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HDR Sunset, Costa Rica | © kansasphoto/Flickr
HDR Sunset, Costa Rica | © kansasphoto/Flickr
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Top 7 Family-Friendly Costa Rican Ecotours

Picture of Jenn Parker
Updated: 30 April 2017
Ecotours are a great way to experience the beauty of Costa Rica’s diverse ecosystems on land and in the sea. There are many of these tours in Costa Rica that provide educational, exhilarating, and enjoyable experiences for families. Read about them below.

Adventure Tour

The combo tour at Buena Vista Lodge and Adventure provides many activities near the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. Each person chooses from a combination of activities, making it ideal for a family with different personalities and interests among its members. The Buena Vista pass provides access to the following: canopy zip-lining, waterfall hiking, suspension bridges, hot springs, natural mud baths, horseback riding, and the biggest mountain waterslide in Costa Rica. The pass also includes an authentic buffet lunch.

Blue River, Rincon de la Vieja
Blue River, Rincon de la Vieja | © Jeff Engroff/Flickr

Crocodile Boat Tour

The lower basin region of the Tempisque River is home to incredible wildlife, including caymans, crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas, bats, and birds. The Palo Verde River Tour gives travelers the unique opportunity to witness some of Costa Rica’s wildlife up close with an experienced and knowledgable naturalist. Sometimes monkeys even hop on the boat to greet travelers. This is an especially great tour if traveling with small children or elderly family members. A traditional lunch at a family-owned restaurant is provided at the end of the tour.

Set Sail

Hop on a 100-foot catamaran in Manuel Antonio complete with two jacuzzi tubs, two giant trampolines, and two waterslides. The Catamaran Island Adventure is a half day sailing and snorkeling tour on the Pacific Ocean, offering the chance to see dolphins, whales, turtles, and jumping stingrays. Live music, snacks, and an open bar are available on the ride. The boat also stops to let guests snorkel and soak in the warm ocean water while a traditional Costa Rican lunch is prepared.

Safari on Sarapiquí

A full-day safari on the Sarapiquí River is a combination tour nature lovers will enjoy. The day begins by exploring Braulio Carrillo National Park, a rainforest filled with magnificent trees, plants, flowers, and animals. A private boat tour then leads guests down the Sarapiquí River, where additional wildlife sightings are likely. Following the hour and a half boat tour, families can explore a butterfly pavilion, reptile museum and botanical gardens. Lunch and local coffee is served.

Río Sarapiquí
Río Sarapiquí | © M.Prinke/Flickr

Island Day

Isla Tortuga is located in the Nicoya Peninsula. The island tour leaves from Montezuma Beach, but shuttles can be arranged from Mal Pais, Santa Teresa, or Tambor. After the 45-minute boat ride, travelers can swim, snorkel, kayak, hike, and sunbathe. For meals, local fish, chicken, vegetables, fresh fruit, and refreshments are served.

Pelican, Tortuga Island, Costa Rica
Pelican, Tortuga Island, Costa Rica | © size4riggerboots/Flickr

Volunteer with Animals

The volunteer program and tour of a wildlife rescue center near La Fortuna is a heartwarming experience. This three and a half hour activity blends education, volunteer work, and animal interactions. It also provides an opportunity to teach children about conservation and the importance of protecting the environment and its inhabitants.

Capuchino 2
Capuchino 2 | Wilma Compton/Flickr

Caribbean Coast and Chocolate

The Uatsi Waterfall and Indigenous Reservation tour on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is a one-day educational, fun journey. The day is comprised of a trip to the picturesque Uatsi Waterfall, followed by a visit to an indigenous community, a quick stop at the Sixaola River—separating Costa Rica and Panama—and a chocolate tour.

Costa Rica. On the Chocolate Tour
Costa Rica. On the Chocolate Tour | © Everjean/Flickr