Our family’s goal is to travel once a year to a new place and to Costa Rica. We want to expose our children to new ways of living, immerse ourselves in other cultures and get to see more of this world. Traveling is one of my passions and luckily it’s also my husband’s so we make it a priority in our lives, especially now that our kids are small and we don’t have to adhere to a school schedule.
You’re probably wondering why we travel to Costa Rica so often. The reason is because I am Costa Rican and my family lives there. I was born and raised in Costa Rica but I moved to the U.S. when I married my husband so I never got to experiment Costa Rica as a parent until now.
My oldest is 3 years old so we have gone to Costa Rica with her several times and it’s by far our favorite place to vacation. She’s always asking when are we going back and every time she sees a plane flying she’s convinced it’s going to Costa Rica.
We love all this beautiful country has to offer so I’m going to tell you why you should book a ticket, pack your bags and take your family to Costa Rica.
If you haven’t been to Costa Rica you don’t know what kid-friendly really means. I’m from there and I’m even shocked to see how welcoming everyone is to kids and how much they like them. People go out of their way to make kids feel comfortable and everyone is very friendly to them, even random people on the street.
What if your child has a tantrum? You don’t get mean looks, you get a helping hand. People understand and they don’t judge you. And they seem to be really good at making your kiddo laugh.
Everyone always has a smile on their face.
People help you
I’m used to going out alone with my girls back home and I rarely get help from strangers, much less if I haven’t asked for it but in Costa Rica everyone tries to help you. As soon as they see you with kids they will do whatever they can to help you. People will carry your bags, help your kid tie their shoe laces or cut up their chicken if you have your hands occupied with another kid. They just know what it’s like to have kids and want to help out other parents.
They also love helping others in general. I’ve had times where we’ve gotten lost and people have taken time out of their day to show us around. I’ve even been invited for a coffee and cake at random’s people’s houses because we were out in the country side and asked for tips/directions.
Kids and the elderly have priority
Wether you’re at a bank, making a line in a grocery store or running an errand people with kids and the elderly have priority, which means you go in front of the line.
This has been so helpful with our 3 year old because she doesn’t understand the concept of waiting in line and will start running around the place or complaining if we have to wait too long. When I’m back in the US waiting in line I always wish I was in Costa Rica so I wouldn’t have to deal with a kiddo that just wants to run around but can’t in that specific moment.
The weather is perfect
The weather is pretty much the same all year long, between upper 70’s to lower 80’s. There are no seasons where the temperature changes drastically but there is a rainy and dry season.
Having this weather means that you never have to carry too many clothes. You can wear jeans, a t-shirt and take a light sweater in case it’s get chilly at night. The weather is conducive for an outdoor lifestyle. When we go there my oldest practically lives outside. She loves it!
Keep in mind that Costa Rica does have many microclimates, which means up in the mountains it might be slightly cooler and at the beach you’re going to be hot.
You will see fruits and veggies you’ve never seen before
I always tell people that they should go to a farmer’s market to experience the local lifestyle and to see the huge variety of fruits and vegetables Costa Rica has to offer.
I always take my friends and everyone is amazed by it! My oldest loves going and picking fruits. Many times we’ve also had breakfast there and it’s been delicious.
It’s not only about trying fruits and veggies you’ve never seen, it’s about seeing a regular day of a Costa Rican person and it’s about trying produce you eat regularly at home because it just tastes different there – bananas are sweeter, papayas are juicy, pineapples taste like candy, arugula tastes like a spice.
Animals are everywhere
Wether it’s a national park, a beach or a walk in the woods, you will always spot an animal. Going on a hike with your kids and telling them to look for animals is probably one of the most exciting activities they will do. You’ll find yourself relaxing at the beach when a raccoon or pizote (white-nosed coati) comes and try to steal your food. Or you’ll be enjoying a meal in a restaurant when you look at the tree and see it filled with monkeys playing around. Other times you’ll see the most colorful birds and butterflies flying right next to you.
It’s not only exciting for kids – I still get excited at the sight of these animals.
You can walk around a volcano’s crater
Costa Rica is home to many volcanoes with 6 of them being active. This doesn’t mean you will see a volcano eruption – that is highly unlikely. All volcanoes are constantly being monitored to ensure the safety of the people visiting them and the locals in the area.
The most popular ones are Arenal, Irazú and Poás. You can actually walk around the crater of the last two. It is a pretty amazing sight and as close as anyone can ever get to a volcano.
People are “pura vida”
Pura Vida is a Costa Rica phrase, it literally means “pure life” but the meaning is more profound and once you go to Costa Rica you will get to experience it. In a nutshell Pura Vida means you’re doing great, life is good, you use it to say hi or bye but it’s also a lifestyle, it’s living a chilled life, it’s an attitude of being positive and enjoying life – it reminds me of “hakuna matata” from the Lion King.
There’s something about being in Costa Rica that makes you happier and a more relaxed person. It is liberating and yet so empowering. You have to go to Costa Rica to experience what this really means.
Beaches are part of your life
As a kid I grew up going to the beach every time I could. The beach is part of the Costa Rican life: every holiday or during the weekend Costa Ricans head on to the beach.
The beaches are breathtaking – sand, trees, animals, warm water and coconut water are part of every beach. It’s paradise for both kids and adults. It’s the place where you will leave all your worries behind, strap on a bathing suit and just enjoy life.
Well there you have it! My top reasons why you should go to Costa Rica for your next family vacation. The country has lots to offer, especially if you love nature, want to enjoy life, be happy and want to have a relaxing time. After writing this I am ready to book my next vacation! See you in Costa Rica!