22 Best Tours + Experiences in Costa Rica for Families

This article on the best Costa Rica tours and experiences for families was done in partnership with + sponsored by Tripadvisor.

Two kids playing on the beach near Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo.
Photo Courtesy: Gujan Prakash

Plan an awesome adventure to Costa Rica with these best tours and experiences for families! Whether your family wants to hike through lush landscapes or see them by air on a zipline, there are lots of thrilling ways to explore this biodiverse country. Younger kids will love visiting Costa Rica’s many beaches and national parks, where they can spot wildlife like sloths or toucans. If your teens are in the mood for an adrenaline rush, you can also book a full-day tour that includes multiple exhilarating activities all in one day.

Using Tripadvisor, we put together this list of the Best Tours + Experiences in Costa Rica for Families with our favorite selections. Stay tuned to plan your next Costa Rica adventure! To top it off, save 10% on any Tripadvisor tour with our code: FLT10.

Best Costa Rica Tours + Experiences for Families

Whether you want to go on an ATV adventure, see Costa Rica by canopy, or simply go surfing, these Costa Rica tours are sure to appeal to kids of all ages with their diverse offerings. Stay tuned to find out more! 

Plan your next family vacation to Costa Rica after you read our Exciting One-Week Itinerary In Costa Rica With Young Kids

Skyline Canopy Tour

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Adventurous families can’t get enough of this Skyline Canopy Tour! Ideal for ages 6 and up, this family-friendly tour lasts around two hours. It includes ziplining, hanging bridges, and a Tarzan swing. Not to mention the chance to spot wildlife, too!

Starting with a safety demonstration, the tour consists of 10 canopy lines and 19 platforms. First, you’ll get to climb up a towering Guanacaste tree on a spiral staircase. Halfway through, you’ll even get to jump between platforms swinging with a rope! Plus, there are great aerial views of Guanacaste and Espavel. This is undoubtedly one of the best activities in Costa Rica with kids! 

Surf Lessons in Tamarindo, Costa Rica 

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Kids can hit the waves with these Surf Lessons in Tamarindo, Costa Rica! Tamarindo Beach is a great place to surf in Costa Rica because the water is warm, the current is light, and there are no rocks. At Iguana Surf, Tamarindo’s original surf shop, families with kids of all ages can take lessons. If your kids are beginners, this two-hour tour helps them get in the water for the first time and learn to paddle, pop up, and ride. Or, if your kids are more advanced surfers, they can still improve their skills and learn some cool new tricks from the experienced instructors. No wonder this is one of the best Costa Rica tours for families!

North Fields Cafe: Craft Specialty Coffee and Chocolate Tour 

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Learn more about Costa Rica’s three main exports, sugarcane, coffee, and chocolate, on this North Fields Cafe: Craft Specialty Coffee and Chocolate Tour! Ideal for all ages, this two-and-a-half-hour tour lets visitors explore a family-owned farm near La Fortuna.

With your guide, you’ll get to see how coffee is created (from bean to cup). Then, taste some of the farm’s other delicious crops, like sugarcane and chocolate. Kids will appreciate the various types of chocolate (melted, with various toppings). While parents can get an energy boost from the coffee. It’s a win-win, and definitely one of the best family tours in Costa Rica! 

ATV Beach and Mountain Tour 

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

See some of Guanacaste’s most stunning beaches on this ATV Beach and Mountain Tour! Combine action and adventure on this two-hour tour, ideal for ages 6 and up. You’ll get to go off-roading and access areas you otherwise couldn’t as you hop from beach to beach.

A guide will also tell you more about life in Costa Rica. Plus, you’ll get to stop and take family photos at gorgeous beaches like Playa Flamingo, Playa Conchal, and Playa Brasilito. Even if you’ve never driven an ATV before, your guides will be patient and show you the ropes as you explore at your own pace. No wonder this is one of the best activities in Costa Rica for kids! 

Manuel Antonio Park Nature Guided Tour

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Explore one of Costa Rica’s most diverse habitats on a Manuel Antonio Park Nature Guided Tour! Lasting around 4 hours, this small-group tour is ideal for all ages who want to see the park’s highlights, as well as some hidden corners that you might overlook on your own. That’s why it’s rated one of the best Costa Rica family tours!

As you explore, your guide will point out animals like sloths, monkeys, toucans, and hummingbirds, as well as more about the surrounding flora. Plus, since it’s a small-group tour and the guides are patient, your kids will get more attention and get a personalized learning experience. 

