Costa Rica Family Activities to Consider


We rarely share posts from others. However, with Costa Rica being such a family-friendly destination, we wanted to give you some ideas of things to do with a family on your trip there. This post is not sponsored. We just wanted to offer you some ideas for family activities for your next trip to Costa Rica (which you will cover with points and miles, of course), leaving you more money to spend on all the fun activities.

Planning a family vacation to Costa Rica? With endless options for adventure, it can be challenging to narrow down your ideal itinerary. However, most people would rather have more options than not enough, and Costa Rica definitely delivers in this area. Here are some of the various activities that a family visiting Costa Rica should consider when making their travel plans along with the approximate costs. 

If you’re looking to travel and plan the perfect vacation for your family, a travel company like Costa Rica Escapes can create your entire itinerary and make your trip a breeze. Explore family trip itineraries to see just how easy your Costa Rica vacation can be.

Visit Wildlife Refugees and Sanctuaries

Cost: $5-$10 entrance fee, sometimes free

Costa Rica’s renowned biodiversity makes wildlife experiences a must for families. Many travel operators offer tours of protected rainforests and reserves where you may spot sloths, monkeys, frogs, lizards, and exotic birds in their natural habitats. Seeing animals up close is an unforgettable adventure for kids. Rescue sanctuaries like the Jaguar Rescue Center, which charges $15 in admission fees, allow special hands-on interaction with wildlife like jaguars, macaws, and monkeys in a humane setting. 


Tour the Rainforest Canopy Ziplines

Cost: $80-$100 per person

For an exciting aerial view of the rainforest, canopy zipline tours are a thrill the whole family will love. The Original Canopy Tour near Manuel Antonio National Park has 12 ziplines and 4 rappels, which cost around $85 per person. Move through the lush treetops where guides identify exotic birds and wildlife. Other top family ziplines like Congo Canopy near Arenal and Sky Adventures in Monteverde offer similar heart-pumping fun. 


Relax at Hot Springs and Waterfalls

Cost: $15-$165 per person depending on hot spring facility/location or waterfall tour and whether meals are included

After busy days exploring, recharge by soaking in Costa Rica’s mineral-rich hot springs. The lush landscape and warm therapeutic waters create a relaxing paradise. Tabacon Hot Springs near Arenal Volcano is ideal with waterfall massages and pools. There is an $85 daily entry fee to enter. For chilly fun, swim under rejuvenating waterfalls like Catarata Llanos de Cortes or the majestic twin La Paz Waterfall. 


Horseback Ride Through Scenic Lands

Cost: $50-$80 per person

What child doesn’t love horses? Family-friendly horseback rides through rainforests, cattle ranches, and along beaches showcase Costa Rica’s natural beauty. At Lake Arenal, Desafio Adventures offers kid-appropriate horses and scenic rainforest trails. You can expect to pay around $55 for approximately 90 minutes of riding, but there are different trails and packages available. The knowledgeable guides enhance the magnificent landscape.


Go Whitewater Rafting or River Tubing

Cost: $100-$200 per person

For an adventurous way to cool off, try whitewater rafting or tubing down the rapids of the Reventazón, Pacuare, or Savegre Rivers. It provides thrills along with gorgeous scenery. The Class III and IV rapids deliver just enough bounce without being too intense for kids. Reputable outfitters like Exploradores Outdoors provide family rafting excursions starting at $99 per person.


People in raft on river

Whitewater river rafting was so fun in Costa Rica!


Learn to Surf or Paddleboard

Cost: $50-$80 per person

With an endless coastline, Costa Rica is ideal for trying water sports like surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. For kids, the gentle waves at beaches like Playa Jacó are perfect for learning to surf with lessons from Club del Mar. This is a relatively affordable experience, with the cost being approximately $55 for a group lesson. For younger kids, stand-up paddleboarding on calm Lake Arenal teaches balance while taking in the volcano views.


Visit Exciting Theme Parks

Cost: $15-$85 per person depending on the theme park

When you need a day of land-based family fun, Costa Rica’s themed parks and resorts deliver. Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Park has horseback riding, waterslides, hot springs, and zip lines. You can expect to pay a park entry fee of $85, with other activities in the park charging extra fees. Many all-inclusive resorts like Doubletree by Hilton have impressive pools, slides, and supervised kids’ programs included.


Indulge on a Beach Day

Cost: FREE

With over 1,000 miles of coastline, spending days lounging at Costa Rica’s pristine beaches is a must. You’ll make memories while swimming, building sandcastles, beachcombing, and spotting wildlife like starfish together. Conchal Beach, Manzanillo Beach, and Santa Rosa Beach are just a few spots with calm, shallow waters ideal for kids.


Biesanz Beach, Costa Rica

Costa Rica offers miles of beautiful beaches.


Bottom Line

With such diverse landscapes from rainforests to volcanoes to beaches, Costa Rica offers unforgettable adventures for the whole family. Careful trip planning allows you to experience the best Costa Rican family activities based on your family’s ages and interests. The memories made in Costa Rica will be cherished for years to come!

Girl paddling in river in jungle

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a Travel Mom Squad advertiser, but we always show the best public offer even when we don’t earn a commission. Terms Apply. 

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