Costa Rica: Ten reasons to go on a family holiday

Ten reasons to take your family to Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the perfect spot for your next family adventure.

Smaller than Scotland but big in personality, this peaceful country offers variety, relaxation and beautiful scenery.

See also: Where to go off the beaten path in 2018

See also: Costa Rica, anyone? 21 reasons to go on holiday here

Costa Ricans are very friendly and always put children at the centre of attention; young explorers will have the time of their life!

You can explore Costa Rica by shuttle bus or by hire car, just roll down your window for a chorus of monkeys, frogs and birds and the fresh scent of the tropical rainforest.

During your Costa Rica travels swing between treetops, watch sea turtles lay eggs on sandy shores, swim beneath hidden waterfalls and slow down to the Caribbean pace of life.

Here are a few highlights to look forward to:

Ten reasons to visit Costa Rica with your family

1. Zip-lining

Costa Rica offers plenty of adventure; youngsters can zip through the skies on a canopy tour through the forest like Indiana Jones. There are zip lines in many different places in Costa Rica, with Monteverde laying claim to the country's first zip line. Costs vary quite a bit from $30-$65 depending on where you go.

Ten reasons to visit Costa Rica with your family

2. Volcanoes

Costa Rica has five active Volcanoes which sit along the Ring of Fire – a string of volcanoes and sites of seismic activity around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. For those inspired by the forces of nature, a trek along the Arenal Volcano gives you the chance to experience their natural wonder up close and personal.

Jungle tour in the monteverde national park costa rica

3. Cloud forests

The lush cloud forest of Monteverde is high on the list of Costa Rican must-sees for many travellers. Here, the morning mist lasts most of the day, continuously filtering through this dense, tropical jungle. Standing amongst primitive trees in the swirling mist feels like you've stepped back into the land of the dinosaurs.

Ten reasons to visit Costa Rica with your family

4. Turtles

One of the best places in the world to see turtles, Turtle Beach is tucked away within the Tortuguero National Park. It is accessible from the mainland by boat. You can stay in a rainforest lodge and an experienced guide will take you to the beach at night to see turtles digging holes and laying eggs. The stunning scenery and wildlife will create lasting memories that will stay with you and your family. And not a fake animal in sight – beat that Disneyland!

Ten reasons to visit Costa Rica with your family

5. Tropical rainforests

The isolation of the Corcovado rainforest makes it one of the most special places in the country. Fill your senses with the sounds of the rainforest, listen to howler monkeys in the distance, smell the tropical hibiscus or spot tiny red frogs in the grass. The rainforest takes you by surprise; the quieter it seems, the more animals seem to be hiding amongst the leaves.

Costa Rica, Peninsula Nicoya, Tour boat around Isla Tortuga

6. Snorkelling

Boasting two very different coastlines, the Pacific and the Caribbean, Costa Rica offers some of the most amazing marine ecosystems in the world. If you have water babies they will adore snorkelling in the stunningly clear water and marvelling at the beautiful coral and sea life.

Ten reasons to visit Costa Rica with your family

7. Sun-kissed beaches

If all the excitement leaves you needing a rest, you can switch to full chill mode to embrace the Caribbean-style east coast vibe offered by Puerto Viejo, a coastal town in Talamanca within the Limón Province. You'll find stunning beaches, reggae music and incredible Caribbean stew. It is also a surfing hot spot if you fancy hitting some waves.

Ten reasons to visit Costa Rica with your family

8. Whales and dolphins

Take a boat ride and snorkelling trip to Isla Ballena, the only underwater national park in Costa Rica. Look out for dolphins along the coast. When snorkelling, if you're lucky the dolphins will swim right up close to the boat. The dolphins can be seen throughout the year and, if you visit in Dec-Jan, you'll have the chance to spot whales.

Ten reasons to visit Costa Rica with your family

9. Traditional food

The food in Costa Rica is remarkably fresh, mild but also tasty. Depending on the time of the year, you can find mangos, pineapples, watermelons, melons, guanabana (soursop), guabas, passion fruit and a lot more! Rice and black beans (locally known as Gallo Pinto) is the nation's staple for most meals, often eaten three times a day! Thanks to its comfort-style, Costa Rican food is perfect for the whole family. Check out this guide to Traditional Costa Rican Food for more information. If you're worried your little ones might be slightly wary of the local food, never fear, most restaurants will have Western and European food options as well, from burgers to pizza!

Ten reasons to visit Costa Rica with your family

10. Ecotourism

Costa Rica measures its economy on happiness. And they seem to be performing very well, currently ranking number 1 in the world. As well as putting people first when measuring its economy, Costa Rica generates 99% of its power from renewable energy, and in 1949 it abolished its army in place of improved health and education. Ecotourism is one of the main economic activities of the country. Because of this, the government is dedicated to preserving its main attraction; nature and wildlife.

For more information on the best time to visit, see Rickshaw's When To Go guide.

Best beaches in the Caribbean
See Gallery
Best beaches in the Caribbean
Did you know? Providenciales is famous for its world class diving with miles and miles of spectacular coral reefs to explore. 
Did you know? Playa Paraiso translates as 'Paradise Beach' which isn't surprising given the beauty of this white sand beach which boasts some of the calmest waters in Cuba. 
The area around Flamenco Beach was used for US Navy and Marine exercises until the late 1970s and relics from that time, including tanks, can still be seen dotted across the beach.
Did you know? Hundreds of turtles nest all over Aruba each year but Eagle Beach is the most popular. The beach is covered with red and white markers to protect the nests during hatching season. 
Varadero beach is found on the Hicacos Peninsula, a spit of land which extends from the northern side of Cuba and is only 1.2km wide at its widest point.
The giant granite boulders on the beach at The Baths are evidence of the island's volcanic origins. The unusual formation forms grottos that open onto the sea.
Did you know? Despite its name, the beach is actually only around 6.3 miles long. The annual erosion that hits the beach may be the reason it's not as long as its name states. 
The Punta Cana area has beaches that face both the Caribbean and the Atlantic and the name Punta Cana literally means 'tip of the white cane palms'.
This beach not as long as it claims. The Jamaican beach is actually only four miles long.
Did you know? Even though Cruze Bay is the main town on St. John it has a population of less than 3,000 people. Maho Bay is home to some of the calmest waters on the island and is the perfect place to teach children to swim. 

Read Full Story