If you’re planning a family vacation to Costa Rica and/or Tamarindo, then this guide’s for you. From families with kids to multi-generational groups, we have what you need to plan a trip heavy on fun, family, and bonding.

Our Top Costa Rica Family Vacation Rentals & Group Activities in Tamarindo

take an extended family vacation in Costa Rica

The family that plays together, enjoys vacation together!

When it comes to group and/or family vacations, success often boils down to balancing your group’s varied activity levels, interests, and travel styles. You’ll probably start by looking for Costa Rica family vacation rentals that meet at least your basic needs and hopefully fulfill many of your wishlist items. Then, you’ll transition into what you’ll do and where.

It’s a lot but it’s exciting. Quick reminder: We’re always here to help. (Concierge Cris is a literal pro at balancing everyone’s needs and would-love-to-haves!) But to get you started, here are a few of our favorite family and group-friendly activities (jump down for Costa Rica family vacation rentals!).

Tamarindo Activities for Group & Family Vacations

As soon as you go down the rabbit hole of activities, adventures, attractions, and all other manner of things to do in Costa Rica, you’re almost immediately overwhelmed. The sheer variety – and then, the variety within the varieties – is staggering.

Don’t let yourself fall prey to FOMO (fear of missing out): It’s great to say “no” to the activities that won’t suit your family or group, whether due to travel style, interests, physical activity levels, or age (many high-adventure tours have lower age limits for kids). To help guide you in the right direction, here are eight of our favorite family-friendly activities that are high on fun but not too extreme to please the majority.

Catamaran Sailing

Tamarindo bar-restaurants offer excellent sunset views

There’s nothing quite like a Tamarindo sunset, and that’s why we know there’s nothing quite like our Tamarindo sunset tours. Don’t let your family miss out!

There’s almost no easier way to please your group or family than booking a catamaran sail. Available as private or standard cruises, in the morning or afternoon (sunset sail), these Tamarindo mainstays are popular for a reason: they’re a lot of fun!

Gather together and board the catamaran, to set sail for your snorkeling destination. Your skilled captain will choose the day’s secluded beach and cove, where you’ll anchor for a few hours. Grab your snorkel gear, your noodles, and off you go on a guided snorkel tour, where, with just a bit of luck, you’ll have a chance to spot puffer fish, starfish, octopus, manta rays, and other undersea life.

Snacks and meals are included, and usually include tropical fare of guacamole, refried beans and chips, fresh fruit, veggies and dip, and other refreshments throughout the cruise. If you choose the afternoon/sunset sail, you’ll snack and sip as you watch a blazing sun disappear over the horizon. It’s an unforgettable moment to spend together!

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Zip Lining

Zip Lining

If you polled most people on what comes to mind when they think “Costa Rica” and “adventure,” chances are excellent that zip lining would be in the top-3 responses. There’s a reason for that.

One of Costa Rica’s original adventures, this high-adrenaline (9 cables stretching as long as 600 meters!) tour offers views into thick forest canopies and sky-high treetops – spots that we humans rarely frequent. Add to that the sensation of flying paired with excellent views and wildlife sightings (including red macaws, falcons, howler monkeys, iguanas, and more!), and you have the recipe for a quintessential family travel experience.

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Buena Vista Adventure Combo

Waterslide in Costa Rica

Have you ever seen such an exhilarating and once-in-a-lifetime waterslide?

If your group is game for a two-hour drive, then this adventure combo tour is more than worth it. Head inland and into the wilds of Rincón de la Vieja Volcano and National Park, where scenic cattle hacienda meets volcanic foothills and a mountain retreat. These panoramic views alone are worth the trip…

Of course, you’re in for a lot more than scenery. The exhilaration begins with a zipline canopy tour(appropriate for kids through kids-at-heart); be sure to take in the sweeping panoramas from your treetop perch! Then, you’ll horseback ride through a traditional Costa Rican hacienda, before heading out on hiking trails that lead to a pristine waterfall.

And that’s where it really gets good because, right here, you can all ride the 400-meter jungle waterslide that you may have seen featured online. Yes, it’s as exciting and as fun as it looks! What an adrenaline rush. After all the excitement, your entire group will appreciate recouping in the onsite thermal hot springs, fed by mineral-rich waters and heated by Rincón de la Vieja volcano. There’s also a sauna and mineral mud bath!

