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This Costa Rica family vacation is an adventure for families with older teens and 20-somethings that are definitely not couch potatoes. Spend your days kayaking, zip-lining, whitewater rafting, standup paddle boarding and doing some well-deserved relaxing on the beach, not to mention learning to dance Costa Rican style with salsa and merengue lessons and trying out your new skills at a local club! You'll also have the opportunity to run or walk a trail race in a tropical setting! 

For 2016, private departures are available on the dates of your choice, depending on race schedules & availability.

Alumni Discount: if you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices

Price includes: All entrance fees, accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private bi-lingual guide throughout, area specialists, all meals except 1 dinner, bottled water & snacks in the vehicle, Comprehensive Travel Insurance.




Day 1: Depart Home / Arrive San Jose

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, where your Costa Rica family vacation begins.

Days 2-4: Hike La Paz Waterfall Gardens / Whitewater Rafting / Tropical Trail Run

After spending a day in San Jose, go to the agricultural region of Turrialba. 

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Coffee, sugarcane, and pineapple all grow in abundance in the region and it is the only place allowed to produce the popular Costa Rican cheese "Turrialba." There is also no shortage of adventure in the area. With a visit to Irazu Volcano National Park, rafting down the Pejibaye River, running in a tropical 5k or taking the option to rappel down waterfalls on a canyoning adventure, you and your teens will have an action packed adventure!

Days 5-6: Jungle Boat Expedition / Kayak through Mangroves / Adopt a Sea Turtle

The waterways and lagoons of Tortuguero on the Caribbean Coast are the most biologically diverse in all of Costa Rica. 

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In fact, there are seven species of turtle alone! Costa Rica is home to the endangered sea turtle and during July and August, with any luck, you will actually see them nesting on the beaches.

Days 7-9: Zip-Line Canopy Tour / Dance Lessons / Night Out at a Local Club

Even though Manuel Antonio is the smallest park in Costa Rica, it has the most extraordinary landscape with volcanic sand beaches and large rock formations.  

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But the best seats for exploring this region are not on land – your family will zip-line through the rain forest treetops for an adrenaline rush you’ll never forget. Try learning the salsa and merengue before heading out on the town to show off your new dance moves! On your way back to San Jose, stop at a beach for some relaxation and stand-up paddle boarding.

Day 10: Depart San Jose / Arrive Home

Unfortunately this is the end of your Costa Rican adventure! Share your favorite moments with your family as you travel back home. 

Optional Community Service Extension

Have an extra week, and interested in community service?
Add a week or more to your adventure and deepen your understanding of the lives of the people who live here. We’ll use our partnerships with the local community to connect you to their sustainable projects. Depending on the specific need at the time you might paint, build, plant, or simply read aloud. This is a great opportunity for our children to gain a sense of giving back to others, and to see that those who seem different can be very much the same. We've found that you need to devote at least a week to be even a small help to the sustainable project.

Hotel Bougainvillea

The Hotel Bougainvillea is a small hotel only 20 minutes from the airport. It’s located in Heredia, which is a province of San Jose. Set on a gorgeous landscape of 10 acres of lush gardens, the hotel features 80 comfortable rooms, each with a balcony and an amazing view. Other highlights include a pool, a tennis court, a gift shop, a restaurant, internet access, and a business center.

Hotel Casa Turire

Located on the shores of Angostura Lake, this hacienda-style hotel offers 12 rooms and 4 spacious suites, mountain scenery, well-groomed gardens, and a swimming pool. This rustic lodge is the perfect spot for a real jungle experience; it's nestled amid thick tropical rain forest, so you'll probably encounter rain and humidity, but you'll also see and hear some amazing wildlife just outside your room! 

Aninga Lodge

The lodge is strategically located only five minutes away from Tortuguero National Park, and right across the main canal facing the town of Tortuguero. Stay in one of the comfortable rooms with private bathroom, hot water and ceiling fans. Enjoy buffet-style meals at the restaurant, take a dip in the outdoor pool and of course take in the wildlife that surrounds the lodge as you and the kids walk the maze of wooden pathways.

Hotel Parador Resort & Spa

Hotel Parador is located on Punta Quepos in the most pristine and tranquil area of Manuel Antonio – just minutes from Manuel Antonio National Park. Explore the twelve acre premises, including the lush gardens and mysterious jungle, where you are almost guaranteed to see some of the most abundant wildlife, such as white-faced and titi monkeys, sloths, iguanas, coatis, and many species of birds. The Parador has two infinity swimming pools, activities desk, tennis court, fitness center, miniature golf, nature trails and computer stations. At low tide you may observe turtle traps once made by the Quepoa Indians who resided on Punta Quepos. This small exotic beach has tiny waves and is great for swimming. All the rooms have balconies or terraces with views of either the rain forest or the ocean. In the rooms, guests have access to room service, cable TV, air-conditioning, mini bar, coffee maker, telephone, safety deposit box, iron and ironing board, ceiling fan and hair dryer.

Why Costa Rica?

The ultimate eco-adventure
Costa Rica is home to spectacular rain forests and wildlife and a global leader in protecting its natural resources. You and your family will experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in this eco-friendly paradise.
Over 850 species of birds and hundreds of species of animals
Costa Rica’s lush, diverse ecosystems, pristine waterways and volcanic sandy beaches are home to a staggering amount of plant and animal life. From the largest butterfly garden in the world to sea turtles, howler monkeys and tapirs, you will not soon forget the beauty and serenity of a Costa Rican adventure.
Peaceful, stable and safe
Costa Rica is a serene, peaceful country with a long history of being a peacemaker in Central America. During the 19th century, the country invested in healthcare and education, rather than the military, and has a stable, well-established infrastructure and no standing army.
Tortuguero National Park
The waterways and lagoons of Tortuguero are among the most biologically diverse in all of Costa Rica. The area protected by Tortuguero National Park was an archipelago of volcanic islands until alluvial sediments from the interior mountains filled in the spaces and formed a network of marshy islands. Sand piled up where sediment deposited by the river met the sea, and the turtle nesting beaches of Tortuguero formed. The exceptionally high rainfall and rich environment make the beaches, canals, lagoons and wetlands of Tortuguero areas of exceptional biodiversity, ideal for nature lovers.
Easy to get to!
Costa Rica is easy to get to, with direct flights from several airports, including Newark, New Jersey. From Houston, Miami and Dallas, flying time is less than three hours. A great destination for families who want to start their adventure as soon as possible!
Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio National Park was instituted in 1972 as a way to preserve one of the most biologically diverse regions of the world. The park contains mountainous terrain, rainforest, and gorgeous beaches. The jungles within Manuel Antonio are home to green iguanas, two different types of sloths, toucans, hawks, several species of snakes and bats, and three different kinds of monkeys: mantled howler monkeys, Central American squirrel monkeys, and white-headed capuchin monkeys – who doesn’t love monkeys?! In the waters around Manuel Antonio, your family may see dolphins swimming and the occasional migrating whale.

Why with Thomson?

Travel with families in the same age range
Families with young adults in their late teens and 20s want to travel with other families in the same range; there's just much more for them to do together and it's far easier for them to relate to and have fun with each other. So when we realized that some of our clients thought their young adult kids were too old to travel with us, it became quite clear that we needed to create a specific category of trips just for these families. It's very rewarding for young adults to rekindle that closeness with mom and dad, and to be able to come together with other families at the same stage for a more sophisticated, mature family adventure.
Tropical trail run
Those who opt to can participate in an organized run on a tropical trail. It's a great opportunity to stay fit and active while on vacation.
a map of Sporting Costa Rica: 17 to Infinity