Is your family torn between spending your next vacation relaxing at a gorgeous tropical beach resort or opting for an adventure filled out of the ordinary destination? Why not choose both and head south of the boarder for a Costa Rica Family Adventure. This wildly popular destination gives travelers the best of both worlds all wrapped up into one vacation that for many US travelers, is a short flight away.
I recently had a longtime friend come to me looking for something different to do with her family of 6. They were in that same limbo I just mentioned. With having 4 teens there are a lot of opinions and people to make happy. Marrying two distinct experiences together for them just made sense and Costa Rica was the perfect location for this.
We decided to take the path of rainforest adventure first and beach bum second. We started the trip with 3 full days of adventure and that means setting up their first home base in the Arenal Volcano basin. Arenal is well known for its conservation projects including the national park and several private reserves that protects the abundant biodiversity. Its climate, the absence of predators and availability of food make this privileged area an amazing natural oasis. It is also home to a very special animal most will only ever see on TV or in a zoo, the Sloth.
After settling into their hotel and getting a good night sleep and a hearty breakfast, it was time to get face to face with these fascinating creatures. These wild animals captivate everyone with their peculiar slow movements. They spend their first day getting to meet these exciting creatures on an excursion that was meant to educate the participants about the importance of preserving the natural habitat. That afternoon the spent relaxing in the tropical setting and gearing up for the high-flying adventure coming.
After a light breakfast they headed over to the Sky Adventures Park for a thrilling Zip line adventure. The park is set on a private reserve located in a tropical rainforest with magnificent views of the Arenal Volcano and the beautiful Arenal Lake. Once at Arenal Sky Adventures Park, they receive security instructions and top-quality equipment to enjoy the activities. They started off by taking a 15-minute ride ascending 800m (2625ft) on the Sky Tram gondola. It rose smoothly through the rainforest, offering up amazing views of the surroundings while the guide pointed out distinctive characteristics of the flora and fauna that might be only spotted from above the treetops. At the highest point of the mountain, they set off on a 2-hour Sky Trek, which consists of a system of platforms and zip-lines that go from one mountain to another. The platforms are anchored to the ground and not in the trees, providing greater security and less disturbance to the nature around. You simply get off and jump on to the next cable. There are seven thrilling ziplines, up to 200m (656ft) in height and 750m (2460ft) in length and speeds that go up to 70km/h (43.5mph).
On their 3rd full day in of their Costa Rica family adventure, it was time for some hiking and of course, seeing more of the natural wonders of the area. The La Fortuna Waterfall Reserve, receives over 244 inches of precipitation a year. and is located at the base of the now dormant Chato Volcano. It is fed by the river of the same name, which travels through the rainforest until it plunges over the cliff forming this magnificent waterfall. Their adventure started off with a five-hundred-meter downhill hike that ends at a “natural pool”. Everyone who was ready to cool off could take a dive into the fresh water and enjoy some time in this breathtaking setting. They then could sit and enjoy the gorgeous views and diverse plants and animals around, especially the many birds. For those seeking additional adventure they could head out to a 2.5-hour hiking in a primary rainforest, to the Mistico Hanging Bridges. On the bridges you can explore the many different layers of the rainforest. These 16 hanging bridges are a must for bird enthusiasts and can also be traversed at night on a twilight walk.
After 3 exciting days of adventure, it was time to relax and take in some sun and sand. After breakfast they checked out of their hotel and headed to Playa El Jobo to spend 4 nights at the Dreams Las Mareas Resort and Spa. This family resort is part of the huge offering off all-inclusive out of the Hyatt Hotel group. With 19 dining and bar choices, a 16,000sqft Pevonia spa and a huge list of activities, there is so much to do and experience on this property. Accommodations hold from 2-4 guests. You can also opt for the Club level experience that includes a private club lounge offering daily breakfast, afternoon hors d’oeuvres, and premium liquors, an upgraded pillow menu, complimentary internet, and upgraded mini bar and bath amenities.
With the resort having a large footprint, it works great for a large family or friend group as well as meeting and destination weddings. I particularly like it for girlfriend getaways with its large pool, gorgeous beach, and luxurious spa menu. So, what do you have to lose but stress. Let’s get started planning your Costa Rica Family Adventure.
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