For Christmas and the New Year I decided to do a trip that solely focused on kid activities for my son – so families, this blog post is for you!
We arrived to Costa Rica at about 10pm and the customs area was HOT and the lines were LONG. It was pure torture really – but once we got through it was a breeze to find transportation. All the car rental companies had booths right outside of customs, and there were a line of taxis ready to take whoever they could get (and for a reasonable price).
When we arrived at our hotel (Autentico Hotel), the receptionist (Gregory) couldn’t locate our reservation, but he saw that my son was tired, directed us to an open room, and said tomorrow I could talk to the manager. The room he gave us wasn’t the greatest but it was sweet of him not to run my card or turn us away.
The next day the general manager spoke to me and informed me that they had found my reservation, and I was currently not in the room I paid for (I paid for a better room), but if I was willing to move they would upgrade me to a suite for the inconvenience. Of course I took the offer. It was a beautiful room. Two queen size beds, a decent size living room, and a nice size bathroom (with an awesome size shower). It was nice to have a good space with a toddler, it gave him space to roam instead of feeling confined.
The next day we ventured off to the Spirogya Butterfly Garden (Spirogya Jardin de Mariposas) – I read online that a lot of people were disappointed with the size of the garden, but in all honesty, I thought it was a decent size. Not the biggest, but not the smallest, and for the price you couldn’t complain. The receptionist was very informative and gave us a pamphlet so that we could easily identify the butterflies that we spotted. The butterflies would land on our hands – This garden had my son entertained for hours (and me as well).
The receptionist also said that there was a path if I wanted to venture to the river but she “didn’t recommend it with a baby”, now usually this means that it’s a little difficult. If you have a child DO NOT VENTURE DOWN THIS PATH. This path is for moderate to experienced hikers. I was very scared trying to scale the side of this mountain while holding my two year old son. I don’t have any pictures because I refused to even grab my camera – I was too busy trying to grab on to the trees. Now that it’s over I can laugh at the experience, but at the time it was scary. After that experience we went back to the hotel and took a long nap – haha.
After our nap we decided to wander around aimlessly, it usually leads to good adventures. We wound up finding the Museo de Arte. It was closed at the time we arrived but right behind it was a nice park “La Sabana Parque”.
Almost every single person in the park was playing soccer, it was actually really nice to see so many people in such a large park. There were a bunch of carts in the park with locals selling fruits, juices, chips, and so much more. We spent a good 3 hours in the park exploring and buying from the locals.
Day 2. Our next adventure was the zoo (Parque Zoológico Simón Bolívar). The price for both of us to get into the zoo was $5 total. This was a nice change from the expensive zoos in the US. In the zoo they had birds, monkeys, sloths, lions, fish, crocodiles, and so much more. We really enjoyed our time here. Instead of calling a taxi to pick us up when we were done we once again decided to aimlessly wander and see what we could find.
First we found a park where a lot of the locals were hanging out eating ice cream. What I love about the parks in San Jose is: you always feel safe. The police are everywhere in the parks, so no one even dares to bother you. The police constantly ride around on their bikes or horses, and patrol the park.
Eventually we came across some blocks that reminded me of The Outlets. There were about 6 blocks where no cars were allowed, only pedestrians. The streets were lined with stores, and in the middle of the streets were people trying to sell items to make some cash. (The one that surprised me the most was a man trying to sell brass knuckles and batons). Down one of the side streets was a beautiful building that drew me in (Los Correos de San Jose). People sat outside the building and met up with friends, or played with their children. My son and I grabbed some ice cream and just enjoyed the scenery.
The second to last place we wound up at on our adventure, was this beautiful church. (I couldn’t get the name of it so if any of you know please let me know so I could update this entry). Outside this church was yet another park. There was a man putting on a show, everyone was gathered around him and started dancing. It was nice to see everyone come around and let loose.
Our final stop was the Museo de Los Ninos. My son was free and my ticket was about $5. This museum is recommended for both adults and children but in my honest opinion, it’s only fun if you’re with your child. It’s not something I would’ve enjoyed on my own.
My personal favorite part of the museum was the outside section (and I think that was my son’s favorite too). They had a playground surrounding the front of an actual airplane. Also they had REAL firetrucks, train cars, and a small airplane that the kids can go inside and play in. Overall I enjoyed the museum, if you’re in Costa Rica (San Jose) with children and need something to fill some time, this is a good place to do it.
Over all I enjoyed my (extremely) kid friendly trip to Costa Rica. I hope to visit again and next time go to the beaches that Costa Rica has to offer. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.
Until next time