Family Spring Break: Costa Rica or US Virgin Islands?

Costa Rica USVI

Costa Rica vs. USVI – a tough choice

A friend recently asked me if they should take their three children (ages 10-14) to the Virgin Islands or Costa Rica for spring break. Wow! That was a hard question. Both of those vacation spots have so much to offer!

We’ve been to the Virgin Islands ten times, much more than any other destination, so obviously we love it. We’ve spent almost as much time in Costa Rica together as we have in the USVI, though, because our trips there lasted longer. We went to Costa Rica once for a month and a second time for three weeks. (Erin also studied in Costa Rica for two months while in high school).

So which would I suggest for spring break?

Spring break lasts a week. If a week is the longest vacation you can take during the year, and for many Americans that’s the case, then I’d choose Costa Rica. However, I’d lobby hard for taking a longer trip to Costa Rica than just a week. There’s just so much to do there! You could definitely have a terrific trip to Costa Rica in just a week, but you’d see more of the variety that country has to offer if you go for longer.

The Virgin Islands have mainly one (amazing) thing to offer: beach time. And I am a big fan of amazing beach time, especially on a weeklong trip. One could choose to simply drink rum all week — I mean lay in the sun all week. And of course you can snorkel, rent a paddleboard, go on a kayak trip, or do any number of other fun beach activities.

Costa Rica

Monteverde zip lining

Although it’s a tiny country, Costa Rica offers jungle, beaches, volcanoes, cloud forest, and more, so there is much to choose from. There are lots of great adventure activities in Costa Rica, like hiking, snorkeling, canoeing, and their famous — and awesome — ziplining. But in a week you really can’t do all of that justice (which is not to say you couldn’t do all of it in a week, but there would be no rest for the weary, and I’d hesitate to suggest such an itinerary for a family trip). If I were to recommend Costa Rica for a week, I’d definitely suggest choosing only one or at most two areas of the country to visit.

The good news about this question is that you can’t go wrong. Both are awesome destinations and there are things for everyone to do. I’m excited to hear about which spot my friend will pick for her family.  Which would you choose? Leave us a note in the comments, and enjoy your next travel adventure, whether it’s for a week or a weekend.


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