Travelling With Kids: Is Costa Rica A Good Destination For Children? | Volcano Watersports

Travelling With Kids: Is Costa Rica A Good Destination For Children?

Sport img

25 January 2024

Here at Volcano Watersports, every day is a little different. We’ve given up trying to predict what a day will be like, what weather we’ll get, or what kind of masterful tricks we’ll see someone pull off on our wakeboards. A day at Lake Arenal never manages to surprise us. In fact, there's only one thing that has remained fairly constant.

One of the most popular reasons people require our boat rentals is corporate events. Instead of doing ordinary corporate away days, conferences, or hotel functions, business owners go the extra mile and arrange a day on the water in Costa Rica.

During this day, our guests get up to all sorts of activities, including wakeboarding, waterskiing, tubing, they visit the town of La Fortuna, they have dinner on the still waters of Lake Arenal, and they all end up asking us the same question.

‘This was great. I’d love to come back here with my family. Is Costa Rica a good vacation destination for kids?’

When we started Volcano Watersports, we thought the most common question would be something about wakeboarding. How to keep up straight, or how to jump the wake before falling face-first in the water. We didn’t think we’d be the contact point for important family vacation decisions.

But, to be fair, it is a mantle that we’re happy to take on, because we know a thing or two about Costa Rica. Having lived and operated here for several years, we’ve seen tons of families with kids ranging from seven-year-olds to seventeen-year-olds, all of whom never drop the big grin present on each of their faces. So yes. We’d say Costa Rica is a good vacation destination for kids. And here’s why.

What Makes Costa Rica a Good Destination For Children?

Have your kids ever come home from school and spent an hour or two playing in the back garden? Of course they have. Every child does. Despite video games desperately trying to keep our kids inside all day, no child can resist the freedom of nature. Every time they step outside, they’re stepping into their own personal adventure park, where their imagination is king and the opportunities are endless.

With this in mind, Costa Rica offers kids the biggest adventure park of all. With 51% of the country made up of rainforest – and with over 300 sandy beaches to choose from – this is a playground that can get your kids’ imaginations sparkling and fizzing like never before.

Every day in this country offers something new. You can spend one day whooshing above a rainforest on a zipline, and the next exploring the craters of a 65 million-year-old volcano. However you want to spend your vacation, Costa Rica can offer all of that and more.

What Time of Year is Best to Visit?

Despite seasons in Costa Rica offering something different, it’s also a country that is great to visit all year round. In the summer – which runs from November through to April – average temperatures sit at around 30 degrees in coastal areas and 20 degrees in the mountains. With this being the dry season, every company is open for business, and there are hundreds of activities to choose from and places to visit. In the winter season, the weather is a little wetter, but for some families, the cheaper and less busy nature of May through to October makes it an even more attractive option when travelling with kids.

Kid-Friendly Things to do in Costa Rica


The first activity you can try out is wakeboarding. Here at Lake Arenal, we’ve seen plenty of kids try their hand at water sports, and not one of them has finished the day without a big smile on their face. This is a great sport to learn early on in life, and Costa Rica is one of the best countries to learn it. The weather is good, the waters of Lake Arenal are optimal, and the scenery around you is always stunning.

Turtle Watching

For lovers of nature, Costa Rica also puts on one of the most amazing nature shows on the globe: the Tortuguero turtle hatching. Every year, around March to November, hundreds of turtles make their way from the ocean to the beaches to lay their eggs and nest. When the nesting season is over, you can witness hundreds more baby turtles waking up to the world and making their very first journey back home. It’s a beautiful sight, and it's also a great opportunity for kids to witness a miracle of the natural world away from a television screen.


Experiencing the natural world doesn’t end here, either, as across the country, numerous spots are perfect for snorkelling. Whether you’re in Cahuita, Tamarindo, or Corcovado, you can book safe snorkelling tours that will get your kids up close and personal with the wonders of the ocean. Some of the most popular animals you can spot in Costa Rica include the parrotfish, starfish, angelfish, and around 400 more fish species!

