Hello! My young family (kids aged almost 3, almost 5, and 5 months old) will be travelling around Costa Rica for three weeks in April and are looking for a few suggestions. We are flying into Liberia, then our plan is to spend three nights in the Miravalles/Rincon de la Vieja area before travelling to Manuel Antonio for four nights. Do you have any recommendations for a family with young kids in the two areas? We are then giving ourselves two days to get from Manuel Antonio to Samara so we won’t be in the car for too long each day- where would you recommend an overnight between the two places that would be family friendly but affordable? Would you recommend taking the ferry, or driving around? Thank you!
Your kids will probably love the water park (Thermomania) we talk about in our Miravalles Post, it is totally geared towards kids. We also talk about Las Hornillas, which has a fun tractor ride and then easy hike over some hanging bridges. You could have the little one in a baby carrier (see our Baby Packing Post for more tips) for that and for hikes at Rincon.
On the way to Samara, a stopover is tough because there isn’t much in the middle. You could do Jaco or Tarcoles but it is still fairly close to Manuel Antonio. We once stopped at La Ensenada Lodge, which is north of Puntarenas on the “bird coast”. It was very authentic, affordable, and had somewhat of a summer camp feel with the cute cabins overlooking the water. Our son was about a year old and he had fun. Oh and for getting to Samara, it would probably be easiest to take Route 18 over to the Nicoya Peninsula instead of the ferry.