Beyond Manuel Antonio's lush nature trails, you'll find pristine stretches of sand that are perfect for outdoor family getaways. Continue past a few of the park's busier beaches to Playa Biesanz. Nestled in a picturesque cove and backed by rich jungle terrain, the beach's calm turquoise waters are excellent for swimming with young ones. While more secluded than other area beaches, the spot is a favorite among local families. You’re not likely to encounter many vendors - so pack a lunch if you plan to picnic on the scenic sands.
Load the family onto a deluxe catamaran for an inspiring sail to an idyllic isle that offers outdoor experiences for both adults and children. Clear placid waters are perfect for beginner snorkelers and advanced undersea explorers alike. Palm-lined sands invite parents to kick back while the kids play volleyball or investigate unique rock formations on shore. Nature hikes to discover diverse wildlife are optimal for any age. Ready to take your island adventure up a notch? Hop on a banana boat and take an exhilarating ride that promises a splashing good time for the whole family.
A short drive from Jacó Beach, the lush haven is a superb spot for immersing the kids in unspoiled nature along easy trails. With a certified naturalist as a guide, children can learn about the remarkable array of rare birds that reside in the sanctuary. The park is home to the country’s largest population of scarlet macaws, as well as exotic parrots, parakeets and colorful jacamars. Spanning both dry and tropical rainforest, Carara is incredibly bio-diverse and you’re apt to come across capuchin monkeys, red brocket deer and three-toed sloths. Bounded by the Tárcoles River, the park also offers the family a safe spot for viewing crocodiles.
A few of the more challenging nature hikes in Costa Rica can be too rigorous for little ones. So why not climb aboard a custom safari 4x4 for a panoramic drive into the upper reaches of a rainforest? In the comfort of a shaded open-air vehicle, the whole family can delve deep into the lush landscape to experience some of Costa Rica’s most-secluded waterfalls. Take breaks at smaller cascades that empty into cool natural basins. Refresh in the rushing waters of a massive waterfall that gives way to placid pools with jump-off points for the more adventurous members of the family. Then head to lookout points and take in sweeping views of Pacific waters, sandy beaches and a breathtaking rainforest canopy.
Speaking of scenic rides through nature, adventurers of all ages will revel in a smooth tram trip through a verdant landscape. A certified naturalist offers insights into the diverse flora and fauna you pass on an ascent into the rainforest, gliding over waterfalls and streams that are tucked into unspoiled stretches of nature as white-faced monkeys swing through the forest trees. Disembark at a soaring spot where hands-free zipline rides down the mountain complete your outdoor adventure.