Costa Rica Family Tour

Whitewater Rafting, Costa Rica

8 Days/7 Nights

From $1,579 per person

(Dbl. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)

Daily Departures Throughout the Year


Costa Rica is a great place for a family vacation. In Tortuguero National Park, you can observe a wide variety of wildlife including monkeys, toucans, herons, and other water birds, while boating through jungle canals, and witness sea turtles nesting on the beach. Enjoy whitewater rafting and chocolate and bat tours in Sarapiqui. And, in Arenal, experience the mineral rich thermal hot springs of Tabacon, the Sky Tram gondola ride, and zip-lining through the rainforest of the national park.

Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 7 nights (1 night in San Jose, 2 nights in Tortuguero, 2 nights in Sarapiqui, and 2 nights in Arenal) and 21 meals (7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 6 dinners).

Best Time to Go: December-April.

Destinations: Central America and Costa Rica.

Interests: Adventure, Family Tours, Whitewater Rafting, Wildlife Viewing, and Zip-Lining.

Places Visited: San José & the Central Valley, Tortuguero & the Caribbean Coast, and Arenal Volcano.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: San Jose.

Depart to San Jose. Upon arrival, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day free to relax and enjoy San Jose. Overnight in San Jose.

Day 2: San Jose-Tortuguero-Sea Museum.

Early morning transfer by minibus to Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean Coast. On the way to Tortuguero, you will drive through Braulio Carrillo National Park, and stop along the way for a typical Costa Rican breakfast. You will also visit a banana processing plant before arriving at Cano Blanco, the launching point for the scenic boat ride to Tortuguero. Tortuguero is one of the best parks in Costa Rica for wildlife observation, and Its black sand beach is a major nesting area for the green sea turtle. The park is also home to over 300 species of birds, including herons and kingfishers, monkeys (howler, spider, and white-faced capuchin), sloths, caiman, iguanas, frogs, and butterflies.

Check-in at the Lodge followed by lunch. Afternoon visit to the Sea Museum of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation in the small village of Tortuguero. Overnight in Tortuguero. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Tortuguero-Canal Tours.

Visit the canals within the national park to observe and learn about the amazing variety of flora and fauna of the area. Overnight in Tortuguero. (B,L,D)

Day 4: Tortuguero-Sarapiqui-Bats of Costa Rica.

After breakfast at the lodge, depart by boat to Cano Blanco, and then by minibus to Guapiles, where you will have lunch. You will then be transferred to Sarapiqui and your hotel. Afternoon at leisure.

In the evening, you will learn about the Bats of Costa Rica at Tirimbina Biological Reserve. Bats represent almost 50% of the mammals in Costa Rica (113 species). The presentation consists of a multimedia presentation of about 30 minutes regarding the natural history of bats, their classification, diversity, adaptations, reproduction, threats and more. At the end of the presentation, a trained guide will provide you with a safe opportunity to observe up close some of the bats that were captured during the evening for research projects. Finally, you will visit the site of a demonstration snare net that is used in bat research, where the method of capturing bats is explained. The bats are captured and held for less than two hours. The methods used insure the well-being of the animals. Overnight in Sarapiqui. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Sarapiqui-Whitewater Rafting.

Morning departure for Class II and III whitewater rafting on Rio Sarapiqui, whose white water stretches are some of the most beautiful in Costa Rica. The rafting starts at the Hacienda Pozo Azul put-in, and runs 13 km. (8 miles) to Chilamate. An abundance of wildlife can be seen at the river’s edge. Safety instructions and fresh fruit snacks will be provided. After the rafting, you will be taken to your hotel and have the rest of the afternoon free. For families with younger children (under 9), a float trip on calmer waters can be arranged. Overnight in Sarapiqui. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Sarapiqui-Chocolate Tour-Arenal-Tabacon Hot Springs and Dinner.

In the morning, you will have a Chocolate Tour at Tirimbina Biological Reserve. The tour crosses the Tirimbina suspension bridge and includes a guided walk of about 25 minutes through the forest, before reaching the cacao plantation. During the walk the guide will talk to you about the natural and cultural history of the cacao tree. At the plantation, you will learn about the traditional process that is used to transform cacao into chocolate (harvest, fermentation, drying). You can also try different types of chocolate, made with organic cacao. Following the tour, you will return to the hotel for lunch and then be transferred to your hotel in Arenal.

Late afternoon, set out for the thermal natural springs at Tabacon Hot Springs Resort. Enjoy a relaxing mineral bath followed by dinner. Overnight in Arenal. (B,L,D)

Day 7: Arenal Sky Tram Gondola-Sky Trek Zip-Lining.

Enjoy a ride through the rainforest of the Arenal Volcano National Park on the Sky Tram Gondola to a view point overlooking the Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake. Stay for a while to enjoy the fabulous view. You can then take the Gondola back to the base, or experience the ultimate adrenaline rush by riding Sky Trek’s ten zip-lines down. The zip-lines range from 98 to 650 feet high and from 650 to 2,460 feet long. This is an experience you won’t forget. Afterwards, you will be returned to your hotel, and have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the area. Overnight in Arenal. (B,L,D)

Day 8: Arenal-San Jose.

Transfer to San Jose International Airport for your return flight to your final destination. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What's Included

Price Includes

  • South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
  • Airport/hotel and other transfers including baggage handling.
  • Hotel accommodations including taxes and service charges.
  • Excursions as indicated on the itinerary including all applicable entrance fees.
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary.
  • English-speaking tour and naturalist guides.

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare.
  • International airport departure tax ($29).
  • Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
  • Gratuities to tour guides, drivers, and hotel staff.
  • Gifts and personal items.
  • Travel insurance.

We will be happy to quote the cost of international airfare and travel insurance and to make these arrangements for you.


San Jose




Additional Details

Group Private: All transfers are private except for San Jose to Tortuguero. All excursions are provided on a group basis.

Elevations: San Jose is 3,700 feet above sea level, Sarapiqui is 722 feet, and Arenal is 1,600 feet.

Passport/Visa: U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens require a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Costa Rican embassy in their country before traveling.

Travel Insurance: In order to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We offer Allianz Global Assistance’s Classic Comprehensive and other plans. The Benefits and Coverage Limits are summarized on our Travel Insurance page. Call your travel counselor if you have any questions or to purchase a plan.

To Book This Trip: We require a non-refundable deposit of $500 per person plus the cost of the international airfare (if we make the arrangements for you). The balance of the trip cost is due 60 days prior to departure.

Have Questions? Call 1-888-268-9753 to Speak to An Expert.