Can I do CR with a 3 and 2 yr old.?

Old Jun 7th, 2005, 11:47 AM
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Can I do CR with a 3 and 2 yr old.?

Help fodorites!! We are going to CR in July, It will be my husband and myself and our 16, 13, 3(she is almost 4) and 2 yr old. We are going to Arenal, La Finca que Ama and then MA.

I am really stressing about what will I be able to do with the little ones. We want to do the Hanging Bridges, Sky Tram, hubby and teens the Sky Trek, would like to go to Fortuna Waterfall, Hot Spring, Turubari, MA National Park, Valmy farm(if the babies can ride with an adult) just not real sure how to handle all this hiking with the little ones, if it can even be done. All of you that have been there, what kind of advice can you give me. And leaving them at home is not an option. LOL!! Me staying at the hotel may have to be an option but I am hoping I can join the rest of my family.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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I went to Costa Rica with my then almost two year old a few years ago and am returning with my now 4.5 year old and two year old this year. Costa Rica is great for small children but you do need to adjust your expectations. Zip lines--out of the question unless you take turns, i.e. your husband goes one day while you take the kids to the beach and you go the next. Sky tram is doable with kids. As far as hikes, they can go on backpacks when they get tired, if you can carry them that way (I can handle my two year old for an hour that way), otherwise your hikes had better be short. Thankfully there is so much wildlife in Costa Rica you don't have to go deep into the jungle to see things. You can read my trip report at http://www.markandmonica.com/Travel/costa_rica.htm to see what we did the first time. This time we're not going back to Tambor and instead we're going to Tamarindo and Tortuguero (to see turtles nesting).
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 12:37 PM
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Why do you want to go to CR with small kids? You would be much happier to find a solid, safe all-inclusive resort in Mexico or Jamaica. Most of decent places there have babysitting included in the package. Both you and your kids will be happy.
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 12:46 PM
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A tip on Manuel Antonio. We did a guided tour and there was a 4 year old in our group. She had fun looking for and hearing howler monkeys and that was about it. A lot of the time on the tour the guide used a telescope aimed at hard-to-see wildlife and (1) she had to be lifted to see into it and (2) she couldn't tell what she was looking at. She and her mom left the tour early because she was just worn out. That said, I wouldn't do anything guided in MA with the little ones---take them to the beach or split off the tour early and meet the others at a designated spot after they do a tour. The little kids will enjoy the beach, the waters were calm and beautiful and they can see plenty of wildlife around the beach (crabs, hermit crabs, iguanas, birds, etc.). Enjoy your trip.
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 02:30 PM
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I would not recommend a trip like costa rica for young children. A lot of the activities there involve heavy trekking or very bumpy car rides. If youre more of the stay in the resort type then Id suggest Hotel So Como No in manuel Antonio as they seem to be the most "family friendly".
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 02:31 PM
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just noticed my typo its hotel SI Como No.

they do have a website www.sicomono.com
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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Monica, Thank you for the link to your webpage I enjoyed reading it and it encouraged me, was it a real pain to take your (I believe) jogging stroller?? I was thinking about the back pack. Our little ones are tiny, 33 and 25 lbs. And also 4 of us to carry them. I am fully aware of adjustments with the babies. Thank you.

Oleg, thanks for the advice but I would never leave my children with a babysitter I don't know.

Schlegal, I think that is a good idea, do half the tour and let the rest of the family finish the tour and take the babies to the beach.

lovesublime, I will check into Si Como No, thank you.

Thank you all.
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 07:07 PM
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Hire a big, burly guide who not only can find wildlife for you, but who is willing to carry one of the kids. When my son was 2, my husband and I visited one of the Caribbean islands with our 2-year-old son. I think it was in St. Lucia where a young man volunteered to accompany us for the day and carry our 2-year-old son on his shoulders. At first we said no, but we were young and trusting parents at the time, and he really seemed trustworthy, and he was very persistent in a friendly way. So we hired him to accompany us all day and carry our son on his shoulders. My son had a great time and the young man was delighted with the fee he earned. (He didn't want much money. I think employment opportunities on the island were limited at the time.) (I should mention that we certainly would never have left our son alone with any stranger, not even for one second! My husband and I were with this young man every single second that he held our child.)

You will need to keep a firm hold of the 2-year-old's hand at all times, and pick him up and hold him when passing anyplace especially enticing and hazardous. 2-year-olds are apt to suddenly dart off after something interesting, oblivious of danger.

I think you are very brave to take a 2 and a 3 year old to Costa Rica. Have a wonderful and safe trip.
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 08:31 PM
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Thanks Melissa, and your son is now 23, right?? Actually my son who is 16 would be a good choice of the burly guy, he needs the conditioning for football season anyway right??

