Picture this, you’ve just arrived at San Jose International Airport (SJO), Costa Rica, ready to explore its stunning beaches and abundant natural beauty with your little ones. We know you are tired, your children are probably tired, too, and you are all anxious and excited about what’s to come. You need a break, but there is still a long way to paradise. Or is it?

Fear no more, Budget’s got you covered.

Take a look at the best, family-friendly beach stays in Costa Rica, and the best routes to get there from San Jose International Airport (where one of our main offices is located, wink, wink).

Manuel Antonio:

Nestled along the Central Pacific coast, Manuel Antonio is renowned for its pristine beaches and lush rainforests. Families can choose from a range of accommodations, including beachfront resorts and vacation rentals with ample space for children. The Manuel Antonio National Park offers exciting wildlife encounters and gentle hiking trails suitable for little ones.

To reach Manuel Antonio from San Jose International Airport (SJO), you can take the Inter-American Highway (Route 1) towards Puntarenas. Continue on Route 27 towards Orotina, and then follow the signs to Quepos and Manuel Antonio. The journey takes approximately 3-4 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.


Located on the North Pacific coast, Tamarindo offers a vibrant beach town atmosphere and a plethora of family-friendly activities. There are numerous beachfront hotels and resorts that cater specifically to families, offering amenities like children’s pools, kids’ clubs, and babysitting services. Take your little ones on a boat tour to spot dolphins or explore nearby wildlife refuges.

To reach Tamarindo from SJO, you can take the Inter-American Highway (Route 1) towards Liberia. From Liberia, follow the signs to Tamarindo. The drive takes around 4-5 hours, depending on traffic and stops along the way. Alternatively, our recommended route is to drive to Puntarenas and hop on the Paquera Ferry. Kids will love the view, and you will save 2+ hours of driving!

Playa Conchal:

Known for its breathtaking white sand beach composed of crushed seashells, Playa Conchal is a serene oasis on the North Pacific coast. Several luxury resorts in the area offer child-friendly amenities such as dedicated kids’ pools, playgrounds, and organized activities. Families can enjoy snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters or embark on a family-friendly hiking adventure in nearby national parks.

To get to Playa Conchal from SJO, you can follow the same directions as for Tamarindo. Once in Tamarindo, continue north along the coastal road until you reach Playa Conchal, located approximately 20 minutes away. 

Puerto Viejo:

On the Caribbean coast, Puerto Viejo exudes a laid-back vibe and offers a unique blend of Afro-Caribbean culture. Families can choose from beachfront hotels and eco-lodges that provide comfortable accommodations suitable for children. Kids will love exploring the sandy beaches, swimming in calm waters, and observing the colorful marine life while snorkeling or on a boat tour.

To reach Puerto Viejo from SJO, head east towards Limon on Route 32. Continue until you reach the town of Puerto Limon, and then follow the signs to Puerto Viejo. The journey takes approximately 4-5 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

Costa Rica’s family-friendly beach destinations offer the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable vacation with small children, and getting there shouldn’t be a problem.

Now, image this – you rented a car from our San Jose International Airport officest, you swiftly pick up your rental vehicle upon arrival and start your adventure the right away. Say goodbye to the hassle of additional transfers and surprise fees, and say hello to the freedom and flexibility of exploring at your own pace. 

Our rental vehicles are well-suited to your needs and travel itinerary, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable road trip experience for your family. So, unpack your bags at the beach, knowing that your rental car is ready and waiting for you. Rent a car from Budget’s San Jose International Airport offices and embark on a memorable road trip with your loved ones. Let the wonders of Costa Rica unfold before your eyes, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime. 

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