Costa Rica Family Experience

Nothing brings learning to life like real-world experience. This week-long trip’s engaging lesson plan gives kids an education in biology and ecology that can never be found in a textbook. Here, spend the days (and nights!) studying the flora and fauna that inhabit the cloud forest and Manuel Antonio National Park. Elsewhere, get in touch with the land by rappelling, rafting, swimming, horseback-riding, and even surfing all over it. Science + gym? You do the math.

February 16 - 24, 2025

From $2,399CAD per person

Itinerary

Day 1 - San José
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
Amid the hustle and bustle of this busy capital, San José has beautiful parks, museums and an ornate National Theatre. Start your exploration of the city in the central plaza, a great place to people-watch. A mime, juggler, marimba band, magician, or storyteller may be performing for whatever is collected when the hat is passed. Artisan booths are common, creating a regular arts and crafts fair atmosphere.

Day 2 - San José/La Fortuna
Set off from the capital and enjoy the countryside of the Central Valley. Stop for a tortilla-making lesson, along with a typical Costa Rican lunch.

A three-hour van trip brings us to La Fortuna, near the base of the spectacular Arenal Volcano. La Fortuna is a great base for active adventures. Along the way, stop to meet Doña Mara and learn the art of making (and eating!) tortillas.

Once we arrive, there's time to relax in the hot springs that are heated by the volcano's lava.

During our stay in La Fortuna, there is a wide selection of activities sure to please every member of the family. From river rafting, to rappelling down waterfalls, to floating along the canals of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge in search of caiman, there is no excuse to be bored!

Optional Activities 

Whitewater Rafting ($)
Pull on your bathing suit and water shoes, don a helmet and prepare to get wet and wild. Guided by expert leaders, paddle through Class II-IV rapids as you raft past spectacular scenery. Feel the burn, work up a sweat, then cool off in the pure river water. Experience the energy and excitement and enjoy!

La Fortuna Waterfall Swim ($)
Take a walk, taxi, or horse just outside the town of La Fortuna to the nearby waterfall. Once at the gate, pay a fee then start the descent on rough steps (more than 500 of them!) to get to the base of the falls. The water cascades 65m (200 ft) down the side of the dormant Cerro Chato. Sit on the rocks, get sprayed, watch for iridescent blue morpho butterflies and then plunge into the cool waters. Please note the price listed does not include the IVA Tax.

***Baldi*** ($)
Relax in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano immersed in one of the naturally heated pools at Baldi Hot Springs Hotel and Spa. Rejuvenate your muscles, detox your cells, and stimulate all your senses in nature’s thermal spa. Breathe in the pure rainforest air and marvel at the mystic surroundings of these outdoor pools of paradise. Please note the price listed does not include the IVA Tax.

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Tour ($)
Travel north to Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge near the Nicaraguan border. Take a guided tour by covered boat through one of the world’s most important wetlands; home to a vast array of plants, birds, reptiles, fish, and mammals. Keep your eyes peeled and you may see a three-toed sloth or a Jesus Christ lizard. Please note the price listed does not include the IVA Tax.

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 3 - La Fortuna
Take to the lake for a morning of stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking on Lake Arenal, before a free afternoon.

Optional Activities 

Whitewater Rafting ($)
Pull on your bathing suit and water shoes, don a helmet and prepare to get wet and wild. Guided by expert leaders, paddle through Class II-IV rapids as you raft past spectacular scenery. Feel the burn, work up a sweat, then cool off in the pure river water. Experience the energy and excitement and enjoy!

La Fortuna Waterfall Swim ($)
Take a walk, taxi, or horse just outside the town of La Fortuna to the nearby waterfall. Once at the gate, pay a fee then start the descent on rough steps (more than 500 of them!) to get to the base of the falls. The water cascades 65m (200 ft) down the side of the dormant Cerro Chato. Sit on the rocks, get sprayed, watch for iridescent blue morpho butterflies and then plunge into the cool waters. Please note the price listed does not include the IVA Tax.

Gravity Falls Waterfall Jumping ($)
Hold on tight and get ready to rappel down the face of rushing waterfalls. Fear and fun collide in the rainforest as you throw caution to the monkeys and launch yourself into nature. Strapped securely in your harness, descend deep into the canyon, get soaked and feel completely alive. Trek through rivers, wobble across a hanging bridge and keep your eyes peeled for exotic birds and wildlife. Let the action begin! Please note the price listed does not include the IVA Tax.

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Tour ($)
Travel north to Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge near the Nicaraguan border. Take a guided tour by covered boat through one of the world’s most important wetlands; home to a vast array of plants, birds, reptiles, fish, and mammals. Keep your eyes peeled and you may see a three-toed sloth or a Jesus Christ lizard. Please note the price listed does not include the IVA Tax.

Hanging Bridges ($)
Come join the monkeys and perhaps spot a sloth lazing in the treetops of this protected rainforest that’s set in the shadows of the Arenal Volcano. Trek 3km (2 mi) of winding trails up, down, across, and over 16 different bridges. One of higher suspended bridges overlooks a gorgeous gorge and 60m (37 mi) waterfall. Look up and down to spot birds, snakes, frogs, lizards, howler monkeys, and more. Don’t forget to bring binoculars, bug spray, and a long lens as you reach new heights in the canopy of Costa Rica. Please note the price listed does not include the IVA Tax.

Costa Rica Adrenaline Bundle ($)
CANYONING (Half-day Arenal)
Rappel, down-climb, river-trace, and descend huge waterfalls in the rugged mountains and lush rainforests around Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano.

ZIPLINING (Half-day Monteverde)
Get a true bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy as you soar through the trees on a Tarzan swing, a giant rappel, and a 137-meter-high (450-foot) zipline.

Lost Canyon Adventures Canyoning ($)
Hold on tight and get ready to rappel down the face of rushing waterfalls. Fear and fun collide in the rainforest as you throw caution to the monkeys and launch yourself into nature. Get soaked and feel completely alive. Trek through rivers and keep your eyes peeled for exotic birds and wildlife. Let the action begin! Please note the price listed does not include the IVA Tax.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4 - La Fortuna/Monteverde
Travel by bus and boat through the stunning Costa Rican scenery up into the cloud forest. Take an included guided night walk to learn about nocturnal life in the jungle firsthand.

From La Fortuna, we make our way first by boat, then by van up the rough mountain roads to reach the fresh misty air of the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Spend two days exploring the community and nearby forest, truly a bird lover’s paradise.

Optional Activities 

Monteverde Butterfly Garden Visit ($)
Get close to butterflies, bump into giant bugs, and make friends with hairy eight-legged spiders in this collection of gardens nestled in the mountains of Monteverde. Observe caterpillars, take prize-worthy photos of the iridescent blue morpho butterfly, and check out the leaf-cutter ant colony. The nature centre is home to 30 species of butterfly, a whole bunch of insects, as well as white-faced monkeys, coatis, motmots, and more.

Birdwatching ($)
Keep your eyes peeled and binoculars ready to spot some amazing birds.

Arenal Horseback Riding ($)
Throw on some long pants, grab the reins and hop up on a well-trained horse. Trail ride through the tropical forest and across the area’s most beautiful landscape. Look for toucans in the trees and admire the ocean views. Visit waterfalls and end your journey with a good gallop.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5 - Monteverde
Enjoy a free day in this lush cloud forest region. Opt to fly above the trees on a canopy zipline tour, go horseback riding in the hills or visit the butterfly garden.

Optional Activities 

Birdwatching
Keep your eyes peeled and binoculars ready to spot some amazing birds.

Monteverde Butterfly Garden Visit ($)
Get close to butterflies, bump into giant bugs, and make friends with hairy eight-legged spiders in this collection of gardens nestled in the mountains of Monteverde. Observe caterpillars, take prize-worthy photos of the iridescent blue morpho butterfly, and check out the leaf-cutter ant colony. The nature centre is home to 30 species of butterfly, a whole bunch of insects, as well as white-faced monkeys, coatis, motmots, and more.

Ziplining ($)
Buckle up your harness, don your helmet, and prepare to launch. Glide along cables suspended high above the cloud forest canopy. Dare to let go and reach top speeds as you zip past stunning scenery. Forget your fear as you spot a toucans or exotic orchids in this adrenaline-filled experience.

