Family travel to beach Costa Rica

Sunset Santa Teresa

There is so much to do and see in Costa Rica that families with kids can go nearly anywhere and be happy. What child, teen or adult wouldn’t appreciate rainforest exploring, canopy zip-lines, surfing, snorkeling, nesting sea turtles, endless beaches, and plenty of wild animals and cool bugs, plants and trees?

One of the best kid-friendly towns is Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, on the southern Nicoya Peninsula of the Pacific Coast. Santa Teresa is safe, family-oriented, relaxed, and full of restaurants, shops, hotels and things to do. It also is known for being a top Central American beach and one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Hotel Tropico Latino, at beautiful Playa Carmen in Santa Teresa, is a kids’ paradise. The 4-star beachfront hotel in Santa Teresa is comfortable, relaxed and luxurious at the same time. You can surf in front of the hotel in a Costa Rica surf camp; join a Santa Teresa yoga retreat or yoga class, or have the hotel organize a tour.

Wondering what to do with kids in Santa Teresa? Here are 6 fun kid-friendly activities to try.

Canopy tour in MontezumaCanopy zip-line tour
Fly through the rainforest on a canopy zip-line tour – it’s just as exciting for you as your kids There are two tours to choose from in the Santa Teresa area. Both are safe with trained guides and the proper equipment.

Horseback riding in Santa Teresa

Horseback riding

Ride sturdy Costa Rican horses down the beach, playing in the sand, surf and sun. Sunset rides are the most popular.

Snorkeling at Playa Santa Teresa


One of the best secrets of the area is the giant tide pool at Playa Hermosa just north of Santa Teresa. Only exposed at low tide, the tide pool becomes a larger-than-Olympic-sized, shallow sea water swimming pool. The sun-warmed clear water is a little over waist deep and is filled with all kinds of interesting fish and sea creatures. Since the water is shallow and it’s right off the beach, this snorkeling site is perfect for families with kids.

Surf camps in Santa Teresa Costa RicaSurfing

Surf right out in front of Hotel Tropico Latino on Playa Carmen. Professional, certified surf instructors are dedicated to coaching you in the art and joy of surfing, and in having a good time doing it. Kids of all ages are welcome.

Cabo Blanco Nature ReserveCabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve

At the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, the small private Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve is a picturesque place to hike with tropical forest, shell-strewn white-sand beaches, warm aquamarine sea, waterfalls and rivers, and hundreds of animals and sea birds. The Cabo Blanco Reserve is open Wednesday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Tortuga Island for familiesTortuga Island

The quintessential tropical paradise of Tortuga Island in the Nicoya Gulf has crystal clear turquoise waters teeming with giant schools of tropical fish. No ocean currents make it ideal for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. To get there, you take a scenic 50-minute boat ride; on the way, watch for playful dolphins and jumping manta rays.

Article by Shannon Farley

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