Costa Rica is one of the best places to travel to as a family if you want your kids to be in direct contact with nature. Manuel Antonio is highly recommended. For those families looking for some luxury, beaches and lush forests, you’re in luck. Continue reading to learn basic information about Manuel Antonio and about the kid-friendly things to do.
If you have ever visited Costa Rica, you probably already know of the extremes that can be found in that country. Not just because of all of the different ecosystems and activities, but also because of all of the options available for travelers of any budget.
After living in the country for a few years, I learned about all of the regions where you could stay if you are a backpacker or a budget traveler. I also became familiar with what was available to someone looking for a luxury vacation.
Manuel Antonio is definitely on the more expensive side. For some, that would be an immediate turn-off, but it is actually perfect for traveling with kids. That is because there is more touristic infrastructure in it, meaning that there will be more tours and activities being offered for your little ones.
Quick Guide for First Time Visitors to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Costa Rican’s currency is called Colón. You get about ₡556 for one dollar.
This is one of those countries where paying with the local currency will get you further than doing it with dollars. People will be more open to give discounts.
Restaurants – If it is a formal restaurant, chances are the 10% tip will already be added to the bill. Small eateries don’t charge it and most of the time they don’t expect it, but it is always nice to leave something.
Hotels – Whenever you get help to carry your bags, it is expected for you to leave at least $1 per bag. The maids aren’t always expecting tips but leaving them $1 or $2 daily might get you better service.
Tours – Guides are used to getting $5 to $15 depending on the size of your group.
Spanish is the country’s official language. But in the more touristy areas, or on the Caribbean side, you will be able to find a lot of people who speak good or at least basic English.
Just to be safe, have some basic Spanish phrases prepared before you go.
Things To Do with Kids in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Most of the kids I know love water and swimming, my sons included. That’s why I think snorkeling is a must whenever you are near gorgeous beaches with clear waters. It can be so much fun! But most importantly, it is an extremely educational experience where kids get to see that the sea is much more than just water.
There are many companies around Manuel Antonio that offer snorkeling tours and provide equipment specialized for kids.
Zip Lining Tours
This was one of our favorites activities. Getting views from the upper part of the forest was great. But the excitement of sliding down the cables was even better.
In the region, you will find tours that take a few hours and go through long lines. Others are shorter, and perfect for kids who get bored easily.
Exploring the Trails of Manuel Antonio National Park
If you want your kids to come across the local fauna you should definitely take the time to go on the trails. They aren’t steep at all and you may encounter monkeys and iguanas. It was so much fun to finally be able to see a free monkey just meters away from us.
For me, this is a two in one. You get to experience a yacht tour along the gorgeous coast and you also get to experience the excitement of fishing and returning that fish where it belongs.
During our tour, one of my sons was able to learn the basics of how to fish while my husband and I managed to catch something. It was a lot of fun!
Kids 7 and older can get into this amazing sport. Manuel Antonio is perfect for getting surf lessons because its waves are enough to show you a good time, but not too large and strong, so it’s not dangerous.
Booking a two-hour lesson for the whole family is a lot of fun! My sons are now able to stand on a board for a few seconds. They feel like pros.