Central America Costa Rica

10 Day Costa Rica Itinerary and Cost for a Family of 4

Traveling to Costa Rica with kids can be an exciting adventure filled with stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and unforgettable experiences. However, there are a few things you should know before embarking on your family getaway to this tropical paradise. Here are 10 tips based on insights from seasoned travelers to help you plan your 10-day Costa Rica itinerary and manage the costs effectively.

We embark in this adventure planning to do enjoy a relaxing time in Costa Rica and we reached our goal.

Travel Itinerary: 10 Days in Costa Rica for a Family of 4 and Cost

Are you dreaming of a family adventure in the lush landscapes of Costa Rica? Look no further! Here’s a comprehensive 10-day itinerary that promises excitement, relaxation, and unforgettable experiences for you and your loved ones. The best part with this blog post you will have a real idea of how much will cost you a 10 day trip to Paradise

Must-Visit Destinations in Costa Rica

Let’s dive right into our top picks for your Costa Rica family vacation itinerary:

Day 1: we arrive to the hotel in the evening and our hotel was less than half hour from airport. I relax Arrive to Liberia relax in hotel

Day 2: Begin your journey in Playa Tamarindo, spend time getting a surf lesson and relax in the golden sands and sparkling waters. Explore the charming town of Tamarindo in the evening, soaking in its vibrant atmosphere and sampling local cuisine.

Day 3: Head to Playa Langosta for another relaxing beach day. Don’t miss the chance to visit Baluas National Park, home to Giant Leatherback sea turtles and a diverse array of wildlife. Consider a horseback ride through the park for a unique perspective.

Day 4: Got to Hacienda Guachipilin takes about an hour and half. Experience adventure at Hacienda Guachipelin, where you can marvel at Chorreras Waterfall 

Day 5 :spend this day exploring other areas in the hacienda and do zip-lining tour. With seven zip lines, Tarzan swings, and rappelling, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Day 6: Get your adrenaline pumping with water rafting on the Rio Tenorio. Afterward, unwind at Poza Roja for a relaxing end to the day.

Day 7: Discover the beauty of Oropenza Waterfall and indulge in the rejuvenating Rio Negro Hot Springs. Combine nature hikes with soothing hot spring dips for a perfect day of relaxation.

Day 8: Dive into more waterfall adventures and hot spring relaxation. Costa Rica’s natural wonders are yours to explore and enjoy.

Chances are if you don’t live in Costa Rica or visit regularly, you have never heard of Playa Carrillo. But for those that frequent the country, you have probably discovered this hidden gem. In this post, we’ll tell you what makes the beach, Playa Carrillo.

Day 9: Visit explore Playa del coco, plays buena and plays bonito conchal beach go in fishing tour and peninsula Papagayo we left from playa Panama

Day 10: explore playa Hermosa and have a beach day and massages at the beach and ride water motorcycle. Spend a leisurely day at Playa Hermosa, where you can rent jet skis and splash in the crystal-clear waters. Don’t forget to take in the stunning coastal views and make memories to last a lifetime.

Is Costa Rica expensive?

That’s a common question among travelers planning a trip to this beautiful country. In this blog, I’ll break down everything you need to know about the cost of traveling in Costa Rica, focusing primarily on the travel budget aspect for a family traveling. From various accommodation options to overall expenses, Costa Rica is known for catering to travelers of all budgets. Whether you’re seeking luxury resorts or budget-friendly hostels, Costa Rica offers options for every type of traveler. If you’re looking for personalized budget planning and itinerary assistance, feel free to reach out to me! While it’s entirely possible to explore Costa Rica on a budget, let’s delve into the details of how much you can expect to spend, particularly during the high season. So, let’s dive in and address the question: Is Costa Rica expensive?

How much does it cost to travel to Costa Rica for a family of 4 per 10 days?

  • Currency: Colon: $1 = 0.0019 United States Dollar
  • Seasons: High season November to April (starting around thanksgiving ) Low season from May to November
  • Hotels/Airbnbs: $100 – $400
  • Luxury accommodations: $500 – $2,000
  • Per meal cost: $30- $50

Now, let’s break down the cost of your family adventure in Costa Rica:


Prices vary depending on the time of year, with September offering the cheapest fares. Be prepared to spend around $700 per person for round-trip flights. We visited in December so our flights were around $650 which was about $2600 for our family of four.


In the high season, expect to pay an average of $300-$500 per night for beachfront accommodations. Your total lodging expenses may range from $3,000 to $5,000 for a 10-ish day trip.

We stayed in per 3 nights at Occidental Tamarindo Resort over the New Years holiday, which is a peak time for sure. This is an all-inclusive resort and it ended up costing us about $2000 for three nights, which is pricey but we wanted to celebrate and have a relaxing experience.

The next Hotel we stayed at was Hacienda Guachipelin That was more like $380 per night and we stayed 4 nights for a total of $1520.

We also stayed at Papagayo Golden Palm Beach Resort which was about $400 per night, so for three nights we spent $1200. All together, we spent a total of $4720 per accomodation in high season. I absolutely believe you can make this cheaper.


Opt for centrally located hotels to minimize transportation costs. Budget approximately $150 each way for airport transfers and $100 for inter-hotel transportation.

The hotels were we stayed at were very well located except for the one in El Conchal. There we stayed 2 nights, and we spent $20 each way plus $100 for transportation from Tamarindo to Hacienda Guachipelin, the total was $440.


Plan to spend at least $25 per person per day for meals, which for our family of four came to about $1,000 for the duration of our stay. Mid-range restaurant prices range from $20 to $50 per meal for two people.

The first hotel meals were included so we didn’t spend much there total we spend about $150. For the rest of the days we spent about $100, resulting in a cost of $700.


Budget for adventure activities such as zip-lining ($65 per adult, $55 per child) and water rafting ($100 per person), totaling approximately $640.

Grand Total: $9,100 for 10 days, equivalent to $2,275 per person in high season or $910 per day

Plan Your Finances Wisely: Tips for Saving Money in Costa Rica

While Costa Rica offers incredible experiences, it’s essential to budget wisely and find ways to save money during your trip:

Flight Deals: Research flight prices and consider traveling during the off-peak season to save on airfare.

Early Accommodation Reserve your accommodations in advance to secure the best rates, and consider using credit card points for additional savings.

Public Transportation: Explore cost-effective transportation options such as buses and shared shuttles, especially for inter-city travel.

Choose Budget-Friendly Activities: Opt for public tours and free or low-cost attractions to stretch your vacation budget further.

Things I wish I knew about Costa Rica before I traveled

1. Make sure to carry enough cash:

While credit cards are widely accepted, having cash on hand can be convenient, especially in remote areas where ATMs may be scarce.

2. Costs can add up:

Despite its reputation as a budget-friendly destination, Costa Rica can be surprisingly expensive, especially during peak tourist seasons. Budget accordingly for accommodations, meals, transportation, and activities.

 3.Navigate Logistics with Ease

Addresses aren’t really a thing: Be prepared for vague directions when navigating Costa Rica. Familiarize yourself with landmarks and use GPS or offline maps to find your way around.

4.Consider transportation options:

Car rental may not be necessary if you’re primarily staying in one area and using taxis or ride-sharing services like Uber. However, for day trips or exploring remote areas, renting a car can offer flexibility.

5. Embrace the Local Environment

Expect encounters with wildlife everywhere: From playful monkeys to colorful birds, Costa Rica is teeming with biodiversity. Keep your camera ready and embrace the chance to spot exotic creatures in their natural habitats.

Tap water is safe to drink: Save money and reduce plastic waste by refilling reusable water bottles with tap water, which is safe to drink in most parts of Costa Rica.

6. Be Mindful of Weather and Seasons

Prepare for the climate while December to April typically brings dry weather, the rest of the year can be humid with occasional rain showers. Pack lightweight, breathable clothing and rain gear to stay comfortable.

Stay flexible with plans: Weather conditions can change rapidly in Costa Rica, so have backup activities or indoor options in case of inclement weather.

