Family Spring Break: Choosing Between Guatemala and Costa Rica

Deciding on a Spring Break trip for a family passionate about landmarks and thrilling adventures can be quite challenging, especially when choosing between Guatemala and Costa Rica. Both places provide experiences designed for families who have travelled extensively and seek more than just a typical beach holiday. Let’s explore the details of each location to assist you in choosing where to enjoy a week.

What makes Guatemala appealing to families looking for an experience?

Guatemala shines brightly with its historical wealth, providing various experiences that appeal to both adults and children. The nation is famous for its Maya locations, like Tikal, which not only offer insight into the ancient Maya culture but also enrich learning opportunities for kids. Exploring these ruins in the midst of vibrant jungles can lead to an exciting journey, igniting a passion for history and archaeology that lasts a lifetime.

In Guatemala, besides the destroyed structures, you can find volcanoes scattered around the landscape, offering families the opportunity to enjoy thrilling hikes to places such as Volcan Pacaya. This volcano provides a straightforward hike, making it ideal for families with kids, and the chance to see live lava flows up close is truly unmatched.

“Antigua is perfect for those seeking a blend of adventure and culture,” Aldrich said. “This colonial city, with cobblestone streets and Spanish colonial architecture, is surrounded by volcanoes, and there is a range of activities for travellers with active pursuits in mind. Imagine the thrill of an ATV ride around the base of an active volcano, horseback riding through nearby hamlets, zip-lining over coffee fields, hiking up a volcano or exploring centuries-old ruins.”

The cost of travelling in Guatemala is also a significant advantage for families. Guatemala is considerably less expensive than other destinations, like neighbouring Costa Rica, so visitors can enjoy a broader range of activities and experiences without worrying about going over budget. Accommodations, dining and activities can often be secured for a fraction of the cost of more developed tourist destinations.

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Safety is a concern for families travelling with children in Guatemala. When travelling to any destination, it’s important to remember that no place is without risks. However, staying within tourist spots, keeping an eye on health recommendations, and following general travel safety measures can help reduce the chances of encountering potential dangers. Travelers from around the world frequently visit many popular tourist spots in the country like Antigua and Volcan Pacaya. With safety measures in place, numerous families have had wonderful and secure experiences during their visits.

Costa Rica stands out as a destination for families seeking adventure and exploring the wonders of nature.

Regarding nature and adventure, few destinations can top Costa Rica’s paradise for families. You’ll find a remarkable commitment to conservation and ecotourism, with vast national parks, an extraordinary variety of wildlife, and a selection of eco-friendly activities that will thrill young and old. It’s the best place in the world to zip-line through the cloud forest, and few can resist the adventure of standing in awe of the immense Arenal Volcano.

Costa Rica’s biodiversity is astounding, making it a prime spot for any family that loves wildlife. From guided tours through rainforests spotting sloths and monkeys to outfitters that offer a domesticated bird experience, the country’s commitment to environmental preservation lets you experience the wonders in a sustainable and respectful way.

Costa Rica’s emphasis on catering to families can be seen in the range of lodging options available, from upscale resorts to eco-friendly lodges, all tailored to suit the needs of families. These venues typically provide tailored activities for kids, making sure that the young ones in the family stay occupied and have fun during their visit.

However, Costa Rica’s emphasis on tourism does come at a cost. Accommodation, meals, and things to do might be similar to prices in the United States, which could make it an expensive choice for families. During travel periods, well-known tourist destinations tend to get crowded, potentially taking away from the peaceful and natural charm that visitors often look for when exploring the country.

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If you’re into immersion, Costa Rica provides a unique outlook. Guatemala has prominent historical sites compared to the country’s colonization history, which needs to be more emphasized. The diverse indigenous heritage along the Caribbean coast offers a distinctive learning experience for families. Visits to indigenous communities, such as the BriBr√≠, to learn about cacao production offer a hands-on cultural experience that is both informative and memorable.

Costa Rica is generally considered safe compared to other Latin American countries, and the government has invested in tourism safety. Families can feel relatively secure exploring the country’s many natural and cultural attractions. However, as with any destination, the State Department advises U.S. citizens to “reconsider” travelling to certain areas and to exercise typical tourist caution, which is always wise.

In conclusion, both Guatemala and Costa Rica offer distinct experiences that can cater to families looking for a mix of adventure, culture and natural beauty during their Spring Break. Due to its abundant historical landmarks and cost-effectiveness, Guatemala attracts people intrigued by civilizations and cultural richness. On the other hand, Costa Rica stands out for its biodiversity, eco-friendly adventures, and polished tourism infrastructure geared towards families. Your choice depends on what aspects of a vacation resonate most with your family’s interests and values. Regardless of the decision, both countries promise an unforgettable Spring Break adventure that will leave lasting memories.


Is it safe to go on a family trip to Guatemala?

Travelling to tourist spots in Guatemala, such as Antigua and Volcan Pacaya, is usually considered safe for families, especially when they take necessary precautions and follow health recommendations.

What are some popular things for families to do in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica offers a range of family-friendly activities, such as zip lining, wildlife excursions, and visits to national parks like Arenal Volcano.

Where are the best places in Guatemala for families to immerse themselves in its history and culture?

Travelers can delve into Guatemala’s history and culture by exploring ancient Maya sites, like Tikal, and wandering through the charming colonial town of Antigua.

What is the ideal period to plan a family trip to Costa Rica?

The optimal time for families to travel to Costa Rica is during the season, which spans from mid-December to April. This time frame allows for opportunities to engage in outdoor adventures and witness the diverse wildlife that calls the region home.

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