Outdoor adventure, wildlife viewing, and relaxing beach time await families on these exciting 11-day itineraries around Costa Rica! Travelers with younger children might opt for a trip featuring sunset sailing, farm tours, and easy walks through the rainforest, while those with older kids may prefer an itinerary with zip-lining and snorkeling around a coral reef. Whether you spend your time around Arenal Volcano and the Monteverde Cloud Forest or venture further to the beaches of Sámara and Palo Verde National Park, these trips offer fun for the whole family.

Itinerary #1: Costa Rica for Families: Outdoor Adventures & Wildlife 

This family-oriented 11-day journey leads you and your kids around Costa Rica's beautiful waterfalls, lush rainforests, smoking volcanoes, and vibrant wildlife habitats. You'll look for sloths in the wild, go for a dip in hot springs, and learn how chocolate is made.

Sail with the family at sunset
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Explore Downtown San José San José
Day 2 Walk in the Rainforest After Dark La Fortuna
Day 3 Sloth and Bird Hike & Dip in Hot Springs La Fortuna
Day 4 Safari Float & Visit a Chocolate Farm La Fortuna
Day 5 Tour a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center  Monteverde
Day 6 Children's Eternal Forest Monteverde
Day 7 Monteverde Cloud Forest Guided Hike Monteverde
Day 8 Manuel Antonio National Park Manuel Antonio
Day 9 Hike, Sail & Snorkel in the Park Manuel Antonio
Day 10 Boat Around Damas Island Estuary Manuel Antonio
Day 11 Depart Costa Rica  


Welcome to Costa Rica! After sightseeing in San José, you and the family will explore a private ecological reserve on a nighttime hike near La Fortuna. Hike through a sloth habitat and soak in natural hot springs before enjoying a safari-style float down the river and visiting a chocolate farm to learn how chocolate is made from bean to bar.

Get up close with monkeys and parrots on a tour of a wildlife rehabilitation center, then move on to Monteverde to explore the cloud forest. Finish up the trip in Manuel Antonio National Park with a sailing trip and a chance to snorkel off the side of the boat. Learn about a mangrove ecosystem and get the kids involved as the whole family does some birdwatching on another boating excursion on the last day of the trip. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Family Adventure in Costa Rica: Wetlands, Volcanoes & Caribbean Beaches

Look for monkeys in the trees, go whitewater rafting, and swim in waterfall pools on this exciting 11-day adventure. With the kids, you'll explore Tortuguero National Park, the beaches of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, and the volcanoes, hot springs, and rivers of Arenal. 

Explore wetlands on a boat tour
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Explore San José's Food Scene San José
Day 2 Spot Wildlife on a Night Hike in Tortuguero Tortuguero
Day 3 Boat Along the Tortuguero Canals Tortuguero
Day 4 Travel to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 5 Visit the Jaguar Rescue Center Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 6 Discover the Beaches Around Puerto Viejo Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 7 Hike to La Fortuna Waterfall La Fortuna
Day 8 Go on a Sloth and Bird Hike & Dip in Hot Springs La Fortuna
Day 9 Try Whitewater Rafting on the Balsa River La Fortuna
Day 10 Embark on a Safari Float & Visit a Chocolate Farm La Fortuna
Day 11 Depart Costa Rica  


Explore San José's colorful central market on the first day of the journey, then head to Tortuguero National Park for a nocturnal rainforest hike and a boat ride along the park's canals. Tour the Jaguar Animal Rescue Center with the kids before enjoying a free day of relaxing on one of Costa Rica's most beautiful beaches, Playa Punta Uva.

Explore La Fortuna Waterfall Reserve and hike along the so-called "Sloth Trail" and around the base of Arenal Volcano. The itinerary ends with a gentle introduction to whitewater rafting, with a trip on the Rio Balsa followed by a tour of a cocoa bean farm, where the whole family will be able to help make and taste freshly made chocolate. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Family Trip to Costa Rica's Mountains, Volcanoes & the Gulf of Papagayo 

On this action-packed 11-day trip created for families, you'll go zip-lining and dip in hot springs in Rincón de la Vieja National Park, learn to surf in coastal Tamarindo, and enjoy a sunset cruise on the beautiful Gulf of Papagayo.

Relax in hot springs with the family
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Soak in the Río Negro Hot Springs Rincón de la Vieja
Day 2 Enjoy a Day of Adventure in Hacienda Guachipelin Rincón de la Vieja
Day 3 Hike in Rincón de la Vieja National Park Rincón de la Vieja
Day 4 Explore the Rainforest After Dark La Fortuna
Day 5 Go on a Sloth and Bird Hike & Dip in Hot Springs La Fortuna
Day 6 Try Whitewater Rafting on the Balsa River La Fortuna
Day 7 Sail on the Gulf of Papagayo at Sunset  Gulf of Papagayo
Day 8 Free Day in Papagayo Gulf of Papagayo
Day 9 Discover the Beaches of Guanacaste  Gulf of Papagayo
Day 10 Explore Tamarindo Mangrove & Estuary  Gulf of Papagayo
Day 11 Depart Costa Rica  


Begin the trip in Rincón de la Vieja National Park, where you will soak in the Río Negro Hot Springs and play in the volcanic mud nearby. The whole family can try horseback riding, zip-lining, and river tubing during a day of adventure. After a guided hike and a nighttime rainforest tour, you will hike around Arenal Volcano and walk across the Arenal Hanging Bridges.

