Family Costa Rica
white-water rafting, abundant wildlife, canopy zip-lining and beautiful beaches
A 12 day itinerary where the whole family can enjoy the diversity of this friendly country, with plenty of activities to keep children entertained and time to relax on a beach at the end.
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White-water rafting in the Central Valley
Days 1-3: After a first night in San José, travel south-east by road to the Pacuare river. After a safety briefing a 2 hour rafting adventure begins (grades 1-3, no previous experience is needed). Two nights in a remote, tranquil lodge allows time for more activities such as trekking, canopy tours, riding or a visit to a local village.
Days 4-6: Raft out of the lodge (grades 3-4) and continue through the cloud forest of the Braulio Carillo National Park to reach Tortuguero, on the Caribbean coast. Spend 2 nights at a comfortable lodge on one of the mangrove-lined channels of the national park (known as the 'Amazon' of Central America), and exlore the flora and fauna of the tropical rainforest by boat.
Arenal: volcano and zip-lines
Days 7-8: Driven north to La Fortuna, and spend 2 nights enjoying magnificent views of Arenal volcano. A guided tour on the Sky Tram will take you to an observation deck at the highest point of the Arenal Reserve. The excursion continues with a bird's-eye view: soaring through the treetops on the thrilling Sky Trek zip-line circuit (not for the faint hearted!).
Manuel Antonio's beaches
Days 9-11: Driven north to Manuel Antonio and spend three nights exploring the beautiful beaches and national park, where naturalist guides will introduce the bio-diversity of the tropical rainforest. The wildlife here shows little fear of man, so there are plenty of opportunities to spot sloths, monkeys and birds.
Day 12: Return by road to San José for onward connections.
In the following section you will see our suggested options for possible accommodation.
The estimated flight cost included in this itinerary (assuming international flights from the UK plus any internal flights that are necessary) is £775 per person.
Standard - £3,620
- Arenal Observatory Lodge - set on a ridge in a private nature reserve, opposite Arenal Volcano.
- Hotel Grano de Oro - a friendly hotel which was formally a town mansion, in a quiet area of downtown San José.
- Mawamba Lodge - nestled on a sand bar between the Caribbean and one of Tortugeuro's many canals
- Pacuare Lodge - a remote and unique lodge, on the banks of the Pacuare river.
- Si Como No - on the road to Manuel Antonio National Park with its own private nature reserve.
Price and validity notes
We have tried to give you as accurate an idea of prices as possible, including meals where appropriate (but not when there are good local options so you don't pay for a meal that you might not want), accommodation, transfers, and any tours we have included.
All prices are per person based on two people sharing a room and are intended as a guide (local high or low seasons can cause some variation). All prices were correct when published but may vary with exchange rate fluctuations, fuel surcharges, or changes in the general economic situation.