Eden Chocolate Tour – The Best Chocolate Tour in La Fortuna

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

One of the best Costa Rica tours for families with a sweet tooth is this Eden Chocolate Tour! On this small-group tour, which lasts an hour and 45 minutes, you can taste some of the best chocolate in La Fortuna at an organic cocoa plantation.

Kids of all ages will get a chance to see the cacao tree and flowers, as well as the fermentation and sun-drying process. Then, inside the ranch, the whole family can roast and grind cacao beans to make chocolate bonbons and a special chocolate drink. You’ll get to eat the chocolate, of course! It’s a great way to teach kids something new while having fun too. Plus, the guides are energetic and usually encourage people to dance.

Chocolate and Farm Tour with Local Tico Family

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Get an authentic look at life in Costa Rica with this Chocolate and Farm Tour With Local Tico Family! Learn about cacao, one of Costa Rica’s most sacred superfoods, on this two-hour tour from a local family. This small-group tour is open to all ages.

First, walk through the plantation to learn more about the harvesting process and to taste some fresh cacao fruit. Then, you’ll get to hear about ancient rituals still practiced by many indigenous groups as you prepare ancient and modern cacao drinks. Kids will love getting to taste the sweet hot chocolate prepared Costa Rican style! To finish, you’ll mold chocolate bars with the cacao, and add your own toppings. A big perk is that you get to bring the chocolate home with you, making this one of the best Costa Rica tours for families! 

Rainforest Night Walk and Authentic Costa Rican Dinner from La Fortuna

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

See Costa Rica from a different perspective on this Rainforest Night Walk and Authentic Costa Rican Dinner from La Fortuna! On this four-hour tour, families with kids of all ages can explore La Fortuna at night. On the tour, you will see various animals you wouldn’t normally see during the day. This includes everything from bats and tree frogs to snakes.

First, the trail takes you around mirrored lakes to the frog sanctuary. Here, you can spot dart frogs, bullfrogs, and red-eyed tree frogs. After the tour, you’ll get to enjoy a delicious Costa Rican dinner prepared on a wood-burning stove. While you eat, you can see the valleys of San Carlos illuminated, making it a magical experience. After, your guide will take you back to La Fortuna. 

Mangrove Kayak Tour 

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Explore one of Costa Rica’s most important ecosystems on this Mangrove Kayak Tour! Ideal for all ages, this three-hour tour takes families just offshore from the popular Manuel Antonio National Park. Here, you’ll find thousands of acres of protected forest, home to a range of insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles. As you paddle along the mangroves, your guide will tell you more about the area’s biodiversity and fun facts about the animals. Even though this tour is recommended for all ages, it still requires some level of physical ability to paddle the kayak. The ride is pretty calm, however, so it’s still great for kids! 

Best Day Trips in Costa Rica for Families

Families searching for full-day adventures in Costa Rica will love these best day trips from Costa Rica for families! From La Fortuna to the Arenal Volcano, these tours are a wonderful way to combine multiple activities and maximize your vacation in Costa Rica. Keep reading to find out the best family tours in Costa Rica! 

Need somewhere to stay in Costa Rica with kids? Check out these Best Costa Rica Resorts & Lodges For A Family Vacation (All-Inclusive Included)

Guachipelin Adventure Volcano Zipline Horseback River Tubing Combo 

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Enjoy an action-packed tour of Hacienda Guachipelin on this Guachipelin Adventure Volcano Zipline Horseback River Tubing Combo! On this full-day tour (around 10 hours), kids ages 6 and up can experience four exciting adventures in only a day: a zipline canopy tour, scenic horseback ride, river tubing excursion, and volcanic mud bath.

Kids can tackle two zip lines, two climbing walls, a rappel, a hanging bridge, and a Tarzan swing. You’ll also get to horseback ride through the rainforest. Guachipelin is situated in the heart of the Rincón de la Vieja National Park, so you’ll get great views of the Victoria Waterfall, Río Negro, and Rincón de la Vieja Volcano. The tour also includes hotel pick-up and drop-off and a buffet lunch, so it’s super convenient for a Costa Rica family vacation! 

