11 day tour
Costa Rica with Kids
- Explore the Poas, Arenal and Rincon de la Vieja volcanoes
- Relax on the white-sand beach of Samara
- Spot Olive Ridley sea turtles
During this Costa Rica with kids family road trip, you will discover Costa Rica in all its diversity. From volcanoes to beaches to nature reserves, this will be a family trip you won’t easily forget. Begin your adventure with panoramic views of the surrounding volcanoes near San Jose, then grab your rental car to drive up the slopes of the volcanic mountain to the Poas crater. Visit hot springs and waterfalls. Spot monkeys, caimans, iguanas and more.Try your hand at river tubing, ziplining and horseback riding. Don’t forget the 500-metre-long jungle slide! Then round off your trip on the white-sand beaches of Samara, where you can go surfing, kayaking or snorkeling. Or simply relax on the beach as you listen to the waves ripple in.
See our other travel suggestions for more ways to explore Costa Rica.
11 day tour of Costa Rica:
Route: San Jose – Poas – La Fortuna – Rincon de la Vieja – Samara
Day 1 – Arrival San José
On arrival at the airport in San José, a driver will be waiting for you and will bring you to your hotel outside of the busy city. Your hotel lays on top of a mountain with a 360º panoramic view of 3 volcanoes: Poas, Barva and Irazú.
Day 2 – Poas Volcano
A rental car will be delivered to you at your hotel after breakfast and you can opt for a very pleasant drive up the mountain slopes to the rim of the awesome Poas in San Jose and the crater. Poas is one of the larger active volcanoes in the world. The view is spectacular and the tour includes a short hike in the national park to the cold crater of Botos Lagoon.
Day 3 – San Jose to La Fortuna
Today you will drive to the little town of La Fortuna, located close by the Arenal volcano. This is the most famous volcano in Costa Rica. Until two years ago it emitted smoke clouds and lava daily. The volcano has been dormant for a while now and offers stunning views. Spend the evening visiting the hot springs at the foot of the Arenal.
Day 4 – Volcano Arenal
Take your pick today between taking a refreshing dip underneath a waterfall or opting for a day tour to Caño Negro. Caño Negro is a nature reserve where many different water bird species, monkey, caimans, crocodiles, iguanas and sweet water turtles can be found. Enjoy the area and have lunch on the shores of the river.
Day 5 – La Fortuna to Rincon de la Vieja
Today you will head towards the next volcano: Rincon de la Vieja. This area is well known for its diverse vegetation consisting of dry forest with different plants and animals compared to anywhere else in Costa Rica. You will be staying at a great family lodge where you will be able to do many different activities like river tubing, ziplining and horseback riding.
Day 6 – Rincon de la Vieja
Today you can opt for many different activities around the lodge. Don’t forget to slide over the 500-metre-long jungle slide! You will also be able to enjoy the hot springs and mud baths by hiking a short trail through the dry forest while spotting different animals like wild cats, monkeys and many colourful birds.
Day 7 – On to the white beaches of Nicoya Peninsula
Today you will head to the Peninsula of Nicoya. Here you will spend your last 3 nights on the beach of Samara. A small, cozy village that isn’t very touristic yet! Here you will find beautiful white sandy beaches as well as many nice restaurants and live music in the evening.
Day 8 – Samara Beach
Enjoy your first full day on the white-sand beach of Samara! You will find small waves here to go surfing, or you can rent a kayak and paddle to Isla Chora, located just off the coast. Here you will be able to snorkel and explore the underwater world…
Day 9 – Samara Beach
If you like to see sea turtles, you can opt for an evening tour to the beaches of Camaronal or Ostinal. Here you will find the Olive Ridley sea turtles that come to the beaches to lay their eggs all year long. Here you will also find a nursery to protect these beautiful creatures.
Day 10 – Samara to San Jose
Today you will drive back to San José within four hours. Here you will spend the night in the same hotel as at the beginning of your trip. A representative of the car rental company will come pick up the rental car.
Day 11 – Back home
A driver will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the airport. This trip through the impressive nature of Costa Rica has come to an end but can easily be extended with other destinations.