A family vacation in Costa Rica might be the best idea for a great lifetime memory of your time together. Going abroad with the kids is always a good idea and it might be a fantastic learning and fun experience for the whole family in Manuel Antonio; we are always prepared for it!
Costa Rica is a great country. We all know that, Right? However, you might not know that it is one of the world’s most “children-friendly” countries. It is a huge amusement park amid breathtaking tropical rainforests. Costa Rica is filled with adventures, wildlife sightings, delicious food, and fantastic accommodations.
A Costa Rica family vacation is the perfect time for the kids. You just have to know some secrets that we, Costa Rican parents, know very well.
However, lack of preparation may spoil a family vacation in Costa Rica. Traveling with kids is as exhausting as it is rewarding. For starters, kids’ energy seems endless, and you are on permanent alert, enjoying the experience and guarding the safety and well-being of the kid. It is fantastic to see them enjoy a new experience, but it is strenuous, to say the least.
So, here are some ideas for a great fun Costa Rica family vacation:
Involve your children in the planning of your family vacation in Costa Rica.
Sometimes we want to surprise them, and by doing so, we exclude them from one of the most fun parts of traveling: dreaming!
But they can also give their opinion on what is most important for them, choose a destination or a tour and start watching documentaries and videos about the Costa Rican places you are about to visit.
This also arouses their interest in the regions they will visit: Some of the animals you may want to look for with them are the two and three-toed sloths, poison dart frogs, and the four species of monkeys in Costa Rica. Spider, howler, white-faced, and squirrel.
Work with a local travel agency to plan your vacation.
No, we are not stating this to sell our services.
Working with a local travel agency on your family vacation in Costa Rica means you have someone on your side who knows Spanish, knows about the system and rates, and most likely has contacts in the appropriate areas.
A travel agency can recommend hotels based on their location. You may assume you’d find out about those things on Trip Advisor or similar sites, but you’d be wrong. However, Trip Advisor will not provide you with an English-speaking pediatrician’s contact information.
Get tour guides
Having a driver and tour guide with you throughout the trip will truly make a difference for your family vacation in Costa Rica.
We are a tiny country, and the hospitality industry is even smaller, which means everybody knows everybody. A tour guide will give its best to have you happy and satisfied at all times. He or she will help you distract the kids, teach them things, and may turn into your right hand in Costa Rica.
There is even the chance to hire a tutor to travel with the children.
If for any reason you cannot or wouldn’t get a tour guide and/or a tutor for the children, we highly recommend you to hire local guides for your hiking trips in the forest. With children, you are never too cautious, and to go with someone who knows the trails is quite essential.
Take a first aid kit.
The shuttle vans and tour guides always have first-aid kits but no pills. They are no longer carried owing to legal danger. Consult your physician for advice on what drugs to bring to your family vacation in Costa Rica.
This city’s medical services are excellent, and pharmacies are sometimes easy to find, but why is the risk of not finding what your child needs? Take it with you.
When packing for the kids, consider disposable clothes, especially socks.
Family vacations in Costa Rica are full of adventure, animals, and the environment, which means you may be walking down a trail and get soaked. The route may be muddy, but the monkeys are just behind it! You may also be caving, climbing, or kayaking in a mangrove.
Clothes get soiled or drenched rapidly in Costa Rica, and because of Costa Ricas’ drive for sustainability, there are many areas where dryers are scarce.
It’s best to keep damp garments in a plastic bag and take them to a dry cleaner. Or resign and abandon them!
It is far more convenient to pack old clothing and two pairs of socks every day (one to throw away).
Wear dark colors when visiting the jungle to prevent attracting hummingbirds, bees, and wasps.
When selecting an activity, look for those with a minimum age or weight requirements.
Your five-year-old could be allowed on the zip line where you’re going; after all, some sites allow it. It isn’t always so.
Although Costa Rican security rules apply to all travel companies, they may vary. Owners differ in their caution. Maybe they’ve had longer wires or different geography.
Some tours during your family vacation in Costa Rica have age, height, or weight restrictions, while others don’t. Just make sure your kid can do it. It is a bummer to plan, think about it, dream about it and then find that they cannot do it because of size, height, or weight restrictions.
Tour companies are often strict when it comes to regulations and consequences. So forget about persuading anyone that you’ll be able to free your child once you arrive. It won’t happen.
Inform hotels and tour providers of your child’s food allergies before your vacation
Some hotels and resorts in Costa Rica are in distant places. They must take a boat for an hour or two to get milk or eggs.
They will go out of their way to prepare a meal for you and your family, mainly if they know you have a special diet.
Notify them in advance.
Your child may go hungry before experimenting with new foods.
When we were young, anything edible that appeared unusual was disgusting. And they prefer fast food over trying a new tropical fruit or vegetable.
Negotiate with them and explain that spaghetti, burgers, hot dogs, and pizza are available during your family vacation in Costa Rica
Toasted tortillas loaded with sliced chayote (also known as a vegetable pear in English) or fresh cheese will be served for breakfast.
If both parents travel, split the tours
Vacations are for the whole family. It’s a terrific idea to hire a tutor to join you on your trip. So the whole family can enjoy the holiday.
Children may become distracted or unable to attend owing to age or weight, or night excursions may conclude late (turtle nesting, for instance).
Find out whether the hotels offer childcare on certain days or evenings when you go on a tour or have a special dinner.
If you don’t want to pay for a tutor or babysitter, you may have mom relax in the hotel spa while dad goes trekking with the kids or have dad watch the game at the resort sports bar while mom goes kayaking.
Make a rest spot for you guys.
A word regarding WIFI in Costa Rica: These are beautiful words for any child or adolescent. They’ll be on their phones if there’s Wi-Fi.
On the other hand, Costa Rica is not a place to roam around blindly. There’s a lot to see, yet you only get a peek. Anything might arrive so quickly from a Baird’s Tapir to a Morpho butterfly that your kids will only remark, “Aaah, I didn’t see that!”
Notify them that while most resorts provide Wi-Fi, not all of them will have a signal in the restaurant or the guestrooms. Especially lodges surrounded by rainforest.
Bring your children to Costa Rica.
Children are welcomed, and adults are eager to speak with and support them. Allow your kids to enjoy the many smiles and presents (typically fruit and candy) that strangers will shower them with.
Children frequently get priority at banks, government agencies, and even grocery stores. And everyone wants happy kids.
Learn about it and enjoy it. It’s wonderful.
If you come to Manuel Antonio as part of your family vacation in Costa Rica, please let us know, and we will help you in all ways we can!
Enjoy and Pura Vida!