Take your family to Costa Rica for fun and learning! Enjoy an active adventure that also teaches the kids about nature, conservation, and sustainability. 

Starting at: $3,395 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Squirrel monkey in the rain forest  Kids and parents prepare for the rain forest zip line. Credit: Dennis Wille  Red-eyed tree frog crawling between leaves in the jungle  A sloth at home in the tree tops  Oak Tiger Butterfly. Credit: Phil Parsons  A brilliantly colored morpho butterfly  The luscious cloud forest from the forest floor  Arenal Volcano  Costa Rica coffee field  Learning about Costa Rica's coffee industry

Exploring Costa Rica: A Family Journey

8-9 days from $3,395

Take your family to Costa Rica for fun and learning! Enjoy an active adventure that also teaches the kids about nature, conservation, and sustainability. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This was the trip of a lifetime for my daughter and me. We both were overwhelmed by the beauty of the country and the many new adventures offered to us. The zip line was a favorite. We can't say enough good things about our guides - knowledgeable, engaged, patient and fun! 

- Mary B.

Dear Danny [guide], your positive attitude and attention to detail allowed me the rare opportunity to completely enjoy a vacation. It is always stressful to travel with kids, however, on this trip I was able to relax and watch my son grow with each of our adventures. You were so much more than a tour guide. You, my friend, are a memory maker. You and this trip will forever be in our hearts. Thank you! 

- Lauren D.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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LASTCALL

Save $200 *per person when you book by August 18, 2017! Use promotion code LASTCALL online or when speaking to our travel specialists to secure these savings.

• Dec. 26, 2017

*Offer valid on new bookings only.

Overview

Travel to Costa Rica, renowned for its vast richness of flora and fauna; its dedication to biodiversity, sustainability, and conservation; and for its opportunities for exciting adventures! Cherish indispensable family time while enjoying beautiful scenery, incredible wildlife, and the wealth of educational opportunities available in this fascinating country.

This was the trip of a lifetime for my daughter and me. We both were overwhelmed by the beauty of the country and the many new adventures offered to us. The zip line was a favorite. We can't say enough good things about our guides - knowledgeable, engaged, patient and fun! 

- Mary B.

Dear Danny [guide], your positive attitude and attention to detail allowed me the rare opportunity to completely enjoy a vacation. It is always stressful to travel with kids, however, on this trip I was able to relax and watch my son grow with each of our adventures. You were so much more than a tour guide. You, my friend, are a memory maker. You and this trip will forever be in our hearts. Thank you! 

- Lauren D.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

2017 Itinerary

Map - Exploring Costa Rica: A Family Journey

Highlights Include

  • Active Adventure: Catch beautiful vistas of Arenal Volcano from a zip line and hanging bridges. Plus, relax in the thermal hot springs of the area. Hike through the Los Angeles Cloud Forest Private Nature Reserve and glide along the waves during family surf lessons on the stunning beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park.
  • Incredible Wildlife: Glimpse beautiful native bird species and a rainbow of multihued butterflies as you walk through private nature reserves. Tour Manuel Antonio National Park on foot to scope out sloths, iguanas, rare and mischievous squirrel monkeys, and colorful little crabs.
  • Family Fun: Walk the “red carpet” at your photographic world premiere. Learn to capture wildlife, nature and culture through your own individual lens in one of the most sustainable locations on the planet, Costa Rica. Families will create a custom photography journey and enjoy a “premier showing” of their work during our farewell evening. 
  • Conservation and Sustainability: Explore Costa Rica’s famous Cloud Forest from your home base at Villa Blanca, a sustainable, luxury hotel with a kid’s nature club featuring daily activities to engage all ages. Learn about crops and the economy during visits to vanilla and coffee plantations, a sugar mill, and a rural mountain village. And throughout your adventure, learn about rain forest ecology and conservation efforts in Costa Rica. 

Day 1 — Arrive and Transfer to Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel

From Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San José, transfer to Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve. At Villa Blanca, comfort, heritage, and conservation co-exist in harmony reflecting a commitment to sustainable hospitality. Daily activities offered include the Kid’s Nature Club, which provides documentaries and family movies in the hotel’s own movie theater, workshops with our registered and licensed Nature Interpreters at the Jose Miguel Alfaro Research Center, and organic gardening demonstration where families will learn techniques they can incorporate into their own gardens. Enjoy dinner at El Sendero’s Cloud Forest Restaurant. (D)

Day 2 — Activities in Arenal Volcano Area

This morning, enjoy an adventure zip lining in Arenal & Hot Springs. Enjoy the beautiful vistas as you head off to Arenal Volcano for zip lining, hanging bridges, and the relaxing hot springs in La Fortuna. This afternoon, slip into Nature's own hot tub at the Eco-Termales thermal hot springs with a selection of pool temperatures ranging between 98º to 107º degrees. After your time at the hot springs, you will return to your hotel tucked in the cloud forest.