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Sport Fishing

playa junquillal fishing

There’s a reason Tamarindo is world-famous for its sports fishing! Can you say “billfish” five times fast?

Did you know that Tamarindo is one of the world’s most famous sportfishing destinations? That’s because our warm ocean waters host some of the best sport and fighting fish in the world – and the season lasts all year long. Whenever you’re here, there’s something to catch!

Let’s start with what’s on the hook: mahi-mahi, red snapper, yellowfin tuna, jacks, roosterfish, rainbow fish, sailfish, and a lot more. Nearshore, offshore, half-day, full-day – hey, even a 3/4 day! Because sportfishing in Tamarindo is extremely versatile and it’s all about what you want to do, catch, eat, and conquer.

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ATV Adventure

Tamarindo ATV tour to secluded beaches

You are here: On one of the best Tamarindo tours, roaring through dusty backroads, carving out your own secret passage to three of Costa Rica’s most beautiful and secluded beaches. It doesn’t get much better than this!

If you’re in the market for an adventure activity that almost anyone can enjoy, welcome to the wonderful world of ATVing! Instead of hiking, trekking, or horseback riding – all, highly physical activities – you’ll board an all-terrain vehicle and head out into the Guanacastecan savannah. Welcome to Costa Rica’s cowboy county!

Ride through rolling fields and spot today’s working farms, filled with cattle and horses and steeped in Costa Rican tradition and lore. We’ll then take these same roads down to the country’s newest tradition: the beach! Explore our white-sand beaches and discover the joys and secrets of Playa Minas, Playa Conchal, and Brasilito Beach. And at the end of the two-hour trip, there’s no better way to relax than with water and fresh fruit with a view!

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Snuba Diving

Snuba Diving

We freely admit: This one has even us excited! A mix of snorkeling and scuba diving, snuba requires no dive license but still manages to pack in a lot of the underwater thrill of scuba diving (minimum age: 5 years).

The magic comes down to your equipment: Instead of strapping it all onto your back, you’re simply attached to oxygen to via a long hose and mouthpiece, giving you the freedom to move around while breathing underwater. (Max depth: 6 meters/20 feet) Think of it like scuba diving on a leash – only a lot more fun than that mental imagery!

Once you’re down there, and depending on your snuba site, you can spot everything from old coral reefs and colorful fish to manta rays and reef sharks. It’s a wide underwater world down there, and your group or family is going to love it!

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Tamarindo Mangrove Tour

Mangrove Kayaks

Read any list of Costa Rican activities, and you’ll find a lot of the same suggestions. That’s because the country is incredibly biodiverse and its natural highlights should not be missed. And yet, amidst the high-flying canopy tours and sloth watching, the ATV rides and the world-class sportfishing, there’s one truly incredible, awe-inspiring, wonderfully educational natural wandering that is too often forgotten: our mangroves.

Mangrove forests are truly incredible ecosystems – coastal wetlands that often house a combination of fresh, salt, and brackish water: a one-two-three punch that welcomes a huge variety of flora and fauna. And that makes it one of the coolest destinations for nature lovers and wildlife lovers, so if your group wants to “see animals,” then this is a great start!

We’ll take you on a family-friendly, serene boat ride inside the Tamarindo National Wildlife Refuge, itself a part of the famed Las Baulas National Marine Park. As you float down the estuary, you might spot everything from crocodiles and monkeys to iguanas and waterbirds. Not to mention, the mere five species of mangrove that comprise an incredible 95% of the refuge’s vegetation! 

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Sloths + Frogs + Waterfall Nature Tour

two-toed sloth in Costa Rica

Can you really say you don’t want to see this face, up close and personal? Can you? Can you?? We thought not.

Ok, raise your hand if someone in your group mentioned “sloths” when you finally decided on Costa Rica.

You’re not alone. These seemingly always-smiling mammals – of course, they’re not really smiling, but it’s a lovely thought! – are a big draw. They’re cute, they’re fuzzy, and they’re slow enough to observe for as long as you’d like. But mostly, they’re cute. And that’s why this tour is a forever favorite: it offers you and your group or family the opportunity to have a close encounter with a sloth. Yes, seriously!

And for the less sloth-obsesses wildlife watchers in your group, you may also spot toucans, butterflies, and tropical frogs in all their many vibrant hues. It’s a hike, it’s a wildlife encounter, and it’s a day that you’ll all remember fondly for years to come. And, did we mention? The tour ends with a stop to swim at a waterfall. As we said, forever memories!

