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Visiting Costa Rica with Kids

August 18, 2023

Calling all adventurous families! If you’re dreaming of an unforgettable vacation where you can immerse yourselves in nature, encounter fascinating wildlife, and indulge in thrilling adventures, look no further than Costa Rica! 

This family-friendly destination offers an abundance of experiences that cater to travelers of all ages, making it the perfect choice for your first international trip with kids. As seasoned travelers and proud owners of Costa Rica For Kids, we’ve put together the ultimate planning guide to ensure your Costa Rican getaway is a resounding success. 

From safety tips and budget considerations to packing essentials and must-see attractions, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s embark on a journey of Pura Vida together!

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What to Know Before Going to Costa Rica: Costa Rica is renowned for being family-friendly, making it an ideal destination for travelers with kids. Ensure that your passports are valid for at least 6 months beyond your travel dates and check if a visa is required for your nationality (US and Canadians travelers do not need a visa). Now, let’s dive into the essential information for an amazing family vacation in Costa Rica.

Is the Water Safe to Drink in Costa Rica? The good news is that tap water is considered safe to drink in most parts of Costa Rica. However, if you prefer extra caution, you can buy bottled water easily. Remember to use refillable water bottles to minimize plastic waste and to contribute to a more sustainable environment.

Pro Tip: Pack a large jug of water from a nearby market for extra peace of mind, but feel free to use tap water for brushing your teeth.

Outlets: Great news for US and Canadian travelers – you won’t need outlet converters! Costa Rica uses the same type of outlets as in the United States. Many hotels even provide USB outlets for easy charging of devices.

Pro Tip: Consider bringing a travel charging strip if you have multiple devices to charge.

Is Costa Rica Safe to Visit with Kids? Absolutely! Costa Rica is known for its stable democracy and safe environment, making it an excellent choice for families. The locals are warm and welcoming, especially towards children, and you’ll feel a sense of security throughout your trip.

Pro Tip: Exercise basic travel precautions, such as keeping valuables out of sight, using the safe in your hotel room, and making copies of your passports and IDs.

Costa Rica Family Vacation
Congo Trail Zipline Canopy Guanacaste Costa Rica
Family having fun in Villas Sol Costa Rica

What to Do about Money in Costa Rica: Costa Rica Colones is the official currency, but US dollars are widely accepted. You can easily exchange money at the airport (this could not be the best option) or use ATMs to withdraw local currency. While credit cards are accepted in most places, it’s a good idea to have some cash on hand for tipping and small purchases.

Pro Tip: Carry some cash in both USD and CRC, and don’t forget to notify your bank about your travel plans to avoid any card issues.

Costa Rican Money

Toilet Paper: Costa Rica’s plumbing systems cannot handle toilet paper, so it’s crucial to dispose of used toilet paper in the provided waste baskets.

Pro Tip: Remind your kids about this rule to avoid any plumbing mishaps.

Language: Spanish is the official language, but you’ll find that English is widely spoken in the hospitality industry. Learning a few key phrases in Spanish can be helpful for better communication.

Pro Tip: Familiarize yourself with common Spanish phrases to enhance your interactions with the locals. Here is a few:

Hola – Hello

Buenos días – Good morning.

Buenas tardes. – Good afternoon.

Buenas noches. – Good evening.

Mucho gusto. – Nice to meet you.

Por favor – Please

Gracias. – Thank you.

¿Cuánto cuesta? – How much is it?

Perdón. – Pardon me.

¿Habla inglés? – Do you speak English?

Budget: Costa Rica offers options for various budgets, but keep in mind that it’s not as cheap as some neighboring Central American countries. While you can find affordable accommodations and tours, be prepared for slightly higher costs due to its popularity as a tourist destination.

Pro Tip: Check out our top family friendly vacations, tailored to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience with your kids. 

Getting Around Costa Rica: Travel between destinations can take longer than expected due to road conditions and traffic. If driving, be sure to have motion sickness medication on hand, especially for winding and bumpy roads.

Pro Tip: Private transfers or booking reliable tours and transportation options can save you time and provide a more enjoyable travel experience.

When to Go To Costa Rica: Costa Rica has two seasons – dry season (December to April) and rainy season (May to November). Both seasons offer unique experiences, with dry season being popular for its good weather and fewer rains, while rainy season provides lush greenery and fewer crowds.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to avoid crowds and save on expenses, consider visiting during rainy season (also known as the “Green Season”).

What to Pack for Costa Rica: Costa Rica’s diverse landscapes call for versatile packing. Be prepared for warm and humid weather, and remember to pack essentials like lightweight clothing, swimsuits, and hiking shoes. Don’t forget your travel first aid kit, insect repellent, and sunscreen for outdoor adventures.

Pro Tip: Quick-dry or moisture-wicking clothes are ideal for rainy season trips.

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Reasons to Visit Costa Rica with kids: Costa Rica boasts 5% of the world’s biodiversity, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. From encountering sloths and howler monkeys to exploring volcanoes, rainforests, and beaches, you’ll be captivated by the country’s natural wonders.

Pro Tip: Embrace the Pura Vida lifestyle and immerse yourself in the laid-back, optimistic culture of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Family Vacation
Kids in costa Rica Rainforest at Mistico Hanging Bridges
Family having fun in Villas Sol Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a dream destination for families seeking an extraordinary adventure filled with nature, wildlife, and unforgettable experiences. From the moment you arrive in this beautiful country, you’ll be embraced by the warm hospitality and enchanting landscapes. With careful planning and our expert tips, your trip to Costa Rica with kids will be a journey of a lifetime, creating cherished memories for the whole family. 

So, pack your bags, put on your adventurous spirit, and get ready to embark on a truly magical vacation in Costa Rica – the land of Pura Vida!

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