Special Evening Activities: After dinner, parents have a special evening of local cordials and dessert tasting while the kids enjoy a movie night in the private hotel theater with popcorn included! (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Sustainable Coffee Farm Tour, Cooking Class, and Evening Mystery Walk

Get an early start today to experience the rural life of Costa Rica by immersing yourself in the heartland of Costa Rica’s Central Highlands on this guided tour of sustainable local agriculture, traditions, and regional cuisine. Starting in the colorful town of Bajo Zúñiga, you’ll visit a working vegetable farm and coffee plantation. Stopping at various sections of the farm, you’ll see how the principles and practice of organic agriculture are applied with a blend of time-honored techniques and new innovations. Continuing to the Piedades Norte district, you’ll tour an authentic sugar mill operated by a local family. As part of this unique experience, you’ll sample sobados, delicious homemade candies. We will be bringing back local products to incorporate into your family cooking class at Villa Blanca, where Costa Rican cuisine will be shared as a cultural tradition through learning with a local chef and enjoying your preparations at lunch.

If you’re looking for the region’s wildest nightlife, look no further. When the sun goes down, the cloud forest transforms like no other habitat in the world. Nighttime is when the cloud forest breathes; pumping out higher concentrations of oxygen along with layers of the sweet fragrances of nocturnal plants and flowers. Then, something truly extraordinary happens—the forest is filled with the music of nature’s most spectacular symphony as the voices of millions of life forms fill the cool night air. You’ll see an important amount of nocturnal species representing the countless variety of insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals that comprise this amazing jungle. You’ll discover a world rarely seen by visitors to other parts of Costa Rica. Followed by dinner at El Sendero. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Cloud Forest Nature Reserve and Manuel Antonio National Park

Enjoy a morning nature hike through part of the Los Angeles Cloud Forest Private Nature Reserve and spot a variety of native bird species and insects, including a rainbow of colorful butterflies. Enjoy a boxed lunch en route to our next hotel, Si Como No.

Later this morning, transfer to Manuel Antonio National Park and Si Como No Resort & Wildlife Refuge. At Si Como No, the same comfort, heritage, and conservation co-exist in harmony reflecting a commitment to sustainable hospitality. With a profound respect for the natural surroundings and uncompromising standards of personal service, Si Como No maintains the same level of truly exceptional Costa Rica experience as her sister hotel, Villa Blanca. The resort also holds Five Green Leaves by The Certification of Sustainable Tourism (C.S.T.), Costa Rica’s highest award for sustainable practices from hotel operations to community programs.

The afternoon is at your leisure to relax poolside or visit the stunning beaches of Manuel Antonio or visit the resort’s adjacent Wildlife Refuge with free passes to the Butterfly Gardens plus nature park tour exhibits, including crocodile lagoons and amphibian gardens. The resort features Greentique’s Kid’s Nature Club, including documentaries and family movies in the resort’s own movie theater, workshops with our registered and licensed Nature Interpreters in the adjacent Manuel Antonio Nature Park at the Butterfly Garden Atrium and Reptile Lagoons. Plus, nature and cultural classes are offered at the new Rancho Rico Tico Family Pool. Wrap up the day with dinner at the Rico Tico Tex-Mex Grille. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Manuel Antonio Park Tour and Surfing Lessons

This morning, spend the day in Manuel Antonio with a guided tour of Manuel Antonio National Park. Established in 1972, Manuel Antonio was created to preserve one of the most beautiful and bio-diverse areas of Costa Rica. Although it is the country's smallest national park, the stunning beauty and diversity of wildlife in its 683 hectares is unequaled—featuring a charming combination of rain forest, beaches, and coral reefs. Lined with lush forest, these beaches are amongst the most beautiful in the country. The coastal forest is home to sloths, iguanas, rare and adorable squirrel monkeys and colorful little crabs. Attend lunch at a local restaurant near the beach. Afterward, glide along the waves during an introductory surfing lesson.  Great for adults too so get ready to “Hang Ten". Later, enjoy dinner at the Claro Que Seafood Restaurant (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Damas Island Estuary

This morning after breakfast we will visit an ecosystem paradise, the Damas Island Estuary. The Mangrove forest is one of the most important remaining ecosystems in Costa Rica, covering thousands of acres, and is home to a large number of birds, reptiles, mammals, and insects. A mangrove forest is where trees grow in coastal sediment from the ocean, which causes a unique underwater root system to attract various species of animals.

