Costa Rica is Central America’s answer to New Zealand: small place, huge adrenaline rush. With surfing beaches, cloud forests, rainforests, eco lodges, and active volcanos crammed into a country the size of West Virginia, it’s no wonder Costa Rica has been on the eco-tourism map for nearly 30 years. But thanks to a recent surge in zip lining, rafting, and canyoneering, its focus has shifted from budget-conscious backpackers and active couples to adventurous families looking for more than just a lazy beach vacay.
Maybe it’s the headline-grabbing drug woes in Mexico and the high costs of the Caribbean, but lately it seems like everyone I talk to is decamping to Costa Rica with the kiddos to get in on the action. If your idea of a tropical vacation involves more than lolling poolside with a fruity drink while the kids play Marco Polo, check out these three itineraries, custom made for adventurers of all ages.