Luxury family volunteer vacation Costa Rica

Costa Rica specializes in eco-luxury, wildlife and adventure, assuring you and your kids a great family vacation you will treasure, especially when combined with one of our meaningful give-back volunteer projects. Whether you are ziplining through the dense canopy or observing a chance encounter with a sloth, this high-energy country offers a dazzling array of fun experiences that your entire family can enjoy. Here are some great activities you can experience to complement your time making a difference on a family volunteer vacation in Costa Rica with your kids.


Nothing compares to the excitement in flying through the tree canopy hundreds of feet in the air and getting a birds eye view of the lush green forest below. You can experience this all over Costa Rica.

“The views from above were hair-raising and heart stopping but so stunning! At the same time, flying above the large canopy of the forest was astounding for the kids and the kids at heart!” Samantha, New York


Surfing in Costa Rica should be in everyone’s travel itinerary. The Pacific coast is best and Guanacaste our favorite, given how close great breaks for all abilities are to superb eco-luxury accommodation, such as Punta Islita, Andaz Papagayo and the soon to be opened tented camp Kasiiya (watch this space!). Manuel Antonio is another great spot, especially as wildlife is abundant here whereas it is not in Guanacaste. Kids can learn surfing in minutes and they’ll be up and riding the small waves in no time!

White water rafting

White-water rafting is another activity that can be enjoyed at all levels and ages, even kids. Helmets and life vests are required and safety is a priority everywhere. Ride in inflatable boats with your guide and enjoy the intense dips, turns and splashes, and the thrill of surging river flows through narrow rocky channels! There are also expanses where you drift and recover, when you can observe the nature – trees, birds, monkeys and even sloths. Our favorite rafting experience is on the Pacuare River, where you raft Grade II-III rapids to the sublime Pacuare Lodge, and after a day or three of zip-lining, hiking and cultural immersion, get back on the raft and experience a more thrilling adventure, up to Grade IV.

Coffee and chocolate

Costa Rican coffee is arguably the best in the world, and tours of fair-trade coffee farms are fascinating, as you learn not only about coffee but also the biodiversity of an organic farm. Cacao grows well here too, and chocolate is – surprise surprise – a big hit for all ages. You can learn all about the cacao bean and see how it is transformed into bars, you can even create your own bar to savor.


Walk along nature trails and hanging bridges with an expert guide, observe wildlife such as capuchin monkeys gliding from the trees, howler monkeys making a racket, raccoons, coatis and of course sloths. Night walks reveal extraordinary frogs, toads and snakes. Walk the serene beaches and spot crabs and find beautiful shells. Head out onto the water with Hands Up Holidays and you can see spinner dolphins, turtles and even hammerhead sharks – go with a marine biologist and support their conservation work. Volcanoes are another highlight of Costa Rica, from the perfect cone-shaped Arenal, to the vast crater of Poas where you need to wear hard hats as it is still active.

Giving Back

Inspire your children to be world-changers and experience a family volunteer vacation in Costa Rica. There are many ways to help in Costa Rica. These include:

  • Caring for animals at a wildlife rescue center: prepare meals for monkeys, parrots, raccoons, peccaries and more, feed them, maintain their enclosures, create enrichments and assist the vet on his daily rounds
  • You and your kids, together with the locals, can help patrol the beaches at night caring for the turtles, maintaining the hatchery and also releasing the baby turtles in the ocean when they are a viable size
  • Renovate a children’s center
  • Assist at a recycling center, sorting the materials
  • Help at a medical clinic – even older kids can help with basic health tests, taking notes of consultations, inputting data or helping in the clinic.

These are experiences your kids will remember forever and add a new, enriching dimension to your travel experience.

Your takeaway

Costa Rica is a wonderful place and there is so much to experience, including hot springs, waterfalls, parks and volcanoes. There is nothing like sharing unique experiences and thrilling adventures with your kids, especially when you complement these with one or more volunteer opportunities so that you can leave a legacy and be the change.

Seeing your children conquering their fears, and expanding their minds are what travel is all about. Costa Rica is a superb destination for families.

Hands Up Holidays’ travel specialists know there is so much to discover in Costa Rica and can advise you on the places to explore, adventures to try and experience. They can prepare a tailor-made luxury program just for you and your family to get the most out of your vacation and make a lasting difference in Costa Rica.
Interested? Contact a consultant by emailing or calling us at +1 201 984 5372 or +44 207 193 1062.
Read more about meaningful luxury family adventures in Costa Rica here.
Or get your Free Guide to Making Luxury Family Trips Meaningful here.


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