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8 Best Family Resorts in Costa Rica 2023

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By Liz Zack
8 Best Family Resorts in Costa Rica 2023

The pool at Dreams Las Mareas

Wait until the kids are a little older—late elementary school is perfect—before taking the team to lush, jungle-y Costa Rica, and then get ready for the most Amazing. Trip. Ever. To make planning easier, we’ve rounded up the best family resorts in Costa Rica.

We're highlighting incredible animal encounters, family-friendly amenities, beautiful accommodations and often, very special kids clubs. Some of the best all-inclusive family resorts in the world are featured here. A week is the perfect amount of time to spend. Wherever you stay, make sure to get surfing lessons and a nighttime nature hike on your calendar!

Tulemar, Manuel Antonio

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The Beach at Tulemar, best family resorts in costa rica The Beach at Tulemar. Credit: Tulemar

This is our very favorite resort in Manuel Antonio and it also gets a rare, full, 5-star rating from thousands of guests. The property itself is a haven for howler monkeys, spider monkeys, toucans and enormous iguanas and is a protected sloth habitat to boot.

On any given afternoon or evening you will see a graduate student sitting on a chair staring up at the canopy taking notes on a slow-moving sloth. (Ask them questions!) Set on a steep hill (the resort offers trams to get around) the property flows organically down to the beach -- one of the most idyllic vantage points in the entire country.

We saw so many animals here, hanging out on our balcony, on our walks around the property, that the actual National Manuel Antonio Park was anticlimactic in comparison. Plenty of pools and your own concierge are icing on the cake. This is a special place. Be sure to pack your toddler water shoes!


La Mariposa, Manuel Antonio

best family resorts in costa rica, la mariposa La Mariposa arial view. Credit: La Mariposa
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With rooms that overlook postcard-perfect views of the Pacific Ocean, some with floor-to-ceiling windows, La Mariposa is a great small resort option in Manuel Antonio and one of the best family resorts in Costa Rica.

The resort offers plenty of luxe suites with plunge pools on the balcony, but the move here is to book one of the larger family apartments which include a small kitchen. That means you can feed the kids before heading out for the day, or opt for a dinner in after a day of surfing lessons at the nearby public beach.

Worried about your little ones sleeping? This resort features some of the best kids mattress options around.


JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa, Playa Avellanas

best family resorts in costa rica, jw marriott costa rica JW Mariott pool and beach. Credit: JW Marriott

With jaw-dropping views at every turn, this Hacienda-style resort set on Mansita Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean is breathtaking and one of the best family resorts in Costa Rica. Pack your best double travel stroller for the kids and get ready for unlimited fun.

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The resort features seven restaurants and a main pool that spans almost the entire property. Families will love the kids club (ages 4-12) where there are a variety of planned, supervised activities every day (ask for Freddy!). Don’t miss the nightly beach bonfires.

Optional add-on activities like horseback riding and water sports make this one of our favorite Costa Rica family resorts and a top contender for the world's best beach resorts.

Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

best family resorts in costa rica, four seasons costa rica Arial view of the Four Seasons, CR. Credit: Four Seasons

A gorgeous property—the kind you’d expect from this luxury brand, The Four Seasons Costa Rica has a ton of amenities for families. Teens get their own clubhouse here, and incredibly, kids (and their grownups!) can take surfing lessons from professional surfers, some who are members of the Costa Rican National Surf Team.

Four swimming pools, two beaches and an Arnold-Palmer-designed golf course means there is literally never a dull moment at this Costa Rica resort. This hot spot rivals some of the best family resorts in Hawaii, but with added international flair.

Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, La Fortuna

best family resorts in costa rica, tabacon thermal springs The thermal springs at Tabacon. Credit: Tabacon

This luxe, carbon-neutral resort is the perfect hybrid of grown-up spa and kid fun nestled into the jungle of La Fortuna. The rooms here are modern and minimalist and the morning brunch is next level, but the real family fun star here is a short walk down the path away at Tabacon’s sister resort, The Springs.

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This magical spot features water is heated by the thermal springs coming off the Arenal volcano. Here you can play in the naturally occurring hot pools or take in a massage in the incredible plein air massage rooms. Don't forget to pack the best sandals for kids—you'll be hopping from the pool to the beach and everywhere in between all day.

Go between the beautiful beaches, hot springs, cloud forest and nearby zip-lining action to make the most of this Costa Rica family vacation spot.

Arenas Del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio

best family resorts in costa rica, arenas del mar The beach at Arenas Del Mar. Credit: Arenas Del Mar

Located right on the beach in Quepos, just outside Manuel Antonio National Park, you’ll encounter a ton of animals on property including playful spider monkeys and mesmerizing sloths.

Onsite family activities include tortilla-making classes, kid-focused nature hikes with in-house naturalists and the option to order ½ portions in the resort restaurants. (#IYKYK) Many rooms come with free mini-bar options and free laundry service! Worried about your soiled socks and tees? They'll even use laundry detergents for sensitive skin—just ask!

Barcelo Tambor Beach

barcelo beach resort, best family resorts in costa rica Palm-lined beach at Barcelo. Credit: Barcelo Tambor

With 402 rooms, this resort is on the larger side for Costa Rica, and that means your stay comes with a lot of resort amenities. Multiple pools, live shows at night, a kids club for littles 4-12, a teens club for kids 13-17 plus options for a la carte babysitting all mean that you can structure your fun however it works best for you.

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Kids have their own pool here and the palm-lined beachfront will be where you park yourselves for much of your stay. The Barcelo Tambor is also one of the most reasonably priced resorts on our list of the best family resorts in Costa Rica, which means you can stay an extra day or two!

Dreams Las Mareas, El Jobo

best family resorts in costa rica, dreams las mareas The pool at Dreams Las Mareas. Credit: Dreams Las Mareas

Part of the Hyatt family, this all-inclusive resort is set right on a beautiful calm beach with all kinds of tantalizing free water sports to try from kayaking to snorkeling and scuba diving. The resort itself includes three gorgeous pools and a great water slide for the kids. Don’t miss the weekly beach parties and the kids' clubs for both smalls (ages three to 12) and teens (13 to 17) open every day.

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This article was originally published on May 09, 2023

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