When hitting the beach for a family vacation, getting out on the water is an absolute must. After a few days relaxing by the pool and splashing around at the beach, everyone will be ready to hop on a boat and explore from a fun, new vantage point!
In Costa Rica, one of my favorite itineraries for families is the “beach sandwich.” We’ll start in Guanacaste at one of the northern beaches, then head into the jungle for a little wildlife and thermal springs action, then finish near Manual Antonio, home to this iconic beach (below) and an amazingly wildlife-rich national park.
The coastline in the Guanacaste region includes several beautiful beaches. Some have stunning black sand, some are long and wide, and many of them are perfect crescents of calm, clear water hidden behind rocky cliffs that drop right into the ocean.
It’s these hidden beaches that comprise the perfect day of fun and the best family friendly excursion in Guanacaste.
Cruise the Coastline
After breakfast, meet your captain and hop into your private boat. Spend the next 45 minutes or so cruising along the coastline, heading towards the Papagayo Peninsula. Here you’ll begin to notice all the small, undeveloped beaches along the way. The majority of these are only accessible by boat.
Check out the mangrove forest and some of the “caves”, formed over thousands of years of ocean water beating down before hopping into the water for a swim. Your captain will have snorkel gear and a paddle board along as well. (Though Costa Rica is not known for having Caribbean-quality snorkeling).
While you’re playing in the waves, your captain and his partner will be hard at work starting a fire and grilling your lunch. Chicken and ribs are common, and be sure to request fresh fish if that is something you would enjoy. Grilled, marinated veggies round out the meal. Before you know it, a table is set and your lunch is served.
Toes in the sand and a nice cold beer… really it doesn’t get much better than this!
Make Your Way Back to Shore
After packing up, make your way back to shore with a stop at another beach if time allows. Your captain will point out landmarks, rock formations and generally fill you in on what’s happening around you. You might even get lucky and see dolphin along the way!
Just looking for some ideas? Sign up below for instant access to one of my favorite Costa Rica family itineraries.