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  • Explore this geologic wonder of Costa Rica
  • Hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Visit the town of Santa Elena

Costa Rica is one of the world's most adventurous family-friendly places, widely known for its dedication to peace, cultural exchange and environmental education. Our Costa Rica Family Adventure visits areas that exemplify these qualities creating wonderful shared memories for years to come. All aspects of this tour, from more spacious accommodations to less rigorous transfers to the planned activities, have been designed with the traveling family in mind.

Starting with Arenal Volcano, with its picture perfect cone, we explore this geologic wonder and the rich surrounding rainforests filled with waterfalls, wildlife and opportunities for exploration. In Monteverde hike through the lush Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, walk the nearby platform bridges for an aerial view of these incredible forests and visit the shining example of sustainable tourism in the town of Santa Elena. Conclude with mangrove kayaking, turtle sightings and beach combing in Costa Rica's coastal playground of Tamarindo

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AdventureSmith Travel Reviews & Ratings
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4.8 Guide
5.0 Activities
5.0 Lodging
5.0 Transportation
4.8 Meals
Costa Rica Family Adventure

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Watching whales up close, wonderful holiday on such a small vessel June 2018

  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 5.0
Adventure Smith arranged this ltrip of a life time to The Sea of Cortez, Baja California aboard Westward..
Far away from people, so close up to wild life. Nothing was too much trouble for the crew of three on a boat holding max 12 people. Swimming with sea lions pups, whale sharks, five types of whales, kayaking, stand up paddle board, hiking in cactus islands, bird watching. This must be one of the smallest most personal cruises . Adventure Smith can tell you all the details and you will stil be surprised and delighted.
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A fun trip! August 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The folks at Adventuresmith make planning a trip almost as much fun as the trip itself. They enthusiastically and efficiently helped us create two different adventures that I felt they would be thrilled to go on themselves. It is always very satisfying to find people who love what they do and are eager to provide the best possible service for their customers.
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Incredible trip to the Costa Rican jungle! August 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My family and I just returned from an incredible trip to the Costa Rican jungle with AdventureSmith. Our trip was well planned, flawless and felt very personalized. We stayed first at the Tortugero Lodge in Tortuguero and had a great experience seeing the jungle there. Our guides were very knowledgable and welcoming. The lodge was beautifully laid out, had amazing food and was situated nestled in the jungle so we could enjoy the sounds of the jungle while we slept in luxurious open air bungalows. We took boat tours of the jungle and got to kayak up small waterways so we had the crocodile eye view! Next we transferred to the Oso peninsula via a thrilling Cessna ride through clouds to stay at Lapa Ríos, another jungle lodge surrounded by monkeys. The guides here were also fun, knowledgable and great with the kids. Best hike was the waterfall hike. So much adventure on this vacation, we all slept great each night! This was our second trip with AdventureSmith and I can't wait to book our next. They really know how to set you up for exactly what you want, even if you don't know exactly what you want. Can't recommend them enough!
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Operator AdventureSmith



Very happy with AdvetureSmith. August 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We've booked two trips through AdventureSmith and wouldn't consider any other company for our trips. The service we've received and the ease of the process have been great. I can't recommend the company highly enough.
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Operator AdventureSmith




