Why Costa Rica Is Such A Great Family Friendly Travel Destination
I am so excited about today’s guest post! We’ve all taken trips that left us breathless only to come home and wish we lived there. Dahlia Nahome decided to take it one step further and ended up relocating! After falling in love with Costa Rica purely by accident, this mom of two shares her findings and experiences with the region.
Nearly two years ago, my husband and I decided to move our family from north London, UK to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. We wanted a massive change and we have most definitely found it. Whilst, there have been ups and downs, and a million stories along the way, there were several reasons why we focused in on Costa Rica as a place to set up home for a while or indeed travel around it.
The Costa Ricans love children. The family unit is very important and the extended family all help each other. We felt this as soon as we landed. It was late, we had been traveling for nearly 20 hours, the kids were exhausted and I was nearly on my knees when we saw the enormous queue in front of us at immigration. If we had been back home in London, we would have had to stay in that long line but one of the guards immediately took us to the front because we were with the children. Another example is when you go to the bank. You can never exactly know who is next in line but there are lots of people standing around. When language is a barrier, this problem is exacerbated but if are carrying a small child, you will get taken straight to the front. Maybe this is normal custom where you are from, but not the UK.
The second reason that we chose Costa Rica was because of its incredible health care system and very reasonably priced private hospitals. They have some of the best doctors here, and absolutely world class hospitals. This was an essential part of our decision process to being comfortable to travel with our two children. There are certain risks we were happy to take with traveling with a 4 year-old and a 1 year-old but not when it came to their health.
If you can manage to start a conversation in Spanish, albeit a bad one, all of the Costa Ricans we met on our journey were extremely helpful. And traveling with the children made it even easier to start chatting. It amazed me how easily my son, who was four when we first came away, could talk in the international sign language that kids do to each other. Happily playing with complete strangers.
There are so many family friendly adventure days out here when it comes to the natural world. The only words of wisdom is the make sure everyone is wearing comfortable walking shoes, have lots of snacks available and don’t try and do too much in one day. Examples are traveling to the crater of Poas Volcano with steam coming out of the top, to walking through the Cloud Forest in Monteverde, to the canopy zip line tour in Mal Pais.
Then, there is the wildlife. Iguanas, toucans, howler monkeys, eagles, sloths, white faced monkeys, butterflies and wild horses. All of these are best seen from one of the national parks that make up nearly 30% of Costa Rica’s land mass.
Saving the best till last, we love Costa Rica because of its magical coastline and beaches. Some parts are a little wild but that is what makes this place so special. We live on Hermosa beach near Santa Teresa and it has the most gorgeous, child friendly beach that I have ever been to. My daughter learned to walk in the sand and now boogie boards most afternoons and my five year old son surfs. The beaches are so much fun for families whether you enjoy surfing lessons, swimming, snorkeling in the tide pools or just playing a game of soccer on the beach.
About the Author: Dahlia Nahome lives in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. As well as running her rental business, www.costaricanvacation.com & launching www.purasonica.com (a local radio station & whats on guide with her husband)
she also enjoys writing about and raising the profile of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica and has work published on various travel blogs. You may reach her at dahlia at costaricanvacation dot com.
Photo Credit: CostaRica.com