Hanging Bridges Monteverde ($)
Get up high to see the tree tops of Monteverde’s Cloud Forest from a bird’s-eye view. Cross a series of hanging bridges to discover what biologists once required (ropes and pulleys) to glimpse the lush, green vista accented by bromeliads, vines, and orchids. Wonder at this wet canopy, home to 90% of all the organisms in the forest, including thousands of species of birds, small animals, amphibians, and insects.

Horseback Riding ($)
Throw on some long pants, grab the reins and hop up on a well-trained horse. Trail ride through the tropical forest and across the area’s most beautiful landscape. Look for toucans in the trees and admire the ocean views. Visit waterfalls and end your journey with a good gallop.

El Trapiche Tour Monteverde ($)
Step back in time into El Trapiche (the sugar mill), home of three generations of Costa Rican farmers. Explore plantations of sugar cane, coffee, bananas and cacao. Start with a walk through the farm, learn about coffee and cocoa harvesting processes, ride a Costa Rican ox cart, and finally make artisanal sugar cane candy and liquor. Finish the tour with a fragrant cup of coffee made from beans grown right here on the farm!

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Guided Tour ($)
Pull on your poncho and boots. It’s time to head into the cloud-covered forest, past over-sized ferns and exotic orchids. Harness your inner Tarzan and Jane as you imagine swinging from the giant vines. Trudge along 12km (7 mi) of trails, watch for wildlife, and trek to the top of the observation tower. Be sure to stop and listen, too. Hear the haunting call of the bellbird and perhaps catch sight of the brilliant green and red resplendent quetzal. Feel good about protecting the forest and sustaining the quality of local schools through payment of your park fees.

Monteverde Coffee Plantation Tour ($)
No trip to Costa Rica is complete without visiting a coffee plantation. Head to Café Monteverde and learn how this fair trade coffee goes from crop to cup. Pick ripe berries, watch how the beans are separated from the husk, then observe the drying and roasting process. Sample and buy some of these excellent beans. The Santa Elena coffee co-op prides itself on sustainable practices: it recycles processing water, uses coffee pulp for fertilizer, and sends plant fibers and husks to make paper.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6 - Monteverde/Manuel Antonio
Travel to Manuel Antonio and enjoy free time for several optional activities like mangrove kayaking, surf lessons, a sunset catamaran tour, or take some time to relax on the beach.

The white sand beaches and warm Pacific waters are the ideal atmosphere to relax at the end of your adventure. Manuel Antonio NP offers excellent hiking, spectacular views, and abundant wildlife viewing. An included hike goes deep into the park, to explore everything that can be found here.

Enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches and discover why the warm turquoise water is ideal for swimming, fishing, kayaking, boogie boarding, sailing or surfing - the perfect finale to an exciting family adventure!

Optional Activities 

Swimming
Quepos, north of Manuel Antonio, is Costa Rica’s most popular spot for blue water sport fishing. Depending on the season, hope to hook marlin, sailfish, tuna, snook and dorado (mahi mahi). Slather on the sunscreen, strap on your sunglasses, cast out your line and get ready to reel in a big one.

Kayaking ($)
Choose to kayak the calm waters of the mangroves or paddle the waves of the Pacific. In the Damas Island estuary, the ocean meets fresh water rivers and creates a protected home for birds, snakes, crocodiles, and white face monkeys. For the more adventurous, opt for an open-seat ocean kayak and paddle along the shoreline and nearby islands, keeping an eye out for frigates, boobies, and jumping fish.

Sailing
Slap on some sunscreen and hop aboard as we set sail along the rugged Pacific Coast of Manuel Antonio National Park on a catamaran. Bask in the beauty of the white-sand beaches and small islands that accent the shoreline. Keep watch for dolphins, rays, and migrating whales. Hop into the warm water and snorkel with more than 50 species of colourful tropical fish.

Fishing
Cast a line and (depending on the season) hope to hook a marlin, sailfish, tuna or dorado (mahi mahi). Fishing in Quepos, north of Manuel Antonio, is Costa Rica’s most popular spot for blue water sport fishing.

