family travel guide: costa rica

beach images
this spring break, our founder morgan and her family traveled to Hacienda AltaGracia for a tropical escape. this incredible mountain retreat is a sanctuary for all ages and has something everyone in the family will enjoy — guided experiences, culture, discovery, relaxation, wellness (more on that later!) and the most delicious food (that’s also sustainable and included in your stay).
curated with our guest travel editor, lauren tulp cichocki of
arbiter travel co

Hacienda AltaGracia

located in the talamanca mountains, within 180 acres of rainforest and near a blue zone (there are only 5 in the whole world!), the property is remote but has everything you could ever need. there are 50 casitas, and multiple shared areas so it feels like you are visiting a sprawling mountain estate. the two-bedroom casitas are absolutely perfect for families.

one piece bathing suit

girls briland blue botanic smocked one piece | women’s tiramisu one piece

forget what you think when you hear the words “all-inclusive.” The rates here were designed to give guests flexibility, and include all meals and certain daily activities.


unisex slate floral pima pajama set

each family receives a dedicated personal experience coordinator or “compa” who works with you before you arrive to help create the perfect itinerary for everyone’s interests

family in car

fly to juan santamaría international airport in san josé (nonstop flights operate out of most major u.s. hubs).

from there, we recommend flying directly to Hacienda AltaGracia via a shared or private charter to really take in the beauty of the surroundings from above — you’ll immediately feel relaxed.

alternatively, you can reserve a private driver which takes about 4-5 hours.

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unisex peri blue and cream knit sweaterslate floral everyday backpack

fresh meal on table

you are in for a culinary experience! the chefs take farm-to-table to the next level, using virtually all sustainably sourced ingredients. since the resort is in a remote location, guests typically eat on property for the entirety of their stay. with six dining outlets that are constantly rotating menus, you and your family will have plenty of variety. each restaurant offers special menus for your children as well.

grano is the main restaurant, with a seasonal menu that reflects the local culture and is frequently updated. 

start your morning or grab an afternoon pick-me-up from mercado. it’s open all day and offers everything from coffee and pastries to snacks and beverages.

if you can’t bear to leave the pool, order lunch from picoteo, or stroll over to las brisas for a leisurely afternoon.

kids on vacation

every thursday is the cienfuegos dinner, inspired by bbq and rodeo, this lively family dinner experience spotlights a simple land and sea menu cooked over a dried coconut husk-based fire.

el cultivo edible garden dinner series is a chef-led experience, celebrating indigenous costa rican life, complete with plant-driven cocktails. this culinary journey is hosted on sunday evenings under the stars.

take a cooking class (or mixology class) and learn from the best in costa rican culinary arts. the best part? the ingredients are all locally grown. for the coffee-lovers, try the special tasting of home-grown beans from the property.

terry shirt and boardshort

boys briland blue french terry polo | boys board short

the junior adventures’ club is a dream for children ages 5 – 12. the team creates unique and memorable experience which incorporates education and wellness into curated daily activities.

the grounds are quite literally a playground. the jugando ropes course and play area will entertain for hours — even the littlest ones will be amazed by the caligo butterfly garden. there are infinite hiking options, a ziplining course and forest bathing!

polaroid and sunscreen bottleyour children will love the experiencia equina at los establos. it’s the perfect introduction to equestrian adventures with a dedicated hour and a half spent with the property’s friendly equine family, learning how to feed, bathe, saddle up and go for a ride!

visiting the neighboring family farm is a must visit for feeling immersed in costa rican life with hands-on experience about the land.

okay parents, the real reason you’re here…THE WELL. it’s the first international outpost of the new york-based company that offers a holistic approach to wellness on vacation. everything from purifying treatments and nutrition coaching to workshops, fitness classes and unique local experiences. set in an insanely gorgeous setting, it’s hands down the most incredible spa. the trip is worth it for the spa alone!


unisex powder blue stripe beachcomber espadrille


no need to schlep all the gear — Hacienda AltaGracia will provide everything you need for traveling with children, including car seats for airport transfers and highchairs at all restaurants. within the rooms, they’ll even set up pop-up play tents, rocking horses and of course, cribs.

in addition to the adventurers’ club, the hotel will arrange babysitting services for $30/hour.

costa rica is a vast country with some of the best beach destinations, like tamarindo, santa teresa or peninsula papagayo. to get there, you and your family can fly from the airstrip or hire a driver.

arbiter travel co. is a full-service boutique luxury travel agency lead by lauren tulp cichocki. a mom of two, she specializes in family travel and curating the best vacation. her team can assist with everything you need for your visit to costa rica — from accommodations to restaurants and activities.