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Lots of questions regarding activities with kids

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Lots of questions regarding activities with kids

We are coming to Costa Rica from Dec17-25th, so excited!!! 4 nights at Nayara and 4 nights at Riu Palace (sorry regulars on the forum, we are starwood members but Westin didn't have availability for our dates). Booked Morphovans for private transfers to and from Liberia airport and between hotels. So that leaves 3 days in each place for activities.

Our kids are 11 and 7 and hubby wants to relax on the trip. So here is a my tentative plan for excursions:

Arenal: Ecoglide Zipline, Safari float on Penas Blancas (really wanted to do Rafting but Desafio has minimum age requirement of 10), La Fortuna Waterfall, Hot Springs. If we have time and energy, may go horse back riding and kayaking/tubing at Club Rio.

Guanacaste: Would love to have kids take surfing lessons and may be some activities in Rincon De La Vieja. If we didn't get to do horseback riding in Arenal, we HAVE to do that here :).

My questions are:

1. Is there a place you suggest to stock up on fruits, snacks and drinks on the way from Liberia to Arenal?

2. Do we need advance reservations for ziplining and safari float or can we book them when we get there for Dec 18-20?

3. Hubby doesn't like heights but wants to try ziplining this time. Kids and I went ziplining before so know what to expect. Is there any other zipline that would be good for first timers or is Ecoglide our best bet? I liked the idea of a second line there and the minimum age is 5 or 6.

4. Can we just take a cab to La Fortuna waterfalls and do it our self? I saw horseback tours but it didn't make sense leaving the horse and hiking down. I figured we may as well do it separately.

5. Are there any rapelling tours that are kid friendly at either locations? Does Desafio have an office close to Nayara?

6. Is there a coffee plantation that's close to either one of our hotels or on the way? I will be the only one interested in it, so a trip that's short & sweet and that lets me pick up some costa rican coffee to bring back home would be great.

7. What place would you suggest for beginners surf lessons for the kids? If it's Tamarindo, do you suggest a specific outfitter? If there is a tour that could take us on a boat from the hotel for surfing lessons, that would be ideal as the kids may be tired of the driving distances by then.

8. Thinking of doing the day pass at Guachepilin, should I pre-book or can we do it when we get there?

Thank you very much for your time and all your suggestions. I really appreciate all the information posted by regulars on the forum.

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1. Re: Lots of questions regarding activities with kids

We did the safari float and it was awesome. We saw tons of wildlife. You are still in a raft and get to paddle, but not many rapids. My kids loved it (7 and 11 last year). We did not book ahead - were there Jan 1-4 last year. I think our float was with Canoa Aventuras, also good. We booked for the next day through our hotel - arenal Oasis. I would agree on not riding to the waterfall. Take a cab and get there when they open in the morning if you can. We were the first to arrive and it was nice being in there without other groups. The trail goes in and down to the waterfall and back, so everyone is on the same trail. There is probably a better horse back riding tour than that riding up there. Also it won't take you an entire day. I think we did that and Hanging Bridges on the same day. We loved Hanging Bridges and also Ecotermales (best dinner ever!)

Sorry I don't know anything about the zip lining because we did that somewhere else!

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2. Re: Lots of questions regarding activities with kids

Amy: Thank you very much for the quick response and all the info. Glad to hear your kids were the same age and enjoyed the float. Will plan on going early to the falls. I didn't plan on hanging bridges as my son doesn't like them (he loves adventure parks and all big rides but doesn't like ferris wheel or hanging bridges, go figure!!).

3. Re: Lots of questions regarding activities with kids

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