Our journey begins by boarding a covered boat, which takes us through the complex and beautiful estuaries and mangroves surrounding Damas Island. Experience curious families of monkeys as they migrate across the mangrove ecosystem in search of food and adventure. Look out for sloths, green iguanas, crocodiles, crab-eating raccoons, silky anteaters, and birds. Also discover how the native trees of Costa Rica replenish the environment worldwide, yet sustain themselves for decades of growth. Return to the hotel for lunch. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure at one of the beautiful pools at SiComo No or head back to the beach or explore the quaint town of Quepos. (B,L,D)  

Day 7 — Vanilla Spice Tour

This morning, visit Villa Vanilla where you'll learn about the world’s most popular flavor, vanilla. Just 10 miles east of Quepos, the plantation features 27 acres of agriculture land and 125 acres of primary and secondary rainforest. Native to Central America and Mexico, vanilla is also the second most expensive flavoring agent. The reason for its high cost is the labor-intensive nature of vanilla cultivation and processing. Each vanilla orchid is carefully fertilized by hand and during pollination season, visitors learn how to pollinate vanilla flowers. Vanilla is the only edible member of the orchid family, the largest plant family on the planet. The grounds also feature Ceylon cinnamon, cocoa, black pepper, allspice, turmeric, and a variety of exotic fruits and essential oils. You’ll also see an extraordinary collection of epiphytes (air plants) including orchids and bromeliads. The tour begins in the post-harvest warehouse where spices are dried, processed, and packaged and is followed by a beautiful walk through a dedicated “Epiphyte Trail” winding through the plantation. You will then pass by the fishpond on the way to the viewpoint, where in addition to enjoying the vistas, you will experience a special “Flavors of the World” tasting. All items are made fresh on the farm from scratch and use as many ingredients from the plantation as possible. Come taste the flavors of the rainforest and get inspired to try a little cooking and baking at home with some fresh organic spices! The last stop is at the famous “Spice Shoppe", where visitors and chefs alike stock up on vanilla beans and extract, Ceylon cinnamon, savory chile-infused hot chocolate and other products grown on the farm to give as gifts or try in their own recipes! Later, take the afternoon at your leisure. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Depart for the U.S.

Private transfer from Si Como No to from Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San José for your return flight. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2018 Itinerary

Highlights Include

  • Active Adventures: In Arenal Volcano National Park, enjoy hiking along the base of the volcano where the forest is in the process of regeneration. You’ll also see the rain forest up close from sky walk bridges, then enjoy a zip line adventure as well! Take a boat ride through the Tamarind Mangrove to spot howler monkeys, crocodiles, herons, and kingfishers. Plus enjoy a day at leisure at your beach resort as well as optional activities such as surf lessons.
  • Cultural Experiences: Meet the staffs at two privately owned farms devoted to the production of chocolate and pineapples. You’ll tour the farms and learn about the relationship between cultural heritage and the country’s agriculture and economy.
  • Wildlife Reserves: Learn about the challenges of wildlife preservation as you travel to Tortuguero, famous for the nesting areas of the green turtles. Visit the beach nesting area as well as the information center and watch for wildlife during boat rides through the canals. On the west coast area of Guanacaste, you’ll be welcomed at two wildlife preserves, one for the endangered puma, and the other for monkeys and other injured animals. These sites focus on wildlife rehabilitation and release needs as well as visitor education. You’ll also have the opportunity for volunteer work here, should you choose.

Day 1 — Depart Home Cities and arrive in San José Costa Rica

From Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San José, transfer to the Park Inn Hotel where you will enjoy a festive welcome dinner and rest up for the adventure ahead. (D)

Day 2 — Tortuguero

Today you set off in the early morning for incredible Tortuguero, home to a favorite nesting ground for sea turtles. In route, admire the biodiversity of Braulio Carrillo National Park as the bus drives through this protected nature area. Stop along the way for a delicious Costa Rican breakfast. Watch as roadside fruit markets open up, spotting pineapples and banana trees as you pass through small villages and towns. Arrive at the pier and board a comfortable boat to reach the Lodge. Sail through the Tortuguero canals and let this extraordinary exotic paradise enchant you! Enjoy a refreshing cocktail and a delicious lunch as you arrive at the lodge. This afternoon, visit the picturesque nearby town and learn about the importance of sea turtle habitats at the green turtle information center followed by a visit to the beach area. Return to the lodge tonight for a relaxing dinner in this pristine nature preserve. (B,L,D)

Please note: on the June departure, there is an additional, optional night tour of the turtle nesting areas.

