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San José, Costa Rica

Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended San José, Costa Rica Family-friendly Activities

Manuel Antonio National Park Combo Tour from San Jose

1. Manuel Antonio National Park Combo Tour from San Jose

Expereince the stunning beauty of the Manuel Antonio National Park on this day trip from San Jose. Visit Crocodile Bridge and Tarcoles Beach. Discover the abundant wildlife on the park’s rainforest trails and eat breakfast and lunch at local restaurants.  Enjoy being picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in the San Jose area. Travel aboard an airconditioned coach on the way to have breakfast in a local restaurant located next to the biggest fruit market in the country.  Visit the market to observe a large variety of tropical fruits. Continue your journey with a stop at the popular crocodile bridge where you will have the chance to observe one of Costa Rica’s biggest crocodile’s populations.  Search for scarlet macaws in their natural habitat on Tarcoles Beach where they like to gather. Stop at the Jaco Bay lookout point and take pictures of Costa Rica’s most popular coastal town.  Travel to the Manuel Antonio National Park, hike the rainforest trails with your guide for about and hour and search for monkeys, sloths, toucans, and agoutis. Spend some free time relaxing on the park's pristine beaches or hiking to along rainforest trails. Savor a delicious lunch of local cuisine in a restaurant that provides great jungle and ocean views. Lunch is served in the early afternoon around 2 PM, after which you will be taken back to your hotel in San Jose.

San Jose: Walking Nature Tour with Sloths, Birds, and Trees

2. San Jose: Walking Nature Tour with Sloths, Birds, and Trees

Departing from the nearby meeting point, visit the University of Costa Rica campus, home to some of the largest patches of forest in San Jose. Guided by young biologists, discover the nature hiding in the middle of Costa Rica's largest city. Experience wildlife you wouldn't have imagined existed minutes away from downtown.   On the first stop, you’ll look for resident and migratory birds, lots of incredible insects and amazing flowers. Then, see the largest indigenous stone sphere in San Jose, thought to derive from the extinct Diquis culture. Lastly, visit the main campus to seek out the friendly sloths climbing freely. The goal of this tour is to change the way tourism is done in Costa Rica, while supporting young scientists, researchers, and local entrepreneurs.

San José: Guided Volcano, Waterfall & Coffee Farm Day Trip

3. San José: Guided Volcano, Waterfall & Coffee Farm Day Trip

Visit the Poás Volcano, the picturesque La Paz Waterfall (outside), and the one-and-only Starbucks coffee farm on a day trip from San José, Costa Rica. A wonderful choice for coffee aficionados and nature lovers alike, this tour includes a hotel pickup and lunch at a local restaurant. Enjoy a convenient pickup directly from your accommodation in San Jose and make your way to your first stop for the day, the Poás Volcano. Travel in an air-conditioned van and admire coffee plantations as well as flower and strawberry farms along the way. Poás is one of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes and last erupted in April 2017. The volcano and the surrounding park were closed for close to 17 months and a safety perimeter of nearly 2.5 kilometers was established around the erupting crater. At the volcano, you'll have time to enjoy the impressive main crater with its sulfur fumaroles. Then, follow a trail to the Botos Lagoon, a crater lake located inside the Poás Volcano National Park. As you hike, learn about the different ecosystems in the park. After your trek, refuel with a delicious lunch of local fare at one of the restaurants in the area. Then, head out to your next destination, the La Paz Waterfall. Discover La Paz waterfall(outside) as you stroll along paved trails through cloud forests and rainforests. Make the most of excellent photo opportunities as you visit this falls and see them from different vantage points Then, head to your final stop for the day, the Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm, the first and only Starbucks coffee farm. See the visitor center and learn what Starbucks is doing to empower farmers, promote sustainable practices, and develop the next generation of coffee. At the end of your Costa Rica adventure, enjoy a convenient transfer back to your hotel in San José.

San Jose: Animal Rescue Center Entry with Guided Tour

4. San Jose: Animal Rescue Center Entry with Guided Tour

This one hour tour is an intimate yet meaningful experience of Costa Rica wildlife preservation. You will be led by one of our knowledgeable English/Spanish speaking guides around the animal rescue center, where you will have a close look at our wonderful sloths - CR national symbol. You will have a chance to see many more special animals such as various monkeys, coatis, raccoons, macaws, parrots and others. You will learn why and how did these animals arrive to the rescue center and how they are treated. In addition you can better understand the special characteristics of each specie and ask questions on the center's work including the on site wildlife hospital. You will be able to take pictures of most animals but it's not allowed to touch them - this is for their well being and accordance with the local laws. The tour begins and ends in the same point at the rescue center's entrance. You will be able to refill your bottles with cold drinking water and have access to toilets. The revenue from the tours is dedicated to the rescue of wildlife, thus providing resources to the center to continue it's meaningful work and impact on Costa Rica's wildlife.

Monteverde: Half-Day Nature Experience

5. Monteverde: Half-Day Nature Experience

Treat yourself to a fun-filled day exploring all the very best of Monteverde Cloud Forest. Tour the Butterfly Garden and the Sloth Sanctuary alongside an expert guide. Walk the impressive self-guided suspension bridges at your own pace. For those who want to enjoy the wonderful variety of vegetation and unusual bird life that the area has to offer while appreciating the splendor of the canopy at their own pace, the Tree Top pathway is the best way to experience the cloud forest. One of the biggest on the continent is the magnificent butterfly garden in Monteverde. The garden, which is 300 feet long and 90 feet wide with a massive 50-foot dome ceiling, is home to 50 different butterfly species. Learn about the life cycle, distinctive behaviors, and evolutionary history of these extraordinary species on a guided tour of the live exhibit. Visitors can view many species of colorful birds here, which will awe you with their breathtaking flying tricks. Visit these magnificent facilities and learn about Costa Rica's flora and fauna while accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. At the Sloth Sanctuary, take the opportunity to observe different species of sloths. A natural exhibition has been developed where sloths can move freely along specially made trails.

