10 Tips for your vacation with kids in Costa Rica

Your vacation with kids in Costa Rica can be as fun and entertaining as it can be absolutely miserable if you are not prepared. Read more to find some great tips from your local insider, Epic Adventures Costa Rica.

Vacation with Kids in Costa Rica

Your vacation with kids in Costa Rica can be much better if you take the time to research ideas and suggestions to make it easier. Read this post if that’s your case.

Any parent knows that traveling with kids can be as rewarding as it is exhausting.

First, because kids’ energy seems to be infinite. And second, of course, because we are always in a state of double or triple alert, especially when you have younger kids.

So let’s give you some ideas that will make your family vacation in Costa Rica easier:

Involve your kids in the planning, yes. But also, it is vital to create an interest in the places or animals that he or she is about to see.

It is useful to do some research on what is expected to be on the trip. From the colorful and tiny poison frogs to the dynamic spider monkeys, information abounds on the Internet.

Sloths, toucans, monkeys, and frogs are some of the favorites, but not the only ones. You can also get to see coatis, agoutis, peccaries, and tapirs. Look for them!

Show your kids the images and the documentaries. It will create an exciting atmosphere that will allow your kids to enjoy the trip much more.

A vacation with kids in Costa Rica

Prepare your trip with kids to Costa Rica with a local travel agent.

No, we’re not just saying this to sell our company.

Seriously, the difference between having a local travel agency is that if something comes up, anything! If you have a lost reservation or a broken leg, you have someone on your side who knows the system, the rates, and probably has contacts in the right places.

A travel agent can tell you which hotels are more convenient because we know them. A travel agent will tell you why to take that tour instead of the other.

And, believe us, in both, we earn commission. If we recommend it, it is because we see it as the best for your travel experience.

And you might think you’ll find, through Tripadvisor or similar sites, timely reviews on those things… Yes, and no.

However, Tripadvisor will not tell you the name and number of a good pediatrician in the area where you are.

When you are traveling with kids in Costa Rica with a local contact on your side, everything becomes easier, from planning to the way back home. Plus, it’s a lot more fun because the options multiply.

So, if you would like for us to give you a hand, contact us!

A vacation with kids in Costa Rica

Bring your first aid kit on your vacation with kids in Costa Rica.

You will always find that tourist buses and tour guides carry their first aid kits.

However, you will never see a single pill in any of them. Due to the danger of being sued, no one carries even painkillers or antihistamines anymore.

It is important that you consult your pediatrician about which medications are recommended for your vacation with kids in Costa Rica. And bring them.

Medical services are very efficient here, and pharmacies are sometimes easier to find than supermarkets, but! Why take the risk of not finding what your child might need? Please bring it with you.

When thinking about luggage for your vacation with kids in Costa Rica, think of disposable clothing, especially socks.

Costa Rica is about nature, adventure, and wildlife! And this means that sometimes, when you go on a trail, torrential rains can reach you, and everything turns into mud in an instant. And obviously, the monkeys are right under where the mud is. Or you are going down a waterfall, rappelling, exploring a cave, or kayaking through a mangrove.

A vacation with kids in Costa Rica

Clothes get dirty and wet quickly when you’re on a family trip in Costa Rica.

And it turns out that there are places where getting a dryer is almost impossible.

And then we all know what happens! The wet clothes go into a plastic bag and get carried around until you find a place with a laundry service that has a dryer. If you manage to find one,.

In the end, in many cases we simply resolve to leave them behind.

It is much easier to bring old school clothes and two pairs of socks per day (one to throw away) and be at peace.

Important: Speaking of clothes, When entering the rainforest, it is best not to wear bright colors; sometimes they attract hummingbirds (and that’s great!) but also wasps and bees (and that’s not so convenient).

Find out about the minimum age or weight when choosing activities.

This is key for your vacation with kids in Costa Rica!

A vacation with kids in Costa Rica

You may think that once there they can’t tell you no and will allow your five year old to take the tour because somewhere else he could do it.


Although Costa Rican safety laws apply to all tourism operators in the country, you will also realize they can be different from one to another. It may be because one owner is more cautious than the other. Or maybe they have longer cables. Or different topography.

In some trips, it could be a matter of weight and size, and in others, it could be age.

You, book only when you know for sure your child can go.

