Tips for A Family Trip to Costa Rica

Written by Lorie Caouette

This trip to Costa Rica really was a wonderful family experience, but I have to admit it was no easy thing!

The first reason, Costa Rica is wide. To fully understand our family trip itinerary and our favourite kid-friendly activities, here you go.

Then, well, even though my children are happy to be travelling, they remain children. They fight, they’re hungry (all the time!), and “are we there yet?” is their favourite question. So, yes, we’re a normal family, no worries!

If you’re also planning on visiting Costa Rica with your kids, I am sharing with you here my tips and advice for the organization of a family trip to Costa Rica that will live up to your expectations, I hope.

PLAN A HEALTHY RHYTHM AND TAKE YOUR TIME

As I mentioned in the intro, Costa Rica is a vast country. We want to see it all, but we often have to adapt the trip’s length, so it remains budget-friendly at the risk of overloading your schedule. It isn’t always necessary to do as much as possible, so the trip is memorable, this is something this trip taught me. You need to keep some free time to relax, have fun, and to enjoy the moment! Really live the Pura Vida and the slow rhythm of Costa Rica!

EATING IN COSTA RICA

When you take off with your kids, eating is often worrisome! Even more, if you decide to take a trip away from the resorts, as we did.

Going to the grocery store and cooking is a great economical solution, but it requires you to take the time to go to the grocery store and cook. Back to the previous point: no schedule overloading!

It’s easy to shop and to find similar products like those we have here. But with our Canadian dollar exchange rate, no luck!

As for the restaurants, we ate very well! We chose to eat at more touristic restaurants since my kids are a little picky. But you also can spot “sodas” almost everywhere, some small local restaurants offering traditional food at low costs.

Here is a list of my personal best eating spots in Costa Rica

INSECTS

You can’t speak of tropical climates without mentioning insects. Some are small, and some are big. Brace yourself! So, yes, you’ll need mosquito-repellent. I didn’t pay much attention to it at the beginning of the trip, and we felt nothing on our first hike. Or was it at dinner that night? Long story short, I woke up the next morning with at least 20 mosquito bites on my legs! Oops…

Ants are also patiently waiting in the dark for any crumb before the invasion. They’re everywhere! My piece of advice: bring large resealable bags like “Ziploc” to preserve any opened container of food on the counter or in your bag. It’s also quite useful to make ice packs using ice cubes.

SECURITY: BE CAREFUL, BUT DON’T OVERREACT

As I did my research, I read a lot about theft in vehicles or on the beach. So you lock everything up, park in busy areas, and leave no valuables in plain sight or in an unattended bag.

It made me anxious in the beginning, but when I think about it again, we always felt we were safe as we were visiting.

PLAN YOUR BUDGET

What I thought was a little less fun of Costa Rica is it was expensive.

You have to pay everywhere. To see animals, enter national parks, access their trails, go sightseeing at a waterfall, and park… even as you park along the street, somebody’s waiting around the corner to make you pay! And for the big touristic attractions, watch out!

The choice is always in your hands, whether it’s for the dwellings, the trip’s length, or the chosen activities. All you need is good planning and to have an emergency/spontaneous craving budget.

Here are the best dwellings we stayed in, in Costa Rica:

And a list of the best activities we did in Costa Rica:

Baldi Hot spring, La Fortuna

Sky adventure arenal park, La Fortuna

This post was translated from French to English by:

Sophie Dumais
My name is Sophie, a passionate language learner, and a full-time dog mom. Long walks, soothing cups of tea, Japanese learning and the search for beauty are my everyday life. Slowly but surely is how I do things, contemplating the peaceful ways of time and the enchanting notion of living the moment.

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