Day 3 —Tortuguero

This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel followed by a boat tour of the Tortuguero canals. These canals provide shelter to endangered animals including the Oriental Indian Manatee, many crustaceans and about 30 species of sweet water fish, including the Gaspar, considered a living fossil! Disembark in town and experience more local hospitality during a delicious lunch. Explore the area on your own after lunch and then transfer to Arenal. (B,L)

Day 4 — Activities at Arenal Volcano

This morning you will explore Arenal Volcano National Park. Take a gentle hike along the base of Arenal and enjoy sweeping views of this “Mountain of Fire.” Along the trek, you will encounter some of the most recent lava flows and see the area destroyed in the famous 1968 eruption – now in a period of regeneration. See Arenal from a birds-eye view from the Sky Tram as you wind your way up the mountain side to the observation deck which provides breathtaking views of the rainforest. Adventurers can zip line from the top back to the base where you will enjoy a hearty lunch. This afternoon you will meet the Zuniga Family on their pineapple farm. You’ll learn about the planting and harvesting of the tasty fruit and then sample fresh pineapple treats. Return to the hotel and immerse yourself in the relaxing hot springs on-site and dine with your family on your own tonight. (B,L) 

Day 5 — Arenal / Tamarindo

Today you’ll start with a hearty Costa Rican breakfast followed by the sweet treat of a chocolate tour. It is hard to imagine that something as delicious as chocolate could come from a tree! As you tour the cacao farm, your guide will reveal the secrets of the transformation of this fruit into chocolate. Learn how to make chocolate and as you participate in all the production processes of the fruit including harvesting, drying, grinding, and of course enjoying some high-quality organic farm chocolate.

After your tour, you set off for Costa Rica’s beautiful Pacific Coast.  During your transfer to Guanacaste, you will stop for lunch and a visit to the Las Pumas Rescue Center. The Las Pumas Rescue Center has worked since the 1960s to offer rescue and rehabilitation to animals displaced by deforestation. You’ll see jaguars, pumas, monkeys, parrots and many other species as you learn about their important conservation work.

This afternoon you’ll arrive on the coast and enjoy a relaxing evening at the Tamarindo Diria Hotel – exploring the pools, restaurants, and shops in this beachfront community. (B,L)

Day 6 — Tamarindo

Rise and shine today with a leisurely breakfast followed by a visit to the small fruit market in Villa Real Village, where you will enjoy a tropical fruit tasting and shopping time at souvenirs shops in the area. You will taste three kinds of seasonal fruits and can buy other available fruits at the market.

This afternoon, you’ll have the exciting opportunity to glide along the waves during an introductory surfing lesson. Great for adults too so get ready to “Hang Ten".  (Optional activity at additional cost)

The rest of the day is free to practice your new surfing skills, swim in one of the many pools, stroll the picturesque beach or opt in for one of the other activities available at the hotel. (B,L,D*)

*In December, you will enjoy a special New Years’ dinner and celebration this evening! 

Day 7 — Tamarindo Mangroves Tour

Explore the Tamarindo Mangroves today! This morning, you will tour through the canals, spotting an abundance of wildlife, trees, and plants along your way. Your local guide will help you spot howler monkeys, herons, kingfishers, crocodiles, and many colorful birds! Learn about the native Tamarindo and Guanacaste tree species, immerse yourself in the tropical forest environment, and experience the incredible biodiversity of the Guanacaste region.

Return to the hotel for lunch. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure at one of the beautiful pools at the Tamarindo Diria Hotel, walk back to the beach for some sun and sand or explore the other activities available. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Wildlife Refuge Park & Volunteer Opportunity

Today you will visit the Monkey Park Foundation. This unique non-profit rescues endangered, indigenous wildlife of Costa Rica and provides a safe and experienced environment for rehabilitation and release. Learn about conservation and rehabilitation efforts in Guanacaste as you tour the facilities. Discover the history of deforestation in the region and learn the importance of biodiversity and balanced ecosystems. You’ll meet the animals and have the exciting opportunity give back to the organization through volunteer work. You could prepare and provide meals to the animals, work with a team to clean up and maintain the animal habitats, participate in landscaping or construction and help with the up-keep of the Foundation’s grounds.

After working up an appetite, return to the hotel for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. Tonight, toast to a wonderful trip at the celebratory farewell dinner. (B,L,D) 

Day 9 — Depart for the U.S.

Transfer to Daniel Oduber Quiros Airport (LIR) for your return flight. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)