Travelling with Children

To Selva Bananito Lodge in Costa Rica

Selva Bananito Lodge CAN be a wonderful place for children, as demonstrated by the youngsters in the photos below, all of whom loved it and thrived in our environment. But because several parents have found it more difficult to enjoy Selva Bananito Lodge with children than they anticipated, we have put together some suggestions to help you and your family decide if Selva Bananito Lodge is the right destination for you.

Selva Bananito Lodge certainly offers wonderful and unique ways to become acquainted with the rain forest ecosystem, and one of our guiding philosophies is to inspire children -our future adults- to understand, love, respect, and protect nature.

What´s great for kids

  • There are streams on both sides of the lodge, with lots of stones, mud, and sand to play in. The water is quite safe, and it is shallow enough in most places for non-swimmers.
  • You can arrange with the lodge to rent a horse for your children at most times (you get one extended horseback excursion included in the price). There are paths around the farm that you can use to take your children on leisurely horseback rides. We recommend that parents lead the horse(s) on foot whenever there is no one from the lodge accompanying you.
  • You can rent mountain bikes and ride on farm paths and riverbeds.
  • There are plants, flowers, and insects everywhere, and it can be lots of fun for children to observe, touch, catch, and release. It's a wonderful learning experience. Bring small jars with air holes along.
  • Children can also practice photography and art skills using rain forest "models" as subjects.
  • There is a small, roofed playing area adjacent to the lodge, which offers limited romping opportunities when it rains, or if the sun is too hot. The playground has a sandbox, a cement slab for chalk drawings, two tires for swinging, and ropes.
  • Children can do messy art projects there with paper and coloring utensils. Children are allowed to be loud at the playground. Parents can set up chairs or hammocks there.
  • Our naturalist guides can adjust the length and scope of rain forest hikes to your youngest child's abilities. If there are many other guests at the lodge, however, you might have to wait for custom-tailored hikes to be scheduled around our regular hikes.

Things to Remenber


Selva Bananito Lodge is located in a very remote area, far from stores, towns, and hospitals or clinics.


There is no electricity, hence no TV, video games, or music.


It CAN rain a lot.


We offer no babysitting services.


Outside of programmed activities, parents are expected to keep their children busy and out of trouble.


Our food is outstandingly delicious by most adults' standards, but not necessarily by the standards of picky children and teenagers. They will encounter foods they have never tasted before.

Meals are served at 7:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 7 p.m. and the same menu is prepared for everyone.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free dishes are available. We do not offer room service.

Tips from parents who have enjoyed successful visits to Selva Bananito Lodge with their children

  • PREPARE your children well in advance!
  • Make it a family project to learn about the rain forest before traveling to Costa Rica. Encourage children to read books, watch films, and do rain forest-inspired art work before the trip.
  • Help your children think of questions they might ask our staff while at Selva Bananito Lodge.
  • Explain to them that they will encounter an unfamiliar environment with no electricity, but that it will be an exciting opportunity to really get to know something different. There will be lots of new sounds, sights and scents to experience!
  • Talk to them about how they might feel like when they come in contact with people whose language they don't understand, and help them develop a positive attitude (the lodge managers speak English, but most other employees don't).
  • Discuss the fact that they will have to make up their own games, because the lodge will not offer the toys they are used to. Stress the virtues of using one's imagination to think of activities in a new environment.
  • Have a family conversation about what everyone is hoping to get out of the trip.
  • Teach children how to use binoculars or monoculars, and do some backyard bird watching prior to coming to Selva Bananito Lodge. Bring your binoculars along.
  • Make sure all children pack their favorite book or portable game, along with a FLASHLIGHT, spare batteries, a notebook, and pencils.
  • Don't forget hats and sunscreen.
  • Please bring rubber boots for your children. We have adult sizes at the lodge, but not children's sizes.
  • Pack clothes that dry easily (jeans are notoriously slow drying!).
  • Pack SNACKS your children will enjoy so they never go hungry between mealtimes. If you have a picky eater on your hands, you might even consider bringing meal items such as peanut butter and cereal.
  • Pack some basic medicines for your children such as Band-Aids, Motrin, anti-itch lotion, Acetaminophen, and some anti-diarrhea medication (the potable water provided by the lodge is safe, but children have a way of picking up germs anywhere they go!).
  • Tell your children that they must not touch or tease snakes, should they come in contact with them (not too common an occurrence - snakes tend to be shy and get out of one's way). They should always watch where they walk and look before grabbing something. They should always handle insects under the supervision of an adult.
  • They should NEVER venture off on their own or eat plants and flowers.

Most of all, involve your children in the planning and infuse them with enthusiasm and a positive outlook on their impending adventure!