With dense cloud forests, soaring volcanoes, sloths dripping from the trees, endless beaches, waterfalls and even a great opportunity for kids to practice Spanish, Costa Rica is a classic bucket list adventure for active families.
The southern coastline of this beautiful country is home to lush jungle, prolific wildlife and beautiful beaches for which Costa Rica is famous.
An easy 3 hour drive from the airport in San Jose, the town of Quepos is the gateway to Manuel Antonio Costa Rica, named after the nearby national park.
And this is, in our opinion, the best part of the country. Here’s why!
Spectacular Central American Wildlife
Manuel Antonio Costa Rica is often considered one of the most biodiverse parks in the world, with a population of 109 types of mammal and 184 types of bird, among other species. Here you can spot the rare squirrel monkey, as well as capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, sloths, coatis, raccoons, iguanas, toucans, dolphins and, sometimes, even migrating whales (in August and September).
Beautiful Villas for Families
One of the best things about this itinerary is that you’re based out of a private villa for the entire stay in Costa Rica. By minimizing long transfers and moving around, you’re able to pack in more adventures and really settle in and relax.
Particularly if you’re interested in deep sea fishing, you’ll appreciate having access to a kitchen to enjoy fresh sushi through out the week! Other adventures, as you’ll see in the sample itinerary, include hiking to waterfalls, zip line, surf lessons, and sunset sailing.
So much to do!
The Manuel Antonio area is home to several of Costa Rica’s most spectacular waterfalls. Nauyaca is probably the most famous, which can be reached on foot or horseback. But there are plenty of more hidden options as well. Set out on your own (we’ll give you directions) and enjoy a few hikes to nearby waterfalls.
Be sure to go early before it gets too hot and while the trails are still quiet and uncrowded (important in peak season) and pack plenty of water and snacks.
And perhaps most importantly; the Manuel Antonio National Park. A private guided tour of this park is a must. Kids will love spotting all the wildlife both right in front of you, as well as though a high-powered spotting scope. End with a relaxed swim at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Renting a car in Costa Rica is quite easy, though hiring a driver for longer transfers and using taxis to get around Manuel Antonio will price about the same. So really it’s up to you and your family’s preference as to renting a car or not.