We are planning on coming to Costa Rica next winter with our young children (who will be 8 months and almost 4). As my wife and me are overlapping our Parental Leave we hope to be there for between 3 and 4 weeks. Thanks for all of the great information on this site, it’s been a great help to get a better idea of what CR has to offer. Given we will have an 8 month old, we don’t have much desire to be dragging them all over in car, so most likely want 2 (max 3) places to hang out for the trip. From everything you have said, Samara looks like the place we want to spend most of our time in. It’s laid back, walkable and has great beaches for kids.
My hope is to avoid renting a car and simply use private transport between sites. We are trying to keep our travel times to a minimum and not stray too far from Liberia as we will fly in/out of there. If we were to spend approx 2 weeks in Samara, what other area do you think would be best to see? Should we head inland to some cloud forests or just try to stay along the coast (wondering if this would feel like just more of the same). Arenal I think would be great, but am worried about the potential time to get there and then back to Liberia.
Hi Jeff, Great that you both have time to spend with the little ones! Yes, it sounds like Samara would be a good choice to spend the majority of your time. La Fortuna would also be fun to see but getting around without a car would be a little more difficult. You could check out our La Fortuna Hotel guide for some options right in town and then take a few guided tours that would include transport or taxi to some of the sight like the National Park. Maybe you wouldn’t want to spend too much time here but it would show you a completely different area. The shuttle ride to/from LIR isn’t too bad at around 2.5 to 3 hours. Check out our Shuttle Transfers Page if you need help booking a ride.