Snorkeling in Costa Rica, an aquarium the kids can touch

Snorkeling in Costa Rica, an aquarium the kids can touch

Snorkeling in Costa Rica
Snorkeling in Costa Rica with kids

My children love visiting the Shedd Aquarium. Seeing the colorful fish and watching them swim brings the kids delight. One of our favorite excursions on our family vacation was snorkeling in Costa Rica. Having snorkeled in Fiji, Mexico and the Caribbean, I couldn’t wait to share this experience with my children. Being able to see, and in this case touch, the beauty of the ocean is an amazing experience.

When we arrived at the Westin Playa Conchal, the on-site tour operators were able to book our snorkeling and sunset cruise. A mid-week excursion was booked for the Lazy Lizard. Our afternoon included snorkeling, food, drinks and a view of the sunset.

Before you decide to take your kids on a snorkeling trip, I would advise that you have a clear understanding of their swimming capabilities. The last thing that you want to happen is for your kids to get upset on the trip. Our boat had life vests to use during the snorkeling, but swimming in an ocean is not the same as swimming in a pool. My kids swim competitively but swimming in a current was a new experience. It took a few minutes to get used to the snorkeling equipment (keep the snorkel upright) and fins (breast stroke kick is not a good idea with fins). But once the kids started seeing fish, nothing could slow them down.

Snorkeling in Costa Rica
Snorkeling in Costa Rica – Porcupine Fish

The Lazy Lizard provided a local guide who swam with us. We followed him as he pointed out various colored fish, moray eel, jelly fish and a manna ray. Since some of the participants had difficulty diving down deep, the guide would bring marine life to us. He brought a porcupine fish for us to see. Also, he brought a baby octopus for the kids to touch. My son squealed when he touched the squishy, slimy octopus.

As a parent, the best part was hearing the joy that my kids experienced. As we swam through the waves, there was mom, look, look, oh my gosh, look, look  (of course all garbled through the snorkel). This afternoon trip instilled a sense of wonder and awe in the kids. While I love the calm and beauty of the water when I snorkel, the sheer happiness from my children made it a totally different experience.

When traveling, a special experience excursion can be a highlight of a trip. Before telling the kids about the event, make sure that everyone can participate. No one wants to be disappointed because someone is too young or too small. Discuss the expectations, potential downfalls and the fun that can be had.

No matter what enjoy the moment.  And, if your snorkeling, don’t forget the Dramamine (but that’s another story).

written by Cristine

Topic: Snorkeling in Costa Rica