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19 Best Family Friendly Resorts in Costa Rica
Welcome to this blog post on “19 Best Family Friendly Resorts in Costa Rica”. Costa Rica is becoming a strong contender for the title of Best Family Vacation Destination.
With its fascinating wildlife and stunning beaches located just a 3-hour flight away from major cities like Miami and Houston, and now offering direct flights from Newark, Chicago, and more, it's an accessible and exciting option for families who want a bit of everything.
When planning a family trip to Costa Rica, choosing the right accommodations is a vital aspect to consider at the start of the planning process. The availability of suitable accommodations and the type of environment you'll be in will depend on the region of the country you choose to visit.
For example, the Pacific Coast, which includes popular destinations like Manuel Antonio National Park and beach towns such as Quepos, Jaco, and Puntarenas, offers a blend of white sandy beaches, lush tropical rainforests, and an abundance of wildlife including sloths, monkeys, and a variety of exotic birds.
On the other hand, the Cartago Province located between Limon and San Jose is home to tropical rainforests, the striking Irazu Volcano, cloud forests, and towering mountain ranges.
Additionally, the Alajuela region is famous for the iconic Arenal Volcano, numerous hot springs, the Poas Volcano, and offers a variety of outdoor activities like waterfalls and thrilling whitewater rafting experiences.
For those seeking an all-inclusive resort, there are many options available throughout Costa Rica. Although not all of these resorts are specifically geared towards families, the following 19 resorts are well-regarded for their family-friendly offerings, with a variety of amenities to keep guests of all ages entertained and satisfied.
But before we proceed, why not check out our previous post on 13 Clear Water Beaches in Alabama You. I believe you will find it interesting.
Read also: 15 Best Things To Do In Costa Rica
19 Best Family Friendly Resorts In Costa Rica
Planning a family trip can be challenging, so we have carefully selected the best family friendly Resorts in Costa Rica. These are the absolute best resorts for travelling with kids of any age. Go ahead and explore these options.
The Tulemar Resort is the perfect “home away from home” resort in Costa Rica where you can relax and unwind with your loved ones for an entire week.
Nestled amidst the lush rainforest on the sprawling 33-acre Tulemar Gardens property, this luxurious resort offers plush octagonal villas for rent known as the Buena Vista Villas. These spacious and comfortable villas boast full kitchens and convenient laundry machines, making your stay truly feel like home.
And the best part? You'll have exclusive access to a private beach and multiple pools, allowing you to soak up the sun and enjoy the stunning tropical surroundings.
While the Tulemar Resort provides a tranquil escape for the entire family, it's worth noting that it may not have as many kid-friendly attractions as some other destinations.
However, if you're seeking a peaceful and relaxing retreat, the Tulemar Resort is the perfect place to create unforgettable memories with your loved ones. So pack your bags and book your stay at this dreamy resort today!
The Springs Resort and Spa
Luxury and adventure come hand-in-hand at the Springs Resort & Spa, a picturesque getaway located in the heart of Costa Rica.
While it may have gained popularity through its appearance on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and as the hotel host for ABC's “The Bachelor,” don't let its reality TV past fool you. This resort is a true family-friendly oasis.
Nestled amidst the lush surroundings of the Arenal Volcano, the Springs Resort & Spa offers its guests a chance to immerse themselves in the ultimate vacation experience. From the moment you step foot on the property, you'll be transported to a world of serenity, surrounded by hot springs and breathtaking views.
But the fun doesn't stop there! You won't have to venture far from the resort to find endless adventure. Take a river tubing excursion, go horseback riding, or explore the on-property animal sanctuary. Meet big cats, monkeys, sloths, and other exotic creatures as you get up close and personal with the stunning wildlife.
And for those who want to unwind after a long day of exploring, the resort's fine dining options will leave you feeling indulged and pampered. With everything from delicious cuisine to breathtaking views and top-notch amenities, the Springs Resort & Spa truly has it all.
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens
Taking your children on a trip to the Amazon may seem unrealistic, but Tortuguero is a budget-friendly and more accessible alternative that is perfect for families.
This remote rainforest region is located on the northern Atlantic coast and offers families the opportunity to explore the exotic jungle canals by boat without having to worry about long hikes.
A naturalist guide will accompany you as you cruise the waterways of Tortuguero and explain the inner workings of this unique ecosystem, providing an educational experience for all.
During your boat ride, you may see a variety of wildlife, such as monkeys, tropical birds, reptiles, and sloths. Tortuga Lodge is accessible through a combination of ground and boat transfers, but families may prefer to take a short domestic flight from San Jose to reduce travel time.
