After a decade of planning the safest and most adventurous tours in and around Jaco and Los Suenos, Costa Rica, we are excited to provide this advice for families who are considering bringing their little ones on a Central American vacation.
Skip the Hotel and Stay in a Condo
There are many options for condo rentals right on the beach. You’ll find the opportunity to stay in half a million dollar rentals for a fraction of the cost per night. We have great options for multi-bedroom condos that let your family feel right at home. Bringing kiddos to Costa Rica is easier when you have a kitchen, dishwasher and a washer/dryer at your disposal. We like the option of condo living because you can pack less while staying longer. The ocean current is strong in Costa Rica and the waves are big at all times of the day. Most of the higher-end rentals have a clean swimming pool right outside of the condo units which makes cooling off from the mid-day sun easy.
Cook At Home
The Tico way of eating is local, fresh and without a ton of fuss. It is easy to drop by the local grocery store to pick up food to make lunch or dinner. Your kids will love waking up to yogurt and fresh fruits served at home rather than in the confines of a restaurant. Also, there are a variety of farmers markets in Costa Rica. The one in Jaco happens every Friday and is located near the city center. Families visiting Costa Rica will love the vibrancy of the farmers markets and the fun of shopping for exotic fruits. Let your kiddos use their Spanish with the vendors who are appreciative and kind to those learning their language.
Beach, Beach and More Beach
The easiest way to enjoy the beauty of the Costa Rican coastline is in the morning. The warm early morning sun happens to coincide with the natural schedule of most toddlers and small kiddos. There is great family time to be had at the beach in the morning. You’ll meet kids from all over the world enjoying playing in the warm Pacific Ocean. Grab your sunscreen, beach towel and sunglasses and head out to the coast with your coffee in-hand. The sun rises around the same time every day in Costa Rica so between 5:30 - 6:00 a.m. is prime beach time!
Animal Adventure Tours
One of the biggest draws to traveling to Jaco, Costa Rica is the proximity to wildlife. The animals of Costa Rica will open your kids’ minds in a way that a zoo or school can’t. There are many places along the beach where the almond trees attract wild scarlet macaws. You will love the excitement that your family will feel when you hear their loud call a few seconds before these amazing birds arrive to feed on the nut trees. The monkey tours and crocodile adventures are another way to spend the morning (or the day) with your family that textbooks only try to describe. Although the tours are centered around certain animal experiences, what the guidebooks do not tell you is that your family will love being close to tiny red crabs that line the muddy shores of mangroves. Your kids will point and smile when they see the tall colorful birds that are attracted to the fish that live in the Tarcoles River where crocodiles swim lazily in the brackish water (where the fresh water meets the Pacific ocean water). They will also become accustomed to pointing out the tiny lizards that run on top of the river water.
Jungle tours are a great way to show your family how different life is, and can be, in this exotic part of the world. These adventures are amazing for all ages as everyone will appreciate something different in the Costa Rican rainforest. The adults in your group tour usually love the photo opportunities and budding photographers will enjoy the ability to take once in a lifetime photographs of waterfalls and trees that are as tall as New York skyscrapers. The teenagers in your family will connect most with the adventure of being “lost” in a complete sea of rainforest trees and the rush of jumping from the top of a crystal clear waterfall into the water that pools below. Even the older adventurers in your group, retirees and grandparents, embrace the experience of stumbling upon hidden restaurants that are tucked away in mountainside pueblos. The jungle tours that are available outside of Jaco, Costa Rica are more than just “jungle” experiences. They provide insight into the lifestyle that is only available in this rural Central America.
Adventure Tours Costa Rica is a one-stop shop for all things “Costa Rica.” From housing to transport to tours, we are an all inclusive option for families and groups looking for once in a lifetime adventures near and around Jaco and Los Suenos, Costa Rica.