7. Optimize Your Itinerary for Family Fun

Explore diverse coastal regions: While both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts offer beautiful beaches, the Pacific Coast provides more options for families, including kid-friendly activities and accommodations.

Visit family-friendly attractions as National parks like Manuel Antonio and Monteverde offer opportunities for wildlife watching, hiking, and educational tours suitable for all ages.

8. Prioritize Safety and Health

Be aware of mosquito-borne illnesses: Dengue fever is a prevalent concern in Costa Rica, especially during the rainy season. Use insect repellent and protective clothing to minimize the risk of mosquito bites.

Consider travel insurance: Unexpected accidents or illnesses can happen during any trip. Invest in comprehensive travel insurance to ensure peace of mind and coverage for medical emergencies.

 9. Seek Authentic Experiences

Sample local cuisine: Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in Costa Rican dishes like gallo pinto (rice and beans), casado (traditional meal with rice, beans, and meat), and fresh tropical fruits. Explore markets and eateries for authentic culinary experiences.

Shop smart for souvenirs and avoid overpriced tourist shops and seek out local markets for unique souvenirs like artisan crafts, coffee, and chocolates at more affordable prices.

10. Respect Local Customs and Culture

Embrace Pura Vida: “Pura vida” isn’t just a phrase; it’s a way of life in Costa Rica. Slow down, relax, and immerse yourself in the laid-back vibe of the country.

Adjust to “Tico time”:Costa Ricans operate on their own schedule, which can be more relaxed than what you’re accustomed to. Embrace the slower pace and don’t stress about punctuality.

11. Plan for Unforeseen Circumstances

Stay connected: Download offline maps and essential travel apps before your trip, especially if you’ll be exploring remote areas with limited cell service.

Pack strategically: Bring essential items like sunscreen, insect repellent, and a basic first-aid kit. Consider the needs of your family, including any medications or special dietary requirements.

Lastly, Enjoy quality time together. Ultimately, the most valuable aspect of your Costa Rica vacation is the opportunity to bond as a family and create lifelong memories. Embrace the adventure and savor every moment together.

By following these tips and insights, you can plan a memorable and enjoyable 10-day Costa Rica itinerary for your family while managing costs effectively. Whether you’re exploring lush rainforests, relaxing on pristine beaches, or embarking on thrilling outdoor adventures, Costa Rica offers something for every member of your family to enjoy.

Are you ready to embark on your Costa Rica adventure? Pack your bags, gather your family, and get ready for an unforgettable journey in the land of Pura Vida! 


You may be interested on Costa Rica 10 days Itineraries

You can see my Costa Rica Trip here on my Instagram High lighghts

Are you gearing up for an amazing adventure in Costa Rica? With countless travel companies out there, it’s tough to know which ones will truly enhance your experience. But fret not! As a seasoned traveler who’s explored numerous countries and lived on multiple continents, I’ve curated a list of top-notch websites and resources to help you plan an unforgettable trip.

🗺️ Accommodations : My go-to for hotels is Booking, and Tripadvisor . For vacation rentals, I often compare options on Vrbo and Airbnb or Holiday swap

💪 Travel Insurance: Don’t embark on any journey without travel insurance! I rely on visitors coverage for its affordable rates and comprehensive coverage, including for adventure sports.

🚠 Tours + Activities: For the best selection and easy booking with local operators, I turn to Viator, owned by Trip Advisor.

🚗 Car Rentals: kiwi taxis, intuit travel, and DiscoverCars is my go-to platform for comparing and booking rental cars worldwide, thanks to its stellar reputation. Rentalcars.

📱 Easy phone plans abroad: Simplify your connectivity with airolo, offering eSIMs for seamless phone coverage while traveling—no need for a physical SIM card or disrupting your current plan (unless you choose to!).

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I am Rocio

Hello there! Thank you for stopping by. My name is Rocio, and I’m a Latina mother with a wanderlust. I believe that family trips are important in forming well-rounded kids. Even when you have kids, you can still travel, so I help busy parents figure out how. Through my blog, Real world Mami, I want to give you tips that will help you plan epic trips to both well-known and less-known places around the world. Happy Travels!

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