Family-Friendly 6-Day Costa Rica Itinerary

Advisor - Wendy Wallace
Curated By

Wendy Wallace

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  • International Travel

  • Costa Rica

  • Beaches

  • Family Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Kid-Friendly

  • Laidback

  • Outdoors

View from above of a beach in Samana, Cost Rica.
Curator’s statement

Costa Rica is such a special place. There is really something for everyone. For my 11-year old it was the monkeys, for my teen it was the beach and for me and my husband it was the easy laid back "pura vida" vibes. Costa Rica feels adventurous, but not scary. It is paradise for nature-lovers featuring volcanos, rainforests and exotic wildlife are everywhere. It is one of those places where you can come many times and have completely different experiences.

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay

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Hotel Nantipa - A Tico Beach Experience

Lush villas and bungalows wedged un-imposingly in the Costa Rican oceanside featuring stylish design and a sustainable perspective perfect for the conscious traveler.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

Enjoy simple life at the Four Seasons with the canopy plunge pool suite, sunset views and breakfast in bed.

Fora Perks
  • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

Pacuare Lodge

Eco-hotel on the banks of a white-water river featuring indigenous Cabécar-inspired architecture, access to rainforest and farm-to-table cuisine.

Fora Perks
  • Romantic candle-lit dinner.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Advisor - Wendy Wallace

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Day 1: Arrival in Guanacaste

Lush blue waterfall surrounded by jungle in Costa Rica.

Fly into Liberia and drive 1 hour to the Rio Perdido hotel. I recommend getting a transfer from the hotel. Spend the afternoon exploring the hotel and looking for monkeys. Hike to the thermal river where you can swim in the most perfect water temperature ever, just what you need after a flight.

Cocktails and mocktails by the pool and maybe even a swim are perfect for the late afternoon. Indulge in dinner at the hotel restaurant perched in the tree tops. Stargaze from your deck and then get to bed early for an adventurous day tomorrow.

Day 2: Zip Lining

Zip line in the jungle in Costa Rica.

First up: zip lining! The course at Rio Perdido is pretty rigorous, so make sure to have a good breakfast. Finish up with a dip in one of the pools that are thermally heated to different temperatures from refreshing to lukewarm.

If you still have energy left go mountain biking, there are several trails on property. You may want a guide your first time.

Relax by the pool in the afternoon, head to the thermal river or get a spa treatment or all three. One of the pools have a swim up bar which my kids thought was hilarious. After dinner, go on a nighttime walking tour with a naturalist guide. Kids will love this and you get to see so many creatures that only come out at night. Don't forget your flashlight!

Day 3: White Water Rafting

Thermal river in a tropical setting in Costa Rica.

Set your intention with morning yoga, which is held on a perch high up in the trees. It is a stunningly beautiful setting with the sounds of the river below you.

First activity: white water rafting. This was my family's favorite. The hardest part (for me) was jumping off a high cliff into the river! The guides were fantastic here and made it safe and fun. You will need water shoes for this one.

Get out for an afternoon hike on the trails that lead to the carbonated spring and drink the naturally-carbonated water that has healing properties.

Get one last dip in the thermal river because it is heavenly and stop by gift shop for a thoughtful souvenir made by local artisans and artist. Pack and promise the kids you will bring them back to Rio Perdido again.

Day 4: Santa Teresa

Sunrise on the beach in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

Transfer back to the Liberia airport and fly to Tambor and head to Santa Teresa (40 min.)
You can drive from Liberia, but only if you really enjoy driving because it takes a while.

Check into Nantipa, a super nice boutique hotel right on the beach and relax with a long walk on the beach. Rent ATVs and go exploring. You can find hidden beaches or explore town filled lots of funky shops that my teen loved.

Head out to dinner. Pizza is always good idea— try Amici's!

Day 5: Surfing

Guy holding a surf board in Cost Rica.

Enjoy breakfast in town at Sunrise Cafe or the Bakery. Follow with a day of surf lessons with one of the local companies. They are all great with kids.

Day 6: Say Adios to Pura Vida

Costa Rica sunset with lush nature and palm trees at the beach.

Head to the airport Tambor, Santa Teresa. Make sure to book your flights into Liberia and out of Santa Teresa so you don't have to back track.

Need to Know

For more family-friend travel inspiration, check out my guide What to Do on a Family-Friendly Adventure in Iceland.

Advisor - Wendy Wallace

Travel Advisor

Wendy Wallace

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