Ecotours are a great way to experience the beauty of the world’s diverse ecosystems. In Costa Rica, you’ll find many of these tours, all of which provide educational, exhilarating and enjoyable experiences for families. From the land to the sea, we’ve rounded up the best ecotours in the country.
The Combo tour at Buena Vista del Rincon provides many activities near the Rincón 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 Eco Adventure Park day pass provides access to canopy zip-lining, waterfall hiking, suspension bridges, hot springs, natural mud baths, horseback riding and the longest mountain waterslide in Costa Rica. The pass also includes a delicious buffet lunch.
The lower basin region of the Tempisque River is home to incredible wildlife, including caimans, 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 knowledgeable naturalist. Sometimes monkeys even hop on the boat to greet travelers. It’s 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 excursion.
Hop on a 100ft (30m) catamaran – complete with two Jacuzzis, two giant trampolines and two waterslides – in Manuel Antonio. Catamaran Adventures offers a half-day sailing and snorkeling tour on the Pacific Ocean, with 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 you snorkel and soak in the warm ocean water while a traditional Costa Rican lunch is prepared.
Isla Tortuga lies off the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. This island tour leaves from Montezuma Beach, but shuttles are available from Mal País, Santa Teresa or Tambor. After the 45-minute boat ride, you can swim, snorkel, kayak, hike and sunbathe. For meals, local fish, chicken, vegetables, fresh fruit and refreshments are served.
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.
The Uatsi Waterfall and Indigenous Reservation tour on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is a one-day educational, fun journey. The day begins with 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.