I know that for some of us JUST traveling with our family is an adventure in itself. Believe it or not Family Adventure Travel is one of the fastest growing trends in North America.
This type of vacation is very different from being pampered at an all-inclusive or at unlimited buffets on the cruise lines. This is the type of vacation where you have an opportunity to really bond with nature, different cultures and, of course, your family.
We work with a Canadian company called G.A.P. Adventures who specialize in all types of Adventure Travel. The family tours came to life within G.A.P Adventures when the owner, Bruce Poon Tip, started a family of his own and decided that there should be something in the industry for families of all ages. Children over 12 can take most of their regular tours, but the family tours allow children as young as 6 years old to participate in the adventure and fun, creating memories that will last a lifetime! And that’s the true value of this type of vacation – sharing new and exciting experiences together as a family.
G.A.P. tours have great itineraries for families with few long travel days. Tour leaders are all specially selected for being exceptional at handling the family dynamic, and only families are allowed, so there won't be college students partying while on spring break!
Here are a few of G.A.P.’s favourite picks for families:
Costa Rica Family Adventure
12 days ex San José - Trip Code: CRF
With white sand beaches, turtle watching, monkey spotting, rafting and cave tours, Costa Rica is the ideal destination for the active family seeking adventure.
$895 CDN per person + Local Payment $200 USD
2008 Brief Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive San José
Arrive in San José at any time.
Day 2-3 Tortuguero (2B,2L,2D)
Travel by land and small river boat to the laid back town of Tortuguero, an important nesting area for sea turtles. This is a great base for walking and exploring. A boat ride through the jungle canals provides us with plenty of opportunities to see exotic birds and other wildlife including turtles, monkeys and caiman.
Day 4-6 La Fortuna / Arenal (3B)
Travel by river boat and van to La Fortuna, near the base of the spectacular Arenal Volcano. Visit the crocodile zoo, try river rafting, go horseback riding, or explore the lava fields.
Day 7-8 Monteverde (2B)
From La Fortuna ascend into the mountain air of the Monteverde cloud forest by van or on horseback. Spend a couple of days exploring the town and the Reserve, a nature lover’s paradise. Optional activities include a canopy walk, butterfly garden, and a canopy zip line tour!
Day 9-10 Quepos / Manuel Antonio National Park (2B)
The picturesque town of Quepos is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the white sand beaches of the Pacific coast. Go swimming, kayaking, boogie boarding, sailing or surfing. The coastal rainforest of Manuel Antonio National Park offers excellent hiking, spectacular views, and abundant wildlife viewing.
Day 11 San José (B)
Return to San José for one last night on the town.
Day 12 Depart San José (B)
- Boat tour to Tortuguero National Park
- Visit to Hot Springs in La Fortuna
- Guided visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
- Manuel Antonio National Park
- Arrival transfer and daily continental breakfast
Max 15, Avg 10
G.A.P leader throughout.
Comfortable hotels (11 nts).
Private van, river boat.
Galapagos Family Adventure
6 days ex Quito - Trip Code: EV06ZF
Experience the Galapagos Islands in the comfort of a small family group! Educational, fun and interesting for travelers of all ages, this is the ultimate family wildlife adventure. Travel onboard one of G.A.P Adventures' 16 person motor yachts in the company of an expert naturalist guide.
$1445 per person +
Local Payment 300 USD
Galapagos Park Fee 100 USD
Transit Control Card 10 USD
2008 Brief Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Quito
Arrive in Quito at any time.
Day 2 San Cristóbal (L, D)
Transfer early to the airport for our flight to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival in San Cristóbal, meet our naturalist leader, who will assist with the transfer to the G.A.P Adventurer II. Our first landing is at La Loberia, to see the magnificent frigate birds and catch a glimpse of sea lions and marine iguanas.
Day 3 Española (B,L,D)
Head to Punta Suarez on Española Island. The southernmost island in the Galapagos is home to several wildlife species, including masked and blue-footed boobies. Sail in the afternoon to Garner Bay, an excellent swimming and snorkelling site.
Day 4 Floreana (B,L,D)
Reach Floreana Island in the morning and stop at Post Office Bay. This is a historic site where mariners from around the world would deposit and collect letters from a “post office barrel.” Even today visitors may drop off and pick up letters, without stamps, to be carried to far destinations.
Day 5 Santa Cruz (B)
In the morning arrive at Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Transfer to the airport for our flight to Quito, and then on to our hotel. Final night on the town.
Day 6 Depart Quito
- Visit to Charles Darwin Research Station
- Incredible wildlife encounters
- Daily opportunities for swimming and snorkelling
Max 16, Avg 12
Level III local naturalist guide (certified by the Galapagos National Park) while in the islands. G.A.P representative in Quito.
Hotels (2 nts), twin-share cabins on board our motorized yacht (3 nts).
The spirit of Adventure can never start too early, and these trips are a fantastic way to bring a family together and feed a sense of curiosity of the world.
You can book these and any other G.A.P. Adventure tour through the AIR MILES Reward Program. Lots of our travel specialists have actually taken these tours. Call one of our Package Vacation & Cruise experts at 1-888-AIR MILES (247-6453) or in Toronto 416-226-5171 to discuss Adventure Travel or other vacation needs. (You do not need to be an AIR MILES Collector.)