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When it comes to travelling with children there are some destinations we might not think of immediately.; one of these is Costa Rica. There are so many things to do for families to do in Costa Rica and in this post I’ll share why it should be the next destination on your family holiday wishlist.
When you think of long-haul destinations it can often be the case that you will need to get multiple flights. Long layovers in the airport are not ideal when you’re travelling with children as they can be disruptive and extremely boring for children.
British Airways offer direct flights from London to San Jose with flight times being just under 11 hours. This could be a much better way to travel if you’re flying with children as it saves a lot of stress and hassles at the airports… you might all even manage to get some sleep on a flight that long!
Explore San Jose
You might have planned for your adventures to be in numerous areas of Costa Rica but if you’re flying into San Jose it’s a good idea to spend some time there exploring too.
The Children’s Museum is a great place to start, with something for everyone in the family. This is definitely a hands-on kind of museum where everyone is encouraged to try something new and learn about something amazing. The museum has 40 different interactive rooms where you can learn about Costa Rica itself, the universe or maybe even the human body. With so many different subjects to learn about, you could easily spend the whole day there.
I always find a theme park, or amusement park, to be a great place to visit with children no matter how old they are. Parque de Diversiones is a great choice for families with children of all ages. Here you’ll find sections suitable for young children, family rides and rides for adrenaline junkies! If you’re feeling peckish after all of those rides there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat whether it be a quick snack or a full meal.
Of course, exploring the streets of San Jose, and taking in the local sights and markets could be a fun way to spend some time. Depending on your accommodation, you might want to try your hand at cooking some local cuisine. However, if facilities don’t allow for this then find an authentic Costa Rican restaurant and enjoy some of the national dishes.
Visit Arenal Volcano
Even though you’re on holiday, it’s a great idea to encourage children to learn something about the history and culture of your destination. Until 2010, Arenal Volcano was Costa Rica’s most active volcano and probably the most well-known. A stratovolcano, Arenal Volcano looks exactly like you might imagine it to thanks to film and television. Children especially won’t be disappointed when they see the volcano for the first time.
Although Arenal Volcano is impressive enough on its own, there is plenty to do in the local area. The volcano heats some wonderful hot springs, which can be combined with various tours on offer. Why not add a ride on a safari float along the river to see the animals and visit the La Fortuna Waterfall while you’re in the area and make the most of your time.
Learn a language
Although in a lot of touristy areas you’ll find plenty of English speakers, it’s always a good idea to try and speak the local language when you can. While it may be difficult to do on a short holiday, if your travels allow for a longer visit then why not spend some time taking local language lessons.
Locals will definitely appreciate the effort and learning Spanish will definitely help out in other adventures you might be planning.
Manuel Antonio National Park
In only a couple of hours you can make the trip from San Jose to Manuel Antonio, which is perfect for a visit to the Manuel Antonio National Park. Open from 7am until 4pm. there’s a lot to do and see so it’s a good idea to get there as early as possible to ensure you get the most from your visit.
Tours and guides are available but be sure to buy from the official website as there can be a lot of people trying to sell unofficial tickets etc. Tours include everything from night tours, butterflies and medicinal plans, private tours and general tours in small groups.
It’s worth doing some research into the area to find out what you are interested in so that you can make the most of your time at the Manuel Antonio National Park.
Relax on a beach
Costa Rica is home to many beautiful beaches and it’s a must-do during your holiday. From perfect white sand to tropical waters, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the beach. Maybe you want to spend some time relaxing and reading, which would be great to do with older children. Another option is to enjoy the water with the kids. Water sports are a really fun choice if your family is adventurous or pop on a snorkel and discover the wonders of the sea.
Visit a waterfall
Costa Rica is very well known for its waterfalls, and visiting at least one should be right at the top of your to-do list. From National Parks to Volcano sites, these waterfalls are set in gorgeous locations and the views will be well worth the trip.
Be sure to research each waterfall to find out which is the most family-friendly, how much walking is needed or if there are any steep hikes on the way there. Also, make sure to find out if it’s safe to swim near the waterfall. It would be a shame to get there and find out it’s not possible, or that the water isn’t safe. Of course, in countries such as Costa Rica, there might be some not-so-friendly animals living in these kinds of areas.
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