Costa Ricaâ€™s unspoiled jungles and pristine beaches can make for the family vacation of a lifetime, say travel experts at U.S. News.Â Among Central and South American holiday destinations, Costa Rica was rated number one for its kid-friendly attractions and outdoor pursuits that are ideal for nature lovers and adventure seekers. When scoring the eight best family vacations in South and Central America, the site considered family-centric activities, accommodations and dining experienced offered by each country, in addition to expert recommendations and traveler opinions.
Favorite Costa Rica tours enjoyed by families
Seasoned travelers who have enjoyed the many perks of a Costa Rica family vacation named some of their favorite activities and tours, which carried them from the sunny beaches of Manuel Antonio to the cool climes surrounding Poas Volcano.Â Kids aged 7 to 12 adored snorkeling tours â€“ where they could get up close and personal with curious aquatic creatures and billowing clouds of tropical fish. Other popular tours include dolphin and whale watching excursions, horseback riding and zip-line tours around Arenal Volcano â€“a short and scenic 3-hour drive from the San Jose International airport.Â And of course, there are scores of extreme activities, like whitewater rafting and off-road ATV tours, which will appeal to an older or more daring tween or teen.
When is the best time to visitÂ Costa Rica?
While the green season offers its own set of benefits, the majority of tourists would agree that the best time for a Costa Rica vacation is during the high season, or summer months, which runs from mid-December through the end of April.Â Peak travel season may attract larger crowds, but it also means nearly 12 hours of glorious sunshine every day, making it ideal for those who want to maximize their time in country with tons of excursions, rainforest explorations and play time on the beach or poolside with the kids. Who wouldnâ€™t want to bask in the warm, tropical sunshine in January or February, when most folks back home are bundled up and shoveling snow!
A great way to get back to nature
Want to introduce your little ones to wildlife in the most fun and exciting way imaginable? How does a morning wake-up call from howler monkeys sound? Interesting animal encounters are everywhere in this tiny but diverse nation, where national parks and even the trees surrounding your Costa Rica vacation villa house two and three-toed sloths, emerald green basilisk lizards, colorful toucans and lightning-fast hummingbirds. Cherished by travelers the world over, Manuel Antonio National Park boasts sandy trails that are easy for young kids to manage, and has knowledgeable guides who can point out tons of cool camouflaged creatures. Enjoy a post-hike picnic on the beach, but be wary of sly coatimundis and capuchin monkeys that may try to snatch some of your lunch!