Costa Rica Family Holiday
Costa Rica family holiday combines abundant wildlife and a host of adventure activities with natural beauty. Start in San José with a Coffee Farm tour and observe the coffee making process from beginning to end. Transfer to Pacuare River Lodge for a fun-filled family, white-water rafting adventure. In Sarapiqui Rainforest, take your family for a canopy walk, horseback riding or rappelling at Hacienda Pozo Azul.
Drive south to San Carlos area, and see La Paz Waterfall Gardens with hummingbird and butterfly gardens. Arenal provides the thrill of seeing it erupt. Add this with riding to zip-lines and canyoning with a hike up the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, and it makes a perfect family adventure holiday.
Natural hot springs, virgin forests, jungle waterfalls and volcanic mud pots are just some of the many attractions here. Finally, enjoy three full days of relaxation on the Sugar beach, North Pacific Coast.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 12 DAY COSTA RICA FAMILY HOLIDAY…
And, experience whitewater rafting, canopy walk, zipline in Arenal National Park.
The Costa Rica Adventure begins with whitewater rafting in Pacuare (pah Kwah ray), the classic tropical river that flows through densely vegetated gorges which shelter jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, sloths, and an incredible variety of birds. The Pacuare River also has the best whitewater in all of Central America, ranging up to Class V in difficulty. Unlike the other rivers in Costa Rica that require services of a helicopter or a multi-day trek, Pacuare is easily accessible.
Sarapiqui stands out for its primary forests, swamps, and the Sarapiqui river, in a biologically rich territory, with temperatures that oscillate between 26-28⁰C; a hot, humid land which can be explored by way of the dense network of trails within the protected areas which are of great importance for the conservation of birds, butterflies, felines, insects and plants. Sarapiqui has become a popular destination among tourists who seek the adrenaline adventure in Costa Rica.
You will also visit Rincon de la Vieja National Park, home to the most active geysers in Costa Rica. There are two volcanoes, geysers, over 30 rivers and hundreds of bird and mammal species in the dry forest as it gently transcends into cloud forest. End your great Costa Rica adventure with a relaxed break at Sugar beach.
There are no direct flights from the UK to Costa Rica. You need to change in either Europe or the US. Your best option is to fly via the US or Madrid, where you can connect with flights to San José. Continental has flights from the UK via Newark and Houston, while American Airlines flies via JFK, Dallas or Miami, and United via New York or Houston: of the three, Continental generally has the lowest fares (from £545 in high season) and offers an excellent service, with swift connections. Iberia’s flights via Madrid are one of the quicker routings, and avoid the US, but start at around £650. Indirect flights can still take as little as thirteen hours, including changes.
Costa Rica Family Holiday
San Jose, Rafting, Sarapiqui, San Carlos, Rincon de la Vieja, Sugar Beach
(12 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 01 – Arrive
San Jose, Costa Rica Meet and greet on arrival at San Jose and private transfer to your hotel for overnight. The hotel Melia Cariari hotel is only 5 minutes from the international airport and 7 miles from downtown San Jose, Costa Rica. The hotel is recognized as the nation's premier luxury resort and serves as the perfect base for overnight stay.
Overnight: Melia Cariari hotel.
Day 02 – Water Rafting
Pacura River Take a private transfer to Pacuare Lodge where you will meet your guides for a rafting excursion. Considered by many experienced white-water rafters to be the most scenic class III-IV rapids in the world, the Pacuare River provides an adventurous ride filled with stunning natural beauty along the entire length of its turning, twisting rapids. The tour includes transportation from San Jose, typical Costa Rican breakfast in route, Pacuare River rafting tour, professional guides and equipment.
Overnight: Pacure Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 03 & 04 – Activity Tours
Sarapiqui Today morning, we take another rafting excursion on the Pacuare River, which runs from the country’s highest mountain range to the coastal lowlands of the Atlantic and through one of Costa Rica’s most important protected areas. Return by private vehicle to Sarapiqui area.
Sarapiqui stands out for its primary forests, swamps, and plantations, in a biologically rich territory, with temperatures that oscillate between 26 to28 degrees Celsius; a hot, humid land which can be explored by way of the dense network of trails within the protected areas which are of great importance for the conservation of birds, butterflies, felines, insects and plants.