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Costa Rica is a small country with varying terrain, making travel between destinations take 3-4 hours. The Peace Lodge and La Paz Waterfall Gardens, an hour north of San Jose, offer an all-in-one experience similar to its sister hotel, The Springs. It is a great starting or ending point for a family vacation.
The animal sanctuary and aviary at the Peace Lodge and La Paz Waterfall Gardens are popular among both kids and adults. Children love watching big cats and monkeys, and feeding toucans on guided tours, while parents appreciate the safe, controlled environment for animal viewing.
The property also features hummingbird and butterfly gardens, reptile and amphibian exhibits, waterfalls, and a spacious swimming pool, making it a perfect destination for families who enjoy both zoos and luxurious amenities.
Hacienda AltaGracia, located in Perez Zeledon, is one of the most beautiful and exclusive resorts in Costa Rica. This luxury property in the foothills of the Talamanca Mountains offers a range of experiences for guests, including horse riding, rainforest hikes to see waterfalls, sugarcane processing, and even cow milking.
The resort also offers cooking classes for kids and adventurous activities like whitewater rafting. Accommodation consists of 50 individual hacienda-style casitas with stunning valley views. The hotel also provides a private plane charter service for $175 per person.
Arenal Manoa Resort & Hot Springs
Arenal Manoa Resort and Hot Springs, located near the town of La Fortuna, offers a charming and service-focused experience.
With its two swimming pools, each featuring a spring-fed Jacuzzi, spa, and on-site farm, this property is ideal for families with young children or couples seeking value and comfort during their trip to Costa Rica.
It is one of the best family friendly resorts in Costa Rica. The hotel rooms are situated amidst beautifully maintained gardens and come with their own patios, complete with rocking chairs, to admire views of the Arenal Volcano.
Each suite features modern amenities, such as air conditioning, satellite TV, safe deposit box, hair dryer, and coffee makers, while maintaining a rustic mountain resort feel. Superior and Honeymoon suites are also available, with added amenities like Jacuzzi-style hot tubs in the Honeymoon suites.
Dine at the hotel's main restaurant, La Saca, which serves traditional Costa Rican and international cuisine, including a daily breakfast buffet. Snacks, beverages, and cocktails are available at the Güipipia Bar by the family pool and the Uyuyui Bar at the lounging pool.
A complimentary breakfast is included with each stay and guests can arrange a free tour of the property's farm, a fun activity for kids.
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Hotel Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa
The Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa, a boutique mountain-style resort near the town of La Fortuna and at the base of Arenal Volcano, offers modern amenities, stunning views of the volcano, and top-notch service, making it a great choice for couples, families, and groups.
Arenal Kioro is one of the Arenal Volcano hotels with on-site hot springs, making it convenient for guests who wish to soak in the naturally warm mineral waters.
The hotel is surrounded by meticulously maintained gardens, steaming hot springs, and breathtaking views of the towering Arenal Volcano. Long pathways encircle the property and connect the rooms to the primary amenities. Stop along the way to read the placards located next to the plants in the gardens to learn about the local flora.
The hotel also provides a variety of amenities and services for guests to enjoy during their stay. Additional amenities include a gift shop, a small fitness center, and a game room. Try a friendly game of ping pong or challenge a fellow traveler to a game of pool for some low-key entertainment.
Neidin, the on-site spa, is the place to go to enhance your experience. There are a variety of facial and body treatments available, including a couples massage and a volcanic mud mask. Utilize one of the spa's treatments to disconnect from everything and reconnect with yourself.
The main restaurant at Kioro, Heliconias Restaurant, serves a daily breakfast buffet and à la carte dinner. The menu features international dishes prepared with the freshest available local ingredients. It is the perfect blend of Costa Rican flavors and world-class cuisine.
Next to the pool is the more informal Orqudeas Restaurant. They are open daily for lunch and offer lighter fare, snacks, and themed buffet nights. Its open-air design allows diners to enjoy the view while dining.
Rafiki Safari Lodge
For a truly serene and comfortable escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the Rafiki Safari Lodge in Costa Rica is a great option to consider.
This upscale eco-lodge is located on a private reserve spanning 843 acres, just 30 kilometers from Manuel Antonio, near the Savegre River. This makes it the perfect destination for a unique wildlife-rich glamping experience.
While at the lodge, you may spot toucans and monkeys on the property, and there is also a pool with a water slide for added fun. For those looking for outdoor activities, rafting and kayaking are available nearby.
The accommodations at Rafiki Safari Lodge are luxurious safari tents, complete with plumbing, and meals are included in the rate.
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica
The Four Seasons Costa Rica is a luxury hotel and resort that offers plush accommodations in a prime section of the 2,300-acre Peninsula Papagayo in the northwestern Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica.
