The Central Pacific is one of Costa Rica's most interesting spots and you might not notice just zipping down the coastal highway but the National Park of Carara and the Tarcoles River happen to be the division between the tropical dry forest of the Northern Pacific and the tropical humid forest in the Southern Pacific.
This can be interesting when picking a hotel for your Costa Rica Family Vacation in the area of the central Pacific because you will have the option to see many different species that might be endemic to the two different types of areas. You also have mass populated areas separated by long deserted coastline with not much in between except simple lodging and an occasional isolated luxurious hotel. Your two most common places would be Jaco and then the town of Manuel Antonio which is home to one of Costa Rica's most beautiful national parks.
The Central Pacific is also known for having a good local population as the beaches closest to the Central Valley Hotels and homes are all located here making it an easy day trip or a weekend get away for Ticos or tourists who are in the Central Valley. The new Caldera Highway which makes driving to the Central Pacific from San Jose just over an hour is now open as of 2010 and cuts drive time down to about half of what it use to be.
There are often a number of Costa Rica adventure tours to pick from in this area and they are often stretched out by the coastal highway. If you are into ziplining, ATV tours, birding, nature hikes, whale and dolphin watching, Costa Rica rafting tours, and much more you will find all of this in the Central Pacific. You can also find great places to eat with views of the deep blue Pacific. You can even find a number of Costa Rica Spanish Schools in the area of Manuel Antonio or some surf classes at almost any beach you want.