The Ultimate Family Adventure in Costa Rica

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“With so many activities and wildlife right here at the resort, everything you need is right at your fingertips,” says Gaddu. And when families are ready to explore outside the resort, she explains, “The CR Luxury Diamond Concierge team will arrange any tours guests would like to experience, including canopy tours, trips to the Arenal active volcano and hot springs, birding and crocodile tours, and surf lessons, just to name a few.”

go exploring Perhaps one of the most uniquely Costa Rican adventures—and definitely this editor’s favorite—is the canopy tour, an adrenaline-pumping ride through the rainforest treetops via a system of ziplines. There are multiple canopy tours located within minutes from the resort but we recommend Canopy Vista Los Sueños, located in Herradura right next to Jaco Beach. Set on approximately 222 acres, canopy tours here offer breathtaking views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the Pacific Ocean.

Canopy tours last about two hours and include a tractor ride to the top of the mountain, bilingual guides and water and fruit at the end of the tour. Children should be at least 4 years old to ride.

Families may also enjoy taking a 2-hour crocodile tour along the Tacoroles River, an area surrounded by mangroves and forest that’s home to hundreds of mammals, birds and reptiles. During the journey, guests of all ages will have a chance to observe a variety of sea birds and crocodiles of varying sizes, as well as witness the guides hand feed the crocs right from the boat. And this is an up-close experience, so agents do let mom and dad know that seeing the guides feed the crocs can be a bit intimidating to watch, although quite fun as long as these ancient-looking creatures don’t decide to jump on the boat (none did while we took the tour, so we’re still here to tell the tale).

Guests vacationing with older kids may want to try a surf lesson at the nearby Playa Jaco. Lessons, which typically last about 2.5 hours, are available for beginner and intermediate boarders and include surfboards, bottled water and fruit.

Another must-visit attraction for families is Manuel Antonio National Park, the most visited national park in Costa Rica. This tropical rainforest is located on the Central Pacific coastline, surrounded by some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. Once inside the park, an extensive system of trails will lead guests through a variety of ecosystems, where they may get up-close to much wildlife, including white-faced titi monkeys, raccoons, three-toed sloths and many tropical birds.

Families also won’t want to miss a visit to Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano, considered one of the 10 most active volcanoes in the world. Here, they can enjoy trips to the natural hot springs, as well as birdwatching and rafting tours.

Currently, Los Sueños Resort is offering two special packages for families visiting during the winter holiday season. The Holiday package, which starts at $997 pp, includes 7-night accommodations in a 3-bedroom condo, golf cart for four people, roundtrip airport shuttle, a Christmas dinner at El Galeon restaurant (located at the Marina Village) and an adventure tour.

Families can also ring in 2012 at Los Sueños and take advantage of the New Year’s package. Priced from $1,200 pp, this package includes all the aforementioned accommodations (including golf cart rental and airport transfers), as well as a New Year’s Eve party, complete with dinner, open bar, live music and more.