family vacation Archives - HRG Costa Rica Vacations


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Costa Rica is the Perfect, Kid-Friendly, Family Vacation

Kids Surf Camp

A Costa Rica Family vacation has so much more to offer than any family theme park or cruise.

Costa Rica is the perfect family vacation abroad, because it’s not so far away you’ve got to take a fifteen-hour flight, its developed (but no so much you feel you haven’t left the States), and it won’t break the bank: cheap flights are readily available and the exchange rate is on your side here. Essentially, for about half the bill of a top of the line Disney vacation, you can give your kids adventure, discovery, and fun in one of the world’s most abundant natural settings.

Here are our top # reasons why Costa Rica makes the perfect family vacation for those with kids.

Nature’s wakeup call

There is something incredibly special about that morning alarm coming from a family of howler monkeys swinging through the trees nearby. But that’s only the first animal order of the day! 

Costa Rica is abundant with wild animals, birds, insects, and ocean life.  

A great way to experience nature up close and personal is to head for Manuel Antonio National Park for a family day trip. It’s an easy hike in and out; completely manageable for family members of all ages – even if one or two are riding in strollers! You and the gang can do this on your own or hire a guide at the park entrance. The benefits of a guided tour are that you’ll get wonderful explanations about all the animals, birds and plant life you encounter, plus some terrific professional photos. Monkeys, iguanas, sloths, and raccoons are just a few of the wonderful animals you’ll spot in the wild at Manuel Antonio National Park. At the end of your hike, set up camp on a white sand beach; picnic, relax in the sun, and frolic in the gentle waves of the protected cove where you can snorkel through schools of tropical fish.

There is plenty of exhilarating adventure for everyone

There are zip line canopy tours that are appropriate for everyone in the gang; most will let children as young as 4 years old strap in with an adult.

A crocodile tour down the river lets the whole family get really up close to huge crocodiles in the wild while safely sitting in a boat; the tour guide will have a ton of great information to share about all the birds and other wildlife found in and on the river.

ATV tours through the rainforest jungle are fun for families with teenagers over twelve.

Those groups with kids that are 10-years old and up will enjoy white water river rafting or river tubing; there are plenty of class I, II, and III river rafting adventures to choose from.

Surf lessons are fun for everyone in the family and kids as young as 4 can learn to catch some waves with great surf instructors, easily found in downtown Jaco Beach or through your concierge with HRG

Costa Rica is a great Eco-Green learning experience for the entire family

Today, Costa Rica is one of the greenest countries in the world (in terms of carbon and sulfur emissions and conservation practices), and the government has made a pledge to be the first developing country to be carbon neutral by 2021. Vacationing in Costa Rica is a great opportunity to educate your kids about the importance of preserving our planet and the ways in which green- conscious countries are doing their part to make that happen. Being immersed into the kind of eco-conscious culture that Costa Rica offers can have a big impact on your family.


With so much to learn, see, and do, Costa Rica offers a family vacation like no other. Call today and book your next family vacation at Los Sueños Resort Costa Rica.

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Something for Everyone in Costa Rica

A vacation in Costa Rica has something for everyone.

Costa Rica is a land of abundance. The small region is known for its wealth of rainforests, tropical climate and wildlife species relative to its size. The variety of natural beauty is echoed by the variety of ways to entertain and amaze its residents and visitors. When you want a one-stop vacation destination for adventure, relaxation and exotic tropical excess, Costa Rica is the place.

HRG Vacations is an all-inclusive vacation planning organization. The staff at HRG can plan your trip from beginning to end. They will pick you up at the airport, transport you to and from Los Sueños Resort & Marina on the Central Pacific coast, and set your reservations for activities and tours. There are many ways to unwind at Los Sueños Resort:

Outdoor adventure tours
There are many thrilling ways to see the jungle and its  treasure trove of wildlife including white water rafting, eco-canopy tours, motorized canopy tours, sky walking tours and zip line tours.
White water rafting is an exciting trip down a rushing river over waterfalls and around large rocks. It takes concentration and strength and gives a great adrenaline rush.
The canopy tours consist of visitors riding in a metal basket high up through the jungle trees, offering views of the birds, monkeys, and other tree-dwellers as well as beautiful panoramas of greenery and rivers running through ravines. The basket safely surrounds you while you enjoy the scenery from up high.
Eco-canopy tours provide the benefits of the motorized tours without harming the environment. You, the visitor are the motor, pulling yourself along the steel cable.
The sky walk gives you an on-high view of the jungle and its inhabitants as well. Instead of riding in a basket, you are walking across a swinging suspension bridge much like the natives used to build from rope.
Zip lining is another adrenaline rush to experience. See the jungle as you get the feeling of flying like a bird. Your tour guides help you zip from tree to tree as you hang from your harness attached to a steel cable. No basket, no walkway, just you, your harness and the open jungle air!
Outdoor relaxation activities
All outdoor activities are not appropriate for all people or all times. If you are looking for a more relaxing way to enjoy the warm Costa Rican sun and green jungle scenery, you will not be disappointed. Many activities are available like golfing, snorkeling, river tubing, horseback riding and coffee tours.
While golfing and snorkeling, you will see unique wildlife. Some examples are monkeys and birds in the jungle beside the golf course and multiple tropical fish, coral, and marine wildlife like sand dollars and starfish while snorkeling.
River tubing is a slow drift down a smoothly flowing river. Horseback riding is an equine jungle trek that leads out to a trot along the beach. Your horse may even like to swim!
The coffee tour is appropriate for any activity level. It is educational and delicious. Try some of the local blends while you are there!
Sport fishing 
Out on the wild blue, you will have to opportunity to catch marlin, grouper, sailfish, swordfish, dorado fish and yellow belly tuna.
Spa days

