from the crowds.

Start with a stroll through a Caribbean village and boat rides along wildlife-rich water channels and end on the peaceful beaches of the Pacific. In between you'll steer your way to tropical rainforests with your own 4x4 for a spot of rafting and then head into the cloudforest for night walks, canopy trails and zip lining.

On the Pacific coast we swap the overcrowded Manuel Antonio National Park for a private villa on peaceful laid-back beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula. Howler monkeys wake you up in the morning, Olive Ridley turtles come out to lay their eggs at night. Snorkeling, swimming, surfing, horse riding, mountain biking and birdwatching can fill your day depending on what you want to do - we've taken great care not to structure your time too rigidly throughout the trip.

We leave you with a quote from a recent traveller, which kind of says it all really: "When you can see one of the most beautiful, carefully looked after countries in the world, protected through love by its people, who have an overwhelming sense of inner calm, joy and pride in their beautiful country, with the people you love most in the world, it’s a very powerful thing. We wanted to open our children’s eyes to the big world out there – that travel is to be embraced and that there are amazing things to experience."

Travel Team

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Departure information

Departs any day to suit you, from December through August.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We are passionate advocates of what Costa Rica has to offer visitors, but also of protecting and maintaining the country’s habitats and native cultures. As such we have been careful to ensure our partners on the ground are as equally committed to responsible travel practices as us. Our tours are structured to create the least possible impact on local ecosystems.

When we do book tours in advance group sizes never exceed 15 passengers: the standard size being six to eight in any given group. Not only does this help to keep the effect on the local environment to a minimum, it also means clients receive more attention from the guide, and therefore a richer overall experience.

There are now many properties jumping on the eco bandwagon in Costa Rica, with varying degrees of authenticity. We give priority to hotels and lodges with proven ecological credentials, built with sensitivity to the local environment. We only suggest hotels and lodges where we have stayed ourselves, or where our partners on the ground have stayed, and which we believe to be the best in their area. This does not necessarily mean those with the obvious trappings of comfort, but rather those who have an established ethical outlook and a long-term vision for preserving their local surroundings.

The eco-lodge in Tortuguero is Rainforest Alliance varified and has gained various certifications for its recycling programmes, sustainability training and energy and water saving initiatives.

Your base in Sarapiqui has a Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program. Among its activities are the use of solar panels, organic compost waste and the use of biodegradable cleaning products. Its Green Classroom initiative educated children in sustainability practices.

The Impacts of this Trip

The guides we use for walks in the national parks are all trained naturalists and many live locally to the area. They are experts in the flora and fauna of the region and are incredibly passionate about passing on their knowledge, so clients have a greater understanding of local environment and the delicate balance of regional ecosystems. Where possible we only use small, locally run properties, who stand up for their employees’ social rights and offer an honest wage.

Most of our trips are conducted on an independent basis, usually with a hire car, and we encourage clients to book any day tours on the ground with local companies. This gives clients the freedom to explore at their own pace as well as insuring the money spent directly benefits the local economy.

One of the lodges in this itinerary has helped to set up a community programme which has now become a fully-fledged independent non-government organsation. The Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center works to educate community members in the importance of conservation, particularly within the context of ecotourism. The end goal is to help improve the job prospects of schoolchildren, whilst simultaneously create new sustainable occupations.

Visitors are given the opportunity to directly engage with the local residents and international volunteers who help deliver their programmes. Visit the Pack for Purpose website for a list of items that you could bring with you to help support their activities.


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