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It’s great to be an eco-icon, but how do you cope when one of your main industries is tourism?

That’s long been the conundrum for Costa Rica where 27% of the country is protected conservation area and a primal habitat for some of earth’s rarest wildlife.

Just to add to the weight of responsibility, there’s an almost endless list of natural phenomena to be safeguarded, including volcanoes, virgin rainforest, and an entire national park dedicated to looking after all seven known species of sea turtle.

As if that wasn’t quite enough to keep Costa Rica busy, it’s also known as one of the happiest countries on earth. So, along with the high chance of spotting anything from Howler Monkeys to Three-Toed Sloth, visitors expect a great fun time into the bargain.

As far as Costa Rica is concerned getting that balance right, without disturbing the natural order of things, comes down to working with good people. So it’s not too much of a surprise to find that award-winning UK specialist in small group travel, G Adventures, are well liked round these parts.

The company philosophy of getting to know a country intimately, working directly with local communities, actively supporting conservation initiatives, and lightly treading everywhere, is an ideal fit for Costa Rica, and perfect for families too.

G Adventures understand kids first hand, because most of the team are parents, who just happen to be world travellers. So their family holidays are reliably action packed, come with a large side order of fun, and still manage to be reassuringly conscientious. They even tailor small group holidays to particular age groups, so the tantrum-trigger of, ‘you’re too young’, never comes into play.

It’s almost spring in Costa Rica, and summer is just around the corner. If that idea alone doesn’t tempt you to go adventuring, have a look at the holiday plans G Adventures have for under 12s and teenagers in the little eco-icon this December.

Costa Rica Family Experience

From six onwards, kids will remember every minute of Costa Rica forever, which is clearly the thought G Adventures had in mind when they created Costa Rica Family Experience. It’s an active holiday, with a good balance of action and learning.

There’s always plenty of room for young travellers to catch a breath and assimilate experiences in their own way, and time can be built in for beachy fun, for families to do their own thing, and also kids to hang-out with new friends.

Holiday high points

  • Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano is the focal point of central valley, and about as conical and imperious as your wildest imaginings. It’s pretty dormant these days, but the Arenal thermal springs are exciting enough for most kids.
  • Nobody’s really tasted tortilla until they’ve made them with their own hands under the guidance of experts in La Fortuna, one of several communities G Adventure partner with in Costa Rica.
  • 85km² Lake Arenal is the country’s largest land-locked body of water and made for SUP lessons and kayaking.
  • Even in thrill-a-minute Costa Rica, no experience is more sensational than ziplining through Santa Elena Cloud Forest’s immense tree canopy. If kids are holding their breath for wildlife, this is where to exhale.
  • A lush, tropical, sloth and monkey packed paradise, Manuel Antonio is the country’s most visited national park, and the type of jungle expedition kids love.
  • Costa Rica’s best beaches are all on the Pacific coast. The best of the best are in Quepos, so get ready for some serious snorkelling, sailing, surfing, or just lazing around on pure white sands.

The lowdown

The nine day Costa Rica Family Experience includes all accommodation and transport, and a range of unique G Adventure experiences designed for kids age six and over. 

When: 17 December to 25 December 2017

Where: San José; La Fortuna; Monteverde; Quepos; San José.

Cost: From £3716 for a family of four (excluding flights)

This small group holiday is just for families and has no more than 20 travellers in the group, although the average is closer to 10.

Find out more about Costa Rica Family Experience with G Adventures


Costa Rica Quest – Teenage Adventure

No one knows your teens better than you, but G Adventure have a pretty good insight into what makes a near perfect holiday with teenagers.

The basic equation includes plenty of adventuring and activities, a hefty dose of wildlife and enough time on the beach to fit in some snorkelling, surfing or sailing.

Holiday high points

  • Appreciating coffee is taken to a whole new level on a tour of Mi Cafecito Community Coffee Plantation. 
  • Horse riding, white-water rafting, caving, hiking, tree canopy eco-gliding, kayaking, SUP, and canyoning are just a few of the incredible experiences in Costa Rica’s Arenal region. Floating around in natural thermal springs scores top marks with teens too.
  • A wildlife-rich tour of Saint Elena Cloud Forest is destined to be the ultimate memory maker.
  • Preferred habitat of sloths and other fantastic creatures, Manuel Antonio National Park is where Costa Ricans themselves go to spot the wildest residents of their remarkable country.
  • Quepos has enough beachy fun to satisfy the most demanding teens. It’s also the place for mysterious mangrove swamp kayaking and sunset catamaran cruises.
  • Urban excitement in San José, the Costa Rican capital.

The lowdown

The nine day Costa Rica Quest – Teenage Adventure includes all accommodation and transport, and a range of unique G Adventure experiences designed for under 18s.

When: 17 December to 25 December 2017

Where: San José; La Fortuna; Monteverde; Quepos; San José.

Cost: From £3196 for a family of four (excluding flights)

This small group holiday is just for families and has no more than 16 travellers in the group, although the average is closer to 12.

Find out more about Costa Rica Quest–Teenage Adventure with G Adventures.


If you can’t do Costa Rica in December, G Adventures have plenty of other small group family holidays for 2017 and well into 2018. Have a look at how G Adventures make family adventures happen the world over.