  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I just got back from one of the easiest hassle-free vacations I’ve ever taken and it all started with a single call to Adventuresmith. They exceeded all of my expectations and a would use them again in a heartbeat. I had only a few weeks to plan a trip to the Galapagos that I’d promised my wife. I was pretty certain I’d procrastinated to the point that a trip – especially during Spring Break/Easter week wouldn’t even be possible without settling on quality or paying through the nose. I searched on line for “Galapagos tours” and came up with three companies that seemed to be able to do what I needed. It was after business hours but I needed to get things going so I called anyway, planning to leave a voicemail messages to start the process. One company never did call me back. Another called me back the next day and said “I don’t know if we can find anything for you but we’ll see what’s available and get back to you in a few days.” The third was Adventuresmith. About 10 minutes later, again, after business hours, I got a call from Andrew, one of Adventuresmith’s travel specialists. He asked me for the dates I could travel, the type of boat (luxury, moderate or economy) I was looking for and my budget. The next morning, which was a Saturday, I got an e-mail with a detailed list of available cruises. I used the Adventuresmith website to research the details of each ship – including deck plans and detailed photographs, itineraries and reviews. I didn’t find any other website that was as comprehensive or as easy to use. The following Monday, Andrew and I spoke by phone and he answered all of my questions about the different boats, the different itineraries, the anticipated weather and sea conditions, and much more. We narrowed the list to a couple of cruises and he went to work – callin g each company directly to check on availability rather than relying on e-mail or web-based reservation systems due to the last-minute nature of the trip. On Tuesday morning, he’d found an available cabin that met all of our expectations – the last available cabin – so he booked it for me and negotiated a 24-hour hold to be sure the price was okay with me and that I could get air reservations. He told me exactly how to arrange the travel days and times so I would have virtually no risk of problems from delayed or cancelled flights. On Wednesday, I e-mailed him that I’d found suitable air reservations and he had my trip confirmed within an hour or so. He reassured me that I’d chosen one of the few boats he could enthusiastically recommend which I found very comforting, given the expense of the trip. He told me he’d be the one coordinating all of my trip details from that point forward and that he would be available to me for any questions or problems, by phone or e-mail throughout the entire trip, right up to my return. He e-mailed me a bunch of articles about the Galapagos and how to get the most out of a trip there, and he sent very clearly and well-organized information about what to pack, what to expect, how to tip, and much more. He offered a very well priced land package that included hotel rooms for all over-night stop overs, transfers to and from hotels and airports with a private Spanish-speaking guide who would help us navigate immigration services, the airport, and hotel check-in, a guided tour of our stop-over city, buffet breakfasts, and round-trip airfare to and from the Galapagos islands from mainland Ecuador. He explained in detail the relative advantages and disadvantages of using Guayaquil vs. Quito as our stopover city in Ecuador. I could not possibly have matched the price of that package by arranging everything myself and I expended exactly zero effort to make it all happen. The trip ran like clockwork. We were perfectly prepared based on Adventuresmith’s expert write-ups for pre-trip planning, and had an extraordinary trip. It was, by far, the easiest trip I’ve ever arranged – basically two phone calls and an e-mail or two to Adventuresmith and the rest was done. We didn’t have a single issue or problem but it was very nice to know Adventuresmith provided 24/7 support if we did. I’ve never had a travel company offer that before.
After that very first contact I had with Adventuresmith, I started researching them online to be sure they were “real.” It all sounded a little too good to be true and I’d never heard of them before. It was surprising to find only a handful of reviews on line but all of them were positive. I assumed they were a pretty new venture but after asking Andrew about it, he told me about their many, many years in the specialty travel business and explained that their marketing presence is still limited on line but that they have always had a significant presence in travel magazines and travel publications. So let me tell you here and now that they are quite real, incredibly knowledgeable and professional, courteous and service-oriented. I will absolutely look to them again to help with travel in the future.
Bottom line: No need to look anywhere else. Just use these guys. I was thrilled to find them and you will be too!
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Day 1: Arrive San Jose, Costa Rica

Accommodation: Hotel Bougainvillea or similar

Upon arrival at San Jose's Juan Santamaria International Airport you are met by a representative and transferred to your hotel in San Jose.

Day 2: Arenal Volcano

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Arenal Observatory Lodge

Start your tour with a scenic drive to Arenal Volcano, stopping en route at La Paz Waterfall Gardens for lunch and an up-close view at a system of 5 different waterfalls. The gardens also include child-friendly butterfly, hummingbird and frog gardens. After lunch continue on through the scenic highlands to Arenal. From the lodge, which is situated safely on a high ridge only 1.6 miles south of the volcano, take in an impressive view of this "giant which rumbles." The lodge is the only property located within the Arenal Volcano National Park, which encompasses thousands of acres of pristine rainforest and teems with tropical birds and wildlife.

Day 3: Arenal to Monteverde

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Fonda Vela

Enjoy a morning hike to a nearby waterfall and an up-close exploration of a lava flow prior to the drive Monteverde. Skirting the shores of Arenal Lake, make your way to Monteverde, one of the most diverse and richest tropical cloud forests in the New World. Monteverde is best known as home to the Resplendent Quetzal but includes hundreds of other birds, mammals and plant species. Arrive in time to explore the nearby town of Santa Elena.

Day 4: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Fonda Vela

Morning guided hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve viewing the wet forest with its dense vegetation and majestic trees. The perpetually misty forests of the Reserve encompass eight distinct ecological zones and protect more than 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds and 1,500 species of plants. In the afternoon visit the SkyTrek, a system of suspended cable zip lines constructed within the cloud forest, that give the participant a unique thrill and vantage point high in the forest canopy. For those not interested in zip lining, the Sky Walk, a hiking system of suspended bridges, may be substituted at no additional cost.

Day 5: Mountains to Coast

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Capitan Suizo

Our representative will transfer you in an air-conditioned vehicle on a scenic drive through the dry savanna of Guanacaste to the North Pacific Coast, and on to your luxury beachfront accommodation just outside of Tamarindo. The remainder of the day is yours to stroll the beach or relax by your hotel's pool.

Days 6 – 7: Tamarindo Beach

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Capitan Suizo

Spend your days in Tamarindo simply soaking in the Pacific views, or opting for several activities available to your family at additional cost, such as snorkeling, horseback riding, surfing lessons, kayaking and more!

Day 8: San Jose

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Bougainvillea

Return by plane to San Jose where a representative will take you to your hotel in Costa Rica's capitol. Spend your last afternoon in Costa Rica taking in a museum or exploring one of San Jose's several colorful markets.

Day 9: Depart San Jose

Meals: Breakfast

Transfer to the international airport for your return flights home or begin your trip extension.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 2,295

Price Per Day:

$ 255 per day
  • Deposit Price: $ 500
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 1,095

Price notes:

Child rates apply to children 11 and under who are sharing rooms with two adults. Rate applies through November 30, 2016.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Trip Includes
  • Eight nights lodging, all land, air and water transportation within Costa Rica
  • All airport/hotel transfers when arriving and departing on the stated arrival and departure dates of the group
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Hotel taxes
  • Entrance fees to National Parks
  • Museums and places of interest in effect at the time of booking are included unless otherwise specified
  • Guide services as specified in the itinerary
  • Guides' expenses
Trip Excludes
  • Airfare to costa rica
  • Airport departure tax, excess baggage charges
  • Taxes and port fees
  • Gratuities to transfer and naturalist guides
  • Guided turtle nesting tour ($25)
  • Items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages
  • Insurance of any kind. Holiday supplement may apply during holidays: dec 12, 2015-jan 10, 2016, mar 20-27, 2016
Optional Activities

Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest From: $1895; 6 days

This lodge-based trip is a perfect extension for any of our Costa Rica small ship cruises or for those with limited time. Experience exhilarating Costa Rica zip line tour at Arenal Hanging Bridges, soak in hot springs and see the Arenal Volcano and hike through the lush Monteverde Cloud Forest.

Costa Rica & the Panama Canal From: $6,190; 8days

Explore famous national parks, tropical gardens and wildlife reserves of Costa Rica and Panama aboard the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Lion. Transit the legendary Panama Canal and visit Barro Colorado with Smithsonian scientists and expert National Geographic guides. Hike, kayak, swim and snorkel.

Panama Family Adventure From: $3,100; 9days

On this epic family adventure explore the Panama Canal and the Chagres River, go on an adventurous white river rafting or canopy zip-lining trip in the Chiriqui highlands, snorkel in the Caribbean waters of Bocas del Toro and end it all with a historical journey through the old parts of Panama City

Meals Included:

7 Breakfasts and 1 Lunch

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport

Arenal Observatory Lodge

Set high on a ridge facing Costa Rica’s most active and spectacular volcano, the Arenal Observatory Lodge offers adventure travelers a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Arenal Observatory Lodge has 48 spacious rooms, most with a direst view of the volcano and/or the forest. Five rooms are fully equipped for disabled travelers, with rooms, bathrooms, hallways, parking areas and even the new swimming pool designed accordingly. This lodge is also recognized as one of the highest rated eco-lodges in Costa Rica.

The lodge is located just 17 miles from the active crater of Arenal Volcano, and is separated from it by a deep river valley. Scientists from the Smithsonian Institute specifically chose the location for its close but safe vantage point from which to study the volcano. Arenal Observatory Lodge sits on 870 acres of land adjacent to the Arenal Volcano National Park. The site contains 270 acres of primary rainforest with well-marked trails, 400 acres of reforestation projects and 200 acres of working farm lands.

