Today I am pleased to share a Guest Post from Dahlia Nahome about her favorite family activites in Costa Rica.
Two years ago, my husband and I sold everything we owned, left our jobs and went on an adventure with our two children. Our plan was a round the world trip calling at Costa Rica, New Zealand, Tonga and Australia. We wanted to spend quality time with Leon aged three and Delilah aged one.
What we didn’t expect was to fall in love with Costa Rica so much that we ended up cancelling
the rest of the trip and have since settled here, in Hermosa on the Nicoya Peninsula.
Here are my top five family experiences for families thinking of coming to this varied and exciting country with their children.
Family Favorite #1: Poas Volcano
After one of the most pleasant one hour drives you may ever take, winding through beautiful countryside, coffee fields and farms, you will be only a 10 minutes walk from the crater making this a really easy family day out from San Jose. The crater is at an altitude of 8,900 feet and is 950 feet deep. Known as one the largest active craters in the world, with a diameter of 1 mile, Poas Volcano welcomes thousands of visitors every year. Its impressive geography makes Poas Volcano one of the most visited spots in Costa Rica. Don’t forget good walking shoes and a jacket as it can get
really breezy at the crater itself.
Family Favorite #2: Zip Line Canopy Tour at Mal Pais
Children need to be over 5 years of age, and is brilliant fun. It takes approximately 2 hours and costs $40. Make sure to ask one of your guides to get some footage of you actually travelling down the line, no flip flops please and girls – don’t wear a short skirt.
Family Favorite #3: Cabo Blanco Tour
The first national park to be established in Costa Rica in 1963 by a Swedish couple called Karen Morgensen and Olof Wessberg, Cabo Blanco is a 1250-hectare home to hundreds of animal and plant species, beautiful coastlines, and thick jungle. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Nicoya Peninsula and is a great place to hike, enjoy the rainforest with all of its amazing sounds as well as spot a few special animals and birds. Remember to bring good walking shoes, water bottles, some snacks for the kids and mosquito spray. Although Cabo Blanco starts at the end of the road in Mal Pais, you must enter the park through Cabuya. Since you need to cross
two rivers and the road can be rough, you should have a 4×4 car, and even still it may not always be possible in the rainy season. Open 8am – 4pm and closed Mondays and Tuesdays (in order to minimize our impact on the park). Admittance is $8/person, payable at the park entrance.
Family Favorite #4: Florida Waterfalls, at Cobano by horseback
Waterfalls abound in this part of Costa Rica. Because of the natural geography of the peninsula, most of the rainwater that falls flows towards the Montezuma side, so there are many waterfalls with water in them year round. Montezuma Falls is perhaps the most famous waterfall in Costa Rica but better still is a relatively unknown one called the Florida waterfalls just outside Cobano. It is a special little place with a great wooden swing over the natural pool in which you can swim and making the trip by horseback is very special.
Family Favorite #5: Calatus Turtle Sanctuary.
This is a fantastic day out that allows you to get up close to newborn baby turtles that are being nurtured and then released into the sea. This magical experience is fun for the kids as well as educational and we encourage you to donate to the team. The volunteers are an inspiration to all. They spend considerable time in extremely basic and sometimes harsh conditions protecting these endangered animals. We advise only taking a 4×4 no matter what the weather as the last part is through heavy sand and I know first hand that a non 4×4 just won’t make the distance!
Dahlia Nahome lives in Playa Hermosa with her husband and two children. As well as running her vacation rental business & tours company, www.costaricanvacation.com and www.purasonica.com (a global internet radio station and what’s on guide for the area), she also enjoys writing about and raising the profile of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica and has work published on various travel blogs. You can email her at email@example.com.