Family holiday Costa Rica

12 days - from € 7.900 per person

family holiday - active - jungle - wildlife – birds

  • Reach your paradise in the cloud forest after a splashing white-water rafting trip
  • Zip-line through the canopy in the Rio Blanco Canyon
  • Push your limits during river tubing, abseiling into a waterfall or mountain bike tours through the jungle
  • Go hiking in the rainforest and spot monkeys, sloths, kinkajous and birds

Travel itinerary

Day 1: Amsterdam - San José

Your unique journey through Costa Rica starts today. You will board your intercontinental flight from Amsterdam to San José. Once you have arrived at the airport, our staff will welcome you and take you to your accommodation in San José. You will stay at Hotel Grano de Oro. This small boutique hotel is very centrally located in a quiet street with restaurants, theatres and shops around the corner. The hotel is housed in a Victorian style villa and has an attractive tropical garden. 
Overnight stay: Grano de Oro | bed & breakfast

Day 2: San José – Pacuare

In de early morning you will be taken to the Pacuare Jungle Lodge. From San José you will travel to the banks of the Pacuare River, passing through the green surroundings of the Irazú and Turrialba volcanoes. When you arrive at the Pacuare River, take a seat in one of the rubber boats and go rafting to your accommodation. During this trip you will sail through beautiful mountains and you will slowly see the surroundings change into pristine rainforest. You will see beautiful birds or blue butterflies sparkle in the sunlight. In the afternoon you can participate in one of the activities offered by your accommodation such as birdwatching, a canopy tour or guided walks. 
Overnight stay: Pacuare Lodge | Linda vista suite | full board

Please note: the minimum age to go rafting to the Pacuare lodge is 12 years old.

Day 3 and 4: Pacuare

These days you will enjoy your stay at the Pacuare Lodge. This lodge is a luxurious eco-lodge with only 20 suites and situated on the banks of a beautiful rafting river. The secluded location of this lodge, in the middle of a lively natural park, offers you beautiful views, the ideal location to enjoy a relaxing stay and contact with nature. Take part in one of the excursions offered by the lodge. Think of rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, abseiling, bird watching, walks or a visit to a native Cabécar family. In short, there is something for everyone. After a busy morning you can relax on the sun loungers by the pool in the afternoon, order your favorite drink at the bar and be surprised with a delicious dish during dinner.
Overnight stay: Pacuare lodge | Linda vista suite | full board

Day 5: Pacuare – Arenal

In the morning you will say goodbye to your stay at the Pacuare lodge and depart by raft for whitewater rafting past gorgeous tropical scenery (approximately 3½ hours). This stretch of the Pacuare River flows through canyons and past waterfalls and virgin rainforest. You are likely to catch glimpses of varied birds and other wildlife during the quiet stretches. A lunch will be served on the riverbank en route, and you will have a chance to change into dry clothes at the finish before you will be brought to the region of the Arenal volcano by private transfer. This impressive volcano is covered with lush tropical rainforest and surrounded by mountains. The last outburst was in 2010 and ever since, the volcano outbursts and lava flows are drastically reduced. There will be a delicious, colorful, sweet surprise waiting for you. En route you will stop at a fruit stand in Guàpiles, which you must see when visiting Costa Rica. The fruit is freshly prepared for you, with a variety of green, yellow or red jocotes (mombin plum), zapote, a unique delicacy of Costa Rica and pitahaya, also known as dragon fruit. which is used in drinks, desserts and salads. Get surprised by the unique flavours of fresh Costa Rican fruit. Then you will be brought to your next stay in Arenal, Nayara Tented Camp. This accommodation is hidden in the heart of the national park situated in the northern lowland of Costa Rica. Time to relax after rafting. Book a massage for example. At your accommodation you can enjoy nature, in the gardens of the accommodation wild animals from the area often walk around. Culinary you will not be short of anything. Chefs apply fine dining techniques to local ingredients to delight you with seasonal dishes with sophisticated flavors. 
Overnight stay: Nayara Tented Camp | bed & breakfast

