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small children

New York
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small children

My husband and I traveled to Costa Rica many years ago (before kids) and had an amazing time in the cloud forests, volcanos, hot springs, mud baths, hiking, etc. But now that I have small children (age 5 and 7) I am wondering if they are too young to enjoy these things. We were specifically planning to fly into Liberia and stay somewhere in the Guanacaste region. Trying to figure out if we should take a simple beach vacation this year and return to Costa Rica when they are older and can participate in more. Anyone who has done really cool things with small children there - your insight would be greatly appreciated.

Costa Rica
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1. Re: small children

I think that 5 and 7 is not too young to enjoy Costa Rica. There are lots of things you can do with them: nighttime frog tours, visiting wildlife rehabilitation centers, boating and float trips, short and easy hikes, mud pots near a volcano, etc.

boston, ma
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2. Re: small children

I have 4 small kids and they love it. Don't over plan and don't drive too much. tops on our list are:

a. going to a rodeo. silly little rides but kids love it. Has a very raw real vibe.

b. riding horses on the beach in playa panama.

c. hiring a panga boat. $50/hr. Cruise around, fish, park at a private beach, drinks at marina bar, sunset.

d. palo verde river cruise. feeding monkeys.

That's plenty for a week. If your kids are like mine they will probably just want to spend the entire day in the pool.

Jay Villa Nube Nueve

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3. Re: small children

Point d. is the worst advice I have seen on this forum in some time. Here is why.

Ten Reasons Not to Feed the Monkeys

You might find feeding the monkeys (and other wild animals) to be a thrilling experience, but you are not doing the monkeys a favor. In fact, you are actually harming them. Here’s why:

1.Monkeys are highly susceptible to diseases from human hands. They can die from bacteria transferred off your hand that has no ill effect on you.

2.Migration to human-populated areas to be fed increases the risk of dog attacks and road accidents.

3.Irregular feeding leads to an aggressive behavior towards humans and other species.

4.Contrary to the stereotype, bananas are not the preferred food of monkeys in the wild. Bananas, especially those containing pesticides, can be upsetting to the monkeys’ delicate digestive system and cause serious dental problems that can lead to eventual death.

5.Feeding creates a dangerous dependency on humans that diminishes the monkeys’ survival abilities.

6.Feeding interferes with the monkeys’ natural habits and upsets the balance of their lifestyle centered on eating wild fruits, seeds, small animals, and insects.

7.Contact with humans facilitates poaching and the trade in illegal wildlife.

8.Pregnant females who are fed nothing but bananas during their pregnancy will not give birth to healthy infants. The babies will be malnourished, or never develop to term, and die before birth.

9.Monkeys need to travel an average of 17 kilometers each day to be in good physical condition. If they know that food is available in a particular location, they will not leave that area.

10.Not only do we pass on diseases to animals when we feed them by hand, but they can pass diseases to us as well.

The monkeys do not realize any of this. Now YOU do. Don’t facilitate the extinction of one of Nature’s most amazing creatures for your own pleasure or financial gain. Please help save the monkeys by reporting anyone feeding the monkeys: 2777-2592. If you are feeding the monkeys, you now know why you should stop. If you don’t stop we owe it to the monkeys to publish your name with the local media.

Text Courtesy of Jennifer Rice PhD


Kids Saving The Rainforest

Tel. 506.2777.2592 Fax 506.2777.1954



Edited: 04 November 2013, 13:39
Costa Rica
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4. Re: small children

I'm going to check with the Palo Verde river tour. I have recommended them many times, but if they are feeding the monkeys, I will recommend AGAINST them! It's a really really bad idea, as you can see from canatico's post.

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5. Re: small children

My family and I will be traveling to Costa Rica this November. My 17 year old son will not stop talking about feeding the monkeys, its driving me crazy. I try to tell him the bad that comes along with that selfish act, he does not seem to grasp the concept. Is there somewhere we can go in Costa Rica that will educate him on the importance of NOT feeding wild animals? I want my children to be respectful and learn while we are there. It is important for me to travel with my children to open their eyes to a bigger world and that they can be a part of saving it.

Destination Expert
for Playa Samara
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6. Re: small children

Well, for starters, even 17 year olds tend to have a brain. Yes, I know it's flooded with hormones that result in strange thought and reasoning patterns. Still, I am under the impression that a 17 year old's brain is capable of learning and comprehending.

Start with the list posted by CanaTico above.

If that doesn't help and if you want to go somewhere in CR to educate your son, how about the link that CanaTico posted as well?:


They are a non-profit organization dedicated to saving wild animals. As part of their efforts, they offer a "Wildlife Tour" that provides many educational opportunities. Their location is close to Manuel Antonio.

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7. Re: small children

I don't believe your children are too young to visit Costa Rica. There is plenty for you to do as a family there that would mean all of you would have a wonderful time. I would do some research on things you may want to do there so that you have a more planned out trip rather than just heading there and trying to work things out once you got there. Having plans will hopefully get your kids excited too especially if you can get them involved in planning.

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372 posts
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8. Re: small children

My kids were 5, 8, & 9 when we went to CR two years ago. They had the best trip of their lives. My kids are very adventurous so we did a lot. We went to Arenal & Puerto Viejo. We did ziplining including a tarzan swing, waterfall rapelling (5 year old sat that one out), river tubing, hot springs, hanging bridges, nature hikes, snorkeling, beach time, did a rope swing at a swimming hole, and an animal sanctuary. They loved all of it. All of the guides we had were fantastic and the Costa Rican people really love kids. We knew what we wanted to do but just booked all of our tours when we arrived. We rented a car as well which was great with kids as we could do things on our own schedule.

They don't seem to have many of the height/weight restrictions that they have here in the US on activities. But everything we did was very well run & we always felt extremely safe, even with the kids.

9. Re: small children

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