Spend your day being pampered with tropical herbal scents. Enjoy massages and facials, manicures and pedicures in this gorgeous tropical setting.


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Costa Rica Adventure Tours

How to Make the Most out of Your Costa Rica Adventure Tour

Canopy TourThere are hundreds of exciting things to do in Costa Rica, and adventure tours are one of the best ways to experience this vibrant country. From crocodile watching, to ziplining through the jungle canopy, to white water rafting, there are tours offering the perfect activity for everyone. That said, the choices can be overwhelming, and the tours can be rugged. We’ve come up with some ways to make sure you get the most out of your tours while you’re here.

Make a Plan

Long before your feet ever touch Costa Rican soil, you should have a well thought-out adventure plan in place. First, research the types of tours available. Next, prioritize the types of tours you would most like to take. Create a loose schedule, with your highest preferences planned earliest on in your vacation, and a working budget, with the idea that you’ll spend most on the highest priority activities. This way, if time or money run out, you’ll have done what you most wanted to do. Have a plan B ready for inclement weather, or anything else that might come up.

Do Your Homework

Once you’ve sketched out a plan and decided what tours you’d like to take, it’s time to research the finer points of your choices, and fine-tune your schedule and budget accordingly. Google the different companies offering your preferred tours. Read reviews of other travelers to find out if the tour is what you envision. To avoid unpleasant surprises, find out what days and times tours operate and exactly what they cost, and research any and all refund policies, required deposits, and guest restrictions. Then, finalize your plan according to your research.

Don’t Overdo It

Costa Rican adventure tours are exhilarating, thrilling, and some of the most fun you’ll ever have. But all the excitement can be a little exhausting. Make sure to plan some downtime, whether it’s walking on the beach, relaxing at a swim-up bar, or visiting a first-class spa.

Be Prepared

The last thing you need is to show up for your adventure tour with the wrong shoes, or to get a world-class sunburn because you didn’t pack the right amount of sunscreen. Do a thorough packing job, taking care to prepare for bad weather, bugs, and sun and heat exposure. Find out what your tours encompass in terms of type of terrain to determine what footwear would be best. Costa Rica has a range of different climates depending on elevation and location, so don’t assume that shorts and a T-short will work for any adventure; light layers are always best. Also, find out what each tour will provide in terms of food and hydration, and plan accordingly.

Relax and Enjoy

With a solid plan in place and all your bases covered, you’ll be free to relax and enjoy. And, if something doesn’t go according to plan, remember to roll with the punches. You’re out for an adventure, anyways, and in Costa Rica, another great one is waiting right around the corner.

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Family Reunion Vacation Los Suenos

Los Sueños Resort is the Perfect Vacation Destination for a Family Reunion


Party on beachLos Sueños Resort in Costa Rica is a fabulous place to host a family reunion. Not only is the country of Costa Rica someplace everyone will be excited to visit, but Los Sueños will pamper your whole entourage and make them feel right at home.

With so many exciting activities available in Los Sueños and its surrounding areas, there’s something for absolutely everyone. First and foremost, your family will love Los Sueños’s five-star service, warm welcome, and incredible ocean and rainforest vistas. They’ll also love the beautiful tropical setting and the

For group activities, your family can enjoy bird watching, rainforest and adventure tours, as well as ziplining, horseback riding, diving, kayaking and canyoning adventures.

For family gatherings that are sure to provide an exciting time and lasting memories, there’s Los Sueños Marriot Hotel. The Hotel features restaurants, a lively casino and private meeting rooms – all of which guests of the Los Sueños resort are welcome to use.

There comes a time in every family reunion when everyone splits up for a bit to do some exploring on their own. Fortunately, Los Sueños has a lot to offer individuals or smaller groups in search of some relaxation or some adventure.

For those relatives looking to relax in luxurious style, the Los Sueños  Beach Club offers a free form pool, a Jacuzzi, a swim-up bar stocked with amazing drinks, and its very own white sand beach. Meanwhile, the Los Sueños Marriot offers a first class spa perfect for getting pampered. For those family members whose idea of relaxation is a round of golf on an amazing course, Los Sueños offers the Championship Eco Golf Course, which plays right up to the rainforest.

Of course, you’ll have to bring back souvenirs to remember your incredible trip. Fortunately, in nearby Jaco, you’ll find everything you could want in the way of shopping – from cigars, to coffee, to handmade Costa Rican crafts, there are plenty of treasures to choose from.

For those who’d like to celebrate together into the night, the Los Sueños Marina Village and the town of Jaco offer any number of delightful bars and restaurants. You can catch up on each other’s lives as you drink, dance and dine on international cuisine.

Finally, there’s the sport fishing. If a few intrepid folks in your group want to try their hand at hunting the big ocean game, Los Sueños offers a marina full of boats waiting to take them on an exciting fishing charter.

When it comes to making memories with your family, there’s nothing that will compare to a sun-soaked, adventurous trip to Costa Rica in a luxury resort that feels like home. You’d be doing yourself a favor to consider Los Sueños for your next reunion.

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Family Trip to Costa Rica

Our Family Girls’ Getaway to Costa Rica was one of the Most Fabulous Vacations We’ve Been on Yet!

iguana-golf-course-forestThis time of year all the women in my family go on a trip together to Costa Rica. The guys have their hunting thing they do together, and we girls have our own fun. My mom, her two sisters, their daughters, I and my sister all plan a yearly vacation. We are an eclectic mix. Some of us like to do the whole spa thing, you know, spend the vacation relaxing, and some of us like the more adventurous stuff like climbing trees in the jungle, or taking a canopy tour over the jungle rivers and through the trees.

We like to find places that have adventurous and relaxing fun so that we can all do things that we’d like, and when we called HRG at the Los Sueños Resort in Costa Rica, we found out that this was the perfect place to suit our individual needs.

Of course we like to do things together as well. Here are a few of the additional fun things we did this year:

  • Poas Volcano Tour – My cousin is thinking about becoming a volcanologist, so we had to go on both of the volcano tours. I’m really glad that we did because they were so amazing. What I liked about the Poas Volcano was learning that life can exist on top of one. The largest crater in the volcano is still active and as expected, it has a bubbling lake in the bottom of the crater. I was surprised to see the color, though. I have always imagined volcanoes to be red, like pictures I’ve seen of flowing, molten lava. This bubbling lake was green. It did smell like sulfur though. The second crater, called Laguna Botos, was the most surprising to me, because as I mentioned earlier, it supported wildlife! There was a cloud forest around it and lots of different species of hummingbirds. We walked the trails and took in the beautiful views.
  • Arenal Volcano Tour – Now this volcano captured the idea of what I thought a volcano should be. We got to visit in the evening around 8pm, and we could see humongous red-hot pieces of lava projected into the sky from its top. It was easy to see where the heat came from for the natural hot springs we were bathing in further down at the base of the volcano. What a night that was.
  • Tortuga Island Tour – HRG offers connection to the Tortuga Island Boating Tour. I felt like we were in a beach movie on this trip. We took a catamaran to the island and had live music on the beach. It was a real beach party. My aunt convinced us all to buy these big, floppy touristy sun hats and round dark sunglasses. We took a bunch of pictures that day of all of us relaxing on the beach. It was great!
  • Golf- My mom loves to golf. It has become one of her hobbies in the last few years, and all the way to Los Sueños, she was going on and on about the championship golf course that they have. We all knew that she was going to blow us all away with her years of practice, but we all had a great time out on the greens. We just took it slow and enjoyed the jungle, and its wild inhabitants, around the course. It was one of our more relaxing days.

Our girl’s getaway with HRG was such a success that we decided to go again next year. There was just too much to explore in the one week of vacation time we had. We can’t wait to go back!


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Costa Rica Family Thankgiving

Thanksgiving in Costa Rica is Always Extra Special for Our Family

By Lynette Garet

costarica-villafirenze-03Thanksgiving in Costa Rica is the one time of year that my entire family is able to get together. With one of my kids away at college in the States, another away living and working in Mexico, I have just two still here, near me, in Costa Rica; everyone has super busy lives so it is always a challenge to get some family time in.

My family and I moved from the United States to Costa Rica in 1996. I can honestly say the move was the most positive decision I ever made for us. Having grown up here, my children are all fully bilingual and sort of think of the entire world as their own backyard.

