Traveling to Costa Rica was my best idea in recent years, although the embodiment of this dream was worth a lot of effort. We are from Guatemala, a very colorful and cultured country, but we always wanted to travel and try something new. When my younger was four years old, we decided to take our feet and go to neighboring countries. Most of all we remembered Costa Rica, a small country, which contains many natural attractions, cultural values and has amiable people.
The most challenging step for us was to pack all the necessary things, since traveling with small children is not so simple. We should take everything necessary, documents, food, medicine, pack the children luggage, clothes, accessories, and a lot of money – it seemed like I would quickly lose my mind. But when we arrived in Costa Rica, all our bad thoughts were dispelled, because we came not just in a place to rest, but paradise. We did not even expect this holiday to be ideal for ourselves and our children.
What to Do in Costa Rica
Our trip to Costa Rica started with a review of the beaches, the Central Pacific Сoast surprised us with magnificent beaches in Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, and also the incredible rainforests. Península de Nicoya opened the doors to us to the world of surfing, where I first got on the board! As for the island part, most of all we liked the mysterious forests of Monteverde, and the reserves, filled with various creatures, like bats, reptiles, frogs, and butterflies. Costa Rica is the best place in Latin America to reunite with nature, especially for young children – mine were delighted with the intimacy with wildlife, jungles, and dizzying adventures.
As for the activities, we decided to start exploring the Costa Rican fauna on the day after arrival. First, we strolled along the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, where we found striped iguanas, coatis, and monkeys; and in Parque Nacional Cahuita we were lucky enough to find and photograph graceful Caucasian Capuchins. We were sailing through the tranquil waters of Manzanillo and saw sea turtles that were busy over their nests, and then were paddling a kayak through different channels to encounter tropical frogs. And the last thing we needed was a walk along the paths of Ecocentro Danaus, where my and our kids’ eyes ran out of a wide variety of butterflies flying around.
The next day, we wanted to pamper ourselves with local delicacies, and at the same time to have fun with our kids. Therefore, we went on a chocolate tour to Puerto Viejo, where we not only discovered how cocoa grows and how to make quality chocolate but also had a chance to taste many kinds of delicious chocolate. The children were thrilled – if you could only see their “clean” faces after such an adventure! So in the afternoon, I decided to take my kids to surfing for children at One Love Surf School, and then to the white-water family rafting on Ríos Sarapiquí.
Food & Drinks
Costa Rica is a fantastic country offering many activities for children and especially adults, like hiking, scuba diving, sport fishing, rafting, and others. Of course, we could not try everything, because the slow adaptation to the climate influenced the general condition of our children. Therefore, we did not torture them with endless adventures and pleased them with delicious national food. We started with the classics, like Costa Rica’s national breakfast Gallo pinto, Casado, the best lunch I’ve ever tasted, then Patacones, and Chicharrón.
My kids liked batidos most, those were fresh fruit shakes made with water or milk, and also plenty of tropical fruits. But the most important thing you should not forget about when traveling is to consume a lot of water. As an alternative for children, you may order some coconut water with lime.
Accommodation and Cost
Costa Rica is not the cheapest country in Central America, so you need to stock up on money before the trip. But, the country offers you many ways to save on living, for example, using guest houses, backpacker hostels, or mid-range hotels that start from $20 per night. To move freely from one point to another, we, for instance, rented a trailer and stopped at special parking places, which cost an average of $25 per night. This was a brilliant decision since we did not need to mess with the suitcases, to pack/unpack the best luggage for kids several times, wait for hotel registration, and more.
Finally, we advise you to collect as many different goodies and healthy snacks as possible, so as not to be bored on the road, as well as to buy products only in local stores where there is a lot of fresh and delicious food. To sum up, I hope my little story about a trip to a beautiful country Costa Rica will be useful for you.
Danny Goulart likes to travel. In general, his enthusiasm is capable of much. He works in a digital marketing agency and adore from time to time run away from the office and explore new places.