An action-packed family adventure in Costa Rica
Costa Rica: home of coffee, bananas and breath-taking biodiversity. And you'll need all the caffeine and energy you can get for our action-packed itinerary. Over eight days, we take you from the active Arenal Volcano through rainforest and jungle, all the way to the southwest surf scene – staying at luxury Costa Rican hotels.
AT A GLANCE
- An 8-day independent itinerary based on flying into and out of San José.
- Take to the skies and the seas on zip lines, raft safaris and surfboards.
- Highlights include a horseback trek across the Nicoya Peninsula, surf lessons in Playa Hermosa and volcanic spa pools.
Touch down in San José, where your driver awaits to transport your family to the Arenal Volcano National Park. The scenic 2.5 hour journey winds through jungle and rainforest, until Arenal emerges over the horizon and you approach your home for the next four nights. From Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa in the musical depths of the Costa Rican jungle, you can explore natural hot springs, tropical birds, monkeys, macaws and toucans. As evening falls, relax and cool down with a dip (and drinks for the adults) in Tabacón's pool. And with large two-bedroom suites sleeping up to four people, you'll be able to stay up without waking the children.
DAYS 2 - 3:
Awaken to a dawn chorus of tropical bird life, before preparing for the activity-filled days ahead. Opt for a safari float down the Penas Blancas river, where your guide will paddle you from bird to beast, taking in a diverse variety of wildlife and scenery along the way. With crocodiles, caimans, iguanas and sloths all roaming the water's edge, it takes "row, row your boat" to a whole new level.
Keen hikers can visit the La Fortuna waterfall, where you'll follow the 230-foot descent of the falls, to its thundering finale, and azure waters. Take the plunge before gearing up for the return trek back to the top – not one for the faint-hearted (or weak-knee'd).
On day three, unleash your inner thrill seekers and go white water rafting. With rapids to suit all abilities you might like to ask the hotel staff for a recommended route, particularly if you have younger children. Or, for an adrenaline rush with birds-eye views, head to Arenal Park Sky Adventures and throw yourself headfirst into the rainforest. The Sky Trek zip line takes you on a cable-only tour (no walking) between canyons, where you'll reach speeds up to 45mph.
Finish your final night at Tabacón at the spa. Ease off tired muscles with a take-it-in-turns treatment in a palm-thatched private bungalow, with caña brava walls that let in the sounds and scents of the surrounding rainforest.
After a lazy morning, it's time to move coast-wards. An afternoon land transfer brings you to Arenal airstrip, where swift flights take you from San José to Tambor and on to Santa Teresa overland. Check in to the luxury Hotel Nantipa, home of tropical cocktails, hammocks and serious surf.
DAYS 5 - 6:
With next-level waves and a laid-back vibe, the southwest coast provides an excellent surf scene. Book a private lesson for the family in Playa Hermosa, where epic waves will take your skills to break point.
You could then spend day six exploring the untouched Nicoya Peninsula on horseback. Tours start in Hacienda Arío, a working cattle ranch set across 4700 acres of land. You'll set off on a scenic three-hour ride across secluded beaches, rivers and spectacular natural landscapes, experiencing the Guanacaste sabanero way of life.
You can't come to Santa Teresa without spending at least one full day on the beach. Kick back with cocktails, watch surfers navigating the waves and spend the day soaking up sun and sea. Or hire a board and put your new surf skills to good use alongside the locals.
Checkout at Nantipa isn't until midday, so you've got time to rally the troops and have one final swim before your transfer to Tambor airstrip. From here you can board a domestic flight to San José, and then on to SJO Airport for your return flight home.
BOOK YOUR BOUTIQUE HOTELS
To book the hotels on this independent itinerary, get in touch with our Voice Reservation Team on 0800 0482 314 (UK) & 1-877-234-7033 (US). You can find a full list of our dedicated toll-free numbers here. We're ready and waiting to plan luxury adventures 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So whenever inspiration strikes, just get in touch.