Hi First of all – your blog is amazing! So much useful information! Thank you! We are a couple with two young boys (5 y/o and 2 y/o). We will arrive to Costa Rica at the end of June, for about 4-6 weeks. We are flexible with the time frame as we are continuing to travel in Central America after CR for about 2 additional months. Our general plan is to rent a car and go from San Jose to La Paz waterfall, Arenal area, Rio Celeste, Rincon de la Vieja and the area of Fortune which I read about in your blog and sounds amazing, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio. After Manuel Antonio we would like to find a nice beach town that will be convenient to stay in **without a car**. We want to return the car and stay for a week or two and then rent a car again and continue to the Carribian side (Or maybe straight after Manuel Antonio to continue with the car to the Carribian side and find a nice beach town over there? Not sure yet…) And this is the point where I would love to get some help… We are looking for a beach town that will be safe with little kids – water wise (tranquilo water, not a lot of surfers or motorbotes etc) and general safe atmosphere and walking distance to places as we want to stay there without a car. And if there are some nice day hikes in the area which we can get there with a taxi it will be a bonus ? I wounder if Montezuma might be a good fit ? What about Santa Teresa? Maybe beaches at Manuel Antonio or anything southern? Other recommendations? And same questions regarding a nice beach town at the Carribian side ? Other comments or suggestions regarding the general plan will be very welcome:) Thanks a lot! Tami
Wow, that sounds like a great trip with the little ones! Have you read our Traveling With a Baby Post? Those destinations are a great start. You could consider Samara for a good town on the Pacific Coast that is easy to visit without a car. The beach is calmer because of an offshore reef/ridge and hotels and restaurants are within walking distance. Montezuma and Santa Teresa/Mal Pais are great too but Montezuma is a little spread out and both have beaches with larger waves (better for surfing). It’s also harder to return a car in those towns since they are remote and don’t have many rental car agencies (by the way, make sure to check out our rental car discount page). As for the Caribbean side, Puerto Viejo has some beaches that are better for wading. Cahuita is a great town (with more of a local feel) too but the beaches generally have larger waves. It’s still worth visiting though since there is a ton of wildlife. Hope you and your family have a great time!