Contributed by guest author Andrea Fellman.

Why should parents travel to Costa Rica with their kids? I don’t know where to start! You can walk through lush rainforest or make memories on the sand. Parents looking for places to travel with kids should always keep my beautiful country at the top of their list. Here are the five top things to do with your kids in Costa Rica:

1. Fly through the Sky on a Zip Line

Savvy Sassy Moms - Zip Line

There are lots of places to zip line in Costa Rica, but one of the best courses I’ve taken my kids is Sky Trek at Lake Arenal. This place has one of the longest zip lines in the area, with one of the cables stretching almost 2,500 feet! Plus, their professional staff and incredible views of the Arenal Volcano and lake are unforgettable. Sky Trek also operates a second beautiful course in Monteverde in the Cloud Forest. There are smaller courses all around Costa Rica and some of them even let your kids go down the zip line alone! Tip: Kids must be at least 120 cm tall (just under 4 feet) to ride the zip lines at Sky Trek. There are no weight restrictions, and the staff will make sure harnesses are secured around each rider before they set off down the zip line.

2. Walk the Arenal Hanging Bridges

Savvy Sassy Moms - Bridges

Another great thing to do when you’re traveling to Costa Rica with kids is take a trek along the 15 Arenal Hanging Bridges. Your kids will love hiking through the rainforest, spotting colorful wildlife, and coming upon a variety of hanging bridges. Yes, the bridges might make young ones a little nervous, but they also make the hike more exciting! The scenery is lush and beautiful here. As you hike, you’ll hear rushing water from the river below and you can walk to a waterfall. The hike is only about 2 miles and not very difficult, so even young children can complete it in my experience. I always pack binoculars, a camera, sunscreen, and a backpack filled with water and snacks. Tip: You can walk the Arenal Hanging Bridges with a professional guide if you aren’t comfortable navigating the bridges alone.

3. Soak it Up in the Hot Springs

Savvy Sassy Moms - Hot Springs

There is still one more thing to do in the Rainforest: Soak in the hot springs! Do not go to the rainforest without taking advantage of this unique experience. There are several hot springs in the forest, including a few on the properties of hotels around Lake Arenal. Tabason Hot Springs, Baldi Hot Springs and The Springs all let you buy day passes to their hot springs Baldi Hot Springs even has a special kid-friendly attraction with slides. The kids will like exploring the grounds, searching for their favorite pool, and testing all the temperatures of the pools. You will need to keep kids under age 16 in constant supervision, but that just allows you to spend more time as a family! Some hot springs also have waterfalls or water slides. Tip: Hot springs pool temperatures range from 93 to 152 degrees at venues like Baldi Hot Springs. Consult with your family’s physician to if you have concerns about how much soaking time is safe. 

4. Jump from a Catamaran on a Sunset Tour

Savvy Sassy Moms - Catamaran

If you find your way to the coast, set sail on a the Marlin del Ray Catamaran Sunset Snorkeling Tour. Families with kids of all ages will enjoy this boat ride that leaves in the afternoon and returns after watching the beautiful sunset. Cruising across open water to the snorkeling spot, you have the chance to see whales, dolphins, and sea turtles. All the snorkeling equipment and life jackets are provided, and you even have access to a few stand-up paddle boards. The best thing to do is jump from the boat – go ahead and scream! Tip: Always reserve your spot on a Catamaran tour so you can be sure your entire family will make it onto the same boat.

5. Play in the waves

Savvy Sassy Mom - Waves

Many people come to Costa Rica to learn to surf, and there really isn’t a better place to do it thanks to the generous amount of waves served up by the ocean. As long as your kids know how to swim, they can participate in one of the surf camps for all skill levels. If surfing is not your kids’ thing, don’t worry: There are plenty of other options to spend your day at the beach! Just playing in the shallow waves with a boogie board is fun, too. You can also rent stand-up paddle boards for family members of all ages, and you can take parent-child trips on jet skis and kayaks. Tip: The minimum age for jet ski drivers can vary between 12 and 16 in Costa Rica. Underage children must ride as a passenger, accompanied by an adult.

What are you waiting for? Come visit us in Costa Rica! Travel with kids can be painless, and full of adventure. Hey, you might even want to move here.


Andrea Fellman is owner and editor of Savvy Sassy Moms, an online style magazine that keeps moms in the know and on the go. She is also a travel addict and believes that traveling with kids can be painless and possible!  She live in Costa Rica with her husband and two kids and writes about their nomadic life and adventures over at Wanderlust Living.