Custom Family Costa Rica Adventure
Dates, Prices & Info
- Trip Price (based on our 7-day sample itinerary)*
Child (10 & under in a double): $2795
Child (10 & under in a triple/quad with 2 adults): $2495
*Costs vary depending on itinerary and group size.
Other Notes: Trip prices are per person based on double occupancy and are given in U.S. dollars. For a single room, add $795. A 25% per-person nonrefundable deposit is required to reserve your space.
Because this is a trip designed to meet your needs and interests, we can develop an itinerary based on your physical abilities to the best extent possible. This trip generally does not require a high degree of physical fitness, although a number of short walks are involved. All activities are optional. Travelers should be aware that the heat and humidity may be high and roads may be bumpy. Some long drives are necessary on this trip. Children may need to be a certain age to participate in some activities.
Important Information About This Trip
When you choose Natural Habitat Adventures for your custom Costa Rica family adventure, you may select from a wide range of smaller luxury and deluxe hotels and lodges. As the world’s premier nature travel company, we focus solely on small-group journeys and avoid the large impersonal hotels that devalue an authentic nature experience. Please consult with one of our Adventure Specialists to determine which hotels and lodges can best accommodate your group’s size and preferred travel style.
Since the areas we travel to are remote and wild (that’s why we go there!), we strongly recommend that all guests have, at minimum, medical evacuation insurance for this program. While this is not required, we make this strong suggestion in the interest of our guests’ safety. We recommend that your chosen independent insurance plan includes at least $250,000 in medical evacuation coverage.
To protect your investment and to provide peace of mind while you travel, we also strongly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance. Plans may cover everything from medical treatment to trip cancellations and delays and lost luggage. Please contact our office if you would like more information about the medical evacuation and comprehensive travel insurance policies we offer by calling 800-543-8917.
Day 1: San Jose, Costa Rica
Our representative meets your family on arrival at the airport in San Jose, Costa Rica’s thriving capital, and joins you on the transfer to your hotel. Get a preview of the lush flora and fauna in store as you wander the paths around the hotel’s extensive tropical gardens, home to a wide variety of colorful birds. At dinner this evening, your naturalist guide will provide an overview of the highlights ahead, plus details about tomorrow’s adventures.
Depart the city and head north to the protected rain forest in the tropical lowlands of Sarapiqui, an outstanding ecotourism destination where you’ll experience the thrill of a rafting through the jungle on the Sarapiqui River. Continue to Tirimbina Rainforest Center, an 850-acre reserve dedicated to research and environmental education, and learn about the region’s bats. Joined by a resident guide, make a night excursion into the rain forest on foot to examine the mist nets that scientists put up to trap and study bats. Spent the next two nights at the ecolodge run by the center.
Another landmark location for global rain forest research is La Selva, an international biological research station located in the Sarapiqui region. Spend a morning learning about global efforts to conserve rain forests while taking a guided walk through a section of the reserve. Along the way, look for monkeys, sloths, peccaries, iguanas and some of the 400 different species of birds found here. After lunch, head to Hacienda Pozo Azul. On this working ranch, explore trails on horseback as you keep a keen eye out for howler monkeys, three-toed sloths and an array of exuberant birdlife. Return to Tirimbina to spend the night.Day 4: Chocolate Tour / Danaus Ecocenter / Arenal
On a final morning at Tirimbina, visit a local cacao plantation to learn how cacao beans are transformed into organic chocolate, and enjoy a sample before departing by road for Arenal. En route, stop at Danaus Ecocenter for a close-up look at Costa Rica’s famed red poison dart frogs, red-eyed tree frogs, sloths and other wildlife. This private ecological reserve focuses on conservation, environmental education, and training in sustainable land use and resource production. Trails through secondary rain forest reveal a wide variety of plants and animals in their natural habitat, including more than 150 different kinds of birds. A top attraction at Danaus is the butterfly farm, with about 30 species on site, including the large blue morpho. The botanic gardens contain some 500 different plant species, while the medicinal plant garden showcases 60 varieties used to support health and healing.After your walkabout, enjoy a soak in one of the geothermal hot springs in the Arenal area, where a waterfall offers a natural massage. Spend the night across from Arenal volcano at Arenal Observatory Lodge. Although Costa Rica’s most famous volcano has been dormant since 2010, it was the country’s most active for 43 years, and its profile is still striking. Seismologists from the Smithsonian Institute and the National University of Costa Rica monitor the volcano intensively from their research station at the lodge.Day 5: Arenal National Park / Canopy Zip Line / Vida Campesina
The wonders of Arenal National Park are unveiled via more than 15 miles of trails that lace the rain forest blanketing the volcano’s lower slopes. As you search for wildlife in the forest, look for intermittent views of the volcano’s summit. Though it’s often buried under a cap of clouds, it dominates the landscape in clear weather. The park is home to 400 bird species, including a great diversity of hummingbirds, along with spider monkeys, howler monkeys, coati, brocket deer, tamandua anteaters, peccaries and the elusive ocelot.Then, venture higher into the rain forest to explore the treetops on a canopy tour. A tram transports you 125 feet above the forest floor, ascending slowly to observe the diversity of life at each elevation. Then it’s time to descend via zip line, flying between the mountainsides along a series of cables (minimum age is 8), or return via the tram if you prefer. Round out the day with a visit to Vida Campesina, a sustainable organic farm that produces more than 60 different crops including native and introduced plants. Learn about the items grown and the challenges and benefits of farming organically in the tropics, including techniques that support environmentally sustainable methods. While you’re there, learn to prepare traditional recipes made from locally grown products, then share a delicious family-style dinner with your hosts.Day 6: Arenal / San Jose
Return to San Jose and settle in for relaxing evening at Xandari Plantation Resort. There will likely be time to explore the substantial trail network surrounding the lodge, or to take a swim in one of several swimming pools with scenic views. Or, choose a beach extension and travel by road from Arenal to Costa Rica’s North Pacific Riviera today.Day 7: San Jose / Home
Transfer to the airport for homeward flights.