From blue-footed boobies and howling monkeys to spewing volcanos and black sand beaches, a family vacation to either of these two adventure meccas is sure to create long-lasting family memories.
In Costa Rica
1. Visit Tortuguero National Park.
One of the best parks in Costa Rica, this is a major nesting area for the green sea turtle as well as home to more than 300 species of birds, including herons and kingfishers, monkeys (howler, spider, and white-faced capuchin), sloths, caiman, iguanas, frogs, and butterflies.
2. Go batty.
Learn about bats at Costa Rica’s Tirimbina Biological Reserve. Bats represent almost 50% of the mammals in Costa Rica (113 species). You’ll find out about the natural history of these curious creatures as well as their adaptations, reproduction and how they are captured for research.
3. Raft the Rio Sarapiqui
Enjoy the thrill of Class II and III whitewater amidst Costa Rica’s beautiful scenery while observing abundant wildlife beyond the water’s edge.
4. Explore Arenal Volcano National Park.
Hop aboard the Sky Tram Gondola and check out the Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake. Next up: ride ten zip lines down for the ultimate adrenaline rush.
5. Discover Otavalo.
Home to one of the most popular indigenous markets in South America, your family will long remember the colorful Ecuadoran market, brimming with handmade items sold by the native people in traditional dress.
6. Visit Punta Pitt.
This is one of the only sites in the Galápagos where the three species of the famous boobies can be found, along with two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions along the beach.
7. See Santa Fe Island.
Find out who will be “Beach Master” among the sea lions. Snorkel and swim or observe the sea life from a glass bottom boat. Check out the native land iguanas that are unique to this island.
8. Sleep aboard a cool ship.
Travel by night. Explore new islands and habitats by day. (Families will like the quadruple cabins) Tilt your head to see an albatross cross the sky overhead. Sleep well, rocked to sleep by extraordinary natural beauty.