Surfing, kite boarding, paddle boarding, swimming, kayaking and every other type of water sport you can imagine is what Costa Rica is known for, but what about getting off the beach? Head inland and you will find a country full of adventurous activities, great food, amazing creatures and memories just waiting to be made when you go to Costa Rica with kids. Throw your ambitions to the wind and you might just see an amazing waterfall, eat a flavor combo you never expected and get up close and personal with a sloth during your visit; no bars or barriers allowed.
When visiting Costa Rica, most families think about surfing and sitting on the beach, but there is another way to get to some of Costa Rica’s famous waters—on horseback. Hop on a horseback riding tour to Nauyaca, Mulguri or La Fortuna waterfalls, just a few of the falls you can trek to on foot or on horseback. After a ride through the jungle you can hop off to rest and take a swim in the fresh water cascading down rocks into the pool below. Meet the fish and other land animals that call this area home. If you really want a challenge you can ride and then hike through a private cloud forest to Eden Falls. The journey may be long, but it will be worth it.
Have you ever wondered how you get those ripe, delicious strawberries at your grocery store all winter long? Well, they come from Costa Rica. In the mountains, about an hour outside of San Jose you will start to pass men and women on the street selling boxes of strawberries. This is strawberry country and thanks to the year round cool temperatures, they can grow these berries all year. The town of Poasito, where you will find all things strawberry, is home to one of the best strawberry milkshakes you will ever have at Restaurante Freddo Fresas. You can also order strawberries with plantains baked in a skillet and covered in cheese. It may sound weird, but it will be one of the best bites you have in the country.
Creatures come out of the woodwork in Costa Rica. Do you know why? It’s because these animals actually call Costa Rica their native land. Don’t be surprised if you pass a sloth taking a nap on a railing at your hotel one afternoon. Those nice covered spaces are great to escape the heat. Basilisks, frogs, butterflies, dolphins, quetzels, snakes, toucans, turtles, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, white-faced monkeys and macaws are easy to find as well, if you know where to look. Take a riverboat tour in Tortuguero National Park, or hike the Arenal Volcano to get up close with these animals in their natural habitats. Your kids will come back with more stories to tell their friends than you could ever imagine, and a greater appreciation for the animals they see. These creatures weren’t meant to live in small cages at the zoo. Costa Rica is a zoo in and of itself. Now go out and explore it!
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Keryn is an East Coast native living life as a freelance writer in Seattle surrounded by her two little boys and one incredible husband. When not dragging the men in her life across the globe you can find Keryn writing on her blog Walking On Travels, a site that gives hope to today's modern parent that doesn't see kids as a roadblock to travel, but an excuse to get out the door and explore. Keryn has laughed at the naysayers by bringing her boys to far off lands like China, Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii, back and forth across the USA, Mexico, Canada, and even across Europe. Keryn loves to encourage families to take that first step out the door, the hardest step of all. Follow Keryn on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus.
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