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I want to take my kids, ages 9 and 13, to Costa Rica. What are the best locations there for kid-friendly sights and adventures

Hi Lindsey,

Costa Rica is an excellent destination for families, full of kid-friendly adventures that will thrill adults too (lucky you!).

Perhaps two of the best places to visit with kids are the Arenal Volcano area and the Pacific Ocean’s Gold Coast.

Arenal, looming over the town of La Fortuna, is an impressive sight itself, but there’s plenty more to do here than look for lava. Highlights include ziplining and exploring via hanging bridges, which can be done with recommended tour companies Arenal Mundo Aventura and Arenal Hanging Bridges; both offer hefty student discounts, so bring your kids’ school IDs if they have them. If you’re not exhausted after those outings, the fun can continue back at the hotel: many Arenal-area accommodations offer kid-friendly activities, with Arenal Lodge leading the pack.

You could follow an Arenal stay with some relaxation (and more adventure) over on Guanacaste’s Gold Coast. Take your pick of playas like Flamingo, Brasilito, and Tamarindo, and explore! One perennial favorite place for families is Monkey Park, a refuge for rescued animals where you can meet cute creatures like baby howler monkeys.

Wherever you three decide to go, I wish you a wonderful time and a trip you’ll remember forever!



My name: Michelle Doucette

How I earn my keep: I'm an editor at

Favorite way to get around: Some of my favorite trips involved renting cars in foreign countries and driving through the countryside, stopping on whims. You get a feel for the culture away from the big cities and meet interesting people on the road, including, I must admit, an embarrassingly high number of local policemen. I suppose it would be prudent to learn all of the traffic laws ahead of time.

Best meal I've had while traveling: Since a succession of gelato cones probably doesn't count as a meal, my favorite must have been a fresh crabmeat lunch prepared by a St. John sailboat captain while we took a break from snorkeling in the Caribbean. Sharing baklava as the sun came up over Paros, Greece, (while, once again, not technically a meal) was also memorable.

Travel ambitions: Since climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I've figured out that I'd like to keep trekking while traveling. I've got my eyes on epic hikes in Nepal, Bhutan, and Peru.


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I think Arenal Volcano is the best choice for the Kids entertainment place in Costa Rica although it has attraction for the adults as well. Thanks for sharing.

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