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Costa Rica Family Vacation Rentals near Tamarindo

Looking for the absolute perfect vacation home for your group or family? We have two!

Casa de Luz

Playa Langosta | 8 Bedrooms | 7 Baths | Sleeps 23

Casa de Luz oceanfront vacation rental in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

If you’re traveling with a large group and searching Costa Rica family vacation rentals, then you may think that you’re staring down a decision: this or that, his preference or hers, and who will you have to disappoint? Welcome to Casa de Luz, where you don’t have to make compromises.

This luxury, fully solar-powered vacation home is tailor-made for large groups and families – and it’s everything you imagine about an upscale tropical retreat. Let’s begin with its unsurpassed location: beachfront, literally steps to the sand. (Almost impossible to find in Costa Rica, by the way!) Enjoy strolls, swims, and sunsets, every day.

Then, there’s the showstopper infinity pool and poolside bar. Which, by the way, is where your dedicated housekeeper will serve your favorite vacation drinks and cocktails. (They’ll also clean, do laundry, and prep your breakfast, six days per week.) So go ahead, spread out, relax, and take in the good life. Here, there’s not a compromise in sight.

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Casa Puros Dieces

Tamarindo | 8 Bedrooms | 8 Baths + 1 Half Bath | Sleeps 20

Casa Puros Dieces for you business retreat in Costa Rica

Can you imagine bonding with your coworkers every night, over this view?

When you’re looking for the perfect Costa Rica family vacation rentals, it’s not so much size but space that matters. By that, we mean plenty of space for everyone. And that’s exactly what you’ll have at the spectacular, ocean-view, Balinese-style Casa Puros Dieces – the “perfect 10”!

Families and groups gather here to create unforgettable memories: days spent in the ocean-view infinity pool and jacuzzi, lounging in the indoor-outdoor living spaces, reading by the koi pond, and simply enjoying, together, this luxury home’s open-air spaces. But you’ll also find your own space, thanks to multiple lounge and living areas, 8 bedrooms and 8.5 bedrooms, and ample corners where you can disappear and enjoy a quiet moment.

What’s more, Casa Puros Dieces includes dedicated housekeeping, six days a week: cleaning, laundry, and meal preparations, including breakfast, snacks, and cocktails. You’ll also appreciate the 100MB internet, so you’ll never have to argue over who’s hogging the bandwidth – even if there are teenagers in your travel party.

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Bonus: Costa Rica Family Vacation Rentals with Free Concierge Services

At Stay in Tamarindo, we really are different. We really do care about you – your entire family or group. And we really will go the extra mile.

We’re going to work hard for you. We’re going to follow up with you. And we’re going to do everything we can, to ensure that this is not just your Best Vacation Ever, but also Everything You Want It to Be.

We have successfully hosted numerous family and group vacations in Costa Rica – everything from large families to families traveling together to massive family reunions. Our team will partner with you to help you find the right accommodations – many of our large group properties are suitable for family retreats! – and venues for meals, sessions, activities, and/or transportation around Costa Rica.

We hope to transform the way you travel together. We want to deliver the best everything you’ve ever experienced – including the best value. And we want you to go home completely fulfilled, whether you came to relax and bond for a week straight or packed your days full of every adrenaline-soaked, high-adventure activity you could fit in.

So go ahead, give us a try. Embrace the experience. Live your best life. And now, book your best-ever vacation. It all starts with getting in touch with our concierge, Cris!

An Extended Family Vacation in Costa Rica: Stay, Play & Learn!

take an extended family vacation in Costa Rica

The family that plays together, enjoys 2021 together! This year, consider taking an extended family vacation in Costa Rica – complete with sun, sand, and virtual work/school!

Hey, parents – quick question: Are your school-age kids still schooling from home?

If you’re nodding your head (while possibly shuddering), you’re not alone: Much of the world is in the same boat. Not quite homeschool and definitely not your standard education, COVID-age virtual schooling is both an understandable safety measure and an almost-guarantee of cabin fever. Whether your kids are 6 or 16, we stand in solidarity.

We also have an idea.

Costa Rica has long been an outdoor playground for kids and their families. From surfing and rainforest hikes to paddle-boarding and waterfall-rappelling, this is the kind of place that’s naturally outward bound. No effort required.