Full-Day Waterfall Adventure

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Immerse yourself in Costa Rica’s beautiful natural scenery on a Full Day Waterfall Adventure! On this full-day tour (around 7 hours), families with kids of all ages who can swim can spend the day soaking up the sun at Costa Rica’s many waterfalls, each with its own swimming hole. Your guide will pick you up before heading south to some of Costa Rica’s most hidden spots. In total, you’ll visit three different waterfalls, where your kids can cool off from the heat by sliding down rocks into the water! After, you’ll get to visit a secluded beach where you can spend time relaxing on the sand. Your tour also includes a farm-to-table rainforest lunch. 

Whitewater Rafting Savegre Class II-III plus Waterfall Manuel Antonio

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Combine a white-water rafting trip with an educational tour on this Whitewater Rafting Savegre Class II-III plus Waterfall Manuel Antonio! For kids ages 6 and up, this full-day tour (around 7 hours) includes pick-up near Manuel Antonio and a drive down south to the Savegre River.

Along the way, you’ll pass rural towns like Santo Domingo and El Silencio and see beautiful scenery while your guide tells you a little more about the area. Once you arrive at the river, you’ll get to cruise down Class II and III rapids, which will surely be a blast for everyone! Halfway through the trip, your guide will take you to a secluded waterfall to enjoy a snack. After, you’ll return to the tour headquarters to eat lunch before returning back to your hotel. 

Manuel Antonio Canopy Tour – Longest Twin Zip Line in Central America 

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Adrenaline seekers can’t miss this Manuel Antonio Canopy Tour – Longest Twin Zip Line in Central America! This four-and-a-half-hour tour is recommended for kids ages 4 and up, but we recommend it for more adventurous younger kids, tweens, or teens who are in good shape. (You’ll be walking the equivalent of more than a mile and climbing more than 5 flights of steps.)

During the tour, you’ll get to experience Central America’s longest twin zip line, which runs for nearly a mile with 14 tree platforms, three natural walks, six hanging bridges, and more. Children will have a blast zooming above the forest like a free bird, and the zipline’s special touchless system makes the ride even more seamless. Your tour also includes lunch! 

Pure Trek Canyoning and Waterfall Rappelling Tour in La Fortuna 

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Embark on an unforgettable rappelling adventure with this Pure Trek Canyoning and Waterfall Rappelling Tour in La Fortuna! For kids ages 5 and up,  this four-hour tour takes you through a canyon just a half-hour outside La Fortuna.

Here, you’ll get the chance to experience a series of waterfall rappels. Kids can also try activities like rock climbing and the “Monkey Drop” – prepare to get wet! Your guide will provide commentary along the way, and you can keep your eyes peeled for toucans, sloths, monkeys, and other exotic wildlife. After your tour, you can refuel with a delicious lunch! 

Full-Day Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall and Hotsprings 

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Maximize your time in Costa Rica with this ​​Full-Day Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, and Hotsprings Tour! On this small-group, full-day tour (around 11 hours), families with kids ages 6 and up can experience the best of La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano area in a single day.

First, you’ll get to hike along the La Fortuna River, appreciate the La Fortuna Waterfall, and maybe even take a refreshing dip. Then, you’ll visit a local village to eat lunch. You’ll end your tour with a visit to Arenal National Park, where you’ll climb to the highest point around the volcano for incredible panoramic views. Without a doubt, this is one of the best Costa Rica family tours! 

Rio Celeste Hiking, Sloth Sanctuary & Llanos de Cortes Waterfall Tour 

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One of the best Costa Rica tours for families is indeed this Rio Celeste Hiking, Sloth Sanctuary & Llanos de Cortes Waterfall Tour! Suggested for all ages, this full-day (12-hour) tour takes you to Tenorio Volcano National Park to witness a unique natural phenomenon. Before reaching the park, you’ll stop at attractions like Llanos de Cortez Waterfall in Bagaces. Relax, swim, or walk around exploring the flora and fauna.

From there, you’ll take a 2-hour, moderate hike through the park (make sure your kids are good hikers or prepared to exercise), where you’ll walk along a path on the Celeste River. Here, you can observe the place where two brooks meet, turning the water into a unique shade of turquoise, which is why it’s called the Rio Celeste. You’ll also get to visit a sloth and frog sanctuary and enjoy lunch. 

Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, and Arenal Volcano Hike

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Take in three thrilling Costa Rica adventures in one day on this Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, and Arenal Volcano Hike! For ages 4 and up, this small-group, full-day adventure (around 9 hours) includes hotel pick-up and drop-off in the La Fortuna area.

