Taking the worry out of travelling to far-flung destinations and providing exclusive family experiences is something the right tour operator can do.
TO BOOK: Tauck Bridges www.tauck.com.au
The children crouch down quietly behind the log. In front of them are two large bison as woolly and massive as something out of Monsters Inc. But these creatures aren’t a Pixar cartoon; they’re real and the experience is a hundred times more special. Getting children away from the screen and out into the wide open spaces is something many parents dream of. But how adventurous can you be? The answer is, very, particularly if you are travelling with an operator which tailormakes tours with families as curious as yours.
For example, Tauck Bridges specialises in family travel, taking the worry out of showing children far-flung destinations like the forests of Costa Rica or the islands of the Galapagos. Here are just a few of the options available.
Swim with sea lions, wander through catacombs lined with bones, meet llamas and alpacas, hunt for answers to centuries-old mysteries... all this and more comes together in one family trip on a Tauck Bridges’ Peru holiday adventure. As you discover the secrets of this ancient land from today’s capital, Lima, to its original Incan capital of Cusco, the Sacred Valley and mysterious Machu Picchu, you’ll paint pottery, get blessed by a shaman, go horseback riding or river rafting (or parents can get a massage), see smooth-gaited Peruvian Paso horses dancing, and play games and weave colourful bracelets with school children in Urubamba. You and your family will also ride the rails to the “Lost City of the Incas”, take a hands-on chocolate-making class at Choco Museo, meet vulnerable spectacled bears, learn the art of the pan flute for a musical souvenir and much more. It’s the perfect Peruvian holiday for your family.
SPECIAL MOMENTS A private boat ride off Lima’s shores to swim with sea lions; insider visits to the “Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu, and the sacred site of Sacsayhuamán.
Families will wake up to views of snowcapped Mount Kilimanjaro and discover who lives on the slopes of Tanzania’s mighty mountain. Children get the chance to experience the life of Maasai warriors: dining under the stars, feeling the beat in a drum circle, making beaded jewellery, and learning how to speak Swahili or throw a spear. In search of Africa’s Big Five, you may see lions resting under baobab trees, wildebeest making their way past herds of gazelles and elephants up close. Families travel in open-top safari vehicles where everyone has a great view of Tanzania’s wildlife during morning and afternoon game drives, and there is a chance to float over the Serengeti in a hot air balloon. A selection of tented camps and safari lodges in the best locations means your family becomes part of the unbelievable wilderness pageant that comes alive right outside your door.
SPECIAL MOMENTS On-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts; drift above the Serengeti in a hot air balloon; visit to a local village school.
The ultimate South Dakota and Wyoming family holiday visits Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Along the way, Tauck takes you behind the scenes with filmed narratives by National Park experts who share stories of the visionaries who shaped the preservation of the national parks. The first pioneers had to raft down wild rivers, just like your family when you explore the Snake River. You’ll look for beaver, elk, bison and more as you travel to Yellowstone National Park, staying at a lodge steps away from where the Old Faithful geyser shoots its plume of steam skyward every hour. Nothing says Wild West like Buffalo Bill, and your family will learn more about him when you spend the night in historic Cody. Live the life of a cowboy by day at the TA Guest Ranch in Wyoming and by night with a stay at The Ranch at Ucross. Everything is larger than life in the West, especially when you visit Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore, where giant faces of four former presidents are sculpted in stone.
SPECIAL MOMENTS Scenic float trip on the Snake River with a guide who helps spot river otters, eagles, beaver, elk or even a moose; playing cowboy for a day at a dude ranch.
BIRDS AND BUTTERFLIES
The colours of Costa Rica will enthral children, especially when on this jungle and rainforest tour. They’ll see the giant electricblue morpho butterfly, large as a saucer, and rainbow-hued birds. More than 850 different species of birds make their homes here, from emerald-green parrots, scarlet macaws and bright-billed toucans to purple-throated hummingbirds, orange-bellied trogons and red-and-green-plumed quetzals. Then there’s the green turtles and iguanas, red frogs and white-faced monkeys. Wildlife is everywhere on the special Earth Journeys, created by Tauck and BBC Earth. A rafting trip with an expert guide, exploration of Tortuguero National Park with resident naturalists and overnight stays in riverfront lodges will give families the chance to experience the jungle and rainforest at close quarters. Children can also soar on a zipline adventure through the rainforest with views of Arenal Volcano, learn all about living along a jungle river, take a pineapple tour, and see, as well as taste, how the cacao fruit is transformed into chocolate.
SPECIAL MOMENTS On-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth; private home visit with a local family who have lived on the river for generations; jungle riverrafting with a wildlife guide.
Very few places on Earth offer as much breathtaking beauty – and outdoor adventure – as the Alps. Tauck Bridges’ week-long Switzerland family holiday is a trip that takes you from Zurich to Munich. You’ll take a cruise on Lake Lucerne, ascend Mount Pilatus in Switzerland and travel across the mountains aboard the Glacier Express to St Moritz, then into the Austrian Alps and Innsbruck, and on to the Bavarian magic of Munich. Along the way familes will get the chance to go whitewater rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing and glacier hiking. Together you’ll ride cable cars and the world’s steepest cog railway. They’ll also be a ski-jump demonstration and a chance to experience some traditional Tyrolean fun and games.
SPECIAL MOMENTS Private visit to King Ludwig of Bavaria’s opulent Linderhof Palace, inspired by Versailles; special meeting with a ski jumper in Innsbruck; hiking the Morteratsch Glacier.