Family Vacation in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a beautiful country to visit that is known for its laid-back vibe, amazing national parks, rainforests and beautiful beaches. You can be surfing at the beach one day and taking a tour through the rainforests the next day. There are so many ways to explore Costa Rica that make it a fabulous trip for the whole family.
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Where to stay in Costa Rica
W Costa Rica - Reserva Conchal
A modern Guanacaste retreat with ample activities and dining options, plus a spa and night club.
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.
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Andaz Costa Rica Resort At Peninsula Papagayo - a Concept by Hyatt
A beloved beach escape on 1,400 acres of the Papagayo Peninsula, with three beaches, a golf course and guided nature adventures.
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Things to do in Costa Rica
Private Sunset Sailboat Charter
We took a private sailboat charter one afternoon and were able to appreciate the natural beauty of the island by sea. We went snorkeling and spotted some marine life and fish. We also had fresh mahi tacos on the boat and saw the most amazing sunset.
Rio Celeste, Waterfalls and Rainforest Private Tour
I highly recommend private tours when traveling with younger children. Our guide was wonderful and took us on a hike to see beautiful waterfalls that we could swim in. After that, we explored the lush rainforests that had sloths, monkeys, coati, venemous viper snakes and poisonous dart frogs. We also stopped at a few local places to experience the native cuisine and culture. My children absolutely loved seeing all the wildlife in their own habitat. They were fascinated by the sloths, which were so adorable.
Surf lessons are a must here and a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy or at least try together!
The W hotel had a great kids club where the children participated in fun activities for an hour or two to take a break from the sun. They had arts and crafts, beach hunts, and even a face painter which they loved!
There are many breathtaking beaches in Costa Rica, but these are our favorites.
Conchal Beach - This beach has amazing seashells instead of sand. We loved walking up and down the beach collecting the magnificent shells.
Flamingo Beach - This beach is a gorgeous white sand beach with nice restaurants nearby.
Playa Tamarindo - This is the beach for surfing. It has many shops and restaurants along it as well.
If you stay in Guanacaste, I would take a 45-minute trip to Tamarindo. It is a very cute beach town with a lot of restaurants, shops and bars. This town is known for surfing, so check that out too.
Places to eat & drink in Costa Rica
Latitud 10 Norte - This is a delicious fine dining restaurant that offers a 7-course menu and creative cocktails. I would definitely recommend dinner here and trying one of their signature cocktails made by a mixologist.
Zona Azul Beach Club - This restaurant is located right by the pool and beach and offers an array of salads and sandwiches as well as other lunch items. I would recommend trying any of the fresh salads because they were all delicious. My kids loved the chicken fingers and fries too.
Living Room - This lounge is a wonderful spot to grab a cocktail and listen to live music and DJs. I would recommend getting a Hummingbird cocktail because it uses guaro, which is the nation's most popular liquor made from sugarcane.
Patagonia Argentinian Grill & Restaurant - If you like steak, you will love this restaurant. They make amazing Argentinian steaks cooked to perfection. Try the chimichurri sauce!
Pangas Beach Club - This restaurant is gorgeous at sunset, and you can sit at a table right on the sand pretty close to the ocean. They have unbelievable seafood, and I would recommend the surf and turf, lobster risotto and the ceviche.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Sarah Keim’s guide, Packing Luxury and Adventure Into a 4 Day Costa Rica Itinerary.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Costa Rica.