Our family adventures in Costa Rica

We had a fabulous time in Costa Rica on a nine-day beach and jungle adventure. I must admit I was a little afraid, as I had not researched it very well – rather a spur of the moment trip. Orren had to work, so it was just the boys and myself. I have always been confident travelling by myself, but being responsible for little people as well puts things in a new perspective.

Costa Rica Santa Theresa Beach family travel

Upon arriving in San Jose, we caught a 12-seater plane to Tambor. The tiny plane wasn’t Myles’s favourite part of the trip. I’m not sure he even managed to look out his window! It was fantastic coming in over the turquoise waters and landing on a tiny runway cut through the coconut trees. We were driven over to Santa Teresa, a small town located about 150 kilometres west of the capital city of San José. I suppose I had in my mind that everything would be super lush and green. So, so dry and dusty!! They are desperately waiting for the rainy season to start and haven’t had rain in months. Most people have to buy in water to survive.

Costa Rica Santa Theresa street family travel @travelswithboys

Santa Teresa is a little town that lives on tourism, similar to a tiny, tiny version of Byron Bay in Australia. Everything is laid back and very chilled. Great deserted beaches to explore, good food to try.

We hired a quad bike for a day to explore. I loved the hire guy when I asked about helmets who said “Too hot to wear helmets here!! You don’t need them!!” Indeed, the humidity takes some getting used to. You are continually bathed in sweat, which the dust sticks to beautifully, but helmets would have been good. I managed not to injure any of us. The boys were even impressed that I was able to navigate around the ginormous potholes on dirt roads and use the gears!

Costa Rica Santa Theresa quad bike family travel @travelswithboys

We went zip lining through the jungle which was a blast, swam in creeks, explored waterfalls, rock pools, and little cafes. Stayed in amazing accommodation at the Canaima Chill House, tucked away in the jungle on the side of a hill. The walk up and down made your heart race, but being woken up in the morning by the Howler Monkeys was rather wonderful. Tropical ginger was everywhere. I would so love to see this landscape in the wet season. It would be stunning.

Costa Rica Santa Teresa zip lining jungle @travelswithboys

The boys loved the swinging bed and their loft area. The simplicity of it all is what made it so special. Lazy afternoons reading. Evenings playing board games. No technology and great, funny conversations.

Costa Rica Canaima Chill House  family travel @travelswithboys

We headed back over to Tambor for the second part of our stay. An incredible location at the Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel, literally right on the beach. I loved going to sleep to the sound of the pounding waves. The boys had a ball here and started picking up a few Spanish words. The staff are so lovely and friendly with the kids.

Costa Rica Tambor Tango Mar Boutique Hotel family travel @travelswithboys

Tambor Tango Mar Boutique Hotel in Costa Rica

The boys spent their days playing in the pool and ocean and thought the best thing in the world was to be able to order a chocolate milkshake at the pool bar, and sit and chat to people and drink their milkshakes in the pool! Our afternoons were spent collecting driftwood and coconuts, making creations on the beach, swinging in hammocks and reading.

We went on a great tour on one of the islands where we explored a jungle reserve and saw stunning, colourful birds. We also came across two families of white-faced monkeys, iguanas everywhere and gorgeous spider monkeys.

Costa Rica Tambor white faced monkey Capuchin @travelswithboys

Next, all of us went snorkelling. I was very proud of Myles as he was not at all keen. Once he got the hang of it, he was fine, as long as I was not too far away! We saw stunning fish, but unfortunately, most of the coral died due to the water being too warm. On the way back we saw manta rays ‘flying’ which was the most incredible and stunning sight as they leap out of the water. It was just one of those, in the right place at the right time moments.

As we were leaving, large storm clouds were brewing on the horizon. The wet season they are all so desperately waiting for should start in a few weeks. The dust they all hate so much will be washed away, and the landscape will return to a lush, deep green.


Author: Anita Sedlak

This story is part of a series following the journey of Anita, Orren and their two boys Byron and Myles, who left Australia in November 2014 to experience life in different parts of the world. They made their way to America where they discovered incredible places, met wonderful people, and put down roots for a six-month stint working in a different job. They ventured to Costa Rica, Egypt, England, Scotland, Italy, Germany and France and made so many memories along the way. Each week we publish a new conversation. Follow their journey.