Top 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families


Costa Rica is an ideal spot for family getaways, with a range of resorts that cater to different preferences. We’re going to check out the top 10 best all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica for families. Each one provides unique experiences suitable for kids of all ages.

1. Occidental Tamarindo

Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families

Not far from the heart of Tamarindo, Occidental Tamarindo marries chill vibes with urban adventure. This luxury resort lies on Langosta Beach within Las Baulas National Park, which champions eco-friendly tourism. It’s also super family-friendly. Here, you’ll find perks like free meals, complimentary drinks and snacks, a pool, dining options, bars, a gym, a spa, and a hair salon. Plus, there’s tennis and beach volleyball for some active fun.

2. Hotel Riu Palace, Costa Rica

Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families

This place really rolls out the red carpet for both youngsters and adults. Kids can enjoy the RiuLand club, their pool, and a cool playground. Parents have four pools to choose from, plus eleven restaurants and bars, the Renova Spa, and, for those feeling lucky, a casino. The resort throws in water sports with a free starter session in scuba diving. The accommodations are top-notch, with most rooms boasting stellar views of the area.

3. Best Western Jaco Beach Resort

Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families

Just steps from a stunning white-sand beach, this spot ensures endless sun-soaked fun. Yet it’s also your launchpad for adventures beyond the resort—think hiking in Carara National Park or fishing trips at Herradura Bay’s Marina. Everything’s included here, from your room to entertainment, activities, meals, beverages, and more.

4. Dreams Las Mareas, Costa Rica

Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families

Famed for its eight eateries with diverse food options, Dreams Las Mareas, Costa Rica, is perfect for families with children or teens. They’ll have a blast at the Explorer’s Club and Core Zone Teens Club, where fun lasts for hours. Everyone in the family will find something to love, from pools with exciting jungle waterslides to amenities such as free WiFi, minibars, breathtaking views of the ocean, and well-equipped private patios or balconies.

5. Margaritaville Beach Resort, Playa Flamingo

Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families

The Margaritaville accommodates groups as big as six and provides plenty of activities that cater to both kids and adults. Guests can take advantage of a cinema, separate swimming areas for kids and all guests, plus a center loaded with family-oriented activities, among others. The resort has everything you’d typically find at a top-notch place, like babysitting, rooms with no-cost WiFi, little kitchens, and rooms that open into each other.

6. El Mangroove, Autograph Collection

Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families

Nestled in the Gulf of Papagayo, this resort ticks all the boxes with its yoga sessions, kayaking, fully equipped gym, and a bunch of water sports. If you’re up for it, grab a bike for a spin around the area. Diving newbies can jump into a six-hour underwater adventure, too.

7. Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive Resort

Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families

The Best Western Jacó Beach All-Inclusive Resort in Costa Rica offers a range of amenities suitable for families and couples. Key features of the resort include a new pool with an infinity view and a Splash Pad area for children. The resort is located in a convenient area, steps away from Jacó Beach and within walking distance from downtown Jacó’s attractions, shopping, and dining. Guests can enjoy unlimited, all-inclusive food and drinks while gazing out over the Pacific Ocean.

The resort offers various room types, some with balcony and pool views. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property, and free parking is provided for registered guests.

8. JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa

Top 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families

The JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa in Costa Rica, located in Hacienda Pinilla, provides a luxurious experience with access to three beaches and a residential community. The resort features Central America’s largest swimming pool, perfect for family vacations. Amenities include:

  • A championship 18-hole golf course.
  • A world-class spa.
  • An equestrian center.
  • Tennis courts.

The spa offers a range of treatments, including beach massages and facials. Accommodations at the resort are spacious and luxurious, with options like Ocean Front Suites and a Presidential Suite, which includes a personal plunge pool. Wi-Fi is available for a fee. The resort is also ideal for groups or families, offering many adjoining rooms and disability-accessible options.

9. Planet Hollywood, Costa Rica

Top 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica offers a luxurious all-inclusive experience with a variety of amenities. Located at the base of Papagayo Gulf in Guanacaste, it’s just 30 minutes from the airport. The resort features 292 suites, each with cinematic views, and offers eight restaurants, five bars, two swimming pools, a fitness center, and a spa & beauty bar.

Guests can enjoy Hollywood memorabilia, water sports, nightly entertainment, and a kids’ club. The resort also boasts a PH Spa & Beauty Bar and a PUMPED Fitness Center. Room amenities include the custom PHabulous Bed™, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a smart PHTV™

10. The Fairmont San Juan de los Santos

Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families

The Fairmont El San Juan Hotel offers a range of guest services and amenities. These include:

  • Accommodation: Various guest rooms, suites, and villas are available.
  • Dining: The hotel features several dining options and bars.
  • Wellness: There’s a Well & Being Spa and fitness center.
  • Recreation: Guests can enjoy activities such as a basketball court, beach, pool, pool table, tour desk, and tennis court.
  • Shopping: On-site shopping options are available.
  • Children’s Services: Facilities like cribs, high chairs, and children’s menus are offered.
  • Accessibility: The hotel provides accessible accommodations for guests with disabilities.

Additional services include concierge and bell staff, pet-friendly options, and a resort experience fee that covers various amenities such as internet access, entertainment, fitness classes, and more.

