Multi-Day Tour | Escorted

Custom Costa Rica For Families (10 days)

International Expeditions

San José De La Montaña, Costa Rica To Islita, Costa Rica

Valid for Departures Now Through: 15 Sep 2018


Day 1
San José De La Montaña, Costa Rica
Doubletree Cariari None

Arrive San José

Upon arrival at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José, Costa Rica, you will be met and assisted through immigration and customs. Be sure to go to bed early — you’ve got eight busy days ahead!

Day 2
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuga Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

San Jose / Toucan Rescue Ranch / Canopy Zip Line / Tortuguero

Meet your private naturalist guide and travel to the Caribbean lowlands. Join the staff of Toucan Rescue Ranch for a full breakfast and watch the baby sloths being fed. There are two species of sloths in Costa Rica, and they’re both present in the sanctuary. The babies need help learning how to digest the rough leaves from Guarumo trees. The owner and the staff know every bird and animal intimately and have many great stories to tell you. After breakfast, enjoy a tour of the Ranch. Pass through the Braulio Carrillo National Park, stop for a zip line canopy tour. The tour consists of 10 zip lines (between 80 meters and 140 meters long), with 14 platforms in between the stretches which provide a 360 degree view of the surrounding forest. Walking trails lead you deep into the rainforest floor. This canopy tour is part of the Rain Forest Aerial Tram Park, which protects the rainforest and its biodiversity within a 1,200-acre private reserve. A visit to the Butterfly garden and frog pond is a must after the tour. Observe some of the area’s wildlife during your boat ride along the creeks to reach Tortuga Lodge. Set on a private rainforest reserve bordering Tortuguero National Park, the lodge’s rooms have private baths and hot showers. A swimming pool is surrounded by botanical gardens that lead to the rainforest and river. (B,L,D)

Day 3
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuga Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tortuguero National Park

Originally intended to protect a major nesting beach of the Atlantic green sea turtle, Tortuguero National Park now protects 77,032 acres, one of the last large areas of tropical rainforest in Central America. Eleven habitats are found in the park. Three species of monkeys (spider, howler and white-faced) and three-toed sloths are frequently seen along the natural inland waterways and canals. Caiman, iguanas, river turtles, basilisk lizards and poison dart frogs inhabit the area, along with more than 320 species of birds including all six species of kingfishers found in the new world, three species of toucans, eight species of parrots, and other neotropical species such as the slaty-tailed trogon, white-collared manakin, purple-throated fruitcrow and white-fronted nunbird After breakfast, leave the lodge with your naturalist, boating on the creeks of Tortuguero National Park. The morning hours are especially active in the rainforest, when the wildlife is hungry and in search of their energy source for the day. It’s not uncommon to find troops of howler monkeys in search of tender young figs or the leaves of the Monkey Plum tree you might also encounter a river otter hunting. The Northern jacana is often perched on an island of water hyacinth looking for insects and miniature shrimp and the caiman is quietly waiting for its next meal to swim by.

Spend an afternoon hiking the dormant Cerro Tortuguero Volcano, watching for monkeys, iguanas, and a variety of birdlife. After visiting the Mirador with an unobstructed view of the park, descend into the small village of San Francisco to participate in the Word Adventure. You’ll spend about one hour sharing your English knowledge and learning about the life of children from Tortuguero. With your guide, explore a little more and perhaps purchase ice cream or a drink in a local pulperia (small grocery store). All too soon, you’ll be ready to ride our boat back to Tortuga Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 4
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tortuguero / San José / Poas Volcano / Monteverde Cloud Forest

Fly to San José, and drive toward Monteverde, stopping at Poas Volcano National Park. Poas Volcano is known for its massive crater with sights of activity such as smoking fumaroles or small mud-eruptions from its volcanic lagoon. When clear, you can admire the tree-fringed crater lake and spot birds such as the green-crowned brilliant hummingbird, bush-tanagers, yellow-thighed finch, sooty robins, flower piercers and sooty-capped bush tanagers. The lush vegetation includes myriad bromeliads, ferns, mistletoes and the iconic “poor man’s umbrella,” representative of mid to high elevations forests in Costa Rica. Drive is through coffee farms, nurseries where ornamental plants are grown for export, strawberry fields, and dairy farms. The volcanic crater is not always visible due to cloud coverage. After the visit to Poas Volcano, continue to Monteverde. Monteverde is a peaceful community made up of dairy farmers, naturalists and tourism service providers who have joined together to create a model for sustainable development and protection of the environment that is known throughout the world. Founded in 1954 by a group of Quakers from Alabama searching for a peaceful place to live, it is the home of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, the Children's Eternal Rain Forest, and the Santa Elena Reserve. Spend two nights at Monteverde Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 5
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monteverde Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Originally just 4,000 acres, the Monteverde Reserve now includes a protected area of approximately 25,000 acres, comprising six different life zones. So many habitats in such a small area, along with extensive trail improvements, allow visitors to enjoy a rich diversity of flora and fauna with relatively short distance and easy walking. The Reserve was founded in 1972 and extends down both slopes of the Tilarán Mountains (elevation 2,300 to 5,600 ft.). It encompasses six different ecological life zones and is home to more than 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds and 1,500 species of plants. From January to July, depending upon your luck and patience, you may observe the resplendent quetzal. Other species include three-wattled bellbird, emerald toucanet, and white-faced and howler monkeys. (B,L,D)