There are 7 miles of well-maintained trails for walking, horseback riding, biking, running and observing a variety of flora and fauna. Approximately 400 species of birds live in the area making the Arenal Observatory Lodge a preferred destination for bird watchers. Activities at the hotel include hikes to the waterfall or to explore Cerro Chato (an extinct volcano with a small lake in the crater), horseback riding, bicycling through the trails, enjoying a refreshing swim in the pool or simply relaxing with a massage in the spa.

Please take note that other adventure activities, local tours and trip excursions are located about 45 minutes away from the Arenal Observatory Lodge.

Capitan Suizo

Hotel Capitán Suizo rests on Playa Tamarindo, one of the most beautiful Pacific coast beaches in all of Costa Rica. Directly on the beach, the hotel is surrounded by large, native trees and lush, colorful gardens. Imagine yourself in a charming hotel among vivid gardens with the Pacific Ocean spilling onto the beach in front of you. As you lounge by the swimming pool, birds and iguanas keep you company, and a curious monkey wanders by. The only sounds are the chatter and songs of nature's creatures and the whispering of waves. This fantasy is yours to treasure at Hotel Capitán Suizo. 

Eight thatched-roof bungalows and 22 rooms dot the grounds, each spacious and comfortable, with a patio or balcony. All are decorated with natural stone and hardwoods. Bungalows and second floor rooms have fans and catch refreshing sea breezes, so no air conditioning is needed. Rooms on the first floor have air conditioning. Steps away are the beach, a huge free-form pool and open-air restaurant and bar. Capitan Suizo is a perfect complement to a nature vacation or honeymoon in Costa Rica.

Hotel Bougainvillea

Hotel Bougainvillea allows you to step back from the hustle and bustle of Costa Rica’s capital city to a quiet place between the mountains where country roads and villages, fresh breezes and never-ending spring seasons invigorate and renew.

Located just 10 minutes from San Jose, this family owned and operated inn is set on a hillside with wonderful views across the valley. Twelve acres of lush gardens feature over 50 species of bromeliads, Costa Rican native trees, numerous species of orchids, herb and cacti gardens, and radiant humming birds.

Rooms are large with two double beds, a sitting area with specially made Costa Rican hardwood furniture, cable TV and direct dial telephones. Each has a balcony offering marvellous views of the mountains on one side and the San José skyline on the other.

Hotel Bougainvillea has the charm of a family owned and operated hotel. Every detail of the hotel and restaurant is personally supervised by owner Hans van der Wielen. Guests can stroll in the gardens, swim in the heated pool, enjoy a sauna or use the tennis courts. Additional amenities include a gift shop, meeting & conference facilities, Internet access and currency exchange.

Hotel Heliconia

Hotel Heliconia in Costa Rica's famed Monteverde region is located on a 6-acre property surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. Family run by Doña Roxana and her family, Heliconia is one of the pioneer hotels in the Monteverde Cloud Forest area.

The perfect setting for those who love birdwatching and the serenity of a mountain retreat, the lodge offers panoramic views of Monteverde and opportunities to see hundreds of exotic birds and animals.

The ambiance at Hotel Heliconia offers home-style comfort, with fine wood finishing throughout. Standard rooms on our itineraries are Junior Suites, with two king-size beds, coffee maker, telephone, spacious private bathroom, flat-screen TV with cable, safety deposit box and a beautiful private balcony with sitting area and amazing views of the Monteverde mountains and the Nicoya Gulf. Upgrades to master suites and family suites may be available.

Two restaurants as well as a bar are onsite. Walking trails, scenic gardens and numerous jacuzzis dot the property. Amenities and services include free breakfast, complimentary Wi-Fi in hte lobby, concierge services and luggage storage.

Start City
San Jose
End City
San Jose
Cancellation Policy:

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $500 is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following fees, based on number of days prior to departure:

Up to 91 days - 50% of deposit

90 to 31 days - 50% of total trip cost

30 to 0 days - 100% of total trip cost

Additional Information:

Itinerary Notes

This itinerary is designed for families, but is appropriate for any individuals looking for an adventure highlighting some of the best attractions that Costa Rica has to offer.

Arrival & Departure

The Costa Rica Family Adventure begins and ends in San Jose, Costa Rica. Plan flights to arrive in San Jose any time on day 1 and depart any time on day 9 of the itinerary

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 21 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions.

Trip ID#: CosFamAdv

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