When it comes to rules, and due to the consequences, tour operators are generally quite inflexible. So forget about thinking that once here, you will convince anyone to let your child go. It won’t happen.

If someone in the family has any dietary restrictions, please notify hotels and tour operators before your vacation begins.

Some of the hotels and inns in Costa Rica are in isolated places. Places where, to go to the supermarket, you have to literally take a boat for one or two hours to buy milk or eggs.

A vacation with kids in Costa Rica

When staff knows in advance that someone who cannot digest lactose or gluten, or who is allergic to tomatoes is arriving, they will do whatever is necessary to create a menu specially designed for your family.

But you have to let them know in advance.

Regarding food, sometimes kids can starve before eating “weird” food.

When we are kids, we distrust anything edible that is strange to the usual.

They have more sensitive taste buds and flavors are much more intense. Something that, for us adults, tastes unpleasant for them is simply terrible.

So, logically, they prefer to eat a hamburger daily rather than try a delicious tropical fruit or a new vegetable.

It is important to negotiate with them and let them know that in Costa Rica there is pasta, burgers, sausages and pizza. And that ice cream here tastes very good.

But there will also be rice and beans for breakfast, the delicious strangely looking fruits, and tortillas stuffed with chopped chayote or fresh cheese.

And part of teaching them to travel includes daring them to try the unknown. Your vacation with kids in Costa Rica will be much easier if meals are distributed between the known and what is yet to be discovered.

If both parents come, it is important to leave some activities only with mom and others only with dad.

Vacations are for the whole family. An idea that works very well is to hire a tutor to be with you throughout the trip. That way, the whole family can enjoy the vacation.

Bilingual tutors are a vital figure for tours where kids can get bored or cannot come due to age or weight, or for night tours that could end late (turtle nesting, for example).

They are not the usual babysitters. They are staff trained to deal with children and help contain them in places strange to them.

The other option is to find out if hotels offer babysitting service for specific days or nights so you can enjoy a tour or even a romantic night at a restaurant.

However, if for some reason you do not want to have a tutor or babysitter for your children, it may be important to create a balance where the mother stays at the hotel spa, while Dad goes horseback riding with the kids.

Or dad watches the game in the hotel sports bar while mom goes kayaking with the kids.

You have to create rest spaces for the adults in charge. Vacations are for everyone.

A word about WIFI in Costa Rica

Wifi. Magic words for any kid or teenager. They will be on their phones if they have a Wi-Fi signal to hang on to.

During your vacation with kids in Costa Rica you may find yourself calling your kids’ attention so they let go of their phones, if you don’t talk to them and negotiate cell phone use.

A vacation with kids in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not the place to walk with your head down. There are so many things to see, and sometimes all you get is a quick glimpse.

From Baird’s tapir to a morpho butterfly, the sighting can be so fast that by the time they look up, all they see is you saying, “Didn’t you see it?”

It is essential that kids understand this and that almost all hotels have Wi-Fi zones, but not everywhere will they find signal in their rooms or even in the restaurant.

Costa Rica is a child-friendly country.

In general, kids are very welcome, and people are willing to talk and share everything with them. From a fruit stand to watching wildlife.

A vacation with kids in Costa Rica
Photo from Selvatura Park, in Monteverde.

It is a very usual thing for Costa Ricans to give priority to a family with small children, and in general, Costa Ricans are super willing to play and smile with kids. Be mindful, of course. We all know the risks that children face these days, but don’t let fear get in the way of allowing your children to truly experience what traveling abroad is all about.


Planning a vacation to Costa Rica with kids can seem daunting, but with some preparation and insider tips, it can be an incredibly rewarding adventure for the whole family. Costa Rica offers amazing wildlife encounters, fun outdoor activities, and beautiful scenery to ignite kids’ curiosity and sense of wonder.

By researching ahead of time, packing properly, setting expectations about food and technology, and finding the right balance of family time and parent time, you’ll set yourselves up for a smooth and memorable trip. Lean on local tour operators like Epic Adventures Costa Rica to help craft an itinerary suited to your family’s interests and needs.

Costa Rica’s warmth and natural beauty make it a fabulous destination to bond with your children. Follow this advice, and your family will create moments and memories in Costa Rica that you’ll all cherish for years to come.

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