Small, safe and laden with tropical adventure: Costa Rica is the perfect introduction to Central America for families. This trip transports you to the heart and soul of Costa Rica, with twelve days of culture, wildlife and adventure starting in the jungle and ending on the beach.   

This tailor-made holiday in Costa Rica begins in Bajos del Toro, a wild mix of misty cloud forest, extinct volcanoes and countless waterfalls. This is where wildlife rules supreme: watch your children’s eyes light up as they hear the roar of a howler monkey erupt from the jungle or glimpse a fluorescent flash of a hummingbird among the emerald foliage. You’ll explore the rainforest to its full potential, with opportunities to ride on horseback around the blackened slopes of Poás Volcano, yoga mornings among the tropical surrounds and thrilling walks to gushing waterfalls; never mind the kids, who wouldn’t get excited to see the Hidden Treasure Waterfall on a Costa Rica family adventure holiday with a name like that? After working up an appetite, pick your own herbs and vegetables and fashion your own hearty dish on a traditional cooking class. You’ll have fallen in love with the jungle by now no doubt, so make the ultimate sustainable tribute by planting your own tree. 

Next up, you’ll spend a few days in a luxury tented camp right under the gaze of one of Costa Rica’s icons: the charcoal-hued cone of Arenal volcano. If you want your children to be immersed in nature, this is the Costa Rica wildlife holiday to do it. Peeking above the canopy, your tent will have prime views of Volcán Arenal and the surrounding emerald rainforest. The camp has its own sloth sanctuary, so you’ll all have fun trying to spot these elusive creatures high up in the trees, while naturalist-led birdwatching tours will train your eye to spy toucans, oropendolas and more. To ramp up the excitement, rainforest walks after dark allow you to meet the jungle’s frogs. You’ll also spend time at an agroecological farm and archaeological ranch, where you can milk a cow, see how sugar cane is distilled into liquor and learn the indigenous method of making chocolate.

Arenal’s famed hot springs are a good way to recharge your batteries and a precursor to your final few days on your bespoke holiday to Costa Rica on the Papagayo Peninsula. An oasis with cashmere-soft sands backed by pristine jungle, this is the country’s ultimate coastal retreat. It’s a natural playground like no other, with a trio of beaches to get comfortable on and an abundance of water sports to enjoy, like stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkelling. Little explorers can head off on their own guided adventures, whether its mini conservation projects, exploring mangrove-fringed channels by outrigger canoe or off-radar mountain biking – all thrilling ways to round off this unforgettable family holiday.


Experience highlights

  • Hike through some of Costa Rica’s most pristine rainforest, alive with the sound of monkeys and rich birdlife. It may seem a simple pleasure but witnessing it through your children’s eyes for the first time is a completely different experience.
  • Put your own stamp of some of Costa Rica’s most beloved hearty dishes. Pick organic veggies and herbs before learning from a local chef to perfect your own tasty Tico recipe.
  • Plant a tree in a rejuvenated rainforest in Costa Rica. The tree you plant will provide a home for threatened wildlife and capture carbon – a rare opportunity to give back to the environment in such a special location.
  • Go on an expert-led birdwatching trip in Caño Negro near Arenal, home to well over four hundred different species. Finetune your binoculars and spot the likes of the scarlet-rumped tanager, Montezuma oropendola and Pacific screech-owl.
  • Visit a pair of campesino (rural native farmer) enterprises on a day tour. First, spend time at an agroecological farm to understand its sustainable traditions by helping to milk a cow and watch sugar cane distilled into liquor. Then, visit an archaeological ranch to unearth ancient artefacts and see how the indigenous community make chocolate.
  • Whizz along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast on an ocean cruise. Spot dolphins, whales and much more marine life – grab your snorkel and take a dip for a closer look.
Plan your trip to Costa Rica

Experience highlights

The farm-to-fork dining at El Silencio Lodge & Spa is sustainable cuisine at its best, with an onsite organic garden, trout farm and restaurant looking out over the jungle
Both children and adults will be able to take advantage of El Silencio Lodge's farm-to-fork prowess with a hands-on traditional cooking class
Stroll through the misty cloud forest of Bajos del Toro
Children are bound to get excited when they hear a howler monkey or spy a hummingbird
El Silencio Lodge offers plenty of experiences, including horseriding around the base of Poás Volcano
Guided hikes can also take you to many of the waterfalls hidden within Bajos del Toro
Before you leave the jungle, El Silencio Lodge will give you chance to plant your own tree – a special family moment
Nayara Tented Camp is inspired by the luxury camps you'd find in Africa and Asia
Nayara Tented Camp is entwined in its rainforested surrounds and even has its own sloth sanctuary
Every tent has prime views of the region's conical icon, Volcán Arenal
Practise yoga among your emerald-green surrounds
Spy toucans, oropendolas and tanagers on a birdwatching tour in Caño Negro
Visit a local agroecological farm, where you'll see how sugar cane is extracted and distilled into liquor
Spend time at a local ranch and see how indigenous people make chocolate from cacao fruit
End among the jungle-back beaches of the Papagayo Peninsula
Always trying to keep in touch with nature, the rooms at the Andaz Papagayo Resort resemble shell-like cocoon
Children can learn new skills at Andaz Papagayo Resort, from pottery painting to authentic cooking classes
Go on a family ocean cruise along Costa Rica's Pacific Coast to spot dolphins and whales
Kids can burn off energy snorkelling, stand-up paddle-boarding or kayaking from the Papagayo Peninsula's shores

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    Where you’ll stay

    Costa Rica

    El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Bajos del Toro

    Floating like a cloud in the rainforest canopy, you will never be more in touch with nature than at the El Silencio Lodge & Spa. This stunning eco-lodge is based in five hundred acres of Costa Rica’s Central Volcanic Valley, between the Juan Castro Blanco National Park and the Poás Volcano National Park. Its grounds feature a tropical forest, rivers winding through the picturesque emerald grounds and three waterfalls you can reach on treks led by the lodge’s resident guides.

    Costa Rica

    Nayara Tented Camp, La Fortuna

    Separate from the world and connect with nature at this award-winning luxury tented camp sitting above the rainforest. Inspired by the luxury lodges of Africa and Asia, every tent is slightly elevated above the jungle canopy so you’re treated to commanding vistas of Volcán Arenal, the area’s iconic cinder cone. There are so many ways to soak up the surrounding wilds, whether its spending time in the camp’s sloth sanctuary or embarking on birdwatching trips.

    Costa Rica

    Andaz Papagayo Resort, Papagayo Peninsula

    Boasting a trio of postcard-ready beaches, all licked by thick rainforest and overlooking the shimmering sapphire-blue waters of Culebra Bay, the Andaz Resort occupies one of the finest stretches on the celebrated Papagayo Peninsula. This eco-chic beach resort not only offers tropical seclusion and water sports in abundance but also reflects the country’s pura vida philosophy in its locally inspired experiences, whether it’s wilderness hikes, pottery painting and authentic cooking classes making chorreadas or gallo pinto.

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