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Costa Rica Family Travel

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Of all places to experience the rainforest, Costa Rica comes to mind as one of the best choices for families of any age. Small rainforest lodges with excellent guides and creative cooks dot the country and travel times are rarely longer than three hours. Some of these lodges have developed special programs for families traveling with children. For tours including whitewater rafting, the minimum age for rafting the Revantazon River (class II - III) is 10 and the minimum age for the Pacuare River (class III-IV) is 14. A great alternative for families with younger children is an upgrade to the Rainforest Aerial Tram.

A few suggested tours…
Turtles and Rainforest: As the name suggests, this tour is a great choice for families who enjoy wildlife and outdoor activities. At the turtle reserve, children have the opportunity to participate in the turtle breeding programs- catching the turtle eggs as they are being lain or helping the turtle hatchlings dig their way free to the surface. The rainforest offers educational walks, horseback riding, canopy tours, and more. Both lodges are relatively remote and do not have electricity. Prepare your children that these lodges do not have TV, music, video games, etc.

Beaches and Rainforest: This tour has a multi-sport focus with a flexible itinerary that allows your family to choose from a variety of activities to fill each day- horseback riding, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, mountain biking. It is a nice Costa Rica vacation choice for families with varying ages and interests as each traveler can choose the activities that interest him/ her most. Again, the lodges do not have electricity so prepare the kids for outdoor fun instead!

For more information on this tour, check out the article "Costa Rica: A Family Adventure Mecca" in the Fall/ Winter 2002 issue of Family Adventure Magazine written by Adventure Life's director, Brian Morgan.

Earth, Fire and Water: This tour is a great choice for families with younger kids who still want to experience a variety of Costa Rica environments- beach, rainforest, volcano, cloudforest, etc. in a relatively short time. Transfers are not especially long and Tiskita, the rainforest/ beach lodge where you will spend the first half of the tour, has a number of activities designed especially for kids.
Trip NameMin. AgeComments
Adventure Pacifica Express (9 Day)6mix of adventure activity options, some longer transfers
Discover Costa Rica (9 Day)10active trip (biking, whitewater rafting, hiking) with some longer transfers and activities designed for older children/ adults
Adventure Pacifica (9 Day)10mix of adventure activities, some longer transfers, better for slightly older kids
Beaches & Rainforest (8 Day)6flexible schedule and activities, no electricity at rainforest lodge, alternatives to whitewater available.
Turtles & Rainforest (8 Day)6excellent wildlife adventure- no electricity at some lodges, alternatives to whitewater available
Wild Costa Rica Corcovado (8 Day)12wildlife focus- remote and somewhat rustic, min age of 14 on Pacuare whitewater
Earth, Fire and Water (9 Day)6flexible schedule and activities.
Caribbean Adventure - Bocas Town (8 Day)6flexible schedule and activities, no electricity at rainforest lodge, alternatives to whitewater available
Beaches & Rainforest (9 Day)6flexible schedule and activities, no electricity at rainforest lodge, alternatives to whitewater available.
Turtles & Rainforest Pacuare Reserve (8 Day)6excellent wildlife adventure- no electricity at some lodges, alternatives to whitewater available
Wild Costa Rica (8 Day)12wildlife focus- remote and somewhat rustic, min age of 12 on Pacuare whitewater
Costa Rica Quest (8 Day)6Mix of adventure activities (rafting, hiking) with some schedule flexibility. Minimum age for Class II-III rafting is 9 years of age, but calmer sections can be rafted with children 6-8 years of age.
Caribbean Adventure (9 Day)6flexible schedule and activities, no electricity at rainforest lodge, remote lodge in Bocas del Toro, alternatives to whitewater available
Costa Rica Multisport (9 Day)12An action packed trip around Costa Rica exploring rainforest and coastal ecosystems!
Pura Vida (6 Day)12active trip (rafting, zipline, hiking, horseback riding) with some longer transfers and activities designed for older children/ adults. min age of 14 on Pacuare whitewater. Alternative rafting for children under 14 is available,contact us for details
Pacuare River Rafting with Overnight (2 Day)12Minimum age for Pacuare is 12 yrs old, 99 lbs and 5 ft tall
Arenal Volcano (3 Day)6A relaxed extension for families.
Tortuguero (3 Day)10wildlife focus, long transfers, simple accommodations - good choice for older kids. mix of adventure activity options in Tortuguero National Park.
Coast to Coast Multisport (10 Day)14
Costa Rica Self-Drive Adventure (9 Day)6
Corcovado Trekking (9 Day)18
Holiday 2016 Costa Rica Quest (8 Day)6Mix of adventure activities (rafting, hiking) with some schedule flexibility. Minimum age for Class II-III rafting is 9 years of age, but calmer sections can be rafted with children 6-8 years of age.
Pacuare River Rafting ( Day)8
Poas Volcano, Doka Coffee Plantation and Sarchí ( Day)6
La Paz Waterfall Gardens ( Day)6
San Jose City ( Day)6
Explore Barrio Lujan ( Day)6
Holiday 2016 Beaches & Rainforest (9 Day)6flexible schedule and activities, no electricity at rainforest lodge, alternatives to whitewater available.
Ecotermales Hot Springs ( Day)6
Mountain Biking in Arenal ( Day)8
Horseback riding near Arenal6
Waterfall Rappelling and Canyoning Adventure ( Day)8
Venado Caves ( Day)6
Hanging Bridges, Zipline and Aerial Tram ( Day)8
Lake Arenal Kayaking ( Day)8
Horseback riding near Manuel Antonio ( Day)6
Manuel Antonio ATV ( Day)12
Penas Blancas River Safari Float ( Day)12
Cerro Chato Hill and La Fortuna Waterfall Hike ( Day)7
Ecotermales Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano6
Birdwatching in Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve6
Butterfly and Orchid Gardens6
Monteverde Hidden Valley Night tour6
Monteverde Cloud Forest Hanging Bridges6
Monteverde Cheese Factory ( Day)6
Monteverde Serpentarium6
Manuel Antonio Damas Island Kayaking ( Day)8
Manuel Antonio Snorkeling and Ocean Kayaking ( Day)8
Manuel Antonio Whitewater Rafting ( Day)8
Manuel Antonio National Park Hike ( Day)6
Manuel Antonio Surf Lessons ( Day)6
Cahuita National Park Snorkeling and Hiking ( Day)6
Cahuita National Park Kayaking and Hiking tour6
Kekoldi and Bri-Bri Indian Reserves ( Day)6
Puerto Viejo Sport Fishing ( Day)6
Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge6
Puerto Viejo Canopy Zipline ( Day)6
Jaguar Rescue Center and Chocolate Plantation ( Day)6
Lankester Garden and Irazu Volcano ( Day)6
Manuel Antonio Catamaran Adventure ( Day)6
Corcovado Lodge Adventure (6 Day)10mix of adventure activities, longer boat transfer, better for slightly older kids
University of Montana Alumni Costa Rica (9 Day)10mix of adventure activities, some longer transfers, better for slightly older kids
Holiday 2016 Pura Vida (6 Day)12active trip (rafting, zipline, hiking, horseback riding) with some longer transfers and activities designed for older children/ adults. min age of 14 on Pacuare whitewater. Alternative rafting for children under 14 is available,contact us for details
Holiday 2016 Adventure Pacifica (9 Day)10

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