12 Day Costa Rica with Kids Tour: Cloud Forest, Volcano and Beach
Tour Length: 12+ Days
Destinations: Cloud Forest Arenal Volcano Rincon de la Vieja Volcano Nicoya Peninsula Beach
All tours include a Private Naturalist Guide for your family
Day 1: ARRIVAL IN COSTA RICA – BIENVENIDOS!
Arrive at Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) in Liberia. Hotel shuttle to nearby hotel.
Days 2-4: ARENAL VOLCANO or RINCON de la VIEJA VOLCANO and HOT SPRINGS
Your private guide picks you up in the morning for the transfer to your first location (2.5 hrs). The tour begins! Transfer to La Fortuna, at the foot of a spectacular classic cone-shaped volcano. OR transfer to nearby Hacienda Guachipelin lodge near Rincon de la Vieja Volcano (30 min). 3 nights.
Choose your optional activities with your guide. Check out old lava flows (and maybe current smoke) of Volcan Arenal. Those interested in adventure and scenery can opt for the steep hike to a spectacular waterfall (La Catarata de la Fortuna) with refreshing swimming holes. An afternoon family visit to Hot Springs (Baldi, Tabacon, or Los Laureles) with volcanically heated springs is fun too- there are one or two pools that are cool enough for even babies at each. There’s a great hanging bridges walk or tram ride through the rainforest canopy here for everyone and a zipline for those over 8. You have a good chance to see a sloth and poison dart frogs at EcoCentro Danaus or check out traditional cultural food, sugar cane candy and visit a school with Cultour at Casona Rio Fortuna.
OR at Hacienda Guachipelin visit waterfalls and hot springs on lodge grounds at no extra cost or sign up for an activity like tubing, canyon ziplining, waterfall rappelling, horseback riding, etc. Take a nature walk through geologically active Rincon de la Vieja national park and see bubbling mud pots up close and a smoking crater in the distance. Hot springs and lots of river swimming opportunities.
Days 5-7: MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST
Leave Arenal Volcano for Monteverde. Take the scenic drive around Lake Arenal with your guide (4 hrs) or sign up for the Jeep/Boat/Jeep transport ($25pp, 3 hrs) and take a shortcut across the lake. OR from Rincon, it’s 3 hr drive. Monteverde is a cloud forest community settled by Quakers that boasts a large forest preserve with some of the most diverse plant and animal life anywhere in the world. You have 3 nights here.
Choose your optional activities with your guide. A naturalist guided hike at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, neighboring Santa Elena Cloud Forest Preserve or new Curi Cancha Wildlife Refuge is a must. The frog zoo is a hit with younger kids and everyone enjoys the hummingbirds zooming around the Hummingbird Gallery. Families with older kids may enjoy the adventurous horseback ride to San Luis waterfalls. Stop in at CASEM, a women’s cooperative selling local art and souvenirs. Check out the cloud forest canopy from a bird’s-eye view from the hanging bridges or zipline. Enjoy a tour of the cultural side of Costa Rica at El Trapiche with fun hands-on bits for the kids.
Days 8-10: NICOYA PENINSULA BEACH, PLAYA SAMARA
Transfer to the lovely Playa Samara beach (3.5 hrs), a popular swimmable sandy beach. The long stretch of shallow waves protected by a reef makes this a perfect beach for kids to learn to surf or just jump in the waves. Your guide will drop you off here and you can relax on the beach and play in the sand as a family. The guided portion of your tour ends with the drop off here. Stay at a small lodge with a pool within a block of the beach! 3 nights.
Just hang out and relax or book an activity through your lodge: surfing lessons are a lot of fun and kids as young as 4 can participate. Snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding and dolphin-watching tours are all possible.
Day 1: HEAD BACK TO LIBERIA
Time for one more dip in the ocean in the morning. Then head back to your hotel in Liberia near the airport (a little more than 2 hours) via pre-reserved private transport.
Day 12: TRANSFER OUT – ADIOS and GRACIAS!
Transfer (10 minutes) to Airport in Liberia by hotel shuttle.
Please note: Global Family Adventures strives to follow the schedule, but changes may be made due to weather conditions and interesting new opportunities.