Happiest Place on Earth? – You Might Want to Think Outside the Castle

Costa Rica will bring out the kid in you. With something for everyone, Costa Rica is the place for multi-generation family vacations. Active (and even the not-so active) grandparents can find joy in time spent with the grandkids in this tropical paradise. Whether you choose an off-the-beaten-path adventure vacation to a remote location like the Osa Peninsula or the Rio Celeste, a more easily accessible National Park in Manuel Antonio, the rain forest beauty of Arenal Volcano, or the beaches of Guanacaste, you are sure to have a heck of a week your family will treasure for the rest of their lives. With visits to the rainforest, dry forest, cloud forest, jungle or mountains and you’re your choice of Pacific or Atlantic beaches all possible in the same week, it makes Costa Rica hard to top for a family vacation. You can pick one area of the country to explore or vacation in multiple regions. If you make use of a good logistical travel planner with local knowledge, it is easy to put together a vacation that flows well and gives your tribe exactly what fits your needs. These days older travelers are looking for experiences they can share with their grandkids. They derive as much pleasure from seeing things through the eyes of their grandchildren as they did from participating themselves when they were younger. They can live vicariously through the kids, and have the joy of seeing them turned on by nature and wildlife, delving into a new and different culture, or learning to do something new like surfing or diving. Parents get a much needed break when the grandparents are with the kids, and the bonding that is forged between grandparents and grandkids is something that can’t be bought. That is why many families are choosing not to buy presents for birthdays and graduations, but instead are opting for vacation time and shared experiences. It gets harder every day to buy kids something they don’t already have, but something non-tangible like a vacation gives life-long memories for both you and them. It is simply a win, win, win. The natural beauty and ease of getting to Costa Rica is why most people choose to vacation in Costa Rica. With 25% of the country dedicated to national parks, it is easy to see why the key phrase in Costa Rica is “Pura Vida!” – the Pure Life. National Geographic has termed Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet. There is such a wide range of environments and things to do in Costa Rica. While visiting Tortuguero you can take a boat tour through the jungle or in Manuel Antonio glide through the dense mangroves in kayaks or boats. Enjoy a soak in the hot springs at Tabacon, Baldi or Kalambu, where the kids will love the waterslides. Explore La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which features short trails and animal exhibits. Take the Rainforest Chocolate Tour, where you’ll learn how cacao is grown and transformed into the sweet stuff, or experience the Costa Rica’s culture on a Tortilla Making Tour. And talk about wild life… Sloths are the number one animal on most vacationer’s “must see” list while visiting Costa Rica. Monkeys, Toucans, Nesting Turtles and Humpback Whales abound in Costa Rica. You can even find the Baird’s Tapir and not just one, but three types of Anteaters. But do you know what they eat, where they live, or the subtle signs that show you how to spot them? This is why Costa Rica’s dedicated and well educated naturalist guides can enrich any nature tour or hike. You might come to Costa Rica because of the natural beauty, but you and the kids will love the adventure and fun. Kids can learn to dive, snorkel or surf. Or maybe something more high adrenaline like zip-lines, waterfall canyoning or river rafting is their idea of fun. Most kids love and respect the guides and teachers that enable them to experience these things, so you see a lot of smiling faces when they are participating in these fun-filled, action-packed activities. Costa Rica is one of those rare destinations where you can enjoy the oceans, mountains and jungle during the same vacation. You can be whitewater river rafting, zip lining or waterfall rappelling in the mornings, surfing in the afternoon, and scuba diving at night. It is up to you to choose how active or laid-back you want your multi-generational vacation to be, but whatever you pick, you can be sure you will be making memories that will last a lifetime.