The more I think about it the more I think the back pack thing is the best alternative. So we can still do stuff together. And yes 2-year-old's love to wonder, especially this little guy, he fears nothing. OK so I got carried away talking about my children.
T
Thanks Melissa, I am the who is going in July and going to the same places you are except Monteverde. Can't wait to hear your all about your trip.
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 05:58 AM
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Admittedly I have no experience in traveling to CR with young children.

My response is to the fact that your ideas seem a bit adventurous for a 2 and 3 year old. And I believe your ideas will have to be scaled back, and unfortunately one of the adults may be left behind. But that is sometimes the price that we mothers (and of course some dads) play in order to accomodate our families.

For instance, the Fortuna Waterfall is a spectacular sight, however the hike down and back is on a trail that is cut into the hillside, which is a little tricky. You will need your hands free and your balance. As a mother I don't think I could manage this hike while holding on or carrying my children. There is however an observation point where you can see the falls and possibly wait on the rest of your family.

So "Can I do" well yes, but realisticly you will have to hold back, break off and/or change some activities, which I am sure you are accustomed to doing even at home. We always see many young children while in CR, so certainly it can be done.

Stop stressing and accept that you may spend a bit more time at the pool than the rest of the family, but you will still be in the beauty of Costa Rica.

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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 09:19 AM
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in reply to those who said not to bring children, Oleg, etc., they either don't have kids or are not adventurous people. Mexico and Jamaica are beautiful, but nothing compared to CR. I took my almost two year old son there two years ago, this yr, he and my 1 year old daughter will be in Belize, doing the same things. I only recommend bringing a back carrier for them to ride in when they get tired or when the terrain is to tough for them. In MA, the park is almost flat, and the hills are short and on decent inclines. Bring your kids and enjoy, just take turns like the others said on the tours. The people of CR love little ones and what an awesome time you will have.
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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dfarmer and ewesthoff, Thank you so much, your kind words have made me feel so much better and releived. What you have told me about La Fortuna Waterfall and MA is what I was wondering. Once again thanks for your encoragement.
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Old Jun 9th, 2005, 05:56 AM
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We are leaving on Tuesday for CR- we are taking our 17 month old and almost 4 year old (he will turn 4 a few days after we get back). We are visiting someone, so that is the main reason for the trip, but I think it is going to be great for them! My husband and I have been before and we are definitely doing much, much less than what we did pre-kids. Since the person we're staying with lives 1 1/2 hours east of san jose, we're just staying in the central valley area (a few days with her a few days in Alajuela). We will do the aerial tram, zoo ave, world of snakes, poas and la paz waterfall (I read they have a bus back up the path- can anyone confirm the difficulty of the hike?).

We will take a backpack for my daughter and only do hikes that the 4 year old can handle. Our jog stroller is huge and I'm worried about fitting it in our rental car, so we will be bring our lightweight stroller. I'm not sure how much we will be able to use it in CR, but we will need it for the airport and I figure the little one can nap in it, if need be.

I will try and post when we get back to let you know if I have any other advice!
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Old Jun 9th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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Yes at La Paz there are vans that pick you up at the bottom and return you to the entrance. The hike is very nice. The stairs and walkpaths are very well engineered, making for enjoyable walking. There are a couple of places that are tight, but still with good hand railing. The waterfalls spray a huge amount of mist, making it very damp and can be a bit slippery if you are not cautious. A quick look at my pictures show good railing, built with safety in mind.
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Old Jun 9th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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Young kids in Costa Rica is fine ..... just adjust your expectations , and be open a nd ready for changes . Wing it once u get there !!! Faith
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Old Jun 9th, 2005, 02:02 PM
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Elzi: Let me know how you do with a lightweight stroller! I am wondering if I want to take the jogger on our next trip--it's so bad in the airport and it will take up a lot of room in the car. Of course, the advantage of it is that my four year old can sit on the footrest so we can take both kids on it--good for Manuel Antonio but maybe not really any place else.
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Old Jun 9th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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Hi Monica- Funny! I was just looking at your website and thinking that maybe we should try to bring our jogging stroller. I'm worried how it will fit in the car with all our stuff (we have to bring the pack n play since we're staying in a private home and we're bringing a bunch of gifts too). I was thinking that we would probably use the lightweight stroller for 4yo in the airport and have the baby in the backpack. I will let you know how it works...
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Old Jun 11th, 2005, 04:02 PM
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Elzi121, Please let us know how it goes, when do you get back?? I am also struggling with the stroller situation, since I am also taking a pack n play, Are you taking your car seat??
MonicaRichards, did you take your carseat??
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Old Jun 11th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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Heck yeah I took my carseat! That's one reason we rent cars--we don't have to deal with the install it or do without decision on van trips. It really is so much safer for the kids and when you see the roads and the other drivers you will appreciate that.
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Old Jun 11th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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Crarmy: Are you sure you need that pack and play? We did Italy with when our youngest was a year and a half and just put her on the inside of a bed with her sister when they didn't have a crib. Now that's she's two, she's in a "big girl bed" all the time--it makes things so much easier!
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