Next day, enjoy three activities; Canopy walk, horseback riding and rappelling at Hacienda Pozo Azul. Canopy tours are offered in many different locations in Costa Rica, certainly a wonderful invention that Costa Ricans feel proud of, and any person visiting Costa Rica needs to experience it, at least once. Almost 70 % of all life in the tropical forest takes place at the tree canopy level. And observing it along with the exuberance of the vegetation as you are sensing the thrill zipping though the highs is definitely an extraordinary experience that you would like to take many times.
Overnight: La Quinta de Sarapiqui Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 05 – Transfer
San Carlos Drive to San Carlos area. You will journey to La Paz Waterfall Gardens where there are beautiful waterfalls, nature trails, a hummingbird garden and a butterfly garden in one of the most beautiful settings in Costa Rica.
San Carlos Area: few sites in Costa Rica inspire more respect and admiration than the Arenal Volcano. Sometimes lava can be seen flowing from its interior and, if Mother Nature permits, you may have the pleasure of seeing a spectacular eruption. However, often the peak will be covered by clouds. After having rested, visit the thermal waters of Tabacon where you will be able to benefit from their curing effects.
Overnight: Montana de Fuego Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 06 & 07 – Activity Tours
Rincon De La Vieja Volcano Take a private tour to Arenal Hanging Bridges, the most beautiful environmental project in Costa Rica. Located within the corridor followed by birds migrating between North and South America, the trails and bridges of this project will bring you as close as you could ever hope to get the birds, the flowers and the lush vegetation of the primary rain forest. You will be able to walk right into the forest, thanks to the imposing hanging bridges and the beautiful trails that are safe and easy to walk on.
Afternoon, private transfer to Rincon de la Vieja Volcano area to Hacienda Guachipelin; located at the foot of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, near the town of Curubande, in the Province of Guanacaste, the Hacienda borders the popular Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Since 1985, Hacienda Guachipelin has also been hosting a steady flow of visitors, helping them enjoy the natural beauty of the ranch and the neighbouring national park. Natural hot springs, virgin forests, jungle waterfalls and volcanic mud pots are just some of the many attractions tourists can enjoy during a stay at the Hacienda.
Activities included: Rio Negro Tubing Adventure: Located close to the Hacienda, this is 90 minutes of pure adrenaline as you go down the waters of Rio Negro. You return to the Hacienda on a 45-min horseback. This Canyon Tour is a must do. Also glide through the Rio Blanco Canyon, climb walls, try the Tarzan swing. It is a great adventure!
Overnight: Hacienda Guachipelin (B, L, D)
Day 08, 09 & 10 – Beach Stay
Sugar Beach Take a private transfer to the North Pacific Coast to enjoy three full days of relaxation on the beach. Hotel Sugar Beach is on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in the Guanacaste Province, a northwestern region of Costa Rica. The beach, Playa Pan de Azucar, remains secluded and pristine. The Guanacaste coast is the driest in Costa Rica, with daily sunshine guaranteed mid-December through mid-April. Water sports are available year round. Popular activities at or near the hotel include scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing, sport fishing, boogie boarding and surfing.
Overnight: Sugar Beach Hotel (B)
Day 11 – Transfer
San Jose Drive back to San Jose. Drop off car at Melia Cariari Hotel.
Overnight: Melia Cariari Hotel (B)
Day 12 – Depart
San Jose Take a private transfer to Juan Santamarina International airport and connect with your onward flight. Check in at airline counter must be done three hours prior flight departure (B)
Make this your holiday
When to go December through April: This is the tourist high season in Costa Rica when the weather is at its most pleasant. It is also the dry season, and one can mostly depend on clear, sunny days. There is a brief dry spell from February to April but it's worthwhile to visit in April-May.
May through October: The rainy season takes a while to get started in May, often diminishing for a couple of weeks in June or July. The brunt of the rain however falls on the Caribbean coast, giving the Pacific a much more arid climate. The only really rainy months in Guanacaste on the Pacific coast are October and November, and on the Atlantic coast, the only predictably dry months are September and October.
October to December: This is also a good time to visit Costa Rica when things are much quieter and when the weather is still good.
Visas British nationals don’t need a visa to enter Costa Rica. You can stay as a visitor for up to 3 months, although the exact period is at the discretion of the immigration officer on arrival. The immigration authorities are strict about foreigners who have overstayed.
Passport validity: Your passport should have at least one day’s validity from the date you are leaving Costa Rica. If you hold a passport other than a British Citizen passport, different regulations may apply.
Visa information source: www.gov.uk