Costa Rica is a dream destination for family vacations and we have enjoyed many of some of our favorite trips to this jewel of Central America. It’s a small country with incredible natural wonders, known for its “Rich Coast.” You can explore tropical rainforests, active volcanoes, beautiful beaches, and vibrant coral reefs.

If you have been thinking about taking your family on a trip to Costa Rica, we highly recommend you do it! Whether you’re nature lovers, adventure seekers, or you’re just looking for a relaxing getaway with your family, Costa Rica has something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to visit for an unforgettable family vacation.

Best Vacation Spots in Costa Rica for Families

We’ve traveled to several amazing vacation spots in Costa Rica! You can read our full Costa Rica family travel guide here. Check out our favorite spots and other great places in Costa Rica that you might want to visit.

Our Favorite Vacation Spots in Costa Rica for Families:


Known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant atmosphere, Tamarindo offers plenty of family-friendly activities like surfing lessons, catamaran tours, snorkeling, and horseback riding. It’s a popular spot for families looking to mix relaxation with adventure. Book your stay in Tamarindo here.

Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna

Arenal is a perfect destination for families. You can visit Arenal Volcano National Park to see the Arenal Volcano, soak in the nearby hot springs, go zip-lining, and enjoy nature walks. The nearby town of La Fortuna has lots of variety when it comes to family-friendly activities, like waterfall hikes, wildlife tours, river rafting, and more hot springs. Book your stay near Arenal Volcano National Park.

Rincon de la Vieja National Park

This national park is home to the active Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and has hiking trails, hot springs, mud baths, and waterfalls. You can enjoy exploring the park and spotting wildlife. It’s the perfect spot for nature lovers. Book your stay near Rincon de la Vieja National Park.

Learn more about visiting Rio Celeste Waterfall in the Tenorio Volcano National Park here.

Papagayo Peninsula

The Papagayo Peninsula has absolutely beautiful beaches, luxury accommodations, and plenty of family-friendly activities like snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, and catamaran tours. Relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the peninsula and enjoy the water sports and adventures. Book your stay in the Papagayo Peninsula.

Playa Hermosa

This gorgeous beach is known for its calm waters and stunning sunsets. It’s a great spot for family picnics, swimming, beachcombing, and picnicking. It’s also perfect for surfing or simply relaxing and soaking up the sun. Book your stay in Playa Hermosa here.

Other Great Vacation Spots in Costa Rica for Families

San José: The Capital City

San José is the bustling capital city of Costa Rica. It’s home to the National Theater, the National Museum, and several coffee plantations in the surrounding area. San José is a great place to taste the local traditional cuisine and culture of Costa Rica. The international airport is there too, so it’s easy to access. Book your stay in San José.

Playa Conchal

Playa Conchal has crystal-clear waters and a unique shell-covered beach that’s perfect for kids. There’s excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities for families in the calm waters and the soft sand makes it perfect for children to play and explore. Book your stay in Playa Conchal.

Manuel Antonio

This coastal town is famous for its beaches and wildlife. Explore the Manuel Antonio National Park, go on guided wildlife tours, relax on the beach, and enjoy various water sports for a well-rounded family vacation. It’s one of Costa Rica’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. Book your stay in Manuel Antonio.


Ideal for nature-loving families, Monteverde is known for its cloud forests, zip-lining adventures, hanging bridges, and wildlife encounters. Explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and visit butterfly gardens and hummingbird galleries for a seriously magical experience you and your kids will never forget. Book your stay in Monteverde.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Located on the Caribbean coast, Puerto Viejo has a great laid-back vibe and gorgeous beaches. You can explore Cahuita National Park, go snorkeling, take chocolate tours, and learn all about the Afro-Caribbean culture. It’s a perfect place to experience the country’s Caribbean side. Book your stay in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.


For families interested in wildlife and nature, Tortuguero National Park is a must-visit. Take guided boat tours through the park’s canals to spot monkeys, sloths, birds, and, during nesting season, sea turtles. The remote location adds to the adventure. Book your stay in Tortuguero.

Osa Peninsula

For adventurous families looking for a remote and pristine natural environment, the Osa Peninsula is the perfect choice. Explore Corcovado National Park, go whale watching, kayak through mangroves, and enjoy wildlife spotting. Drake Bay, in particular, is a great place to stay for exploring this wild region. Book your stay in Osa Peninsula.

Santa Teresa

Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa is a laid-back surf town known for its consistent waves and great beaches. You can take surfing lessons, go horseback riding on the beach, take yoga classes, and explore nearby waterfalls. It’s a great spot for both relaxation and adventure. Book your stay in Santa Teresa.

When to Visit Costa Rica

The best time to visit Costa Rica is during the dry season, from December to April, when the weather is perfect for outdoor activities and exploring the country’s natural reserves. But the rainy season, from May to November, has its own charm. It’s less crowded and the landscapes are lush and green!

Costa Rica’s blend of adventure, natural beauty, and family-friendly activities makes it one of the best places for a vacation with your family! Whether you’re exploring the rainforests, lounging on the beach, or checking out active volcanoes, you’ll find that Costa Rica is truly a paradise. So pack your bags and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this amazing Central American country!

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