Day 6
Islita, Costa Rica
Hotel Punta Islita Breakfast

Monteverde / Punta Islita Beach

Head to Punta Islita, where you spend the next five nights of your Costa Rica tour at Hotel Punta Islita. Over 90% of the employees are local men and women who share a collective philosophy based on hospitality and ecological conservation. Hotel Punta Islita is embedded in a secluded tract of tropical dry forest, a fascinating yet endangered ecosystem that is home to over 155 species of mammals, 253 species of birds, 100 species of amphibians and reptiles, unique tree species, and brilliant tropical flowers. The hotel has pioneered conservation initiatives that aim to secure the effective protection and long-term survival of this precious and delicate habitat. The tropical dry forest is characterized by lower relative humidity, an extended dry season of bright-blue skies, and a green season of sunny mornings and sporadic afternoon showers. Due to its suitability for crops and ranching, the tropical dry forest is a highly threatened ecosystem. (B)

Day 7
Islita, Costa Rica
Hotel Punta Islita Breakfast

Punta Islita Beach

Enjoy an incredible time, taking advantage of the following complimentary activities with local guides. Make arrangements through your Travel Planner. Activities include:

Canopy Zip-Line: Join your adventure guide for a short drive to the first “test” cable. Your guide will brief the group on the use of equipment, techniques and hints. Fly through the treetops for a birds-eye-view of the forest. A thrilling adventure for daring souls. Minimum age is 5

Macaw Rescue Mission: You´ll ride with your nature guide to a nearby property where they keep a rescue center for macaws. The Islita partners at The Ara Project are bringing back wild colors to the Guanacaste sky. Visiting the Red Macaw recovery center will be an unforgettable experience. Open to all ages

Sunset Horseback Ride: Meet your riding guide in the lobby and drive for a few minutes to the stables. Once there, your guide will instruct the group on riding Costa Rican horses. They will make sure your stirrups are at the right level and fasten your saddle. Explore the rugged coastal landscapes on horseback. From beach cantering to riding up the mountains for scenic views of the day’s closing lights. Minimum age is 5

Day 8
Islita, Costa Rica
Hotel Punta Islita Breakfast

Punta Islita Beach

Enjoy an incredible time, taking advantage of the following complimentary activities with local guides. Make arrangements through your Travel Planner. Activities include:

Cocktail Mixing: Mix fun tropical cocktails like a pro! Our bartenders share their libation secrets.

Golf Clinic: An all-around session for learning golf or improving your game. Open to all ages

Yoga: Islita’s gorgeous natural scenery will enhance the health benefits of Pilates/Yoga. Minimum age is 5

Traditional Tico Cooking: Learn the secrets behind Costa Rica’s favorite flavors. From rice pudding to ceviche. Open to all ages

Chorreado Coffee: Enjoy coffee the Tico way! The “chorreado” (dripped) brewing system imbues your favorite hot beverage with incomparable flavor and aroma. Open to all ages

Candle Art: Create beautiful sand-candle pieces to take home and enjoy. Includes a fun pick-up soccer game while the candles cool off. Minimum age is 5.

Beach painting: To let the imagination run wild! A special project to trigger creativity. Open to all ages

Keychain Making: The region’s seashells, pebbles, and unique seeds are perfect to create a beautiful keychain and a one-of-a-kind memento of your stay. Open to all ages

Sea Turtle Quest: A magical celebration of life. Sea turtles lay their eggs in nearby Camaronal beach. Witness this miracle in person from July–November. Open to all ages

Day 9
Islita, Costa Rica
Hotel Punta Islita Breakfast

Punta Islita Beach

Enjoy an incredible time, taking advantage of the following complimentary activities with local guides. Make arrangements through your Travel Planner. Activities include:

Dusk Adventure Hike: Meet your nature guide in the lobby and start a hike in Islita trails. The day’s end wakes up many regional critters. The guides will help you spot the region’s nocturnal life. You may have some chances to spot sleeping birds, perhaps toads or frogs, insects or reptiles. Minimum age is 5

Day 10
Islita, Costa Rica
None Breakfast

Punta Islita Beach / Depart San Juan

Drive to the Islita Airstrip, where you meet your flight to San José. Transfer to the Juan Santamaria International Airport for your flight home. (B)

Tour Features


  • Adventure
  • Family Vacations
  • Wildlife & Nature


Looking for the perfect multigenerational adventure combining nature, adventure and beach time — plus cocktails and golf for the adults? This family focused Costa Rica ecotour is a must!

Don’t want to travel with the kids? That’s okay! This comprehensive Costa Rica tour is perfect for any nature enthusiast.

About Us

For 33 years, travelers have relied on International Expeditions’ matchless expertise to discover the captivating wildlife, inspiring landscapes and fascinating cultures of Earth’s most pristine natural and cultural wonders. Our small-ship adventures to the Peruvian Amazon and Galapagos Islands, intimate group journeys to Patagonia, Panama, Costa Rica, Machu Picchu, India and Cuba, and in-depth safaris open the world to curious travelers. IE’s engaging, small-group itineraries delve wildlife, customs and ecological issues — all through the eyes of passionate, knowledgeable local naturalists. Our award-winning itineraries include a conservation focus that affords our guests opportunities to visit scientific researchers and even participate in community service projects on select tours.

Insider Tip

Have guests who want a personal look at all the wildlife an area offers? IE's naturalist guides are happy to take guests on spontaneous pre-dawn birding excursions...just ask!

Terms & Conditions

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for International Expeditions


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Galapagos & Machu Picchu Excursion

By: DrummerBoy

Reviewed on: 14 Oct 2013

International Expeditions (IE) provided an amazing trip for both locations. Everything was taken care of, the guides/crew were amazing and the food and lodgings equally terrific. I saw sights that you can't see anywhere else! I would highly recommend this trip for all ages.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Splendid trip, diferent and exciting

By: Jose

Reviewed on: 18 Jun 2014

This was a magic and different trip, all nature and splendid vegetation, was something we were really expecting to have in teh Amazons, in the other way the second part of the trip the great machupicchu, and the beautiful Cusco were impresive. Thank you.
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy