Family Adventure: Pura Vida Costa Rica
By: Natasha Zamecnik, Economist
Children: Clara age 7 and Octavio age 4
We decided to plan a vacation to Costa Rica since I was attending a two-week course in the country. Originally we planned to travel to the Caribbean Coast, to visit the Parque Nacional Tortuguero and to Puerto Viejo. However we soon realized that during Costa Rica’s rainy season (or green season) the Caribbean Coast is particularly rainy, and so we opted for the Pacific coast instead.
Costa Rica is a safe country with a lot to offer for adults and children. The government’s green approach, increase of forest cover and wildlife protection has resulted in the establishment of numerous national parks and promoted wildlife watching.
Where to go
Costa Rica has a number of National Parks and beautiful beaches on both coasts. However vacation plans should take into account the centralization of the bus system and impact of the rainy season.
Although we enjoyed all of our Costa Rica adventure, we particularly enjoyed the canopy zip line near Manuel Antonio National Park, at el Santuario, seeing dolphins during our speed boat ride from Jaco to the Nicoya Peninsula and relaxing at the Funky Monkey Lodge in Santa Teresa.
After meeting in Turrialba, we took a bus to San Jose and from there to Manuel Antonio. The next day we explored Manuel Antonio National Park where were saw a number of monkeys, iguanas and raccoons and spent the afternoon at the beach. The following day we were picked up early by the canopy zip line company. The canopy tour has 11 zip lines, including Central America’s longest zip line, and allows children as young as 4 to participate.
From Manuel Antonio we took a taxi to Jaco and then a one-hour speedboat ride to Montezuma on the Nicoya Peninsula. From there we took a shuttle to Santa Teresa, a small surf town on the bottom western edge of the peninsula.
The Best Part
Aside from the canopy tour, the best part of our trip was relaxing at the Funky Monkey Lodge. We spent lazy days swimming in the pool, playing ping-pong, walking on the beach, playing in the waves and eating delicious fish.
Three Things You Should Definitely Do
1. Visit a National Park: Costa Rica’s national park system is a network of protected rainforests, tropical dry forests, cloud forests, marine areas, and wetlands. Costa Rica has been a world leader in conservation policies with protected areas that encompass over 25 percent of its total landmass – the highest in the world.
2. There are a number of opportunities for hiking, wildlife watching or other outdoor adventures, including canopy zip lining, surfing, white water rafting, hiking etc.
3. Take surf lessons on a beach on either coast.
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