Free things to do in Costa Rica with Kids

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Who doesn’t like saving money when traveling, and even more if you are traveling with kids? Everybody knows that traveling with little ones can be expensive, so any opportunity to save cash while doing fun things is welcome, isn’t it? If so, this list of the best free things to do in Costa Rica with kids is for you!

A challenge most parents face is that children can get bored quickly, they need either action or things/places that capture their attention or keep them busy. The age of kids and their tastes vary a lot, but we are sure that the activities we share here will allow you and your kids to have an outstanding Costa Rica family vacation while keeping money in your pocket.

Having a blast on Costa Rican beaches

Both the Caribbean as well as the Pacific coast of Costa Rica are blessed with countless beautiful and unique beaches, and the best part is that you don’t need to pay any entrance fee to enjoy them. The provinces of Guanacaste, Puntarenas, and Limon are the go-to regions where the most amazing beaches in Costa Rica are located. Each coastline has its own distinct charm. Whether you decide to head to the Caribbean or the Pacific, one thing is sure, you will have an unforgettable time and won’t be disappointed. 

Building sand castles, making sand balls for a good fight, chasing one another all over the shore, playing with waves, walking along the beach, encountering hermit crabs and iguanas, and watching pelicans dive into the ocean to catch their lunch are just a few of the different ways that you and your kids can have a blast at Costa Rica’s beaches. 

This is really a no-brainer regarding fun and free options that kids will love. Some of the most popular beaches in the Caribbean are Cahuita, Cocles, and Puerto Viejo, while Tamarindo Beach, Conchal, Playa Grande, Flamingo, and Coco are a few we can mention that are located in the Pacific Ocean (Guanacaste Region). If white sand beaches are what you want, then you can visit Playa Bonita, Playa Penca, and Playa Blanca, among others.

Hanging out on the gorgeous beaches in Costa Rica is a great way to spend the day with kids. You can even go swimming or snorkeling!


Watching the Sunset

As simple and yet poetic as it may sound, watching sunsets in Costa Rica is without question a spectacle you should experience with your kids, especially when being at the beach. 

Anywhere in this paradise, you can see mesmerizing sunsets, but the west coast of Costa Rica offers the best spots, in our humble opinion. The purple, pink, orange, and red colors displayed in the sky during the last hour before the sunset are worth admiring. The sky looks like a living canvas, constantly changing tones as the sun goes down. 

We invite you to set apart the time to watch this free display of natural beauty and take the most memorable photos ever. Some of our favorite beaches to watch the last sunlight are Flamingo, Tamarindo, Conchal, and El Coco, among others.


Hiking and swimming at Minas del Aguacate

Translated as “Avocado Mines” and located in the Alajuela province, in the district of San Mateo (26 miles from the Juan Santamaria International Airport), there is this beautiful and hidden spot. 

To find it, you get to the Quebrada Honda bridge, pass a red gate, and from there, you continue to climb on a trail right next to the river until you reach the entrance to the Aguacate mines

The mines are 1197 feet deep, and yes, there are bats inside, but they won’t harm you. After going through the mine, you go down to the natural swimming pools and waterfalls, which are gorgeous, and there are even natural water slides for extra fun!

The “Avocado Mines” are a unique place where kids can swim, splash, and play!



When was the last time you took your kids on a picnic? If it has been a while or even if you recently did, it is a simple yet enjoyable activity and one of the best free things to do in Costa Rica with kids.

A picnic involves two different factors, food and a good spot. Buying food or getting groceries and preparing some snacks are both excellent options. Finding a good and free picnic spot in Costa Rica is not difficult, especially if you are in the Guanacaste region.

Having a picnic is an awesome thing to do with kids that’s free (aside from the food!) and plenty of fun.

In this part of the country, the number of beaches that you can choose from as your picnic setting is quite large. What better place to enjoy a sound bite than the beautiful blue ocean and the soothing sound of waves?


Snorkeling at Calzon de Pobre Beach

If you and your kids have your snorkeling basic equipment, you shouldn’t have to spend a cent on this superb and fun activity. Snorkeling, especially in deep waters around islands, can be expensive and maybe not be the safest option for kids. 

We suggest you visit the peaceful waters of Calzon de Pobre Beach instead. Its location is ideal if you see several beaches since it is situated in the Guanacaste canton of Carrillo, in the middle of Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa.

Calzon de Pobre Beach has calm, tranquil waters, so it’s a great spot for snorkeling with kids.

It is perfect for snorkeling since its tide is very calm, its water is crystal clear and turquoise, and it has few stones.


Bird Watching

For many reasons, Costa Rica is the perfect eco-destination, and bird watching is one of them without question. Located in the center of the Americas, Costa Rica is home to an impressive diversity of exotic birds. Barely any spot on the planet can hold so many bird species. So far, 903 Costa Rican bird species have been recorded, and the number keeps growing.

If your kids love spotting animals in the wild, they will be delighted with all the birds they see while you are “out and about” exploring Costa Rica!

Even when the best bet to see the most unparalleled birds are inside national parks, you can still spot many species in the areas surrounding such parks and pretty much at any beach, volcano, forest, lake, or park in Costa Rica. 

Find a Place to Stay Near These Free Things to Do in Costa Rica with Kids

We hope you can take advantage of the alternatives shared here. We are sure they will provide unforgettable experiences, produce many smiles and lovely memories, and leave you with the satisfaction of saving money without compromising the fun you and your family deserve.

Suppose you need a trustworthy site to have the best options to book a great place when visiting Costa Rica. In that case, we highly recommend checking out our wide variety of Costa Rica vacation rentals in Guanacaste.

Pura Vida!

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