Go on a whitewater rafting adventure on the Balsa River—a gentle introduction that is fun for the whole gang—then move onto the Gulf of Papagayo for a sunset catamaran cruise. In the next few days, you can try stand-up paddle boarding, go snorkeling on the beaches, and learn to surf in the coastal hub of Tamarindo. On the last full day of the trip, you'll go boating around the mangroves and estuary, looking for monkeys and iguanas. Learn more

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Itinerary #4: Family Adventure in Costa Rica: Volcanoes, Cloud Forests & the Ocean

See the best of Costa Rica on this family-oriented itinerary featuring hands-on activities at a local farm, jungle hikes, zip-lining, seeing turtles hatching and snorkeling. 

A little boy feeds a cow on a Costa Rican farm tour
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Spot Sloths in the Wild La Fortuna
Day 2 Visit a Local Farm & Arenal Hanging Bridges La Fortuna
Day 3 Tour a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center La Fortuna
Day 4 Try Whitewater Rafting on the Balsa River La Fortuna
Day 5 Explore a Coffee Farm & Go on a Nighttime Nature Walk Monteverde
Day 6 Have Fun at the Sky Adventures Park Monteverde
Day 7 Go Horseback Riding in the Jungle Monteverde
Day 8 Experience Pacific Green Turtles Nesting Tamarindo
Day 9 Boat Around Palo Verde National Park  Tamarindo
Day 10 Explore Beaches & Snorkel Offshore Tamarindo
Day 11 Depart Costa Rica  


Kick off the trip with a hike in La Fortuna, where your family will look for slow-moving sloths in the wild. Kids can run, play, and learn how to milk a cow when you visit a Costa Rican farm on day two. Soak in hot springs, then tour a rescue center for local animals and go on a whitewater rafting excursion on the Río Balsa.

You will tour a coffee farm on day five, then spend the following day zip-lining through the jungle canopy at the Sky Adventures Park. Enjoy a peaceful horseback riding trip through the forest, then watch as green sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. On the last few days of the trip, discover the natural beauty of Palo Verde National Park and relax on the beach near Tamarindo. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Family Trip to Costa Rica's Volcanoes, Waterfalls & Coral Reefs

Featuring outdoor adventures and opportunities to spot monkeys, sloths, and toucans, this family-friendly 11-day trip around Costa Rica is fun for all ages. Hike to waterfalls, snorkel around a coral reef, tour a coffee farm, and more. 

Snorkel near a coral reef in Costa Rica
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Soak in the Río Negro Hot Springs Rincón de la Vieja
Day 2 Hike in Rincón de la Vieja National Park Rincón de la Vieja
Day 3 Go on a Guided Rainforest Hike Rincón de la Vieja
Day 4 Experience Pacific Green Turtles Nesting Gulf of Papagayo
Day 5 Explore the Beaches of Guanacaste Gulf of Papagayo
Day 6 Free Day in Papagayo Gulf of Papagayo
Day 7 Snorkel Around the Catalina Islands Gulf of Papagayo
Day 8 Visit a Coffee Farm & Indigenous Community Sámara
Day 9 Tour a Scarlet Macaw Refuge and Breeding Center Sámara
Day 10 Hike in the Werner Sauter Biological Reserve Sámara
Day 11 Depart Costa Rica  


Frolic in the mineral-rich mud of the Rio Negro Hot Springs on the first day of the trip. You'll do some hiking in Rincón de La Vieja National Park and walk along the gorgeous Río Celeste river, one of the country's most beautiful natural attractions, before moving onto the Gulf of Papagayo to see Pacific green turtles nesting. You'll have a few days to explore the beautiful beaches of Guanacaste or try whitewater rafting on the Tenorio River.

Day seven brings a snorkeling excursion around the Catalina Islands, where you might spot more sea turtles as well as giant manta rays. You will visit an indigenous community to learn how coffee is made, then tour a refuge for scarlet macaws before finishing the trip with a hike through a tropical reserve. Learn more

Itinerary #6: Coast-to-Coast Family Adventure

Experience Costa Rica's best on this 11-day adventure, perfect for the whole family. Watch sea turtles nesting in Tortuguero National Park, hike around Arenal Volcano, zip-line through the cloud forest of Monteverde, and relax on the beaches of Guanacaste. 

Ride the waves at sunset
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Explore Downtown San José San Jose
Day 2 Spot Wildlife in Tortuguero National Park Tortuguero
Day 3 Look for Turtles Nesting on the Beach Tortuguero
Day 4 Transfer to Arenal & Enjoy a Free Afternoon La Fortuna
Day 5 Hike & Soak in Hot Springs La Fortuna
Day 6 Go on a Chocolate Tour & Swim in Waterfalls La Fortuna
Day 7 Boat to Monteverde & Coffee Tour Monteverde
Day 8 Enjoy the Sky Adventures Park Monteverde
Day 9 Road-trip to the Gulf of Papagayo Gulf de Papagayo
Day 10 Sail on the Gulf of Papagayo at Sunset  Gulf de Papagayo
Day 11 Depart Costa Rica  


Spend day one exploring family-friendly attractions in downtown San José before continuing to Tortuguero National Park for a boat ride and nighttime jungle tour. You'll go canoeing and wildlife spotting on day three before moving on to Arenal Volcano National Park. After hiking in the area, rest your muscles while going for a dip in hot springs.

Kids will love a hands-on chocolate tour and a visit to the La Fortuna Waterfall Reserve on day six. Continue to Monteverde's cloud forest and prepare for a day of thrills and zip-lining at the Sky Adventures Park. Finish up the itinerary with a road trip to the Gulf of Papagayo and a sunset sail along the Gold Coast. Learn more

More Great 11-Day Costa Rica Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Costa Rica? Check out these other 11-day Costa Rica itineraries, with outdoor adventures, family-friendly trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

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Map of 11 Days in Costa Rica - 6 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
Map of 11 Days in Costa Rica - 6 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas