(San José, Arenal, Manuel Antonio)
Carefully created with support from luxury family travel connoisseur Amie O'Shaughnessy of Ciao Bambino, this customizable kidtastic adventure through Costa Rica is ideal for children of any age and the young at heart! Full to the brim with lush rainforests, active volcanoes, adrenaline adventures, exotic animals, and kid friendly hotels, explore the tropical utopias of San Jose, Arenal, and Manuel Antonio. Led by expert private guide and driver, travel to magnificent waterfalls, enjoy a safari excursion as you float lazily down the tranquil Lower Peñas Blancas River, stroll the white sand beaches of Manual Antonio Park looking for the endangered squirrel monkey, and zipline your way through treetop paradises full of wildlife. Keep small hands busy and growing minds learning with a visit to the traditional rancho and organic farm run by the family of Dona Mara! An eco-educational adventure disguised as just plain fun, learn about sustainable farming, Costa Rican culture and family life from this local clan as you make tortillas and join them for lunch. Enjoy a catamaran ride surrounded by playful dolphins and shy sea turtles, stopping to snorkel in the refreshing waters of a scenic jungle bay. Spend your nights in a variety of family-friendly hotels set in the heart of steamy rainforests and coffee plantations, offering spectacular views of Arenal Volcano. Featuring private expert guides, drivers and 24/7 Kensington support, this is a worry-free way to share the captivating spirit of Costa Rica with your children. Speak to a Destination Expert to learn in more detail how we can customize this tour to suit your family’s individual interests, style, schedule and budget. Pura Vida!
Upon arrival you will be greeted by our local representative, who will lead you to your private transfer.
Relax during your short, 30 minute private airport transfer in San Jose.
A welcome package with your vouchers, a city map, and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn is an organic shade grown coffee plantation with a world class 13 room Inn located in the middle of lush colorful gardens, framed by awe inspiring views of the Central Valley below. Staying at a working coffee plantation makes for authentic glimpse into the true Costa Rica. The recipient of numerous awards and accolades for its extraordinary quality and as a global leader in responsible tourism, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn is the perfect choice for discerning and knowledgeable travelers who want to combine the finest in exotic comfort with certified sustainability.
Your driver-guide will meet you and travel north, towards la Fortuna and Arenal Volcano, via the mountains of the Central Valley and a visit to La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Ascend up the central valley mountain range, noticing a change in temperature and vegetation, the landscape dotted with coffee plantations, ferns, and strawberry farms.Continue to La Paz Waterfall Garden. A local expert at the park will guide you to a spectacular waterfall in the middle of the rainforest. Inside the park, visit the serpentarium, hummingbird gallery, toucans, a butterfly garden, and a frog exhibit, where we will get an up close and personal encounter with the many animals that are housed at the La Paz rescue center and animal exhibit. Lunch is included at La Paz.After lunch, continue the trip north towards the Arenal Volcano, and the town of Arenal.
(Please be checked out of your hotel and ready to depart with your luggage packed, as we will not be returning to your San Jose hotel after the La Paz Waterfall Gardens)
Suggested departure time from San Jose hotel is 8:00 AM
With a spectacular view of the Arenal Volcano, natural hot and cold springs, four unique dining experiences, and an impressive full service Spa, The Springs Resort and Spa at Arenal promises to overwhelm you in every aspect of quality, service and design. The resort perches one thousand feet above the Arenal Valley on a mountain ridge just six kilometers north of the active volcano. The higher altitude relative to other hotels in the area allows for not only incomparable views of the volcano, the lush valley and the surrounding towns that sparkle at night, but also access to the area’s famous prevailing breezes. In fact, the name Arenal is an indigenous word meaning “Window of the Wind”. With an average daytime high temperature of 80°F in the shade and nighttime lows averaging 70°F, you are sure to enjoy countless comfortable hours in your balcony hammock, al fresco dining, or sipping a frothy tropical cocktail in one of the spring pools.
The Club Rio Outdoor Centre offers a wide variety of options for everyone! Choose from any of the following activities: inflatable river kayaking, river tubing, horseback riding, mountain biking, guided nature tours or the climbing wall and ropes challenge course, hiking trails, river pools or a tour of the Jungle Cat & Wildlife Sanctuary. Please note that these activities must be booked 30 days prior to arrival, and are not included in your tour price.
