Interested in planning a trip to Costa Rica, but have little ones? No worries! Costa Rica is the perfect exotic destination for families with young kids!!! We just recently returned from an epic 10-day family travel adventure as part of a sponsored partnership with Visit Costa Rica and LOVED it! Costa Rica is known by many to be a place for awesome adventure travel – ziplining, white water rafting, repelling, horseback riding, jungle treks, etc. All of these things are awesome in their own right, but many don’t work for families with young kids. In fact, when doing my research for the trip, I was struggling to find a lot of blog posts or travel articles out there on traveling to Costa Rica with young kids. We went with kids ages 9, 6, and 3 (the youngest two were too young for most adventure activities). And, we have friends that have been with babies. So, I’m here to tell you though that not only CAN it be done, I think Costa Rica is one of the BEST exotic international destinations you could go with young kids. Here’s why:
- Costa Rica is safe! We never felt unsafe in the country at all. Unlike some other Latin American countries, the political history in Costa Rica is quite stable and has been for decades. In fact, the government actually abolished the military in 1948! Additionally, the government really seems to have protection of children in mind (we even saw signs in airports and such relating to that). Plus since tourism is a HUGE part of the country’s economy, we were welcomed by everyone we encountered.
- Many people speak both Spanish & English. Let’s face it, traveling with kids can be stressful. It’s even more stressful when there is a language barrier. While traveling in Costa Rica, we learned from our AWESOME tour guide that English is actually taught in schools there. The overwhelming majority of people we encountered could speak at least some English. So, if you combine that with some basic Spanish skills (which I had), it made for really easy communication!
- The food! Costa Rican food is DELICIOUS! And it’s not spicy at all, which is good for most families with little kids. Even the pickiest of little eaters should be able to find something to eat! Rice is available at almost every meal, which is often a win with kids. Items like beans or picadillo de chayote are easy to mash up for babies and the little toddlers. Plus, the fresh fruit there is absolutely incredible!! Fresh fruit juices (like this Batido de Sandía) abound, as do fresh fruit smoothies. And, at one hotel, we had THE BEST banana bread we’ve ever had! Plus many hotels and resorts have kid-friendly favorites like cereal, yogurt, etc. So, the food there is definitely kid-friendly!
- The water is safe! Just about anywhere normal tourists would go (especially those traveling with little ones), has safe & clean drinking water. We weren’t concerned about this in any areas where we were. Though, if you did have any concerns or kiddos with sensitive stomachs, bottled water was VERY easy to come by (available for purchase at most Sodas, stores, and even many hotels).
- There are adventures for EVERY age! Even if your kids are too young for traditional adventure activities, there are plenty of incredible things in Costa Rica suitable for every age! We hiked through the rainforest, saw some of the most incredible animals, took beautiful boat rides, walked on hanging bridges, and played on fantastic family-friendly beaches! At many of these places we saw families with babies too! My biggest tip is to just be sure to have a carrier! Our Ergobaby carrier (affiliate link) was a MUST on this trip! Our 3-year-old was still well within the weight requirements for it, so it was REALLY useful! In fact, I think we used it every single day and it’s what allowed us to still do some amazing hikes even with a little guy in tow.
So many magical memories made!!! We HIGHLY recommend this destination for families, even with the youngest of travelers!
For more from our trip, you can check out the hashtag #CRFamilyFun on Instagram. And, if you’re interested in planning your own trip to Costa Rica, be sure to check out the Visit Costa Rica site for all kinds of information! You can also check out our other Costa Rica related posts below:
Costa Rica Travel Related Posts:
- 10 Costa Rica Trip Planning Tips
- Batido de Sandía Recipe
- Costa Rica Travel Photography
- 25+ Rainforest Animal Crafts
- Must-See Mammals in Costa Rica – Wildlife Photography