Exploring Costa Rica en famille in June

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of May 7-13, 1998
Exploring Costa Rica en famille in June
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Exploring Costa Rica en famille in June
Question: We’re considering taking our two kids to Costa Rica in early June for a one-and-a-half week trip. Rainforest, wildlife, snorkeling/diving are high on our list of things to do. We recognize it’s probably not the best time of year to go, but would appreciate any advice or references you can offer. Thanks in advance.

Mark Williams
Golden, Colorado

Tourists along Rio Tortugero in a
Costa Rican rain forest

Adventure Adviser: May through November is the rainy season in Costa Rica, meaning that in June some areas of the country, namely Tortuguero on the Caribbean side, receive an average of 52 inches. The good folks in Costa Rica, however, like to refer to this seven-month period as the “green” season rather than the rainy season because it’s definitely still possible to travel through the country and enjoy the lush rainforests and rich wildlife. The one caveat to this general rule-of-thumb, however, is that we happen to be in an el Niño year which generally raises havoc in Central America because the warming of the seas in the Pacific causes heavy rains. To find out the extent to which el Niño is affecting Costa Rica, check with the State Department traveler’s hotline at 202-647-5225.

One particularly family-friendly way to see Costa Rica is on a Temptress Adventure Cruise. The seven-night voyage sails round-trip from Puntarenas on the Pacific Coast. Sea kayaking, snorkeling, waterskiing, and guided nature hikes are part of the package and you’ll also do some birdwatching in Corcovado National Park and search for squirrel monkeys at Manuel Antonia National Park. In addition to the activities, meals, alcohol, laundry, and shore excursions are also included in the price. The 185-foot Temptress Explorer is by no means a floating carnival — it only carries 99 passengers, most of which are there for the scenery, not for an on-board casino. The cost of this excursion for your entire family will be approximately $5,970. For more information call Pleasant Holidays at 800-242-9244. Other resources: Costa Rica Experts (800-827-9046), as the name implies, offers a lengthy list of unique itineraries. Call for their free catalog. La Paloma Lodge (011-506-239-0954) in Drake Bay offers a 15-percent discount to kids under 14, with packages starting at $625, which includes transportation, meals, guided tours to Corcovado and Cano Island. Another resource to consider is Moon Travel Guide’s Costa Rica Handbook, available at most major bookstores for $20.

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