Adventures by Disney Costa Rica –  Our Amazing Introduction to Family Adventuring

One of our biggest family goals is to share the love of travel with our children and turn them into global citizens.  Past trips to the US and British Virgin Islands as well as Quebec City and Montreal were wonderful first forays.  But, we were ready to immerse our kids in a culture where English wouldn’t be the first language. We wanted their experiences to be truly foreign. Our main challenge was to find a way to do that without the infamous “I’m so bored, I don’t want to go to another museum” eye roll or the “yuck what is this food, I want McDonalds” arguments.

After researching options, we chose an Adventures by Disney vacation as the best way to accomplish this. Adventures by Disney provides family-centric group-guided vacations worldwide.  Each experience is carefully crafted to ensure both children and adults experience the amazing cultural aspects of the trip in ways that appeal to the whole family. We took advantage of Disney’s early booking rate and secured our travel dates about a year in advance and then anxiously awaited this vacation.

The trip was well worth the wait!  Our 7-day, 6-night adventure took us through 4 different regions of Costa Rica.  We traveled by plane, boat, and bus experiencing many of the unique locales and micro-climates the country is renowned for. Here is a brief summary of our adventures in each region.


Shopping in the San Jose Markets

San Jose

We chose to fly in a day early to experience San Jose on our own since it wasn’t part of the scheduled itinerary. But was the embarkation point for the Disney adventure.  Since we weren’t required to check in until evening, we spent the morning touring on our own. Our exploration of San Jose included the National Theater, National and Gold Museums, as well as many fascinating markets and shops. It was an excellent introduction to Costa Rica.


Landed Safe and Sound


We were filled with excitement traveling to the remote region of Tortaguerro via yes, a puddle jumper! Our hotel for this leg was Laguna Lodge, a rustic eco-lodge poised on a sliver of rainforest nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the National Park, accessible only by water.  From this embarkation point, we toured the Sea Turtle Conservancy and embarked on a several-hour open air boat ride adventure. The wildlife was absolutely amazing. We saw multitudes of tropical birds, lizards, caiman crocodiles, a small family of sloths, 2 species of monkeys, and even a large boa constrictor!  The humid tropical night at the lodge was filled with the sounds of whirring fans and rain drumming against the tin roofs – one very unique experience!  Our next morning’s departure by covered boat felt like a real-life jungle cruise as we ventured upstream to our awaiting bus ready for our next destination.

Monkeys, and Sloths, and Lizards – Oh my!


We spent 2 incredible nights in the Arenal region and could have extended it to a full week.  Here is where our two Little Adventurers became true dare devils braving White Water Rafting and zip lining excursions. The rapids were only Class 1-2 so the kids felt safe during the experience.  For a Go Pro of the experience click here:   PuraVida


Zip lining was another story – whipping 40 miles per hour through tree tops and clouds while the wind whistled in our ears and monkeys laughed in the trees below! And to top it all off, we returned to our amazing bungalows at Arenal Hot Springs to take in the amazing view of the Arenal volcano and enjoy a relaxing soak at the Tabacon Hot Springs.

Whhhheeeeeee made it!!!

Click here to see us on the Arenal_zipline!


By the time we arrived in Guanacaste, our kids were rarely seen outside the pack of other Junior Adventurers, only coming to us when they needed something.  We loved watching them develop friendships that have continued on past the trip with the help of texting! Guanacaste was a fabulous way to end the trip as we spent our last day together sailing by catamaran to a private bay. Here the entire group relaxed on the beach, paddle boarded, snorkeled, or cannonballed from the 2ndtier of the pontoon into the waters below.

Swimming, Snorkeling, and Cannonballs!

There are so many more aspects of this spectacular trip I could talk about. Things such as how Disney hosts Junior Adventure night with Disney guides giving adults their own time to enjoy a private dinner and make mojitos. Or how our kids learned to spot different species of snakes (safely), or birds.  And even how our kids have started to learn Spanish in anticipation of future travel!

Adventures by Disney has been an amazing vehicle to transform our kids into more adventurous travelers. They have now become fanatics for Disney vacationing outside the parks. Since this experience, our family has signed up for 2 more Adventures trips and booked a Disney cruise to the British Isles.  I can’t wait to tell you all about those experiences as well!

Since our trip, Adventures by Disney Costa Rica has made an itinerary change. They still visit San Jose and Guanacaste, but the Tortaguero leg has been eliminated.  Instead, activity offerings in Arenal have been expanded, adding a journey to the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge and a rainforest gondola ride. Zip lining and white-water rafting in Arenal are still included.

Rates and Dates can be found by clicking hereLast Chance Offers are available on 2018 trips if you book immediately.  Disney provides an Early Booking Offer on 2019 trips of up to $500 discount per person on select dates when you book now through July 8. Airfare is not included in Adventures by Disney pricing, but  can easily be added independently or through Adventures by Disney’s air department.

Come Adventure with us soon!