First, you’ll start with an easy hike through Arenal Volcano National Park, where you can appreciate the volcano views. Then, you’ll head to the La Fortuna Waterfall to climb all 500 steps down to the base, where you can cool off with a swim. Then, on an Arenal Hanging Bridges canopy tour, you’ll travel deep into the rainforest on 16 different bridges with views of Arenal Volcano National Park, Arenal Lake, and lots of wildlife! 

Best Private Tours + Experiences in Costa Rica for Families

A private tour is a fantastic way to see Costa Rica without the overwhelming crowds of a larger tour. Not only will your kids get personalized attention, but it’ll be easier to navigate and probably a more memorable experience. Here are some options for the best Costa Rica tours for families! 

To plan your next Costa Rica itinerary, here are 15 Amazing Things to Do in Costa Rica with Kids

Private ATV or Buggy Tour from Tamarindo / Conchal & More

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Explore the stunning countryside around Tamarindo on this Private ATV Buggy Tour from Tamarindo/Conchal & More! Families with kids ages 4 and up can venture off the beaten path on this two-hour tour. You’ll get to travel through backroads that aren’t normally accessible on a fun ATV. (Families with kids can pair up on double ATVs or buggies).

First, your guide will give you a test run first to make sure you’re comfortable on an ATV. Then, during the tour, they’ll tell you more about Costa Rica’s unique wildlife, culture, and ecosystem as you travel through beaches, cross rivers, and go up and down hills. It’s a great way to combine an educational experience with a thrilling adventure, and it’s definitely one of the best activities in Costa Rica with kids! 

Private La Leona Waterfall Adventure Hike (Self-Drive)

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Cool off from the Costa Rica heat on this Private La Leona Waterfall Adventure Hike (Self Drive)! Located close to the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, La Leona Waterfall is a beautiful natural wonder that every family should get to experience on a trip to Costa Rica.

On this three-hour tour, families with kids ages 4 and up can hike through a lush rainforest to reach the waterfall, which boasts a deep blue hue and two canyons. Your guide will tell you more about the waterfall’s water source, the Rio Bianco, which gives it its unique color due to the sulfur. The hike to reach the waterfall is around 1.5 miles each way, and though it isn’t extremely strenuous, it isn’t easy, either. So we only recommend this as one of the best Costa Rica tours for families if you have experienced hikers! 

Manuel Antonio Park Private Nature Guided Tour Experience

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Animal lovers can’t miss this amazing Manuel Antonio Park Private Nature Guided Tour Experience! This sprawling national park is a must-visit for families in Costa Rica, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by its size and miss all its incredible animal residents! Luckily, this two-hour tour takes families with kids ages 6 and up on an epic journey through the park.

Guided by an experienced naturalist, you’ll get to see sections of the park you may have otherwise never encountered, including all kinds of cool animals like toucans, iguanas, sloths, monkeys, and, of course, sloths! Plus, your guide will take lots of family photos along the way, which you’ll get to keep. This is undoubtedly one of the best tours for a Costa Rica family adventure! 

1.5 Hours Private Horseback Riding Tour in Playa Conchal

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Experience Costa Rica’s breathtaking landscapes on this 1.5-hour Private Horseback Riding Tour in Playa Conchal! Playa Conchal is one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches, and on this tour for all ages, families can experience it from the back of a horse!

Your guide will take you along the seashore, where you’ll get a chance to spot birds, iguanas, and even some monkeys. Families can choose between multiple different tour times (from 8 AM through 4 PM), but we suggest booking one earlier in the morning if you want better views and fewer crowds on the beach. Either way, this is one of the best Costa Rica family tours! 

1-Hour Private Sloth Tour in the Rainforest from Costa Rica

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

See one of Costa Rica’s most unique animals, the sloth, on this 1-Hour Private Sloth Tour in the Rainforest from Costa Rica! On this 1-hour walking tour, kids ages 4 and up can see sloths in their natural habitat, sleeping, moving slowly, or eating guarumo shoots. Who knows, one may even smile at you! Your guide is an experienced naturalist who will teach you and your kids everything you need to know about sloths and their survival in Costa Rica. They’ll also point out all the best spots to get pictures of the sloths, making this an unforgettable Costa Rica family vacation! 

Happy Travels!

A young boy kayaks in a yellow kayak while staying at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

We hope you liked this list of the Best Tours + Experiences In Costa Rica For Families With Kids! From hanging bridges to surfing, ATV tours, and more fun, there are so many adventures awaiting families in Costa Rica. Enjoy your next Costa Rica vacation with kids! 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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Families Love Travel Team

The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.