Central Valley - Costa Rica for Kids
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Central Valley
of Costa Rica

Ready for a family friendly vacation?

Nestled amidst breathtaking mountain ranges and picturesque valleys, this region is a true gem, waiting to be explored. Allow us to introduce you to the Central Valley and explain why it’s the perfect starting point for your family’s Costa Rican journey.

Peace Lodge

Why Choose the Central Valler
of Costa Rica

Gateway to Costa Rica:

The Central Valley, home to Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), serves as the main gateway to the country. This strategic location means you’re just a short drive away from some of Costa Rica’s most iconic destinations, including La Fortuna, Manuel Antonio, Guanacaste, and the Caribbean coast.

Family-Friendly Amenities:

The Central Valley boasts an abundance of family-friendly accommodations, ranging from cozy boutique hotels to luxurious resorts. You can rest assured that your family will have a comfortable and safe stay.

Cultural Experiences:

Dive into the rich culture of Costa Rica by exploring bustling markets, art galleries, and participating in traditional festivals. Your children will have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the diverse traditions of this remarkable region.


Costa Rica’s Central Valley
a paradise for families

The Central Valley is designed for family enjoyment, offering a diverse range of activities that cater to kids of all ages. Whether you’re delving into the wonders of nature reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, or simply enjoying a leisurely day at a local park, your family will be captivated by the Central Valley’s treasures.

Discover the Wonders of
the Central Valley

Get ready to uncover the enchanting landscapes, vibrant cities, and warm hospitality that make the Central Valley a standout destination for families. It’s a place where the essence of “Pura Vida” comes to life, creating lifelong memories for your loved ones.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

A must-visit for families, these gardens promise a magical experience with stunning waterfalls, up-close animal encounters, and captivating educational exhibits.

Poás Volcano National Park

Hike to the edge of an active volcano, explore volcanic craters, and witness the unique ecosystem that surrounds it.

Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center

A conservation-focused rescue center where children can engage with native wildlife and learn about the importance of conservation.

Museo de los Niños

A delightful children’s museum located in San Jose, featuring interactive exhibits that combine fun and education.

Lankester Botanical Garden

Perfect for a leisurely family stroll among exotic orchids and lush greenery, offering a serene escape.

Best Places in the Central Valley
of Costa Rica

San José

As the bustling capital of Costa Rica, San José is a vibrant hub of culture and history. While you’re here, you can:

  • Explore Museums: San José is home to an array of museums, including the National Museum and the Children’s Museum, where kids can interact with hands-on exhibits.
  • Visit the Central Market: Experience local life at the Central Market, where you can sample traditional foods, shop for souvenirs, and immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture.
  • Stroll through Parks: Experience local life at the Central Market, where you can sample traditional foods, shop for souvenirs, and immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture.


Heredia is known for its colonial charm and serene atmosphere.

  • Visit INBio Park: A biodiversity park with hiking trails and educational exhibits, perfect for a family day out.
  • Explore Braulio Carrillo National Park: Located nearby, this park offers a chance to witness lush rainforests and stunning waterfalls.


Poás is renowned for its impressive Poás Volcano National Park, where you can:

  • Hike to the Crater: Take a hike to the edge of the active volcano and peer into its stunning crater, a fascinating experience for the whole family.
  • Explore the Visitors’ Center: Learn about the park’s geology, flora, and fauna through interactive exhibits.

San Gerardo de Dota

For a serene retreat amid lush cloud forests, visit San Gerardo de Dota, where you can:

  • Birdwatching: Spot the resplendent quetzal and other exotic birds in the cloud forest, creating lasting memories for young ornithologists.
  • Hike to Waterfalls: Embark on family-friendly hikes to discover hidden waterfalls surrounded by pristine nature.


Alajuela is known for its proximity to the Juan Santamaría International Airport and offers:

  • Cultural Attractions: Explore the Juan Santamaría Historical Cultural Museum and the Central Park for a taste of local history.
  • Family Accommodations: Start or end your journey with family-friendly accommodations near the airport for convenience.


Escazú is a charming suburb of San José, where you can:

  • Shop and Dine: Visit Multiplaza Escazú for shopping and enjoy a family meal at one of the many restaurants offering diverse cuisines.
  • Botanical Gardens: Discover the Lankester Botanical Garden, a tranquil place for a family stroll amidst vibrant orchids.


Grecia, known for its unique red metal church, offers:

  • La Iglesia de la Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes: Explore the famous church and its picturesque surroundings, making for a lovely family photo opportunity.
  • Local Markets: Peruse local markets to savor authentic Costa Rican flavors and shop for handmade crafts.

Plan Your Family
Adventure Today!

The Central Valley is a treasure trove of experiences for families, where each destination offers its unique charm and opportunities for exploration. Whether you’re uncovering the historical richness of San José, embracing the tranquility of San Gerardo de Dota, or savoring the flavors of Grecia, your Central Valley adventure promises to be a journey filled with unforgettable moments. So, immerse yourself in the warmth of Costa Rica’s Central Valley and let “Pura Vida” guide your family’s adventure.

Start Planning Your Family Vacation

Our destination experts are waiting to start planning YOUR family vacation of a life time!

Melisa e Hijas

Melissa Chacón

Destination Expert

Leonardo Navarro Castro

Leonardo Navarro

Destination Expert

Expert Alfonso Fernandez

Alfonso Fernandez

Operations & Reservations

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Central Valley safe for families?
Yes, the Central Valley is renowned for its safety, making it an excellent choice for family vacations.
Are family-friendly accommodations available in the Central Valley?
Absolutely! The region offers a wide range of family-friendly lodging options, catering to various budgets and preferences.
Are there special activities for kids in the Central Valley?
Yes, many attractions feature kid-friendly activities, such as wildlife encounters, nature walks, and interactive museums.
Start Planning