The resort is built on a hillside with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and provides guests with a variety of accommodation options, including guest rooms, suites, and villas.
The Four Seasons has several pools, tennis courts, a golf course, a beautiful beach, and a free children's program for kids ages 4 to 12 to keep the whole family busy during their stay.
Read also: 19 Best Family Friendly Resorts in Costa Rica
Alma del Pacifico
Alma del Pacifico Hotel, situated along the beautiful Esterillos Este beach between Jaco and Manuel Antonio, provides beachfront villas with distinctive and lively architecture and art, as well as excellent hospitality and facilities. Located just two hours from San Jose, this 4-star hotel is the ultimate coastal getaway.
At the Alma del Pacifico Hotel, guests can immerse themselves in luxury and comfort, surrounded by stunning views of the Pacific Ocean or lush tropical gardens.
The hotel offers 20 spacious private villas, each featuring a large terrace, private walled gardens, a sitting area, a mini-bar, air conditioning and a fan, a TV, and a mosaic tile shower that opens to a private garden.
The hotel provides top-notch hospitality and amenities, including a gift shop, two 24-hour pools and a Jacuzzi, and room service.
The on-site spa offers various treatments using organic and locally-sourced ingredients, including the option of a beach massage. The property is a haven for wildlife, including butterflies, iguanas, and scarlet macaws, as well as beautiful local flora.
Guests can savor healthy, gourmet dishes from the open-air, thatched-roof pavilion restaurant and bar, which offers breathtaking views of the beach and gardens. The cuisine emphasizes fresh seafood and produce from the hotel's own gardens, as well as fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
With WiFi available throughout the property and a continental breakfast included in the stay, the Alma del Pacifico Hotel is the perfect seaside escape, located just two hours from San Jose.
The Westin Reserva Conchal Golf Resort and Spa
For families, groups, and couples seeking a stress-free and worry-free vacation experience, The Westin Reserva Conchal Golf Resort and Spa is a premier destination.
Located along the pristine white sands of Conchal Beach in the northern Pacific province of Guanacaste, this upscale all-inclusive resort offers a range of amenities to cater to the needs of every guest. With everything from food to drinks included in the package, guests can simply relax and soak in the sun-drenched tropical paradise.
The hotel is only an hour's drive from Liberia International Airport, which makes it easy for all kinds of travelers to get there.
The Westin Costa Rica is an all-inclusive resort with 406 modern and comfortable rooms. Each room has a private terrace or balcony, a living area with a sofa, air conditioning, an iPod dock, a minibar, and other amenities for comfort.
The hotel has a freshwater pool for both adults and children with a Jacuzzi in 20,000 square feet of beautiful gardens. Additionally, there's an adult-only pool in the Royal Beach section.
It boasts several dining options serving contemporary world cuisine, including an international buffet, Asian fusion, Italian, French, Latino, and Mediterranean dishes, along with a la carte restaurant for lunch and dinner. Dietary restrictions are accommodated, with gluten-free options available upon request.
Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens
The ultimate choice for families seeking proximity to nature is the Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens located in Arenal Volcano National Park.
Guests can take walks across hanging bridges with views of the volcano, visit the sloth preserve, or go canoeing through the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge searching for iguanas, crocodiles, and caimans.
The resort offers plush rooms, designed with a local touch and featuring outdoor showers, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the rainforest environment. The dining options at this resort are also among the finest in the country.
Read also: 10 Best Resorts in Costa Rica for Couples
Barcelo Tambor Beach
The Barcelo Tambor Beach Resort is a large all-inclusive hotel in Costa Rica with 402 rooms and suites, all of which feature balconies and television sets.
The resort offers guests a variety of amenities, including a mini-golf course, a beautiful beach, water sports, tennis courts, a climbing wall, and multiple pools, including one designed just for kids with a water spray feature.
If you're in need of some alone time during your vacation, you can enroll your children in the kids club for ages 4 to 12 or the teen club for ages 13 to 17.
Margaritaville Beach Resort
Margaritaville Beach Resort and Spa, situated in Guanacaste on the northwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is ideal for families, groups, and couples seeking an amazing oceanfront spot for relaxation.
Offering a fantastic location, spacious swimming pool, and in-house entertainment, this resort creates a relaxed ambiance where you can unwind and leave your stress behind.
It is located just a short drive of approximately an hour from Liberia International Airport and a stone's throw away from the beach, making it the perfect destination for a lifetime-defining vacation.
Margaritaville offers the ultimate relaxation experience for travelers of all ages who are looking for peace and calm. Blending Jimmy Buffett's relaxed style with Costa Rica's “Pura Vida” philosophy, Margaritaville is a serene and stylish beach retreat.