Day 6: Arenal – Bagaces

After breakfast you will make a hike of approximately 3 km over 15 bridges through the rainforest, 6 of which are up in the air. This way you will have a unique view. You could spot monkeys, birds, lizards and other animals during this walk. Afterwards you will be brought to your next stay, hotel Rio Perdido in the region Guanacaste. This accommodation is situated on a 240 hectare reserve. For a fee, your accommodation offers various activities. Think of zip-lining through the Rio Blanco Canyon around the accommodation or swinging through the treetops like Tarzan. Hiking is also possible on the estate, varying in distance from 1 to 10 km long. You will walk through the woods of the reserve to waterfalls, crystal clear streams, thermal springs and viewpoints. The Rio Blanco river is a natural thermal bath, in the midst of a wonderful environment. You can go mountain biking on routes from 8 to 20 km. After being active for a while it might be time for an active cooling down during a river tubing along the Rio Blanco river, where you slide over small waterfalls.
Overnight stay: Hotel Rio Perdido | bed & breakfast

Day 7: Bagaces

Start the day with a yoga class and once you're relaxed we recommend zip-lining through the Rio Blanco canyon. The professional guides will help you walk through the 15 platforms, 6 of which are on rocks and 9 are floating on the walls of the gorge. You will walk through the forests of the reserve to waterfalls, crystal clear streams, thermal springs and viewpoints. Furthermore, you have possibilities such as mountain biking, river tubing or just relax at the pool with a nice drink.
Overnight stay: Hotel Rio Perdido | bed & breakfast

Day 8: Bagaces – Puerto Jimenez

After breakfast you will be taken to San José airport and board your domestic flight to Puerto Jimenez, in the south of Costa Rica. From the airport you will be brought to your accommodation. You will stay in Playa Cativo lodge for the next few days. This Eco Lodge is located near the calm waters of the Golfo Dulce in the pristine rainforest and surrounded by lush grounds, only accessible by boat. From your room you have a beautiful panoramic view. You will stay here on a full board basis and you can also use the kayaks, paddle boards and snorkeling equipment.
Overnight stay: Playa Cativo Lodge | full board

Day 9 and 10: Puerto Jimenez

Days off planned. These days you will stay in the middle of the tropical rainforest of the Piedras Blancas national park, which is an extension of the nearby Corcovado national park. It is a biologically very diverse area, estimated to contain 750 species of trees, 140 species of mammals, 367 species of birds (several of which are endemic), 117 species of reptiles and almost 10,000 species of insects. Plenty to see! There are four different species of monkeys (the capuchin monkey, the howler monkey, the spider monkey and squirrel monkey), white-nosed coati, deers, kinkajous, agouties, peccaries and sloths. There are also a number of felines in the area, although these are difficult to spot during the day. As there are no other nearby accommodations in the area, you will enjoy the peace and quiet. 
Overnight stay: Playa Cativo Lodge | full board 

Day 11: Puerto Jimenez – San José – Amsterdam

After breakfast you will be taken to the airport, where you will board your domestic flight to San José. Once here you can check in for your return flight to Amsterdam.

Day 12: Amsterdam 

You will arrive in Amsterdam today.


From € 7.900 per person

  • Based on 4 persons traveling together
  • Depending on time of booking, availability of the local flights and accommodations and the period of travel


  • local flights, economy class (14 kg checked luggage)
  • 4 overnight stays, meals as mentioned
  • 3 overnight stays in Pacuare Lodge on full board basis including offered activities accompanied by professional  guides
  • 3 overnight stays in Playa Cativo on full board basis including offered self guided activities
  • all transfers and excursions as stated
  • our backup 24/7; locally and in the Netherlands
  • extensive travel documents package with small attention

Not included:

  • international flights, if you wish, we reserve these for you
  • early check-in / late check-out, based on availability, this is sometimes provided by the hotel. If you want to be sure that you have this, ask us about the additional cost
  • (Dutch) public contribution Calamity fund; € 2.50,- per booking
  • SGR contribution of € 5,- per person per booking
  • travel and cancellation insurance

Request travel proposal

Would you like to make this journey yourself? We can arrange this itinerary for you, but we are also happy to put together a programme based on your wishes and ideas. Do not hesitate to contact us. Send an e-mail to info@sapapanatravel.nlcall us on +31 73 610 62 04 or ask us to plan your trip. We are happy to help.

Request travel proposal

Return to luxury holiday in Costa Rica

More inspiration - Read our blogs