Nature lovers will enjoy a 2 hour safari style float trip down the lower Peñas Blancas River. The pace allows you to enjoy the tranquility of the rainforest soaking in all the sights and sounds of this tropical setting. Your expert bilingual guides will provide you with descriptions and information of local plant and animal species while en route, be sure to keep an eye out for monkeys, youcans, Jesus Christ Lizards, caimans, iguanas and a wide assortment of bird species. After the safari enjoy an educational and fun visit to Doña Mara's Home and learn how to make tortillas! Doña Mara and her husband will welcome you with a tropical drink (pineapple, orange, coconut water) at her “rancho” (like a gazebo) where she will prepare a delicious traditional lunch on her rustic wood-fired stove. While lunch is cooking, travelers are offered to try their hands at making tortillas out of the fresh ground corn masa (dough). Doña Mara shows her guests how to flatten the masa into perfect circles ready for cooking. The tortillas are served with lunch to top off the afternoon. You will have the opportunity to practice Spanish, and learn about the Costa Rican Culture while enjoying your lunch!
Costa Rican farmers have begun to understand the value of organic and sustainable farming in the marketplace. Coffee is a major crop in Costa Rica, numerous coffee farmers offer organic beans or have started using less to no chemicals to become more sustainable.
Although you will be travelling to Manuel Antonio today, you can't leave Arenal without ziplining!
Sky Trek starts with a tour in the Sky Tram to reach the top of the Arenal reserve. Then begin a tour full of adventure and adrenaline high above the treetops, using a system of zip lines, that allow you to observe the rainforest and its landscape from a different perspective. The tour includes 8 cross-sectional cables that have a combined total length of 1.7 miles with distances from 100 to 2460 feet, and a maximum height of 660 feet. This vantage point, high above the tree tops, provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the Arenal volcano and the lake below.
Animals are at their best early in the morning, so we recommend doing this trip as early as possible.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Manuel Antonio. Along the way stop at the "crocodile bridge" to watch the local wildlife.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Arenas Del Mar is located on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica about 2 miles from the nearest airstrip located in the town of Quepos. The resort is situated on a cliff with direct access to two pristine sand beaches: Espadilla Beach and Playitas Beach. The property overlooks the spectacular Manuel Antonio National Park and is located within walking distance of Costa Rica’s most visited national park. Guest rooms at Arenas Del Mar offer stunning views of Manuel Antonio National Park, the Pacific Ocean, the properties secluded beaches and surrounding rainforests. Enjoy breathtaking views from your private deck while listening to the sounds of the rainforest and crashing waves. The Arenas Del Mar is committed to sustainability in all practices at the property including the culinary offerings. The staff buys most of the food locally, and whenever possible organic products are used. The property has a hydroponic garden onsite that provides some of the greens on the menu. A variety of on property activities are made available for guests to enjoy including bird watching, rainforest trekking, surfing lessons, white water rafting and much more.
You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Manuel Antonio National Park for a private guided tour. This scenic park attracts over 160,000 people each year to its wide beaches with troops of monkeys that frequent the area. The park consists of mangrove swamps, primary rainforests and marshy woodlands and is bordered by the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. It is a haven for over 100 mammal species including the highly endangered squirrel monkey, or mono titi.
Manuel Antonio National Park was established in 1972 because the people of Costa Rica decided they wanted to preserve, for future generations, one of the most beautiful and bio-diverse areas in the world. Although it is the country's smallest national park, the stunning beauty and diversity of wildlife in its 683 hectares is unequaled. Manuel Antonio contains a charming combination of rain forest, beaches and coral reefs. These beaches are the most beautiful in the country, lined with lush forest, and the snorkeling is excellent too.
Enjoy time at leisure in Manuel Antonio. There are many optional activities you can choose from during your stay here. Please let us know if you wish to add any of the following optional activities (not included in tour price): white water rafting, zip canopy tour, Nauyaca Waterfalls by horseback, catamaran sunset sail, ATV rentals and more!
You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the tour start point. Your adventure aboard a catamaran begins as you sail down the scenic coast, past the beautiful beaches and islands of Manuel Antonio National Park. As the boat glides quietly under sail, you are likely to see dolphins which frequently swim in the boat's wake. Occasional whales and sea turtles are a special thrill, and the abundance of ever present sea birds is enjoyed on this cruise. Snorkel with the many colorful fish in Bisanz Bay. The cruise will stop in a scenic jungle bay where you can swim or snorkel in the calm, refreshing water. All snorkel gear is provided - just bring a towel and your bathing suit with you. Snacks and juice will be served onboard.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to San José.
Your Kensington Tours private guide ensures that you will have a fantastic and an unforgettable experience in Costa Rica!
With a spectacular view of Arenal Volcano, natural hot and cold springs, four unique dining experiences, and an impressive full service Spa, The Springs Resort and Spa at Arenal promises to overwhelm you in every aspect of quality, service and design. Crafted with children, families and the young at heart in mind, this award winning luxury resort makes for a kidtastic Costa Rica adventure. The resort is perched one thousand feet above the Arenal Valley on a mountain ridge just six kilometers north of the active volcano. The higher altitude relative to other hotels in the area allows for not only incomparable views of the volcano, the lush valley and the surrounding towns that sparkle at night, but also access to the area’s famous prevailing breezes. In fact, the name Arenal is an indigenous word meaning “Window of the Wind”. With an average daytime high temperature of 80°F in the shade and nighttime lows averaging 70°F, you are sure to enjoy countless comfortable hours in your balcony hammock, al fresco dining, or sipping a frothy tropical cocktail in one of their spring pools.
