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Costa Rica with Two Small Children

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North Carolina
posts: 9
reviews: 5
Costa Rica with Two Small Children

We would like to visit Costa Rica in April of 2014. We have two kids, ages 2 & 5. We have no idea what area we should be looking in? Need advice on that. Where is a good place to stay? Should we rent a house or do a hotel? All inclusive or not? Just need ideas. Please help!!!!

12 replies to this topic
United States
posts: 183
reviews: 4
1. Re: Costa Rica with Two Small Children

My kids are a couple years older than yours, but we have always liked to rent a house and car. It just seems easier to have breakfast food there and a places to spread out for naps or quiet time. I have never done an all inclusive so I can't weigh in on that. I will say that wherever we traveled, we've liked to get a out and about and to get some culture from locals, even if it's just from eating in local restaurants and bars. That said, local people have always been really nice to us and the kids, so it's always been positive. There's also opportunity for the kids to play with local kids, they are so quick to make friends and there really isn't any kind of language barrier, wherever we've gone. I'm not sure you can get that from an all inclusive. From what I've read here, people think that if you want an all inclusive, Costa Rica's aren't the best, and if you want Costa Rica, all inclusives aren't the best.

I've only been to Manuel Antonio, but there is a ton there for kids to do, and lots of different types of places to eat and stay.

North Carolina
posts: 9
reviews: 5
2. Re: Costa Rica with Two Small Children

Thank you. I am trying to figure out what area would be the best place to rent a place? We love to use VRBO, but I am lost, lol.

United States
posts: 183
reviews: 4
3. Re: Costa Rica with Two Small Children

Try looking at Manuel Antonio. There really is a lot there for kids, but also opportunities to relax too. TONS of wildlife and very friendly people.

New York City, New...
posts: 28
reviews: 9
4. Re: Costa Rica with Two Small Children

I'm in a similar situation as the OP. I'm interested in staying at Manuel Antoino but one of the agents I have been working with to find a house has advised against it, saying the beach is not child friendly due to bad undertows. Is this true or is he just trying to steer me away for a sale?

Puerto Viejo de...
posts: 422
reviews: 12
5. Re: Costa Rica with Two Small Children

How about visiting the Caribbean? April is a great month to visit Caribe Sur and there are so many nice beaches for kids. You will also find various vacation rentals right or very close to a beach.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 502
reviews: 32
6. Re: Costa Rica with Two Small Children

I haven't been to Monteverde but am looking to go next year. Some good attractions for kids:


You can find some vacation rentals here:


United States
posts: 183
reviews: 4
7. Re: Costa Rica with Two Small Children

The main (public) beach at Manuel Antonio can have riptides, but there is plenty of warning and signs if there are any. There are some lifeguard chairs so you can set up by them if you want extra safety. When we were there in February, we felt the waves were a fun size, of course, we would never let our child swim alone, either. In the national park there are more protected beaches that are not known for riptides.

Destination Expert
for Playa Samara
posts: 2,802
reviews: 62
8. Re: Costa Rica with Two Small Children

Well, for families with two small children, there are only a handful beaches that are appropriate IF you kids want to be in or near the water.

One is Playa Hermosa up by Coco - which has just about the shallowest waves around. There's not much else in Hermosa, but the surrounding area certainly offers tons.

The other beach is Playa Samara - a perennial favorite amongst families in part because an outlying reef precludes riptides and, usually, big waves. Add to that a plethora of accommodations and restaurants, and it's tough to beat.

VRBO has plenty of rental available to suit just about any need, desire, and budget:


Manuel Antonio...
posts: 288
reviews: 5
9. Re: Costa Rica with Two Small Children

Just like any beach, it is important for parents to be in the water with the children and keeping an eye on them. Smaller cove beaches in the Manuel Antonio area (Biesanz, Tulemar, and Los Altos beaches) generally have very small to no waves and can be a nice play area for children. Biesanz has public access. Tulemar and Los Altos beaches are accessible if you stay at one of these places. I sent you a private message to your inbox with more details. Hope it helps!

Los Angeles
posts: 18
reviews: 2
10. Re: Costa Rica with Two Small Children

Nikki I noticed your thread is from 2013 but what have you decided to do? We are thinking of going this May and have a one year old and four year old. Thx

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