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- June 21, 2014
- July 5, 2014
*Offer valid on new bookings only.Overview
Take your kids on an adventure of a lifetime in Costa Rica! This lush, tropical country is a veritable playground for families, and the opportunities for fun are endless. Walk amid the tree tops on hanging bridges, glide through the jungle on a zip line, and go whitewater rafting down the warm Sarapiqui River. You’ll also meet the friendly “Tico” people and learn about the importance of the environment and conservation to all who live there.
Experience geology up-close during visits to Poas Volcano, where you can walk right up to the rim, and to Arenal Volcano, where a local scientist and researcher gives an exclusive talk on volcanology. Learn about rain forest ecology and conservation efforts during a hands-on workshop and hike the trails of La Paz Waterfall Garden to one of the largest butterfly observatories in the world. During your trip, meet with a Costa Rican scientist who is working to develop more efficient rocket engines for travel to outer space, and participate in a half-day service project at a local school, where kids can meet with pen pals. You’ll also enjoy relaxing with your family at a thermal hot spring and a day at a beachfront hotel, where you can play on the beach, take surf lessons, or go horse-back riding. Throughout your vacation, you'll be accompanied by a top-notch local guide, who not only welcomes you to his country and astonishes you with his knowledge, but who loves working with families. This unforgettable family vacation to Costa Rica is recommended for families with kids ages 6 and older.Day 1— Arrive San Jose
Upon arrival in San Jose, Costa Rica, your family is met and transferred to the hotel. Rest and relax after your long journey. Overnight: Hotel BougainvilleaDay 2— San Jose to Sarapiqui Region
Poas Volcano is one of the active volcanoes in Costa Rica’s Central Mountain Range. The volcano is accessible by paved road almost all the way to the principal crater, which is purported to be the widest in the world. Walk the last half mile to the crater's edge and then have a close-up look at what the awesome power of a volcano can do. Later, hike the scenic trails at La Paz waterfall gardens. Having one of the largest butterfly observatories in the world, numerous hummingbirds, tropical gardens, and a variety of waterfalls, there is something here to enchant everyone in your family. Arrive this afternoon at the Sarapiqui region and settle in to your comfortable lodge.Overnight: La Quinta de Sarapiqui
(B,L,D)Day 3— Sarapiqui
Who wants to get splashed? Head to the scenic (and warm!) Sarapiqui River for an exciting family white water rafting trip (ages 8 and up). For those who are less adventurous, you can substitute this with a relaxing and slower-paced float trip. Next, hike across a suspension bridge and into the rain forest to a former cacao growing plot. Along the way learn about the fascinating history of chocolate. Once you arrive at La Tirimbina, learn about the growing and processing of the cacao beans, and try some chocolate, too! Overnight: La Quinta de Sarapiqui
(B,L,D)Day 4— Sarapiqui to Arenal
Depart for the region around Arenal Volcano—one of Costa Rica’s most active—after breakfast. Stop en route near the small town of La Fortuna for the Sky Adventures tour: either the Aerial Tram and zip line or Aerial Tram and hanging bridges walk, depending on how adventurous you are! Then, continue to Arenal Observatory Lodge. This lodge was originally built in 1987 as a Smithsonian Institute scientific research station, and this afternoon one of the scientists from the OVSICORI (Obvservatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica) gives a pre-dinner talk on volcanology. Overnight: Arenal Observatory Lodge
(B,L,D)Day 5— Arenal
You can sleep in this morning if you are so inclined, or opt for a morning forest hike on some of the many trails that crisscross the area around the Arenal Volcano. Lunch will be in the nearby town of La Fortuna, Costa Rica, with some time to wander the quaint streets and check out a few shops. Hop on a bike this afternoon and explore the surrounding countryside, beginning at the hotel with a downhill ride to the dam at Lake Arenal, then continuing for a bit around the lake. A highlight of today is sure to be your visit to the Ecotermales hot springs. The thermal springs are heated by the Arenal volcano and offer a fun and relaxed atmosphere among green gardens and steamy cascades. Enjoy a family-style dinner here before returning to the hotel for a good night’s sleep! Overnight: Arenal Observatory Lodge
(B,L,D)Day 6— Arenal to Guanacaste
Did you know that Costa Rica has exactly one astronaut? Ad Astra is owned by Franklin Chang, the one and only Costa Rican astronaut. He went to space seven times with NASA before retiring and coming back to Costa Rica. One of the scientists at Ad Astra Rocket will give your family a tour of the facility and explain what they are working on—at this time, a plasma engine to take rockets more cheaply and quickly to outer space. Arrive at your charming boutique beachfront hotel with time to relax before dinner. Overnight: Bosque del Mar
(B,L,D)Day 7— Guanacaste
Time at the beautiful North Pacific coast of Costa Rica wouldn’t be complete without a day to do as you wish on your family vacation. Relax at the hotel, or perhaps opt to head to Tamarindo Beach for surf lessons and shopping. Another option is a full day of adventure, which includes horseback riding, whitewater river tubing, and a zip line canyoning tour. (Optional tours at guests’ own expense.) Dinner is on your own tonight. Overnight: Bosque del Mar
(B,L)Day 8— Guanacaste
Visit a local Costa Rican school this morning, where the group takes part in a half day service project. (The exact nature of the project will depend on the number of participants and the needs of the school and community at the time of your visit.) Children with pen pals in Costa Rica will have the opportunity to meet them today! Enjoy a farewell dinner with your guide and fellow travelers tonight, and share your favorite memories. Overnight: Bosque del Mar
(B,L,D)Day 9— Depart Liberia and arrive U.S.
You and your family will be transferred to Liberia airport for your departing flight. (B)