5 ways your family can make the most of your trip to costA Rica

This week I’m handing over the keyboard to Katie Tejada, a writer, editor, mother, and travel enthusiast. With a love for adventure and the great outdoors, she enjoys exploring new places with her family. Read on below to check out her 5 ways your family can make the most of your trip to Costa Rica!

5 Ways Your Family Can Make the Most of Your Trip to Costa Rica

As one of the safest, most biodiverse, and friendliest Central American countries, Costa Rica makes an ideal vacation destination for families that want a trip they’ll never forget. But as with anywhere, knowing a few things about where you’re going can help with making sure you have the best time possible, even during a pandemic! 

Costa Rica has been open to international tourists since November 2020 and currently does not require visitors to be tested or vaccinated before entering the country (though like anywhere, this is subject to change). As long as you purchase travel insurance, fill out a health form, and follow local health guidelines, your entry into the country and time spent in Costa Rica will be as smooth as ever!

Family playing on the beach in Tamarindo underreported palm trees. Lifestyle family photos in Costa Rica. Photographed by Kristen M. Brown of Samba to the Sea.

When planning your adventure, be sure to take these family activities and aspects into consideration, so your family can have the Costa Rican vacation of a lifetime. 


  1.     Take Advantage of Tours

There is an abundance of sightseeing opportunities and exciting things to do all over Costa Rica, which is why it’s a great idea to reserve some spots for your family on tours. Whether you want to discover the rainforest by way of zip lines (meeting monkeys along the way), dive into the history, go on catamarans or rafting, or visit hot springs and volcanoes, tours provide a safe and simple way to see the many attractions without the logistical headache.

Dad tossing his daughter in the air during a gorgeous sunset in Costa Rica. Beach family photos in Tamarindo Costa Rica. Photographed by Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea Photography.


  1.     Live in Luxury

If you have the money to spend on excellent accommodations, Costa Rica beachfront villas are famous the world over for providing incredible luxury, marvelous service, and gorgeous views of the ocean all in one package. Your kids and spouse will appreciate the opportunity to relax in total comfort as well. There’s nothing quite like spending a day exploring one of the most beautiful spots on the planet with the knowledge that you’re coming home to a meal from a private chef and a muscle-melting massage! 


  1.     Get Your Scuba On

Costa Rica has one of the most spectacular arrays of wildlife you can find across the globe, and many of those beautiful creatures happen to reside just underneath the surface of the water. There’s no shortage of amazing places to go scuba diving in Costa Rica no matter where you stay, and you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss the chance to see some aquatic wildlife you’ll never find anywhere else as up close and personal as you can imagine. For children who are fascinated by the ocean, scuba trips can be educational as well as magical in a way they’ll remember their whole life.  


  1.     Take In The Spectacular Beaches

One of the coolest things about Costa Rica is the fact that you can visit both Pacific and Caribbean beaches while you’re there! Each coast provides a unique and vibrant experience, but they are very different. 

If you’re looking for relaxation and serenity, the Caribbean side is your best bet. Full of natural beauty and coral reefs and devoid of all-inclusive resorts, you’ll find a chill, tropical beach vibe and far less crowding. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca on the southern Caribbean coast is certainly a favorite, with a fun chocolate tour and horseback riding for the whole family available. 

The Pacific side offers more of a tourist experience. While the beaches are just as spectacular, the Pacific coast provides more resorts, restaurants, shopping, and luxury beachfront hotels. Samara Beach is great for family swimming. On the Nicoya Peninsula, there’s Playa Tamarindo —the second largest beach town in Costa Rica—and also the gorgeous bohemian enclave of Nosara and the private, peaceful beaches of Santa Teresa near the southern tip. Recreational opportunities like scuba diving, fishing, and ziplining are abundant on the Pacific side. So if your preference is more of a social experience, you’ll likely enjoy this option. 

Whether you visit the Pacific, Caribbean, or both coasts, you’ll be encountering a lot of sun. Packing a stylish sun hat designed to block out the rays and bringing along sunscreen can go a long way towards making sure your family is cool and comfortable.


Sibling running in the ocean during family photos on the beach in Tamarindo Costa Rica. Photographed by Kristen M. Brown of Samba to the Sea Photography.


  1.     Don’t Neglect the Urban Sights

If you’ve ever been on vacation with your children before, you probably already know that they can get tired out pretty quickly, no matter how fantastic the location. You, your kids, and your spouse will probably need a little time to rejuvenate from your trips into the wilderness at some point, and when you do, there are plenty of friendly cities with a fantastic history and nightlife for you to explore. As incredible as surfing and nature reservations are, sometimes you just want some ice cream for the kids and some margaritas for the parents! 


General Tips for Your Visit

  • Bring Your Own Supplies: there will be plenty of outlets you can hit if you run out of things like sunscreen and trail mix, but bringing plenty of your own will keep those costs from adding up in the long run.
  • Be Flexible with Your Plans: the great thing about Costa Rica is that it is compact and full of beautiful things to see and do, so if something you were planning on goes awry don’t be afraid to pack right up and hit the next spot on your to-do list!
  • Respect the Culture: always be mindful of the fact that you’re a guest, and that showing the locals the same courtesy and accommodation they give to you will make sure you get the best service and have the most pleasant time that you can. 
  • Consider Professional Photos: Costa Rica is unlike anywhere else you’ve ever seen when it comes to sheer beauty, and that means you’ll want plenty of visual keepsakes to remember your trip for the rest of your life. Everyone will want to look back on these pictures as time goes on, to remember their days spent on one of the most unique places on earth. Consider booking a professional photographer who can take family vacation photos that truly capture the essence of your family and the magnificence of the site you’re visiting.
    Family holding hands during sunset family photos on the beach in Tamarindo Costa Rica. Photographed by Kristen M. Brown of Samba to the Sea Photography.

Have you been to Costa Rica with your family, and was there any activity in particular that everyone ended up loving? Leave a comment and share your favorite memories, as well as tips and tricks that you learned from your trips!

Author Bio | Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, mother, and travel enthusiast. With a love for adventure and the great outdoors, she enjoys exploring new places with her family. She often writes about events, travel, decorating trends, and home trends, but you’ll also find her covering finance, law, and business news, innovations and more.


Pura Vida,

P.S. Love these family photos? Check out my Family Photography portfolio!

P.P.S. You’re ready to chat? YESSSS!!! – – I’m so stoked 😁😎🙌🏻!! Fill out the form below & my assistant Gidget the Chihuahua will let me know it’s time to catch a wave in from surfing!




Let's chat!

I would love to hear what photographic ideas you have cooking, whether it be playing on the beach with your family, wandering the Spanish Moss squares in Savannah, hiking up to a beautiful waterfall, or capturing the intimate love at your wedding. I know there are countless other awesome photographers to choose from, so how about we grab a cup of delicious Costa Rican coffee and get to know each other? If the fit is right, I can’t wait to welcome you and your loved ones to the Samba to the Sea familia! Fill out the contact form or email me at hola@sambatothesea.com — you can count on me to get back to you within a day!

P.S. my clients love working with me as much as I love working with them; be sure to read their beautiful words of praise!

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