- La Paz Waterfall Gardens: This multifaceted attraction features paths and suspended walkways alongside a series of impressive jungle waterfalls. Kids love the variety and vibrancy of the various attractions, from the buzzing hummingbirds to the impressive power of the waterfalls.
- Playa Hermosa: The protected waters of this Pacific beach make it a family favorite. However, just because the waters are calm doesn't mean it's boring. I recommend staying at the beachfront Hotel Playa Hermosa Bosque del Mar and checking in at Aqua Sport, where you can rent sea kayaks, sailboards, paddleboats, beach umbrellas, and bicycles.
- Tamarindo: This surf town has a bit of something for everyone. It’s a great spot for kids to learn how to surf or boogie-board, and a host of tours and activities to please the entire family are available. Hotel Capitán Suizo has an enviable location on a calm section of beach, plus spacious rooms and a great pool for kids and adults alike, with a long, sloping, shallow entrance.
- Monteverde: This area not only has the country’s most famous cloud forest, but also offers a wide variety of attractions and activities. After hiking through the reserve, you should be able to keep everyone happy and occupied riding horses; squirming at the serpentarium; or visiting the Monteverde Butterfly Garden, Frog Pond, Bat Jungle, or Orchid Garden.
- Jacó: Jacó’s streets are lined with souvenir shops, ice cream stands, and inexpensive eateries. Activity options range from surf lessons to a small-boat cruise among the crocodiles on the Tárcoles River. Club del Mar is accommodating to families with small children.
Manuel Antonio: This national park has a bit of everything: miles of idyllic white sand beaches, myriad wildlife (with almost guaranteed monkey sightings), and plenty of tour options. Of the many lodging choices, Hotel Sí Como No—with its spacious tropical suites, two pools, waterslide, and nightly movies—is a good bet.
Arenal Volcano: This adventure hot spot offers a nearly inexhaustible range of activities for all ages. From gentle safari floats to raging whitewater rafting, and from flat, easy hikes over hanging bridges to challenging scrambles over cooled lava flows, you’re sure to find something that fits the interests and ability levels of every member of the family.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.