Generally, travel in Costa Rica with children poses no special problems, and virtually everything you’ll need for children is readily available. There are few sanitary or health problems to worry about. However, ensure that your child has vaccinations against measles and rubella (German measles), as well as any other inoculations your doctor advises. Bring cotton swabs, adhesive bandages, and a small first-aid kit with any necessary medicines for your child. The Hospital Nacional de Niños (Children’s Hospital, tel. 506/2222-0122), is at Paseo Colón, Calle 14, in San José.
Children under two travel free on airlines; children ages 2–12 are offered discounts (check with individual airlines). Children are also charged half the adult rate at many hotels; others permit free stays when kids are sharing parents’ rooms. Baby foods and milk are readily available. Disposable diapers, however, are expensive (consider bringing cloth diapers; they’re ecologically more acceptable). If you plan on driving around, bring your child’s car seat—they’re not offered for rental cars.
Single parents traveling alone with children need a notarized letter of permission from the other parent, otherwise you may not be allowed onto your departing flight.
The Playa Nicuesa Lodge (tel. 506/2222-0704, U.S. tel. 866/504-8116, www.playanicuesa.com ) specializes in family adventure packages.
Rascals in Paradise (U.S. tel. 415/273-2224, www.rascalsinparadise.com ); Wildland Adventures (U.S. tel. 206/365-0686 or 800/345-4453, www.wildland.com ); and Country Walkers (U.S. tel. 800/464-9255, www.countrywalkers.com ) offer family trips to Costa Rica.