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Bringing kids to Costa Rica

Level Contributor
1,417 posts
1 review
Bringing kids to Costa Rica

i have started to do a little research on trip to Costa Rica. My question is is it reasonable to bring a 9 or 10 year old with us? Just reading some of the other posts centered around hiking will it be too much for a little kid?I realize we can cut back on the time spent hiking but I was thinking more like the terrain. Do you think it would too rough.

Thanks in advance

Costa Rica
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25,653 posts
25 reviews
1. Re: Bringing kids to Costa Rica

Not too rough - assuming you are not climbing Mt Chirripo! Many many families come here and love it. It is actually a very kid-friendly country.

Level Contributor
1,417 posts
1 review
2. Re: Bringing kids to Costa Rica

Thanks hattie. I have so many questions floating around in my head about this trip. I just wanted to get this cleared up before I start looking further into it.

He loves animals and sealife so Costa Rica is high on my list of places I would love to take him.

Punta Uva, Costa...
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6,874 posts
11 reviews
3. Re: Bringing kids to Costa Rica

Costa Rica would be great for your kids, and though far and isolated, Corcovado NP area would be a incredible experience for the whole family.

Level Contributor
1,417 posts
1 review
4. Re: Bringing kids to Costa Rica

Thanks Cubanon.

It looks like there are so many different places to visit. Would you suggest the Pacific or Caribbean side?

boston, ma
Level Contributor
12 posts
1 review
5. Re: Bringing kids to Costa Rica

We took our 8-year old twin boys last February and as one of my sons said: "Costa Rica is the best thing that ever happened to me." They've been to Disney, gigantic all inclusives, Carribean, etc, and Costa Rica remains their favorite trip of all time. We're going back this February. We did the classic itinerary of Arenal, Monteverde, and Manual Antonio. If your boy loves nature, wildlife and the outdoors, and can withstand a long travel day or two, you can't go wrong!

Level Contributor
3,977 posts
135 reviews
6. Re: Bringing kids to Costa Rica

9 and 10 year olds can hike just fine. When I was 5 I hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls and back down. We took our kids to Tallulah Gorge when they were 6 and 10 and they did much better then my husband and I. I am sure anything you are up for the kids will be up for. In my experience the kids can hike better and faster then the adults. The only thing I would watch for with kids that age is their exploring. My kids are from the South, so they understand about snakey areas and bugs and stuff so I don't have to worry about them. My husband from the Midwest and my friends from the West coast are another issue. This last trip we had a guide through MA and he was constantly "mentioning" to kids and adults to be more careful about the type of tree they were letting their kids climb on, or muddy puddles "swampy" the kids where playing in. There was one family all sitting on a tree for a picture and the guy mentioned to us that they wouold all be itchy for the next few days. We went canyoneering and while waiting for the group between rappels some ladies from the north would take beautiful pictures. A few times I was shocked to see where they were willing to go stand to get a shot. Here at home we would desnake those piles of logs and stuff first. CR is no different then hiking around other parts of the world. You need to know your surroundings. So if your kids are use to hiking and knowing the rules then you will have great time. Bring decent shoes. So many tourist in flip flops or cheap walmart water shoes.

Bethesda MD
Level Contributor
1,800 posts
16 reviews
7. Re: Bringing kids to Costa Rica

Obviously the terrain's going to vary by specific trail, but I hiked several, including Corcovado. Except for the one that turned out not to be a real trail, didn't find it any of them to be harder terrain than the Appalachian Trail (if that's a comparable with which you're familiar). Our 9 and 13 year olds had a great time. (You can find my trip report by clicking on my name.)

Note that you've posted within the Corcovado sub-forum, but probably meant to post at the more general Costa Rica level.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
10,958 posts
23 reviews
8. Re: Bringing kids to Costa Rica

I agree with the above comments and would urge you to take the kids to Corcovado in particular. Ours are much older than yours, but on our last visit we spent a good bit of time with a family that included 8 and 10 year olds that had the time of their life in the Osa. Tons of wildlife to see and they had an easier time spotting birds and critters than the adults. Try a night hike, take them snorkeling at Cano Island and be sure and visit Corcovado with a guide. Your kids will love it. I can't think of a better place anywhere to explore the rainforest with children.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
51,000 posts
42 reviews
9. Re: Bringing kids to Costa Rica

Costa Rica love kids and kids love Costa Rica...

We are a family oriented country...kids are number one for us...

A lot of funny monkies ...please take your kids where animals are FREE please do not take them to see caged animals... we have a lot of great wild happy animals...you do not need to hike to much to find them...

Please bring your kids...


San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
22 posts
10. Re: Bringing kids to Costa Rica

Hi NYgreg!

I’m living in a small town called Santa Teresa on the Pacific Coast, on the south of Nicoya Peninsula.

It has such a good mix of almost everything you may want to have a great family vacation.

If you come during the dry season (from Nov until May) the kids will have nice waves to swim and to surf, specially if they are beginners. The main attraction of Santa Teresa is the beautiful sandy beach.

You will also find a great variety of wild life; your kids will love to see squirrels, howler monkeys, white face monkeys, iguanas, garrobos, and hummingbirds all around.

I suggest you take a guided tour to the Cabo Blanco National Reserve where you will delight yourself watching so many kinds of tropical birds.

You also have the Montezuma waterfalls where you all can go zip lining, Turtle Island to go snorkeling; sometimes dolphins follow the boats on the way.

Have fun!

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