Surfing ($)
Slather on the sunscreen, strap on a leash, pull on a rash guard, and get ready to hit the waves. Experience the surf at the beaches near Quepos and Manuel Antonio with their left, right, and well-shaped beach breaks. Take a lesson, learn tips and techniques, then hang ten like a local.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7 - Manuel Antonio
Take a guided hike through the national park keeping an eye out for the wildlife that can be seen through the trees.

Optional Activities 

Swimming
Quepos, north of Manuel Antonio, is Costa Rica’s most popular spot for blue water sport fishing. Depending on the season, hope to hook marlin, sailfish, tuna, snook and dorado (mahi mahi). Slather on the sunscreen, strap on your sunglasses, cast out your line and get ready to reel in a big one.

Kayaking
Choose to kayak the calm waters of the mangroves or paddle the waves of the Pacific. In the Damas Island estuary, the ocean meets fresh water rivers and creates a protected home for birds, snakes, crocodiles, and white face monkeys. For the more adventurous, opt for an open-seat ocean kayak and paddle along the shoreline and nearby islands, keeping an eye out for frigates, boobies, and jumping fish.

Sailing
Slap on some sunscreen and hop aboard as we set sail along the rugged Pacific Coast of Manuel Antonio National Park on a catamaran. Bask in the beauty of the white-sand beaches and small islands that accent the shoreline. Keep watch for dolphins, rays, and migrating whales. Hop into the warm water and snorkel with more than 50 species of colourful tropical fish.

Fishing
Cast a line and (depending on the season) hope to hook a marlin, sailfish, tuna or dorado (mahi mahi). Fishing in Quepos, north of Manuel Antonio, is Costa Rica’s most popular spot for blue water sport fishing.

Surfing ($)
Slather on the sunscreen, strap on a leash, pull on a rash guard, and get ready to hit the waves. Experience the surf at the beaches near Quepos and Manuel Antonio with their left, right, and well-shaped beach breaks. Take a lesson, learn tips and techniques, then hang ten like a local.

Whitewater Rafting Manuel Antonio ($)
What better way to get from A to B then taking the natural route along a scenic and exciting river? Buckle up your life jacket, grab a paddle and head off to raft some Class II - IV rapids.

Manuel Antonio Catamaran Tour
Cruise along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica aboard a 100 ft catamaran, taking in the impressive scenery and lush jungle that has made Manuel Antonio famous. Keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins who call these waters home before stopping to snorkel, swim, or ride one of the boat's water slides into the ocean. Grab a drink or just sit and watch the gorgeous views of the lush coastline go by.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8 - Manuel Antonio/San José
Free morning to enjoy more time at the beach. Return to San José in the afternoon. Free evening in San José.
After one final morning to soak up the sun on the beach in Manuel Antonio, we return to San José, and have time to enjoy one final evening together with our group.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9 - San José
Depart at any time.

Meals included: Breakfast

Give us a call to book this fun and unforgetable family vacation!

Categories:adventure travel
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General Terms & Conditions:
Conditions apply. Valid on travel booked through Uniglobe Travel. All advertised prices include or disclose taxes & fees. Prices and offers are valid for new bookings only. Air only prices are per person for return travel in economy class unless otherwise stated. Package, cruise, tour, rail and hotel prices are per person, based on double occupancy for total length of stay unless otherwise stated, and are applicable for the departure date listed at the advertising deadline. Pricing that includes airfare is valid only for the departure gateway listed. Airport transfers to/from the hotel may not be included and are supplier and destination specific. Some packaged travel products for certain destinations may include flight connections at an additional cost ($). Taxes & fees due during travel or in destination are additional and may include, but not limited to, local car rental charges & taxes, one-way car rental drop fees which are to be paid upon arrival, resort fees & charges, tour ‘kitty’ or local payment, airline baggage fees, departure taxes, and cruise gratuities. Prices are for select departure dates and are accurate and subject to availability at advertising deadline, errors and omissions excepted, and subject to change without notice by the supplier. Advertising deadline: December 29, 2023. For full terms & conditions please speak with a Uniglobe Travel consultant.

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