What to Expect in Costa Rica
When the wind starts howling and the temperatures drops to low levels, a trip to Central America — even with all the kids in tow — might start sounding better and better. If you haven’t yet ventured with your family into the Spanish-speaking world (beyond Mexico), then Costa Rica may be the perfect opportunity to dip your toes in while still enjoying many of the country’s modern comforts.
Unlike some of its neighbours to the north, Costa Rica has not experienced nearly as much civil unrest or the effects of brutal dictatorships, resulting a tranquil country that values the environment and has a strong, reliable infrastructure. What that means for you and your family:
You’ll get to enjoy a fun vacation filled with “pura vida,” or “pure life,” the motto Costa Rica’s citizens live by. Still, here’s some things you should know.
Keep your travel days short when in Costa Rica.
To get to see a variety of flora and fauna in the jungles and to also hit the beach, you’ll have to do some traveling away from the capital city of San Jose. Costa Rica is more developed than many parts of Central America, but its roads can leave something to be desired. As such, don’t trust that a 90KM journey is only going to take you one hour, as it would back home. Roads can be washed out, filled with potholes or otherwise terrible in some parts of the mountains and near the beaches. Plan for short trips, and if you plan to drive yourself, pack some snacks, diapers and other essentials, just in case you run into delays.
Playa Dominical Costa Rica
Ask whether the accommodations are family-friendly.
Costa Rica can be a very family-friendly country to travel to, but it’s also visited by many backpacker types looking to party. Some lower-budget hotels and hostels may allow families, but the loud late-night parties in the hotel bar will make it less than kid-friendly. You can find budget accommodations for families, but read reviews or get recommendations so you know what to expect at that location.
Don’t expect a bargain-basement vacation in Costa Rica
Some things in Costa Rica — such as street food or long-term rentals, for example — can be cheaper than the U.S., Canada or Australia, but most things will be on par with prices you’d find in those other locales. In other words, be sure your budget is ready to handle the price of a family vacation back home.
Traveling in Costa Rica can be a wonderful experience for you and your family — so long as you take the time to understand what to expect.
Pack Travel Insurance for the unexpected
Travel insurance provides peace of mind for unexpected out of pocket expenses like medical bills, lost luggage and cancellations.
A Great Travel Tip
if youʼre hurt, whoever ends up caring for you (or your family) is going to need information about who to contact, what medications you might be allergic to, and how to access your passports, travel visas, insurance documents and other important information. Make sure they know where to find these items in an emergency
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