Top 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families

Here’s a summary of the top 10 all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica for families in table format:

RankResort NameKey Features
1Occidental TamarindoRelaxation, city exploration, sustainable tourism, beachfront, kids club, fitness center, spa, tennis, beach volleyball
2Hotel Riu Palace Costa RicaKids club, kids pool, playground, swimming pools, restaurants and bars, spa, casino, scuba diving lessons
3Best Western Jaco Beach ResortOff-site excursions, gorgeous beach, adventure activities
4Dreams Las Mareas Costa RicaEight restaurants, kids and teen clubs, pools with jungle waterslides
5Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa FlamingoKid and family-friendly activities, movie theater, kids-only and general pools, family activity center
6El Mangroove, Autograph CollectionYoga classes, kayaking, fitness center, water activities, bicycle rental, scuba diving excursion
7Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive ResortUnlimited access to food and drinks, on-site restaurants, oceanfront rooms, multiple swimming pools, playground, volleyball and tennis courts
8JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & SpaActivities for families, golf, surfing, hiking, dining options, spa
9Planet Hollywood Costa RicaExcursions, surfing, water sports, animals, kids clubs, teen clubs, restaurants and bars, fitness center
10The Fairmont San Juan de los SantosRelaxation, adventure, activities for families, horseback riding, hiking, kids club

Remember, these top 10 best all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica for families have something special to offer; they cater to different tastes and ages. Before you book, make sure to peek at what activities are on tap to match your family’s likes.

Our goal was to paint a vivid picture of each resort, highlighting their unique characteristics, family-friendly amenities, and the distinct experiences they offer. We hope you will have a clearer vision of which resort resonates most with your family’s preferences, ensuring your next vacation in Costa Rica is nothing short of magical.

FAQs for “Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families”

1. Is Costa Rica a kid-friendly vacation?

Yes, Costa Rica is a kid-friendly vacation destination. It offers a wide range of activities suitable for all ages, including relaxing at the beach, hiking in the rainforest, spotting wildlife, visiting sustainable family farms, and engaging in adventure activities like swimming, zip-lining, whitewater rafting, and hiking. The country is designed to be accommodating and welcoming to tourists, with many activities and tours specifically tailored for families. Costa Rica is also considered safe, with a low crime rate and safe wildlife conditions, particularly during the dry season from December through April.

2. What is the best time to go to Costa Rica?

The best time to visit Costa Rica with kids is during the dry season, which is from December through April. This period is ideal for families looking to avoid rainfall and enjoy sunny weather. The dry season also coincides with school vacations, making it a convenient time for family travel. Additionally, the rainy season in Costa Rica is from May through November, which is not recommended for families due to the potential for heavy rain and flooding

3. What are some tips for making the most of a family vacation at an all-inclusive resort in Costa Rica?

  • Budget more than expected for souvenirs and off-resort expenses.
  • Avoid exploring after dark to ensure safety.
  • Download a language app like Google Translate if Spanish is not your first language.
  • Consider booking excursions or tours offered by the resort for an enriching experience.

4. What are some off-resort activities in Costa Rica that families can enjoy?

  • Arenal Volcano National Park offers a unique volcano experience.
  • Catalinas Islands are a popular snorkeling and scuba diving destination.
  • Venado Caves are a natural wonder with stunning stalactites and stalagmites.
  • Tabacón Hot Springs provides a relaxing experience in natural hot springs.
  • La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park offers a variety of waterfalls and gardens.

5. What safety precautions should families take when visiting Costa Rica?

  • Exercise caution and be aware of potential pickpockets.
  • Keep valuables locked in hotel lockboxes and carry only necessary cash.
  • Stay safe by avoiding off-resort exploration after dark.
  • Use a language app for communication if not fluent in Spanish.

6. What are the best places to visit in Costa Rica for families?

  • The Arenal Volcano National Park is a must-see for its natural beauty and activities.
  • The Manuel Antonio National Park offers a variety of wildlife and beaches.
  • The Cloud Forest in Monteverde provides a unique ecosystem experience.
  • The Poas Volcano offers hiking trails and stunning views.
  • The La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park is a relaxing and educational destination.

7. Which is better Caribbean or the Pacific side of Costa Rica?

Choosing between the Caribbean and Pacific sides of Costa Rica depends on your personal preferences, interests, and the type of experience you’re looking for. Here’s a breakdown based on the provided sources:

  • Beaches and Activities: The Pacific side has a longer coastline and offers a greater variety of beaches. It’s also home to more national parks and better water sports options like surfing, kitesurfing, fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.
  • Vibes and Crowds: The Caribbean side is more popular among Europeans, who prefer a more natural and less touristic experience. It’s also attractive to birdwatchers, young nomads, and those seeking an unspoiled atmosphere. On the Pacific side, areas like Guanacaste are more touristic and developed, with a lot of all-inclusive resorts and a higher concentration of American/Canadian expats.
  • Development and Infrastructure: The Pacific coast is slightly more developed, with more hotels, activities, and resorts. It’s also closer to international airports, making it more convenient for many travelers.
    Wildlife and Natural Diversity: Both coasts offer opportunities for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing. However, the Pacific coast has more national parks, wildlife refuges, and protected areas, making it a better choice for those interested in nature and wildlife.
  • Cultural Experience and Affordability: The Caribbean coast can offer a more authentic and less touristy experience, with backpackers and surfers being the main visitors. It’s also generally less expensive than the Pacific Coast, especially in terms of accommodations and dining options.
  • Weather and Seasonal Changes: The Caribbean coast is drier during the Pacific coast’s rainy season, and vice versa. The choice of coast can also depend on the time of year you plan to visit.
    In short, if you’re looking for a more developed area with a variety of activities and water sports, the Pacific side might be better for you. If you prefer a more natural and less touristic experience, or if you’re on a budget and looking for authentic cultural experiences, the Caribbean side could be more suitable.

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