Destinations
Browse our tour ideas by category

Costa Rica Road Trip For Families With Children

  • Highlights
Our fully customizable, private 12-day Costa Rica tour has been designed for families traveling with children aged 12 and under. Your tour starts and ends in San José, taking you on a journey to see the country's natural highlights before spending three days relaxing in the sunshine on the Central Pacific Coast. Fun, adventure, and wildlife guaranteed!Kids will love...• Meeting tuca...

Our fully customizable, private 12-day Costa Rica tour has been designed for families traveling with children aged 12 and under. Your tour starts and ends in San José, taking you on a journey to see the country's natural highlights before spending three days relaxing in the sunshine on the Central Pacific Coast. Fun, adventure, and wildlife guaranteed!

Kids will love...

• Meeting tucans, sloths, and tree frogs at La Paz Waterfall Gardens

• Walking over the jungle canopy at the mysterious Monteverde Cloud Forest

• Swimming or snorkeling on Manuel Antonio's child-friendly beaches

Parents will love...

• The perfect balance of family-friendly activities and downtime

• The freedom of having a rental car (with booster seats for little ones if required)

• The safety of 24:7 on-the-ground assistance

See more

Customizable tour itinerary

This tour idea is fully customizable

This itinerary has been crafted by our Local Agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and your interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: San José - Arrival & Welcome

Upon arrival, you'll be met by a representative from our local travel agency and transferred to your hotel. Depending on the time of your flight, you and your family will have the whole day to relax and acclimatise to the weather or explore your surroundings on foot.

Transfer time: 45 minutes

Visited:
San José

Day 2: La Paz Waterfall Gardens - Guided Wildlife Tour

Today, your adventure begins. After breakfast, you'll set off for a half-day guided visit of the stunning La Paz Waterfall Gardens: a paradise for wildlife lovers! As well as visiting the world-famous Butterfly and Frog Gardens, your family will come up close with tucans, sloths, and wild cats, on a gentle walk that will take you to the site of three cascading waterfalls.

Transfer and tour time: 5 hours (1 hour transfer each way, 3 hour visit)

Visited:
San José

Day 3: La Fortuna - Arenal Volcano & Hot Springs

Today, you'll pick up your rental car and set off La Fortuna, home to the lush landscapes of Arenal Volcano. In the afternoon, you'll have time to put your feet up and relax in the hotel's hot springs.

Drive time: 3 hours

Visited:
Arenal Volcano La Fortuna

Day 4: La Fortuna - River Safari

After breakfast, you'll set off on a gentle safari floating through the calm waters of Peñas Blancas River. This is a great way to observe the area's diverse wildlife, such as monkeys, sloths, waterbirds, lizards, bats, and tropical birds.

Drive and tour time: 4.30 hours (30 minute drive each way, 3.5 hour tour)

Visited:
La Fortuna

Day 5: Finca Vida Campesina - Local Farm Visit

Today, you'll get to experience life as a local by spending the morning on a farm to learn about the production of coffee and cacao! This fun, cultural visit is highly popular for families, allowing your children to harvest organic fruits like papaya, yucca, and avocado, as well as learning how a sugar cane press works. At the end of the morning, you'll all get to enjoy a hearty, fresh local lunch.

Drive and tour time: 3.30 hours (15 minute drive each way, 3 hour tour)

Visited:
La Fortuna

Day 6: Monteverde - Free Day & Optional Night Hike

Next stop: Monteverde Cloud Forest! The drive around Arenal Lake to Monteverde is a particularly beautiful one, and you'll arrive in the afternoon with the rest of the day free for you to relax, explore your surroundings by foot, or even join an optional night hike to see Monteverde's nocturnal inhabitants.

Drive time: 3 hours

Visited:
Arenal Monteverde

Day 7: Monteverde Cloud Forest - Hanging Bridges

Get ready for one of the highlights of your tour: walking over Monteverde's famous Hanging Bridges! Keep on the lookout for birds and animals hiding in the jungle canopy. If you're not too tired in the afternoon, you can go on to visit the colourful Butterfly Gardens or Frog & Snake Garden (optional).

Drive and tour time: 3 hours (30 minute drive each way, 2 hour easy walk on Hanging Bridges)

Visited:
Monteverde

Day 8: Manuel Antonio National Park - Beach Paradise

For the second part of your Costa Rican family adventure, you'll be spending three days on the Central Pacific Coast on one of the world's most beautiful beaches. You'll arrive in Manuel Antonio in the afternoon and have the entire evening to relax in the hotel pool or take a dip in the ocean after your journey.

Drive time: 5 hours

Visited:
Manuel Antonio

Days 9 to 10: Manuel Antonio National Park - Free Day

Today, you'll be free to do as little or as much as you'd like. Either wind down on the beach, or take part in some optional activities. We recommend that you visit Manuel Antonio National Park, a family favourite. The park offers easy hiking trails and is a fantastic place to spot wildlife: cappuchin monkeys, coatis, morpho butterflies, and sloths. The beaches within the park are also great for swimming. Some further optional activities for kids include:
• Snorkelling or sea kayaking
• A catamaran cruise
• Another jungle canopy tour

​​Free time all day

Visited:
Manuel Antonio

Day 11: Manuel Antonio - Back to San José

Enjoy your last morning on the beach before your afternoon drive back to San José. Upon arrival, you'll return your rental car and can spend the evening resting up in your hotel before your flight home the following day.

Drive time: 3 hours

Visited:
Manuel Antonio

Day 12: San José - Departure for Flight Home

Enjoy a last breakfast at the hotel before your transfer to the airport. We hope you've had an amazing time in Costa Rica and look forward to seeing you again soon!

Transfer time: 15 minutes

Visited:
San José

San José Arenal Volcano La Fortuna Arenal Monteverde Manuel Antonio

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. $2,450 / 12 days
Excluding international flights
Adults (price per person) Children under 12 (price per person)
Low Season - 1st December to 30th April $2,420 $400
High Season - 1st May to 30th November $2,630 $400

Included in price:

  • Accommodation: 11 nights, based on 2 adults and 2 children (under 12) sharing a room
  • Transfers: to/from airport on days 1 & 12
  • Transport: 4x4 rental car from days 2 to 11, including rent, full insurance cover, a GPS, 2nd driver, and child booster seat (if required)
  • Activities: all activities mentioned in the tour (except optional activities on days 6, 7, 9, 10 & 11)
  • Entry: to all sites/parks
  • Meals: breakfast x 11, lunch x 3 (on days 2, 5 & 7)
  • Guides: English-speaking guide for activities on days 2, 4 & 5
  • Welcome kit & local gift for your children upon arrival
  • 24:7 on-the-ground assistance

Not included in price:

  • International flights
  • Deposit for rental car
  • Optional tours
  • Tips for drivers/guides
  • Visas
  • Dinner, and lunch on days not specified in 'The price includes'
  • Personal expenses
  • Extras at the hotels (such as laundry)

Itinerary not quite right for you?

Create your custom-made trip Browse all tour ideas in Costa Rica (14)

Other tour ideas

Elsewhere in the world