And so, when The Wall Street Journal recently discussed a wild homeschooling alternative in Costa Rica… parents around the world perked up. But wait: That program is only for teens. Teens who are mature enough to travel without their parents – and the parents who are comfortable enough to send them alone.

What about the rest of us? Well, that’s where our idea comes in…

Virtual Schooling + Extended Family Vacation in Costa Rica

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Planning a Family Vacation? Tamarindo Vacation Rentals: The Cozy, the Spacious, and the Massive

Puros Dieces luxury vacation rental Tamarindo

Indulge in total luxury for your Costa Rica family vacations, at Puros Dieces.

Planning your Costa Rica family vacations can be one of the most exciting – or stressful – parts of your vacation planning. Finding the right home is a challenge. Pleasing everyone is hard. And doing that all within your budget? We have two words: Hoo. Boy.

Luckily, Tamarindo’s family vacation rental market has just the home(s) for the best Costa Rica family vacations! From cozy two-bedrooms with ocean views to downright massive family complexes, perfect for a family reunion, our town and surrounds are eager to please the young and young-at-heart. And today, we’re serving up some of our favorite homes for your family.

EASY BUTTON! Back up a few paragraphs, and we may have said that planning Costa Rica family vacations can be a stressful, challenging, and/or difficult task. That’s true – until you hit our epic easy button: Book one of our vacation homes and you’ll have access to our free concierge services. From activity planning and childcare, to private chefs and transportation, we eliminate your stress. At no added cost!

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Costa Rica Travel with Kids: The Best Family Experiences

Family trip to Costa Rica

Costa Rica travel with kids? You’re going to need these [awe-inspiring, kid-thrilling] family tours.

Today, Costa Rica celebrates Mother’s Day. It’s one of the Big Holidays here in Costa Rica – a paid day off work, universally celebrated, and much beloved – and so we thought we’d celebrate in the best way we know how: by sharing our favorite family tours, travels and family experiences, to enhance your own Costa Rica travel with kids.

Because, we’re realists. We know that traveling with kids isn’t the same as traveling solo or with adults. There are special considerations and accommodations to be made. Because, even the littlest of kids have big personalities.

We want to keep them happy. Nay, thrilled! We want all travelers, both big and small, to have the time of their lives. To finish every tour entertained. To say, “this was the best trip EVER!” Because it was.

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Tamarindo Day Trip: Las Pumas Rescue Center

jaguar Panthera onca-min

Jaguars, Costa Rica’s biggest wildcats, are just one of the five big cat species you’ll find at Las Pumas Rescue Center

We like to say that in nature, there are no guarantees. What that means is that, while Costa Rica is an incredibly biodiverse country where more than 25% of all land is reserved for national parks, wildlife refuges, and reserves – habitats to some of the densest wild animal populations in the world – there’s no guarantee you’ll spot a specific animal. Especially if that animal is elusive. Enter Las Pumas Rescue Center, or El Centro de Rescate Las Pumas.

Las Pumas is a wildlife rescue center, taking in the injured, the orphaned, and the illegally captured. Their goal: To provide necessary medical care and rehabilitate these animals, hopefully for release back into their natural habitats. What this means for us: Guaranteed animal sightings and a feel-good, do-good kind of day, where you not only see some animals but put your tourism dollars toward a worthy nonprofit. 

Need to Know:

Location: About 2 hours east of Tamarindo and 4.5 miles outside of Cañas, on the Interamerican Highway en route to Liberia

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Sunday

Cost: $8 children & students / $12 adults

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Treat Yourself: Hiring a Tamarindo Private Chef

mahi mahi from private chef tamarindo costa rica

Relax. Indulge. Treat yourself. Our favorite Tamarindo private chef is here to serve. Literally.

Sometimes, you just don’t want to eat out. You don’t feel like getting dressed up, or piling into the car for dinner, or any of the restaurant routine. You’d much prefer sunset drinks on the balcony, appetizers by the pool, and a low-key evening. You’d prefer the luxury and bespoke services of our favorite Tamarindo private chef (and surrounds).

Welcome to paradise. Truly. Because, if there’s anything more indulgent than a vacation in Tamarindo, it’s a vacation in Tamarindo, upgraded with the luxury of your own private chef – a personal chef who visits your vacation home, understands your palate, and crafts fabulous meals from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

In other words – yum. All the yums. Whenever and however you want.

