Gentel waves at Puerto Viejo
Gentel waves at Puerto Viejo

In most parts of the country, September and October are considered the heaviest rain season - which is perfect for me! However, if you're a human who's planning your trip during this time and you'd rather stay dry, there are still some places to go to avoid getting drenched. From Puerto Viejo de Talamanco to Monteverde, you'll find world-class surfing, zip-lines and turtle-watching on this Costa Rica vacation, all while leaving your umbrella at home.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

The Caribbean side of Costa Rica is a gem. It has days and even weeks of sunshine in a row for you to soak up plenty of vitamin D. You might even see me and my frog friends hopping along the jungle! For the true "Pura Vida" attitude of good times and laid back living, the small port town of Puerto Viejo is rich with Native Costa Rican culture and kid-friendly activities. Take the family horseback riding along white sand beaches, or embark on a half day tour to the Animal Rescue Center. If you're feeling particularly wild, you and your family could even suit up for a Pacuare River-Rafting Class - you'll still get wet, but you'll be able to spend a few hours drying off after!. If you want to enjoy the sunshine along the coast, Salsa Brava is the place to be. It offers the biggest breakers in the country that crash along the shallow reef. They're dangerous, that's for sure, but no doubt you'll collect your fair share of fun - as long as you have some past experience hanging ten! If I was big enough to ride a surf board I would try it.

Only a short ways away from Puerto Viejo sits Cahuita National Park and Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, both of which provide unparalleled access to vibrant coral reefs. Although Cahuita is small in size, it is loaded with wildlife. You can see a variety of different monkeys, birds and reptiles, yet this jewel is best known for its marine diversity. Octopi, barracudas and sharks can all be found swimming in and out of the coral. Best of all, the roads into town are easy to travel on, so you'll be able to drive there quite easily.

Unlike its counterpart, the Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge is quite large - it stretches across a total of 23,348 acres. The park is brimming with wetland habitat and rainforest. Take the family on one of the several trails in the park, each of which is packed with tropical vegetation, exotic birds and marine turtles.

Beautiful river & mountains near Monteverde
Beautiful river & mountains near Monteverde

Northern Caribbean at Tortuguero

Get away from the clutter of city life in a paradise that has few cars and streets. Accessible only by air or water, Tortuguero is a hub for turtle activity (Tortuguero means "turtle place"). Plus, after the summer's tourist waves start to thin, you'll get an even better chance to see the giant sea turtles laying their eggs on the beach. Watching the baby turtles scurry to the ocean for the first time is one of my favorite things to do here!

To get your blood flowing, hike up to the highest point on the Caribbean side of the country, Tortuguero Hill. The peak is 119 meters and it usually takes two hours round trip. It is recommended that you use a tour guide, as the path can be slippery - and not everyone has a sticky feet like me!

Monteverde and La Fortuna

Escape the rain in September and October with a trip to Monteverde and La Fortuna. Crested atop Costa Rica's continental divide, Monteverde gives new meaning to the word "vista". It is approximately 1,440 meters above sea level and boasts cloud forests, hundreds of different species of mammals and birds and welcoming locals. To start things off, the zip-line tours here are world-famous and the biggest in the country. They are something the whole family will love to do. Afterward, walk across the Selvatura Hanging Bridges through the cloud forest to breath in the smell of fresh nature.

The Arenal Volcano is a hallmark of the Costa Rican landscape. Until 2010, it held the place of the country's most active volcano and today, still remains a nature lover's dream. Stay at some of the most scenic resorts to rest up before you bring the kids on a guided tour of the volcano. Waterfall rappelling, rafting, horseback riding - you name it, Arenal is a must-stop for tourists of all ages.

Olive Ridley turtle in Tortuguero National Park
Olive Ridley turtle in Tortuguero National Park
Canopy Tour near Arenal Volcano
Canopy Tour near Arenal Volcano