Costa Rica Vacation Itineraries

Itinerary: Affordable Costa Rica Family Vacation

Families traveling on a budget can enjoy a stress-free, adventurous vacation to Costa Rica while learning a little along the way – and with a heavy dose of adventure and relaxation.

Arenal volcano national park. Photo: Andrés Madrigal

This trip is a little more scaled back than our Classic Family Adventure, and we want to offer you more options for you to choose how to spend your days.

How is this trip stress-free? You’ll be picked up at the airport with a private escort who will help you through customs and to your first destination, Arenal. Shortly you’ll be sitting in front of a conical volcano, surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, at Costa Rica’s adventure capital. The rainforest canopy awaits you.

Tamarindo beach, northern Pacific, Costa Rica. Photo: Andrés Madrigal.

Then you’ll head to the beach. Tamarindo, Guanacaste, is a popular beach destination for families, and your hotel has an awesome oceanfront location. Here it’s all beautiful beaches, exotic wildlife, relaxing pools, and stunning sunsets: pure tropical bliss.

Day 1: Welcome to Costa Rica. Now head to a volcano!

Traveling with your family has never been easier than this. You’ll be met at the airport, assisted through customs, and then taken to your private driver. You and your family will be introduced to Costa Rica’s spectacular rainforests, volcanoes, and picturesque towns as you ride to Lomas del Volcán, a beautiful resort near Arenal Volcano and the fun town of La Fortuna.

Hotel: Lomas del Volcán

Photos courtesy of Lomas del Volcán Hotel.

Day 2: Rainforest hanging bridges tour

Kids and adults alike love these hanging bridges! It’s beautiful, exotic, educational, and fun for the whole family as you stroll on suspension bridges that bring you right into the rainforest canopy. Most of the jungle’s life is found high in the treetops, so you’ll get to see colorful plants, tropical birds, and other wildlife amid the spectacular Costa Rican countryside.

Hanging bridges at Arenal/La Fortuna. Photo: Andrés Madrigal

Day 3: Canopy zip lining tour

If yesterday’s trip to the treetops was relaxing and educational, today’s will be fun-filled and fast. Canopy tours, or zip lines, are one of the most popular activities: you fly along a cable that connects platforms high in the treetops. It’s flying like a bird, the wind in your face and sweeping views all around.

Day 4: Beach time: Arenal to Tamarindo

This is Costa Rica, with some of the best beaches in the world! You’ll take a private shuttle from Arenal to Tamarindo, which is a happening beach town on the Pacific coast. You’ll stay at Tamarindo Diriá, which offers great facilities at a reasonable price – perfect for budget-minded families. On site, you can enjoy the pools, restaurants, and bars. Just down the road is the bustle of downtown Tamarindo and all of its boutique shops and unique little restaurants.

Hotel: Tamarindo Diriá

Photos courtesy of Tamarindo Diriá Hotel.

Day 5: Sunset catamaran tour

Fun and relaxing: that’s exactly what a sunset boat tour is. We recommend you spend today taking it easy in the morning – enjoy a leisurely breakfast, lounge by the pool, stroll into town. Then, in the afternoon, you’ll head out to sea. Once terra firma is in the distance, you can go snorkeling, kayaking, and look for dolphins and whales. After that it’s time for the greatest show on Earth: watching a stunning sunset over the Pacific Ocean, drink in hand.

Tamarindo is the perfect beach for your first surfing lesson. / Catamaran tours are available every day. Photos: Andrés Madrigal

Days 6 & 7:  Enjoy Tamarindo

We don’t like to over-plan your trips. You’re at one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica, and there is tons to do! Beachcomb, sunbathe, wander the local shops, check out great restaurants, or try one of the many tours available in the area. You can head into the mountains, to active Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park, to any of the nearby beaches, wildlife reserves, surf spots, and more.

Day 8: Head home

Fully relaxed, hop into the private transfer to the airport and then board your plane back home. Time to start planning your next trip to Costa Rica!

Notes: Of course, you can change out any activity of lodging option; these are just our suggestions. Let us know what you want and we’ll make it happen.

Costa Rica Traveler does not receive a commission if you book one of these tours. Due to popular demand, our writers are putting together a series of itineraries for all kinds of travelers. We have selected Costa Rica Vacations as our partner travel agency because we know their business and love their service and tours.

Package Includes:

  • Exclusive Airport ‘Meet and Greet’ service—we’ll greet you off the plane to make it easy to go through customs
  • Private transfer to Lomas del Volcan with an English-speaking driver
  • Three nights at Lomas del Volcan—including a daily breakfast
  • Rainforest hanging bridges tour—including one tour FREE!**
  • Canopy zip lining tour—including one tour FREE!**
  • Private transfer to the Tamarindo Diria with an English-speaking driver
  • Four nights lodging at the Tamarindo Diria—including a daily buffet breakfast
  • Sunset catamaran tour on the Pacific Ocean—including one tour FREE!**
  • Private transfer to the Liberia airport

**One free tour with purchase of three tours. Restrictions and dates apply. Speak to your Travel Consultant for details.

*Family pricing based on two adults and two children; additional price per child $262. Price for children may vary depending on ages.

Rate per adult from $1,465

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