If you are thinking about a family trip to Costa Rica, pull the trigger and go. The beaches are pristine, the food is excellent and the ability to see an abundance of wildlife-monkeys, parrots, iguanas and technicolor birds-at any given moment of the day is awe inspiring. The journalist in me wanted to zip across the country trying to fit everything into a single week. But, my family craved downtime so we decided to spend a week in the Guanacaste Peninsula. And, I am glad that we did.

Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn for all day adventures, we spent a lot of time at the beach and organized a few activities to incorporate local texture into the experience. My top tip? Check the weather. Don’t go during the rainy season. Pure Vida!

Here are ten things to do with the family:

Canopy zip lining

Driving to a local surf town like Tamarindo for the day

Jumping the waves. It never gets old

Hiking in Ricon de la ViejaNational Park

White water rafting

Searching for monkeys in the treetops and iguanas in the bushes

Renting jet skis to discover hidden coves and caves

Go snorkeling to check out the dazzling marine life

Visit the thermal spring and waterfalls of Sensoria

Take a cooking class