What Must Every Family Do in Costa Rica when Visiting?

When traveling with your family in Costa Rica, there is so much to do, and you want to do it all. It’s like hitting every ride at Disney, but the only difference is the 13,000ft mountains and volcanos between each car ride in Costa Rica make running around to every attraction in just a couple of days difficult to accomplish. Even in a week, it is simply not possible. The real answer is that there are so many must do’s in Costa Rica you can really plan three separate trips and visit multiple must do’s everytime. But if we had to really try and advise on something that you and the family should make an effort to do on your first trip then it would be to join in on what makes Costa Rica so special. 

You are probably thinking I will say raft the Pacuare River or go ziplining or learn to surf. Costa Rica you can find some of the best rafting in the world and not to mention the most scenic. You also have two very long beautiful coastlines on the Caribbean and the Pacific that are home to great waves for experts and beginner surfers. You can find over 70 different ziplines in Costa Rica from the side of volcanoes, through cloudforest, and along coastal mountain ridges. Costa Rica is also a mecca for Mountain Biking offering some of the most strenuous and adventurous trails you will find anywhere. The list goes on with regards for things you must do from stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, experience the amazing wildlife, bird-watching, hotsprings, and more and more. I know what you are thinking, which one of those is the must do?!  

Well, I think all those are a must,  but the one thing that has to be done is the main reason we all should travel in the first place. This “must do” will put on smile on your face and is the dividing factor of what makes us fall in love with a country. This “must do” will have you as excited as any of the events I mentioned above but on a more personal level. If you havent figured it out, the best part about Costa Rica is its people. The Costa Rican people or “Ticos” as they are called are what have made Costa Rica the popular tourist destination it has become. It is a real contagious energy they give off and having the chance to enjoy their company and their view on life is as beneficial as any rafting trip.

What Makes the Tico’s So Great?

The Costa Rican people in general (full disclosure there are always a few sour apples) see life differently than what we are use to. They have a lot going for them for the last 60 years such as not having an army so they have always been regarded as the country of peace, they also have been a stable democracy, they have health-care, and each Tico can pretty easily get their own home without going into major debt. In most rural areas they are also surrounded by family and have amazing natural beauties. This is not to say that Costa Rica does not have improvements to do but they have a solid base of what many studies now a days can relate to being happy or having a high level of well-being.

In closing I would say that during a family vacation to Costa Rica you need to spend some time with the locals. It is really easy and you can just sign up for any day tour and chances are you will have a fun Tico guide as 80% of guides in the tourism industry are fun and what most tour companies in other countries would dream of having. If you really want to deeper experience with the people and the culture then maybe look into a homestay or talk to your travel organizer about some more authentic experiences. Costa Rica has an entire cottage industry of their tourism market that is just based on promoting rural tourism. Pretty cool and just that fact that they have that means they too know that their most precious asset for tourism is actually their people.

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POC Camp

The POC camp is an extension of the POC lodge and while the POC Lodge is located with vast views of the Pacuare River Canyon the POC Camp is down on the river’s edge. While it might not have the view of the POC Lodge it sits on one of the calmest sections of the river making the POC Camp home to one of the river Pacuare’s best spots for taking a swim and relaxing on the river’s edge.

POCsito is a favorite among so many of our guests. It is a glamping experience with some of the important comforts of home.

POC Lodge

Started in 2011 is the POC lodge. If you haven’t figured it out by now POC lodge is our own lodge and what we like to call the “baby” of the P.O.C. Adventure Company. We wanted a lodge on our favorite part of Costa Rica which is the Pacuare River and with the help of locally harvested supplies and labor, the POC Lodge was born.

 

This is a 180-acre property that runs over 1 mile of the Pacuare River. Our goal has always been to offer as much comfort as possible without steering too far away from our roots of just roughing it on the river’s edge. Our lodge has hot water, a splash of luxury in the rooms, and 5-Star service and attention to our guests.

Our favorite part about the lodge is that we built a short hike up from the river’s edge. We know we have the best views of the Pacuare River canyon and unfortunately pictures don’t even do it justice.

Arenal Paraiso, Arenal

Have you ever wanted to stay the night at the base of an active volcano? Well here is your chance. The Arenal Paraiso is located at the base of the Arenal Volcano with breath-taking views of the perfectly cone-shaped volcano.

Here at Arenal Paraiso’s, you will enjoy the beautiful property which offers much more than just a view. The property has numerous bungalows that offer a splash of luxury while surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. After a day of adventure, you will love making your way back to relax or hang out in the pool at Arenal Paraiso.

Shawandha, Caribbean 

Located at the edge of the white sandy beaches of Costa Rica sits the Shawandha lodge.  A perfect blend of eco-style luxury along with the sounds of the ocean and vibrant ambiance of the rainforest.

Shawandha lodge is set up with individual bungalows made out of local wood. You will be sure to wake up to the sound of the local residents such as the howler monkeys and green macaws. After your day of adventure, you will have a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful swimming pool at the Shawandha Lodge.

Hotel Villa Florencia, Turrialba

Located in the valley of Turrialba surrounded by sugar-cane plantations and views of the smoking Turrialba Volcano sits an old plantation home that has been renovated into a beautiful small hotel named Villa Florencia.

This is a great hotel with a beautiful pool and plenty of space to take long morning or afternoon hikes. The Villa Florencia hotel is a chance to enjoy luxury while feeling like you stook back in time. While you are in the valley don’t forget to look up as the Turrialba Volcano can often be seen doing small eruptions from across the valley.

Casa Turire, Turrialba

Casa Turire has been one of our favorites since we started. The grounds are some of the lushest you will find anywhere in Costa Rica. Casa Turire sits in the valley of Turrialba surrounded by mountains and the beautiful Turrialba Volcano. The most amazing part about Casa Turire other than its great restaurant and home-made sugar cane ice cream is that it sits on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Angostura offering great morning hikes, birding, or SUPing around the lake.