Since Thanksgiving a special time for us, we always try to do something special.  My two kids that are away in the U.S. fly in and the entire family heads for the beach for the long 4-day Thanksgiving weekend. Generally we rent a house or condo in Los Sueños Resort and Marina. We’ve booked vacation rentals in other places around Costa Rica before but it is never quite the same as when we book with HRG Vacations and stay in Los Sueños.

Perhaps one of the reasons we love Los Sueños Resort so much is that it is so easily accessible from San Jose. Since two of my family members fly in from the States, that quick hour and fifteen minute drive from the Juan Santamaria International Airport to Los Sueños is greatly appreciated.

The bigger reason, though, is that we get so much with our vacation rental from HRG Vacations. Since we are such a big family, with my partner and I, my four grown kids, their partners, my new grandson, my sister, her husband and their daughter, and a few of our “chosen family” members who always join us to celebrate thanksgiving, we always rent a vacation villa with at least 6 bedrooms and have, on occasion, rented a condo too with a few staying there and all joining for dinner up at the villa.

Staying in a vacation villa at Los Sueños is the absolute perfect solution for these family vacation gatherings of ours because we get all the creature comforts of an amazing luxury home, a private pool, amazing views and nature all around,  a phenomenal kitchen for thanksgiving dinner preparation, the services of housekeeping and all the amenities of Los Sueños Resort and Marina, which include an 18 hole championship golf course, a world class spa, several restaurants and bars, nightlife nearby in Jaco Beach, killer surf for the boys in Playa Hermosa, and the marina for a family day of sport fishing (which we always take advantage of!)..

In addition to all the awesome activities and comforts of our vacation rentals in Los Sueños, and the resort itself, we are always relieved that we have the convenience of Automercado, one of Costa Rica’s biggest and best grocery stores, and Jimmy T’s Gourmet Deli, in the marina shops nearby, because no matter how well we plan, we always manage to forget something to complete our Thanksgiving dinner; thankfully someone can just hop in our golf cart and run out to get it.



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Costa Rica Family Vacation Packing

10 “Must-Brings” for your Costa Rican Family Vacation

packing-Costa-Rica-vacationPacking for your Costa Rica family vacation is a snap and when you keep in mind a few must have items for your trip to Costa Rica, you and your family will have a fun, safe, happy trip free of any vacation downers. Keep in mind though, that any forgotten items can easily be purchased once in Central America, so there is no need to stress about forgetting anything.


Bug Spray

Costa Rica’s warm, tropical climate and high humidity make it a breeding ground for bugs –some of which bite and sting. Mosquitos in particular are prevalent in the wet season. It’s important to bring bug spray on your trip, and to apply it on yourself and your children during outdoor excursions.

Portable First Aid Kit

Bring a kit that contains gauze, Band-Aids, disinfectants and other items to treat minor wounds, as well as creams that relieve stinging and itching from bug bites or minor skin rashes.

Waterproof (and Shockproof) Camera

Unfortunately, an accidental dunk in the ocean or a sudden torrential downpour is all it will take to ruin your camera, and your Costa Rica family vacation memories. Invest in a waterproof camera, and while you’re at it, find a waterproof, shockproof camera for the kids so they can take their own pictures.


It’s a good idea to carry a bit of cash on you at all times, both in US and Costa Rica currencies. There are many rural areas of Costa Rica, and if you find yourself in a situation where you need to buy something your credit cards may be all but useless.

A Calculator

When it comes to International travel, a calculator is a must-have for converting currencies. This prevents sticker shock, and helps you stay within budget.


Using your Costa Rica trip as an excuse for getting yourself some Ray Bans is fine if you plan to spend most of your time taking in the sun seaside. However, if you’re planning on doing some more adventurous trips, it may be better to take several a less expensive pair.


Given its location near the equator, the sun is strong in Costa Rica, and sunburn can set in before you know it, even on cloudy days. Protect yourself and your family with an effective high-SPF sunscreen.

Layered Clothing

Light layers are best for trips to Costa Rica, as your clothing needs can change depending on your activities and the weather. If you’re trekking through the rainforest, long sleeves and pants are your best bet to prevent bug bites and scratches from underbrush. If you’re headed up in the mountains things can get chilly, especially during green season, so a sweatshirt or light jacket is a good idea. If you’re traveling during the wet season, hats and ponchos are a must. And it’s always wise to bring something dressier in case you want to go out dining and dancing.

Waterproof backpack

If you’re boating, fishing or hiking in the rainforest, you’re going to need supplies, especially when kids are involved. Carrying your things in a durable waterproof backpack will help protect them from a sudden rain shower or an inadvertent fall into the water.

Several Pairs of Shoes

If you’re planning to enjoy a range of activities, you’ll all need to bring a few different types of shoes, including lightweight walking or hiking shoes, water shoes, sandals or flip flops for the beach, and casual dress shoes or sandals for restaurants.