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One-of-a-Kind Oceanfront Vacation Rentals in Tamarindo: Part 2

Flamingo Blu oceanfront vacation rentals in Tamarindo

Where sky meets sea, where sea meets infinity pool, where you meet your dreams: 5 striking oceanfront vacation rentals in Tamarindo (Pictured: Flamingo Blu)

Last month, promised you a list of the best oceanfront vacation rentals in Tamarindo – and we delivered. Well, partially. We shared the first part of our list, which highlighted 5 beachfront vacation rentals in Tamarindo, with some help from Playa Langosta, Playa Flamingo, and Playa Potrero – the “greater Tamarindo” area, as we know it.

Today, we’re bringing you the grand finale – grand, not in the sense of overshadowing our first list, but grand in its true meaning: luxury, oceanfront estates, grand in both size and style. Because, these homes are truly something more: Perfect for that once-in-a-lifetime wedding, event or celebration, they promise more than the space you need; these vacation homes deliver on the luxury experience.

Oceanfront infinity pools. Full-time staff. Bubbling Jacuzzis. Multiple master suites. Gourmet kitchens. High design. And oh, those views. These homes represent the apex of oceanfront vacation rentals in Tamarindo: the nexus of upscale living, exclusive location, and dreams made reality. And we are so excited to share them!

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Costa Rica Family Vacation: Your [Almost] Complete Guide to Tamarindo with Kids

surfing in Tamarindo with kids

Tamarindo is an excellent choice for your Costa Rica family vacation

You’re enjoying a wonderful holiday season – by the way, happy holidays from the Stay in Tamarindo family! – and you’re loving your time together with your loved ones, whether you’re gathered with just your nearest and dearest or gathered with extended family and friends. And now, you’re thinking (and even talking) about that Costa Rican family vacation you have all always wanted to take.

Congratulations! Costa Rica is an excellent choice for your family vacation, and Tamarindo is the best choice of all. (Yes, we admit we’re a little biased.) But, consider this: spectacular beaches and even more beautiful sunsets, dense mangroves and sick surf, thrilling adventures and tranquil slices of beach – the perfect recipe to create one of Costa Rica’s most popular destinations.

You’ve already heard a lot about Costa Rica. You’ve definitely dreamed of your someday visit. And now, you’re really starting to plan. Go ahead – you can do a little dance! A family vacation in Costa Rica is something to get excited about.

With visions of mangoes dancing in your head, your initial excitement and anticipation passed, inevitably your thoughts will begin to wander to some of the more practical matters: When should you plan your visit?What will the weather be like? Where should you visit and where will you stay? And then, importantly, how much should you budget?

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Tamarindo Overnight Trip: Explosive Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano is Costa Rica’s most famous volcano – and one of our favorite day trips (even better: overnight trips!) from Tamarindo.

On slopes where once flowed destructive red-hot lava, now grows an explosion of rainforest riches: soaring palms, dense foliage, and jewel-toned tropical blooms. And, lest you forget its origins, the occasional (yet tamer) belch from a mostly-sleeping-sometimes-rumbling active volcano.

Indeed, while a nightly lava show used to draw visitors to the region, today Arenal Volcano relies on much more than Mother Nature’s red-hot fireworks. This is a town dedicated to diversion, relaxation, and a full suite of adventure: soaring canopy ziplines, exhilarating waterfall rappelling, frothing white-water rafting, volcanic hot springs, shadowy cave spelunking, and so much more.

Oh, so very much more.

Because, this is Arenal Volcano. And this is one of our most popular overnight tours from Tamarindo. Trust us, it’s worth the drive.

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5 of the Best Family Vacation Rentals in Tamarindo

Casa de Luz in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Search for your perfect family vacation rental in Tamarindo (Pictured: Casa de Luz)

Planning a family vacation to Tamarindo, Costa Rica? Then, you’re probably searching for the perfect accommodations. And that’s where these five family vacation rentals in Tamarindo might come in handy!

So, why a vacation rental instead of a hotel? There are many reasons, but the three big ones are space, amenities, and economy: in short, your budget stretches much further, and buys more square-footage and extras (ex. a private pool, Jacuzzis, secluded decks, gourmet kitchens, and more) for the same – or less – than the cost of a ho-hum hotel room.

And, with that, five of our favorite family vacation rentals in Tamarindo:

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