Planting trees, part of the sustainability program at Lapa Rios, a National Geographic Unique Lodge

Knowing the “lay of the land” and developing an itinerary that will take into consideration the whole family’s vacation desires is critical to organizing a stress free family getaway. Below are a few suggestions on how three of Costa Rica’s top resorts can meet everyone’s expectations.

For families travelling with matures or senior members of the family, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn offers easy access to begin or start the family journey, as it is located only 15 minutes from Costa Rica’s International Airport. These family seniors will also appreciate the obvious work ethic behind this family owned and operated resort, the tour and tasting of their organic coffee plantation, and the value offered by a well-thought out design that allows suites to be connected to accommodate the whole family while sharing common areas and a kitchenette.

Arenas Del Mar Beach & Nature Resort offers the best of both worlds with a beach front and rainforest experience in one sustainable destination. Its design and layout is well suited for families travelling with the golden generation who prefer to have all amenities close at hand. The grandparents can relax in the spa, on the beach or by the pool, while the rest of the family takes advantage of the resort’s proximity to one of the most popular national parks and abundance of activities within easy reach – from horseback riding on the beach, to surfing, ocean swimming, kayaking, sun rise and sunset sails to canopy walks, zip trekking and numerous options for hiking. A favourite activity for teenagers is the two hour evening walk around the Arenas Del Mar nature reserve to discover the spin tingling wildlife that only comes out into the rainforest at night.

And for the family members who like to walk on the wild side, they will appreciate Lapa Rios Rainforest Eco-lodge’s commitment to preserving some of the last remaining tropical lowland rainforest existing in Central America. It has birds, trees and plants found nowhere else in the world. Guided hikes will bring kids nose to nose with exotic wildlife and plant species, while the more sedentary members of the family can relax in their open balcony surrounded by the lush gardens and vibrant forest.

Other ways these three resorts will appeal to the whole family include:

  • Baby Boomers will love the authentic, Costa Rican cuisine available at all three resorts and the in house spas which use local ingredients for a variety of authentic, relaxing beauty and wellness treatments.
  • Gen Xers & Gen Ys or Millenials will enjoy the creative side of Finca Rosa Blanca’s individually hand crafted suites that reflect the local art and are inspired by nature’s colours, as well as displays of owner Glenn Jampol’s critically acclaimed artwork. They will also appreciate how Lapa Rios is built around 16 private bungalows that open to spectacular ocean views, and are set in the heart of the rainforest, allowing you to immerse yourself into the rich colours, flora and fauna.
  • Gen Xers and Baby Boomers will love the fact that Finca Rosa Blanca grows and roasts its own organic coffee and will want to take a guided tour of the Inn’s 30 acre organic coffee plantation where guests can learn how organic coffee is grown and harvested, roast and pack their own coffee beans to take home and participate in a “catación” or a coffee tasting, to discover how the professionals determine quality and taste.
  • Extremers (young, active children who show no fear!) and Gamers (young adults and teenagers who grew up with computers and video games and are expert multi-taskers) will revel in Lapa Rios’ own private nature reserve spread over 1,000 acres of Central America’s last remaining lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica, where the tropical wildlife, flora and fauna open up to a world of adventure and discovery.
  • And young at heart family members seeking to add the adrenalin building eco-adventure for which Costa Rica is famous, Arenas Del Mar is perfectly situated at the gateway of Manuel Antonio National Park surrounded by beaches and rainforested mountains. Surfing lessons, white water rafting, waterfall climbs, horseback riding and canopy “zip line” tours are just some of the options.

Finally, the whole family will appreciate the fact that all three resorts adhere to stringent sustainable guidelines, and have been recognized for their dedication to reducing their impact while educating guests on the power of protecting and conserving the natural environment and supporting local businesses and communities.

Finca Rosa Blanca, for example, has consistently achieved the highest score of five “green leaves” in the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST), a system invented and utilized by Costa Rica’s Institute of Tourism (ICT) and renowned worldwide as one of the most stringent and comprehensive certification programs for Sustainable Tourism. The Inn received an unprecedented 100% score and continues as the leader in sustainable tourism in Costa Rica and internationally.

Consistently named a top hotel by major travel publications, Lapa Rios has been honoured as a 2007 Corporate Sustainable Standard-Setter by the highly respected Rainforest Alliance and recognized as one of the top 50 eco-lodges in the world by National Geographic. As a new property, Arenas Del Mar is following in their lead and is working closely with the CST as it develops a comprehensive sustainable tourism program for the resort. This dedication to the quadruple bottom line has helped the resort gain recognition among the authorities in travel media as well as a loyal following of guests.