Merrel Bowles ,
November 07, 2013
"I would highly recommend this company for overseas travel. We had personal drivers that spoke perfect English and were also very knowledgeable in conversation pertaining to their country. Drivers were always early and eager to please. Your wish was their command!!!Every tour included educated guides who knew how to make our experience fun and exciting! I loved having personal drivers and guides, as well as many inclusive meals. We will definitely use this company for future travels."
April 09, 2013
"Our Costa Rica trip was amazing. The whole family thinks its the best we've ever taken! Kensington did an excellent job of organizing everything. The two hotels they picked were amazing.
Arenal -- The Springs Resort & Spa was almost too good since as soon as the family saw it they wanted to cancel activities so they could take full advantage of all it offered. We ultimately did cancel the safari to give us a free day to spend a day at the spa, pools and Club Rio (riding the river in innertubes!). The activities Kensington setup were excellent and very adventurous. Our favorite was canyoneering (repelling), We were all terrified at the first drop-off! It's more thrilling the zip lining (also lots of fun) and river rafting (a blast as well).
Manuel Antonio -- The Preserve at Los Altos was very nice. It was like staying in a 3 bedroom apartment at a boutique hotel (same feel as Athenum in London but nicer). The drive to get there was a bit long but worth it when our driver made a surprise stop at the the "crodillio bridge". The tour through Manuel Antonio National Park is a must do for nature lovers (3 types of monkeys, sloths, etc). Our guide was excellent. If you go MA NP, try Kapi Kapi for dinner.
I'd highly recommend using Kensington (Brandi was our rep) for a Costa Rica trip. Thanks for hooking us up with them.
L Huber ,
April 03, 2013
We returned yesterday from our wonderful Costa Rican vacation and I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed it. We loved staying at the El Silencio (the kids would have liked to stay even longer so we could have taken some of the nature hikes). Being surrounded by the cloud forest was an amazing sensation that really helped us to feel that we were in a completely different world and was a perfect way to begin the trip. Maria Lucia was a very kind tour guide and showed us the all sites in a huge day (the waterfalls, Poas volcano, the coffee plantation & Sarchi). The staff at El Silencio was wonderful and Jeff and I very much enjoyed the food and the very elaborate wine tasting there.
In La Fortuna the activities ruled. We loved everything, the exhilarating waterfall rappelling, the zip lining (& tiger swing - the kids LOVED IT) the volcano hike and we had a FANTASTIC time on the river safari with Gerald and his friend Tom. Gerald was a great guide and was able to share many stories while letting us see the wildlife. We saw a spectacular Toucan flock and of course the monkeys were a huge hit. Ending up at the farm was a fun end note to the trip. Of course we enjoyed the hot springs at the Tabacon - they are pretty amazing. Jeff and I had a chance to have a massage at the Tabacon spa and it was spectacular. The service at the hotel was lovely and our room did have a beautiful view of the volcano. I think the hot springs & spa are far superior at the Tabacon.
Alex drove us from both El Silencio to La Fortuna and then from La Fortuna to Punta Islita (that is a lot of driving and he did a great job - he was so friendly and made the travelling very enjoyable). On the way to La Fortuna he made a point of showing us the Iguana restaurant and it was a great wayside stop for everyone.
Punta Islita was stunning. Our villa Ilan Ilan was ideal, the view and the setting were spectacular. The kids loved the pool (when they weren't swimming & playing in the ocean), Jeff loved being able to finally drive around a bit like a native (the villa came with a small 4 wheel car), and I enjoyed waking up every morning to see the sunrise over the cliffs at the ocean's edge, and hear the incredible variety of birds (and on the last day even the howler monkeys). We enjoyed so many of the activities the hotel had to offer. Andrey & Hector and the whole staff were so warm and hospitable. They really worked hard and made every effort to make our stay so much fun. Hector helped us plan some more zip lining, surf lessons, a dolphin sighting/fishing boat trip and a sunset horseback ride which was the perfect way to wrap up the trip.
Ronald picked us up and got us to the airport in plenty of time. Ronald was very interested in showing us the wildlife as we drove through the different areas and we really enjoyed that.
Everywhere we went the people were absolutely wonderful, kind, and proud to show us their country and it made our trip spectacular.
Erika, thank you for all you did to help make the trip such a huge success.
Anthony Sokol ,
March 11, 2013
We are home with many good memories from our stay in Panama.
