Costa Rica is one of Central America’s favorite tourist destinations. Blessed with beautiful beaches, warm crystal water and world famous surf, you can easily spend your vacation playing in the sun. Not satisfied to rest on its tourism success, Costa Rican’s have developed a myriad of fun activities for your next vacation. The family is the center of Tico culture. Therefore, it makes sense that Costa Rica vacation activities are family orientated. Below, we feature five of our favorite family activities for your next Costa Rica vacation.
1. Turtle Tour. Costa Rica is home to the giant leatherback sea turtle. These magnificent creatures can grow up to seven feet long and weigh up to 1500 pounds. Once these giants reach the age to mate, they return to the same beach where they were born to lay their eggs. Costa Rica is one of the few nesting habitats for this endangered specie. Government sponsored groups lead turtle tours to watch the leatherbacks come in to lay their eggs. Proceeds go to turtle conservation efforts. There are few activities that can compare to a close encounter with these car size creatures.
2. Chocolate Making. Part history lesson and part cooking class, a chocolate making tour is a great family activity. The cacao bean has a long history in Costa Rica. Once used as a currency, it has also been used for medicinal purposes and in more recent times, as the culinary desert that we know today. Costa Rican cacao is one of three varieties that exist in the world and produces fine dark chocolate. Tours vary from intense week-long workshops for chocolatiers, to half-day visits to artisanal chocolate makers’ plantations. Many allow participants to make their own chocolate!
3. Family Surf Lesson. Costa Rica is famous for its surf. Warm water, sunshine and every type of surf break imaginable, make surfing a great family activity. It’s like skiing without the cold or expensive lift ticket. Group lessons usually involve four to six students and one or two instructors. A family can book a group lesson and essentially receive a private family lesson. Lessons are conducted in protected areas where the surf is ideal for learning the Hawaiian sport of kings. Be sure to wear sunscreen.
4. In House Spa Treatment. Many visitors to Costa Rica choose to rent a vacation home instead of staying in a hotel. Costa Rica house rentals are an especially smart choice for families. Renting a private home gives you more luxury, more privacy and is generally cheaper for groups of four or more than staying in a hotel. A Costa Rica house rental is the perfect location for an in house spa treatment. Local spa practitioners will come to your vacation home and give you your treatment for the same cost as going to the spa. Whether it is a massage after a day of surfing or manicure or pedicure while the boys are out on an ATV tour, an in house spa treatment is a great way for families to relax and enjoy a special treat together.
5. Mountain Bike Tour. Costa Rican’s have taken to cycling. With the success of Costa Rican cyclists such as Andrey Amador, Costa Rica’s first participant in the Tour de France, all types of cycling have seen an explosion in popularity. Due to the country’s ideal terrain, mountain biking is a hugely popular activity. The sport’s popularity means that you will find talented guides and first rate equipment. An invigorating ride through the rain forest to catch the warm glowing colors of a Costa Rica sunset is a great way to spend a family afternoon.
While Costa Rica is famous for its beaches, it is also an ideal destination for active families. We have listed five of our favorite family orientated activities. However, there are many more. Check with your Costa Rica house rental concierge for other great ideas.
Horizon Pacific Management & Rentals is located in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Offering vacation rentals, property management, long-term rentals, as well as a complete concierge service. Providing you with a local contact during your stay, Horizon Pacific is a company you can trust, with the experience you need.