With over a quarter of its land protected in parks and preserves, Costa Rica is paradise for anyone who loves wildlife and outdoor adventure. Howler monkeys scamper through the trees, and keel-billed toucans color the sky against a natural backdrop of a majestic volcano, a magnificent lake, flowing rivers and lush greenery. Jungle hikes, mountain biking and a kayaking adventure expose you to the region's incredible biodiversity, from the Los Angeles Cloud Forest to Arenal Volcano National Park and the Pacific coast. Your family is sure to have fun, relax and learn the true meaning of pura vida!
Day 1 Hike through the Los Angeles Cloud Forest, where an interpretive walk showcases a spectacular array of plants and animals Jump-start the day with a tour (and tasting!) at a coffee plantation Visit a hummingbird sanctuary and perhaps even feed them by hand.
Days 2-3 Hot springs soaking and volcano gazing Befriend furry and feathery characters at a wildlife rescue center Bike rolling paved roads flanked by plantations of papaya, sugarcane and yucca to La Fortuna, nestled near the foot of Arenal Volcano Take in scenic lake views on a private cruise on Lake Arenal Fly through the treetops on a zip-line, indulge in a massage or simply relax by the pool.
Day 4 Kids check out snakes, frogs and butterflies at a serpentarium while adults trek across a lava field in Arenal Volcano National Park Our private charter plane whisks us to the white-sand beaches of Quepos Look for fast-moving basilisk lizards, blue morpho butterflies and endangered squirrel monkeys on our walk in La Foresta Reserve.
Days 5-6 In Manuel Antonio National Park, discover white-faced monkeys swinging in the branches and prehistoric-looking iguanas slithering up tree trunks Kids paint their own Boruca masks with an indigenous artist While away the afternoon soaking up the sun or splashing in the waves of the Pacific Sea-kayak on calm crystalline waters that lead to a secluded beach.
- Kids paint their own Boruca masks with an indigenous artist
- Watch for signs of life from the volcano while hiking, biking and soaking in hot springs
- Manuel Antonio National Park's wealth of wildlife: monkeys, lizards, sloths, kingfishers and more
- Sea-kayak across a bay to a beautiful remote beach
- Befriend furry and feathery critters at a wildlife rescue center
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel (1 night): This eco-conscious hotel features charming casitas, each with a splendid view of the cloud forest. (spa)
Hotel Mountain Paradise (2 nights): When skies are clear, relish unobstructed views of Arenal Volcano from this hilltop resort. (pool, spa)
The Falls Resort (2 nights): Cascading waterfalls, innumerable plant varieties and tropical flowers create a lush setting for this boutique hotel, just a short walk from a white-sand beach. (pool, spa)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Other||Boat ride on Lake Arenal (30 minutes)|
|Other||Optional zip-lining or hiking|
|Kids||Serpentarium visit (1 hour)|
|Other||Optional surfing, mangrove tour or horseback riding|
|6||Kayaking||Around Quepos (2 hours)|
On this trip, we'll be using titanium mountain bikes that are just right for the non-technical dirt road riding as well as the paved riding. (approximately 10% dirt and 90% paved).
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 12/22-27 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $590 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $155
- 12/30-1/4 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $590 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $155
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 3/23-28 Price: $2798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $180
- 3/30-4/4 Price: $2798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $180
- 4/4-9 Price: $2798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $180
- 12/21-26 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $180
- 12/25-30 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $180
- 12/27-1/1 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $180
- 12/29-1/3 Price: $2998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $520 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $180
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to sea kayak: 5 years
- No Burleys available on this trip
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ amount of cultural appreciation, difficulty of activities, routes
- 9+ difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions, routes
- 6+ several longer dinners; routes are difficult for pulling a Burley and therefore not appropriate for younger children; difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date in next year's lineup for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required - just book by December 31st of this year. Call us for date availability.
Pricing for Private Trips
- 8 - 9 guests $3,698 pp dbl. occ.
- 10 - 11 guests $3,398 pp dbl. occ.
- 12 or more guests $2,798 pp dbl. occ.
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.
Guest Trip Reviews
We had an amazing time! Backroads is seamless in its transition from activity to activity, and really allows one to experience a variety of things in one packed trip, without any stress! It's my favorite way to travel!- Mountain Brook, AL
This trip is a cultural smorgasborg, full of different interesting ecologic environments, people, and activities. It was a wonderful introduction to Costa Rica.- Reno, NV
This trip was fantastic and executed flawlessly by the Backroads leaders and in-country support team. They made it easy to let go and relax and just enjoy the activities and the amazing beauty of this country. We had great opportunities to see and enjoy the country's wildlife in its natural habitats.- Santa Clara, CA
The trip and leaders far exceeded my expectations. This is our third trip with you all and the activities were so well balanced and diverse. Our 18 and 20 year old sons participated in the children's kalidescope activity one afternoon and even enjoyed that! You all have this trip down to a science of exceptional activities. I had to keep a journal so that I wouldn't forget a single thing. Our leaders overheard a conversation we were having on the bus about yoga and arranged an early morning class for us. It was great. I absolutely loved the place we stayed in Monteverde. I also really liked having an activity on our final day - a great way to end our trip with our new friends!- Cary, NC
This was the best family trip we have ever taken, hands down. I never expected a group trip could be so enjoyable. We bonded with our leaders and the other families immediately - so much so that I expect we will keep in touch with them for a long time. This trip was different from others we have taken - it was an adventure, a challenge, and a growth opportunity for us. Normally, I wouldn't expect my kids (age 10 and 12) to think favorably of a "growth opportunity," but they loved this trip and are still talking about it.
We have traveled quite extensively with guides as a family and without reservation, Backroads leaders are the best. What great role models for our kids.- Chattanooga, TN
This was our first group trip as a family. Having traveled with Backroads before as a couple, we were pretty sure it would go well, but you never know with kids. Our boys say this was the best trip they have ever taken and they loved everything about it - learning about a new country, the biking, the food, having fun with other families, and most of all - the great leaders! Our leaders made it easy for all the kids on the trip to become fast friends and for the parents to find time to relax. We'll definitely be doing another family Backroads trip again soon!- Reno, NV
My wife and I went on our first Backroads trip last summer - a bicycle trip through Tuscany. We wanted to share the Backroads experience with our children and immediately signed up for the Costa Rica trip upon our return. You did not disappoint!- Boxford, MA