The hotel is designed to promote relaxation, with features such as a pool located at the front of the resort, a spacious lobby that welcomes the ocean breeze, and multiple seating areas that are easily accessible. Some rooms even feature hammocks or chairs on their balconies or terraces, so you can sit back and unwind.
This is reflected in the attentive service you'll receive. Enjoy your stay surrounded by staff who will make sure you have everything you need, whether it's a mango daiquiri by the pool or anything else.
The resort has ample activities for both adults and children, including a spa with massages, body treatments, and a Jacuzzi for ultimate relaxation. A fitness center with air conditioning and large windows facing west is available for those who want to stay active. A pool table and gift shop are located near the lobby.
The family center, a hit with kids, features games like foosball and pool, a snack bar, and a small theater showing family-friendly films. The “5 O'clock Somewhere Bar” on the second floor of the main restaurant building offers live entertainment a few nights a week with local musicians playing national and international hits.
Take advantage of this prime location and make your holiday unforgettable.
Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort
Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort is a family friendly resort in Costa Rica. This beach retreat, nestled in the rainforest, features rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows and open-air balconies with stunning ocean views.
The showers at the property are unique, featuring riverstone, and there are several beach options to choose from as well as a variety of pools, including a shallow pool for kids and a peaceful, adults-only pool.
The Andaz caters to families, as well as pet owners, with a kids' club for ages 5 to 12, making it an exceptional and enjoyable vacation destination for all.
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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
The Arenas Del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, located in the town of Quepos near Manuel Antonio National Park, offers a boutique-style experience with suites featuring stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
In addition to these luxurious accommodations, guests have access to two pools and a beautiful beachfront. The knowledgeable staff can assist with arranging local activities such as zip line tours or hikes through Manuel Antonio with an expert guide.
Dining options include two on-site gourmet restaurants—Playitas Beachfront and Mirador Oceanview—offering delicious dock-to-dish meals for the whole family to enjoy.
JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa
The JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa is a luxurious resort located near Playa Mansita, south of Tamarindo and west of El Guapote, with Central America's largest swimming pool.
This resort offers the perfect vacation experience for both parents and children, providing access to a beach club, biking and jogging trails, an 18-hole golf course, a children's club, and a luxurious spa. In addition, the resort offers a variety of recreational activities for the entire family, including your pets!
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa
Experience luxurious tranquility at the hot springs resort in Arenal, where Costa Rica's largest collection of naturally flowing thermal mineral springs is located.
Heated by the nearby volcano, these springs range in temperature from 72 to 105 degrees, providing the perfect spot for a day of relaxation with the whole family.
After exploring the forest paths and waterfalls, retire to your understatedly elegant room set in lush gardens, an extension of the rainforest. Family suites are perfect for families or groups who require larger accommodation and offer a dining and living room for everyone to socialize and spend time together.
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DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cariari San Jose
The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cariari San Jose, located just a 5-minute drive from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), is an ideal choice for a convenient and comfortable stay on your first or last night in Costa Rica with your family.
The hotel offers standard guest rooms with two queen beds, as well as suites of varying sizes, including oversized queen rooms and those with two bedrooms, a living room, and two bathrooms. Families who stay in suites also have access to the executive lounge, where breakfast and afternoon snacks are served for free every day of the year.
Frequently Asked Questions on Family Friendly Resorts in Costa Rica
1. Which part of Costa Rica is best for families?
Costa Rica's San Jose and Central Valley region offers a great vacation experience with impressive landscapes and exciting activities such as horseback riding, kayaking, white water rafting on the Pacuare River and waterfall rappelling, to awe your family.
2. Is Costa Rica a kid friendly vacation?
Costa Rica is an excellent destination for families, especially those new to international travel, as it provides a kid-friendly atmosphere.
3. Is Costa Rica a good place to travel with family?
Costa Rica offers a vast range of safe and exciting tropical adventures for families. From building sandcastles on beautiful beaches to white-water rafting, this country has eco-friendly family fun at every turn.
4. Where is the safest place to vacation in Costa Rica?
Some of the safest places to visit in Costa Rica are:
- Manuel Antonio.
- Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
- Dota, Savegre Valley, Costa Rica.
- Puerto Jiménez, Drake Bay, Corcovado, Costa Rica.
- Arenal Volcano & surrounding areas.
5. Is Costa Rica cheap for tourists?
Costa Rica is generally more expensive compared to other Central American countries like Nicaragua or El Salvador due to its well-developed tourism industry and higher standard of living.
6. Do kids pay full price at all-inclusive resorts?
All-inclusive resorts may require a surcharge for kids based on their ages. While some resorts offer free stays for kids with paid adults, others charge extra for kids over 12 or a reduced rate for those over 15.
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