We found your guides and drivers to be always on time and very instructive, especially in David/Bouquette/Amistad. We liked the Panamonte Hotel in Bouquette.
Since the Amistad Park was closed due to rain on the day we arrived, we toured a Race horse breeding farm, Cerre Punte, which was magnificent and might be a consideration for your future guests
Your choice of itinerary in Panama City was quite informative and complete considering the limited time we had.
All in all, we were quite pleased with Kensington Tours in general.
Anthony and Barbara
Karen Werner ,
February 12, 2013
P and I want to thank you so much for all of your help in setting up our trip! It was a wonderful week in Panama--we loved every minute. And we especially appreciated you taking care of the hotel reservation glitch. Your partner in Panama was really great to work with--they did a wonderful job and were very professional. Everything worked like clockwork with them. We look forward to working with you again!
K and P Werner "
January 13, 2013
"My husband and I are "Boomers" and veteran world-wide travelers, from our early days with Eurail passes and VW Vans to the present! As such, we are not content with the group tours that "herd" you around and show you the tourist photo-op sites. However, as a busy medical professional I don't have time to carefully put together the type of trip that we want to have in places we have never been before. What a delight and relief to have discovered Kensington tours! Our trip to Costa Rica was the epitome of personalized, professional, and exceptional service. All our drivers and guides were wonderful - Barbara Franz, our naturalist guide in Manuel Antonio National Park was a standout. Our hotels and lodges in San Jose, Tortuguero, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio were unique, lovely, and very comfortable. We are recommending Kensington to all our friends and are already trying to decide where we will go next. Maybe Africa, maybe New Zealand! We cannot say enough about Kensington's commitment to excellence! When it can be hard to wade through the mediocre, such professionalism is refreshing. Thank you Brandi for all you did to make our trip memorable!"
jack Lester ,
February 06, 2013
"Had a wonderful experience with Kensington and our agent Nella. Everything went very smoothly and we loved the accommodations. The trip was an adventure we will never forget and Kensington made it a worry free trip.
Kimberly Dellinger ,
August 22, 2012
Ariana & I absolutely LOVED our trip to Costa Rica. This trip was even better than we had hoped or expected. The quality of the different hotels was excellent, and I was quite frankly surprised at how "deluxe" our rooms were when I was expecting more "average" type of lodging. We were thrilled & loved each place we stayed and we have told all our friends & family about this exceptional customer service. The tour guides were AMAZING, so knowledgable, friendly, spoke great English, & were willing to help us learn Spanish & the culture. We were so happy that we were able to do the different activities-- Canyon Rappelling in Arenal, Venado Cave Tour near Arenal, ziplining in Monteverde, The Springs, and the different rainforest tours. All these activities-- and the other activities along the way-- were WONDERFUL, and we felt very safe and well-cared for during our excursions. The travel arrangements & private vehicles were great- we were very comfortable & the drivers were very professional & prompt. We were treated so well that we felt like royalty!
I am telling all my friends, co-workers, family members and my patients ( I work in a dental office) about how wonderful the Costa Rica trip was with my daughter & how great the service & planning was with Kensington Tours. I have given your name to several people & hope that you'll get referrals from those I've talked with! I am definitely planning on traveling abroad again and plan to go through you and Kensington Tours when I do. My next goal is to plan a trip (maybe Europe or return to Costa Rica?) for my teenage son & I to do together in the next year or so.
My sincerest gratitude to you for making our Costa Rica trip SPECTACULAR! Well done! Below, you will see my responses to the survey (as you can see, I'm not very prompt about checking email, but eventually I get around to it!) you sent a few days after we arrived back home. Let me know if there's any problems reading my responses-- I rated everything "excellent" because that's what it was/is!
Kimberly (& Ariana) Dellinger
Dana H ,
July 09, 2012
"The trip was excellent and everything was very smooth. The hotels & guides were all great. I would definitely travel with Kensington Tours again & recommend it to family & friends! Additionally, I would like to start thinking about planning my Africa trip. I am interested in Kenya & Tanzania."
M. T.S. ,
June 27, 2012
"Erika, I wanted to let you know how much the boys and I enjoyed our trip to Costa Rica. You did an excellent job setting up our lodging and activities. Everything ran smoothly and all the people that we had contact with were very friendly and professional.
The boys and I loved the rafting trip. Your team in Costa Rica was exceptional. We particularly liked Edgar.
Another highlight was our walking tour in Monteverde. Roberta was a very interesting and knowledgeable guide. We saw some very rare birds. I would highly recommend him to any future travelers.
All the hotels were great. Our favorite was the Springs Resort and next the Monteverde Lodge. The Four Seasons was nice. I would definitely use Kensington Tours again and return to Costa Rica.
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