Costa Rica With Kids

Discover Top Things To Do With Your Family

Embarking on a family vacation to Costa Rica unveils a world of excitement and discovery, where captivating activities await kids and parents alike. With its breathtaking landscapes and abundant natural wonders, Costa Rica sets the stage for an unforgettable journey filled with immersive experiences that cater to every member of the family. From the thrill of high-flying ziplines to the gentle rhythm of kayaking through pristine waters, the opportunities for bonding and exploration are as endless as the smiles on your kids’ faces.

In this article, we unveil the best 5 family activities to do in Costa Rica, ensuring that your family creates cherished memories while embracing the vibrant spirit of this captivating Central American gem. So, pack your sense of adventure and get ready to embark on a whirlwind of activities that will leave your kids – and you – with hearts full of joy and a deeper connection to the beauty of Costa Rica.


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5 Top Things to do in Costa Rica With Kids

Learn How to Surf

Surfing isn’t just a sport; it’s a way of life in Costa Rica. The country’s vast coastline boasts some of the world’s best waves, making it an ideal destination for families seeking an active and engaging getaway.


What sets learning to surf apart as a quintessential Costa Rican family activity is its ability to seamlessly blend learning with leisure. Kids will not only develop coordination, balance, and strength as they paddle and ride the waves, but they’ll also gain a deeper understanding of the ocean, its currents, and the importance of environmental preservation. Instructors often take the opportunity to educate young surfers about marine life and the delicate ecosystems that thrive beneath the water’s surface, instilling a sense of responsibility and stewardship for the natural world.


Costa Rica’s surfing schools are well-equipped to cater to beginners of all ages, ensuring that even the youngest members of the family can participate in this invigorating water sport. A favorite for families and beginner surfers is the beach in Tamarindo.


Read more: Surfing in Costa Rica



Kayaking Adventures

Embarking on a kayaking adventure in Costa Rica is a remarkable experience that promises thrills and unforgettable family bonding. The lush landscapes, teeming with biodiversity, set the perfect backdrop for paddling through the country’s pristine waters.

Picture this: gliding along tranquil rivers, your kids’ eyes widening as they spot colorful birds overhead and playful monkeys swinging through the treetops. The gentle rhythm of paddling creates a soothing ambiance, allowing families to connect with each other and with the pristine environment that surrounds them.


Some of the best kayaking destinations in Costa Rica include:


Tortuguero National Park is reachable exclusively via boat or plane, offering a unique adventure for kayaking enthusiasts along its canals, where they can spot wildlife including monkeys, sloths, and various bird species.

Manuel Antonio National Park is an excellent choice for visitors who want to enjoy both kayaking and snorkeling. Guests can kayak along the scenic coastline, discover hidden beaches, and then dive into snorkeling in the pristine, clear waters.

Lake Arenal is encircled by breathtaking landscapes, notably the majestic Arenal Volcano. Kayaking by the lakeshore allows you to take in the stunning vistas of the volcano and the verdant rainforest surrounding it.

Ziplining Through Canopy Marvels

If you’re looking for the perfect getaway that combines thrill, nature, and quality time with your kids, then look no further than ziplining through the canopy marvels of Costa Rica. This sky-high family expedition promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave both parents and kids in awe.


Zip lines are available that cater to children starting from the age of four. Instead of an age restriction, some operators implement minimum or maximum weight limits for participants. Generally, a guide will fly with young children to keep them safe.

Regardin security, know that Costa Rica heavily regulates its tourism industry and has strict safety standards.
Your zip line adventure will be guided by skilled and certified instructors. During the zip line experience, you’ll be secured with at least two carabiners attached to the cable at all times. As you arrive at each platform, the carabiners are moved one after the other to ensure you remain continuously connected to a cable. Wearing a helmet is mandatory for all participants.


The Aventura Canopy Tour in Monteverde holds the title for the longest zip line in Costa Rica and Latin America, stretching an impressive 5,217 feet.

Wildlife Exploration

Embarking on a wildlife exploration journey in Costa Rica with kids is like stepping into a living classroom. One of the best family activities is a guided jungle trek through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. This enchanting experience introduces children to the wonders of a misty cloud forest, where they can spot elusive creatures like howler monkeys, colorful birds, and vibrant insects. The thrill of witnessing these animals in their natural habitat fosters a sense of awe and appreciation for the delicate balance of life in the rainforest.