Rafting Class 3-4 "Jungle Run": Río Sarapiquí, Costa Rica

6. Rafting Class 3-4 "Jungle Run": Río Sarapiquí, Costa Rica

Take an exciting break during your travels to your new vacation destination! Bring on the adrenaline and enjoy the "Jungle Run" on the Sarapiqui River. This is the perfect rafting trip for adventurous paddlers! Get piked up from your hotel and travel through small Costa Rican villages to the quaint town of San Miguel de Sarapiquí. There, your professional rafting guide will give you the 101 on rafting including safety tips and technical instructions before heading on your 2 hour journey down one of Costa Rica’s most exuberant rivers! During your descent down the river, you will experience over 30 exciting rapids along 10 km of lush, vibrant rainforest. As you make your way through exciting rapids like "The Pipeline," "The Terminator," and "Dos Locos", you will get your adrenaline pumping! About half way down the river, you’ll stop and watch the rapids from the shore, while enjoying refreshing tropical fruit and relaxing with the rest of the group. Then, after the second leg of your rafting journey, you’ll finish the day with an unforgettable homemade lunch before heading to your next vacation destination!

San Jose: Sloth and Wildlife Rescue Center Tour

7. San Jose: Sloth and Wildlife Rescue Center Tour

This private tour is rich with the individual stories of rescued wildlife, including those of a large variety of parrots, macaws, owls, sloths, spider monkeys, and more. The experience offers guests insight into the significance of conservation, as well as facts about rainforest wildlife and what it means to run a wildlife rescue center. Departing from San Jose or nearby provinces, visit an animal rescue center that specializes in rehabilitating injured sloths and learn everything about these amazing animals. The Toucan Rescue Ranch’s (TRR) mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and then release Costa Rican wildlife. TRR works with a model that focuses on conservation, education, and research to ensure a brighter tomorrow for native wildlife.

San José: La Paz Waterfall Gardens Half-Day Tour

8. San José: La Paz Waterfall Gardens Half-Day Tour

Begin the day with hotel pickup from the city of San José. Head off through the beautiful landscapes of Vara Blanca before reaching the Waterfall Gardens. La Paz Waterfall Gardens is a natural park, crisscrossed by paths that lead to the spectacular White Magic waterfall. Enjoy a stroll through the beautiful gardens and take the special opportunity to interact with many of the wild animals, including jaguars, pumas, monkeys, sloths, and more. The park is equipped with facilities with restaurants, flower, butterfly, and hummingbird gardens, an aviary, a rescued animal zoo, a serpentarium, a live frog exhibit, and an orchid exhibit, all surrounded by cloud forests.  Learn about the region's history and the ancestors who lived in the old 19th-century located on the grounds. To conclude the experience, continue toward the falls where you will have the opportunity to snap some beautiful photos. Before returning to San José, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch.

From San Jose: Los Suenos Full-Day Tour

9. From San Jose: Los Suenos Full-Day Tour

Visit the world-famous Tarcoles Bridge, where you can photograph crocodiles in their natural habitat, some measuring about 19 feet long. The next stop is at Vista Los Suenos Adventure Park, where you will get to choose two adventures tours from the following: zipline, horseback riding, surf lessons or an ATV adventure.  Your first adventure will end at the Jungle Restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious buffet lunch with natural drinks, coffee and dessert. After lunch, embark on your next adventure before visiting the Photo Adventure Team, where you can purchase your pictures of the day or pick up some Costa Rica souvenirs.

From San Jose: Full-Day Jaco Beach Canyoning and Canopy Tour

10. From San Jose: Full-Day Jaco Beach Canyoning and Canopy Tour

After pick up at your hotel, cross the Tarcoles river bridge to see the crocodiles. Stop in Jaco Beach downtown to meet your tour guides and learn more details about the tour. Sit down for a delicious traditional lunch in Costa Rica. Hop on a 4x4 safari ride and enjoy the virgin mountain crossing, seeing macaws, toucans, monkeys, and other wild animal cross the path. Pick up your canopy equipment and zip to the first line to enjoy a practical rappel. Walking through the river, try swimming and jumping into the river's pools. Finally, as the highlight of your tour, try your hand at canyoning and rappel 4 lines on a waterfall of around 300 feet. Feel the adrenaline of this high-thrill adventure, suitable for adults and children alike. Enjoy nature and take pictures to share with your family and friends.

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What people are saying about San José, Costa Rica

Our guide Rigo was wonderful. He was great ar spotting animals and full of interesting information about Costa Rica ecology, flora and fauna. We saw sloths, living wild! The University of Costa Rica is a beautiful campus. You won't be disappointed with this tour.

Such an amazing tour!! Our guide had the most incredible anecdotes at every stops of the tour and the experience at the San Antonio Parc was really unforgettable. One of the best days of my trip to Costa Rica!

Amazing guided tour! I did the tour with a small group of other tourists and the guide was really nice and patient. We saw several sloths during the tour, even a baby!! Recommend 100%

We had a great trip! Driver was on time and spoke excellent English. He gave clear instructions for each activity.

great walk beautiful craters beautiful walk magnificent gardens and waterfalls guide Hermich extra