Zip Lining

Just as you can explore the ocean for wildlife, so too can you explore the rainforests. But you won’t be doing so from the ground. One of the most popular activities for kids in Costa Rica is ziplining, which involves racing above the rainforests at around 30 miles per hour. Here at Volcano Watersports, we're not afraid to admit that we're a little queasy when it comes to heights, so we couldn’t tell you what animals you can spot – we spend most of the time ziplining with our eyes firmly shut! – but popular animals in the rainforests include spider monkeys, scarlet macaws, toucans, hummingbirds, iguanas, and even jaguars.

Volcano Exploring

Your vacation doesn’t have to be filled with adrenaline-fuelled activities, of course. As we mentioned before, kids love being outside and letting their imagination run away from them. And there’s no better place to do that than atop one of the many volcanoes this country has to offer. While it’s not possible to climb every volcano – five of them are still active! – there are plenty that you can experience from the bottom to the top, including Poas Volcano, Tenorio Volcano, and Rincon del Vieja. This is also a great chance for your kids to learn more about the world they live in.

Diving & Ocean Education

Nestled within charming beach towns along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, dive schools offer families a gateway to nature's wonders. Enveloped by lush jungle and pristine coastline, this idyllic setting provides the perfect backdrop for unforgettable adventures. Led by seasoned instructors, young explorers venture into the vibrant underwater realm, encountering an array of marine life, from graceful turtles to majestic whales. Safety is paramount as expert teams meticulously prepare and supervise each expedition, ensuring parents' peace of mind as their children embark on this educational journey.

Moreover, children aged 10 and above have the opportunity to obtain diving certification through specialized courses, tailored to their age and skill level. Through immersive, interactive sessions, participants cultivate a deep appreciation for the ocean's marvels and the crucial importance of conservation efforts. Join in on this enriching voyage, where family fun intertwines with environmental stewardship, creating enduring memories along Costa Rica's captivating shores.

Keeping Safe With Your Kids

One of the other questions people ask us is whether Costa Rica is safe for kids. We’re happy to report that Costa Rica is one of the safest countries in Latin America – so much so that they’ve decided they don’t even need their own military! Some parts of the cities are best to avoid, of course – as with any country, the cities tend to have higher crime rates than the more rural areas – but this shouldn’t put you off. As long as you remain aware of your safety and security – including natural hazards to look out for, like ocean currents and tides, or dangerous rainforest wildlife – then you’re going to be absolutely fine.

Packing For Your Kids

Speaking of natural hazards, this could include flooding and heavy rain if you’re travelling during the wet season, so you will need to make sure you pack accordingly. Although the average temperatures are high, make sure you bring sweaters for your kids in the evenings, and that you have plenty of raincoats and umbrellas tucked away in your suitcases. Sunscreen and hats are also important, as well as first aid kits for cuts and scrapes – especially if you’re thinking of climbing any of those volcanoes we talked about earlier.

Kid-Friendly Places to Go in Costa Rica

When it comes to where you’re actually going to stay, travelling around Costa Rica is relatively easy – the entire country is smaller than the US state of West Virginia – so you don’t have to stick to one place. In our opinion, one of the best locations for kid-friendly accommodation is La Fortuna, in Arenal National Park – this puts you close to the Mistico Hanging Bridges, the La Fortuna waterfalls, and, of course, our boat rentals at Lake Arenal.

You could spend your whole trip here and have a great time, but if you want to expand to other places, we would also recommend Tamarindo – known for its beaches and beautiful, eco-friendly national parks – Monteverde – known for its biodiversity and the infamous Monteverde Cloud Forest – and Manuel Antonio – known for the Sukia Park and ziplining tour – among others like the Osa Peninsula, the Nicoya Peninsula, and Puerto Viejo.

A Family Vacation in 2024

However you choose to spend your vacation, it is guaranteed to be a fun-filled family trip that is perfect for adults and kids alike. As well as this, it’s also guaranteed to be a great lesson for your kids to take into the future. The lesson is: if you put the natural world first and do everything you can to prioritise sustainability, then the rewards are going to be multifold. Costa Rica is the best example of a sustainable, natural, and above all, happy country. And that’s what your kids are bound to remember.