America,  Costa Rica,  Destinations

Our itinerary for 2,5 weeks in Costa Rica with children

We have already starting the counting down to our trip to Costa Rica, just three more nights until we take the first flight!!

itinerary costa rica
itinerary for 2,5 weeks in Costa Rica with chicldren

Before leaving we want to share what it will be our preliminary itinerary for 2,5 weeks in Costa Rica with children (18 months, 2 years and 3,5 years). It’s preliminary because we haven’t booked all hotels and we have some room for changing the plans on the go. In fact, we have  only booked the rental car and the first and last nights of the trip (am I crazy??!!). Before I go in to the details, let me show you the route we most probably doing:

As there isn’t direct flights from The Netherlands to Costa Rica, we choose to fly with Iberia from Madrid and to stay one night there (this is the advantage of having family in another country).

Day 1 – Flight from Amsterdam to Madrid. This one will be an easy one as we will fly at midday, so no rush to wake up early and enough time in Madrid to visit family and friends. If we had chosen to fly to San José the same day, we would have taken the first flight of the day, the one at 7 am, what would mean to leave home at 4am!

Day 2 – Flight from Madrid to San José de Costa Rica. Again a flight at midday, we’ll arrive in the evening to San José. We have arranged with Vamos rent a car, our rental car company, to pick up us in the airport.

Day 3 – Volcan Poás and Cataratas La Fortuna – we have planned to start the trip slowly, therefore we will spend the first two nights in hotel Luisiana, in Santa Ana (just 6 km from the airport) and do a day trip to Volcán Poás.

Day 4, 5 – On the forth day we’ll drive to Monteverde, one of the reasons to rent a 4×4 instead of a normal car. We have also booked the accommodation in Monteverde, we’ll stay at Monteverde Country Lodge, which is focused in family trips. In addition guest are allowed to use the indoor heated pool, kids club and jacuzzi at its sister property Hotel Poco a Poco free of charge. Nothing like soaking after a hiking day 😉

Day 6, 7 –  We will drive around the Arenal lake to get to La Fortuna and visit Volcán Arenal and the hot springs. Here we don’t have yet an accomodation because we are still doubting if staying two or three nights in Monteverde.

Day 8 –  After seeing some incredible pictures of rio celeste in volcán Tenorio, we cannot be so close and not visit it. We will take the hike to the rio celeste with the kinds on the back.

Day 9 – our “joker day”. We will see on the road if we want to spend an extra night in Montverde or La Fortuna or rio celeste or head to NP Rincón de la Vieja.

Day 10, 11 – After so much volcanos, we’ll relax on the beach in Manuel Antonio.

Day 12 – It’s time to go to the other side of the country, but we won’t make the whole way in one day and most probably we will stop in NP Braulio Carrillo.

Day 13, 14 – We will spend two nights either in Puerto Viejo, Cahuita or Limon

Day 15, 16 – Even though it’s not season, we will head to Tortuguero and relax before going back to San José.

Day 17 – We will spend our last night in Costa Rica in Tryp San José Sabana hotel, which offers family suites and is perfectly located to explore San Jose on foot.

Day 18 – In the evening we will take the flight from San Jose to Madrid.

Day 19 – Flight from Madrid  to Amsterdam.

As you can read we try to stay two nights in each place in order to make the trip more pleasant for the little ones. We will combine nature, hikes, beaches and zoo’s. What do you think of our plan?


  • Rhonda Albom

    Looks fantastic. Have a wonderful time. I have never been to Costa Rica, so I look forward to your photos.

  • yessika

    hola, shere y paul, llevo un par de semanas que he encontrado vuestro blog y os sigo, ya os había escrito un par de veces en otra entrada del blog, donde tenéis un post de lo sobres que hicisteis para vuestra boda, os había escrito porque me gustaría poder tener las plantillas de estos sobre para hacerlos para mi boda, por favor si veis el mensaje os agradecería en el alma si me lo enviáis. un salud y gracias.

  • Dominica

    Hi! I just stumbled on your blog when searching for Costa Rica itineraries for families. We are headed there at the end of May (from the US) for 2.5 weeks with our 3 and 6 year old boys. Looking forward to exploring your blog for further entries about this trip. Did you find it hard to go without booking anything in advance? I am thinking of the same thing so that’s why I’m asking. Seems crazy but also kids are so unpredictable so you never know what you’re going to want and need to do with them! Thanks! I hope your trip was amazing.

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