For those seeking aquatic adventures, the coastal areas of Costa Rica offer an array of activities that seamlessly blend education and excitement. A snorkeling tour in the crystalline waters of Manuel Antonio National Park allows kids to observe marine life up close, from playful dolphins to graceful sea turtles. The park’s diverse marine ecosystem serves as a captivating backdrop for an educational exploration of underwater flora and fauna. Head to Diamante Eco Adventure Park for an encounter with wildlife and to experience the cultural tour. This spot is a favorite for family vacations in Costa Rica! Enjoy the chance to observe incredible wildlife in proximity and dive into the rich Costa Rican culture.


Read More: Wildlife in Costa Rica

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding offers an enchanting method to discover the scenic landscapes of Costa Rica, allowing adventurers to traverse through verdant rainforests, beside unspoiled beaches, amid quaint rural villages, and around cascading waterfalls. There are tours all accross the country:


Arenal stands out as an exceptional location for horseback riding adventures. Opt for a ride through La Fortuna’s lush rainforest, near the majestic Arenal Volcano, and pause to marvel at the stunning waterfall cascading from 229 feet (70 meters). This journey offers more than just breathtaking views of the rainforest and waterfall; it also presents opportunities to spot diverse bird species and monkeys swinging through the trees.


The Buenavista tour near Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste province offers another splendid horseback riding experience. This trail, winding along the volcano’s flank, leads us through enchanting forests, culminating in a visit to the soothing hot springs at the trail’s end.

Safety First: Tips for Enjoying Family Adventures in Costa Rica

Embarking on family adventures in Costa Rica is a thrilling experience that promises unforgettable moments for both parents and kids. As you delve into the best family activities this captivating destination has to offer, it’s essential to prioritize safety to ensure a worry-free and enjoyable vacation.

Costa Rica’s diverse landscapes and engaging activities provide a wealth of opportunities for families to create lasting memories, and by following these safety tips, you can make the most of your journey.

  1.  Choose Kid-Friendly Activities: Costa Rica boasts a plethora of activities suitable for kids of all ages. From guided wildlife tours to gentle river rafting, select activities that align with your children’s interests and comfort levels. Opt for reputable tour operators with a strong safety record, and inquire about age and height restrictions to ensure the activities are suitable for your little adventurers.
  2. Stay Hydrated and Sun-Protected: The tropical climate of Costa Rica calls for proactive measures to stay hydrated and shielded from the sun’s rays. Encourage your kids to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during outdoor excursions. Apply sunscreen liberally and provide wide-brimmed hats and lightweight clothing to minimize sun exposure during your activities.
  3. Follow Expert Guidance: When engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking, zip-lining, or snorkeling, it’s crucial to follow expert guidance and adhere to safety instructions. Properly fitted equipment and adherence to rules ensure that your family can enjoy these exhilarating adventures while minimizing risks.
  4. Maintain Vigilance near Water: Costa Rica’s stunning coastline and pristine beaches offer opportunities for water-based activities such as swimming and snorkeling. However, ocean conditions can change rapidly. Always supervise your kids closely when they are in or near the water, and be cautious of strong currents and waves.
  5. Prioritize Insect Protection: While exploring Costa Rica’s lush jungles and rainforests, insect protection is essential to prevent bug bites and potential illnesses. Apply insect repellent to exposed skin and dress in long-sleeved clothing to reduce exposure, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  6. Respect Wildlife from a Distance: Encountering wildlife is one of the highlights of Costa Rica’s family activities. Teach your kids to observe animals from a respectful distance and avoid feeding or attempting to touch them. This approach ensures both your family’s safety and the preservation of the country’s unique ecosystems.

Read more: Is Costa Rica safe to travel?


Read More: Best Family Destinationsin Costa Rica

FAQ: Costa Rica Family Activities

What are some of the best family activities to enjoy in Costa Rica?

Surfing, kayaking, wildlife watching, cultural encounters, and ziplining are among the top options.

Can families with kids enjoy surfing in Costa Rica?

Absolutely! Costa Rica offers gentle waves suitable for beginners and kids learning to surf. Yes, there are surf schools that offer kid-friendly lessons with experienced instructors.

What is a must-do water activity for families in Costa Rica?

Kayaking in the calm waters of Costa Rica’s bays and estuaries is a must-do water activity for families.

What's an exciting adventure activity for families in Costa Rica

Ziplining through lush rainforests is an exhilarating adventure that families can enjoy together. Many ziplining operators have age and weight restrictions, but some offer tandem rides for younger kids to enjoy safely.

What's the best time to visit Costa Rica for these family activities?

The dry season from December to April is the ideal time for enjoying these family activities in Costa Rica.

Is it necessary to book these activities in advance?

While some activities can be booked on the spot, it’s recommended to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

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