Posts Tagged ‘family adventure’

Family Holiday Jungle Safari Offered by The Lodge at Pico Bonito, Eco-Lodge in Honduras

October 2, 2012

Spot Vibrant Toucans, Sleek Jaguars, and Elusive Hummingbirds

Let your kids discover their inner explorer on an exciting and educational family adventure through the pristine Honduran rainforest this holiday season. For the first time ever, the highly-acclaimed Lodge at Pico Bonito, perched at the base of Pico Bonito National Park, will be offering a Family Holiday Jungle Safari complete with a guided-scavenger hunt that is sure to provide your children with jungle book thrills.

Uncover spellbinding rock formations, marvel at jaw-dropping waterfalls and catch glimpses of elusive jaguars, keel-billed toucans, vibrant contingas and endangered emerald hummingbirds on the ultimate bonding vacation.

From guided night hikes to exhilarating white water rafting, your children will revel in the natural wonders of the unexplored rainforest with the added excitement of an inspiring, learning competition.

Family Holiday Jungle Safari

From November 1, 2012 through January 5, 2013, The Lodge at Pico Bonito will offer the groundbreaking Family Holiday Jungle Safari – a six-day, five-night package and naturalist scavenger hunt with a grand prize the entire family can enjoy.

Highlights include:

• Scavenger Hunt – During daily hikes led by expert instructors, your entire family will learn about everything from the native birds and endangered species to flora and fauna and geological rock formations. Following the hikes, you will embark on a scavenger hunt with your “Pico Bonito Scavenger Hunt” booklet in hand – checking off various bird species, reptiles, flora and fauna that your guide confirms you spot.

At the completion of the offering period, The Lodge at Pico Bonito will award the family with the most confirmed sightings 20% off a stay at the property between April 1 and December 20, 2013.

• Family Picnic at the Unbelievable Falls –Savor sightings of pumas, jaguars, spider monkeys and over 420 species of birds on an educational trek culminating at a spectacular double-drop waterfall. Take a refreshing dip in the sites irresistible swimming hole before enjoying a family picnic at the base of the unforgettable natural wonder.

• Early Morning Trip to the Observation Tower – Awaken with the jungle and experience a cacophony of sounds as hundreds of exotic bird species herald the start of a new day. On your guided hike you will discover Pico Bonito’s secret spots that make the property a paradise for birders. The journey culminates in a trip to the property’s three multi-story observation towers where your family can take in the jungles astounding scenery from above.

• Night Hike to Spot Reptiles – Search for nocturnal reptiles and amphibians guided by flashlight and the experienced eyes of your guide on an excursion that is sure to bring your children’s adventure fantasies to life.

• Whitewater Rafting – Enjoy a day of family bonding as you paddle away on an exhilarating whitewater rafting trip down the Rio Cangrejal, a world-class whitewater destination.

Rates include two adults and one child and start from $1,069 for a standard cabin for the period of November 1 through December 20, 2012. From December 21 through January 5, 2012 rates start at $1,405 for a standard cabin. Each additional child is $560 for a standard cabin or $669 for a standard plus cabin. Package includes a full daily breakfast. Additional costs include taxes and gratuities. Cabins are subject to maximum occupancy restrictions. Holiday Season has a minimum stay requirement of five nights. The Lodge is accessible from major American gateway airports. For further info visit or call 888-428-0221.

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

Families Unplug and Tune In to the Greater Outdoors at Aramark Parks and Destinations

July 12, 2011

Let your kids unplug and tune in to the wondrous outdoors at national parks such as Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado © 2011 Karen Rubin/

Unplugging your kids on summer vacation doesn’t have to be a daunting task for parents. A great way to keep kids interested in what’s happening outside, instead of on their favorite TV show, is to take your family to an area rich with outdoor activities, and free from connectivity. ARAMARK Parks and Destinations can help families do just that through its lodges and activities in some of America’s most beautiful (and often times disconnected) places including: Mesa Verde, Olympic and Shenandoah National Parks, Lake Powell, Lake Tahoe and Northwestern Wyoming.

Many of these rustic locations are far from cell towers or internet connectivity, making them the perfect places for parents to help their kids withdrawal from electronics—cold turkey. But not to fret, a lack of technology does not mean a lack of fun. To help keep even the most tech-addicted child (or parent) entertained, these lodges feature a number of outdoor activities from guided hikes, kayaking, white water rafting and rock climbing, where kids will forget their digital devices as they drink in the fun of the great outdoors.

Just because these places aren’t connected, doesn’t mean they aren’t sophisticated. ARAMARK Parks and Destinations prides itself on its first-class cuisine, featuring local and sustainable ingredients prepared in unique and different ways. Such acclaimed recipes include Mesa Verde’s Metate Room’s Turkey Napoleon which is a tribute to the wild turkeys that still roam the Mesa, and were a staple of the Ancestral Puebloans who lived on the Mesa 1,300 years ago; and Shenandoah’s Pollock Dining Room’s Chicken Riesling with locally raised chicken braised in Virginia wine with seasonal, local fruit.

Here are some examples:

Lake Powell, Arizona/Utah

The United State’s second largest man-made lake is a boating paradise. With nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline, sapphire blue water and red cliffs, it’s easy to escape the digital world at Lake Powell while on a houseboat. Many houseboats do come with a TV in case you need a little digital distraction. Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas, 100 Lake Shore Drive, Page, AZ 86040, 888-896-3829.

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

In the heart of the West’s “Grand Circle” of national parks, Mesa Verde is the only national park established to protect the work of man. Far View Lodge offers three tours within the park that will show your children how the Ancestral Puebloans, who lived at Mesa Verde from 550-1300 AD, lived before the invention of the wheel—let alone the internet. Rooms at Far View are free of televisions or phones, the lobby does have wifi. (Far View Lodge Mesa Verde, National Park P.O. Box 277, Mancos, CO 81328, 800-449-2288,  602-331-5210

Olympic National Park, Washington

On Washington’s Olympic peninsula, ARAMARK’s three lodges within the national park: Kalaloch Lodge, Lake Crescent Lodge and Sol Duc Lodge are each in a different eco system within this diverse park of rainforest, sub-alpine and coastal bluffs.

All three properties have spotty (at best) cell service and no available wifi. Rooms do not come with televisions or phones. The area is well known for hiking and fishing and also offers beach combing, kayaking/canoeing and hot springs for a relaxing dip.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park was established 75 years ago as a natural retreat for city dwellers, a task it still undertakes to this day. Big Meadows Lodge and Skyland Resort are both historic properties, built in 1939 and 1878, respectively. They lack cell service and wifi, and many rooms do not have televisions or phones. Shenandoah is home to over 500 miles of hiking trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The park also offers horseback riding, rock climbing and nearby cultural attractions. ARAMARK Shenandoah National Park Lodging
P.O. Box 727, Luray, VA 22835, 888-896-3833

Togwotee Mountain Lodge, Wyoming

Togwotee Mountain Lodge is the perfect jumping off place for a Wyoming vacation with its close proximity to Wyoming’s top three attractions: Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and the town of Jackson. In addition, Togwotee is close to a lot of regional outdoor activities from river floats to rodeos, giving you plenty of opportunity to rip your child’s eyes away from the electronics. While Togwotee does boast wifi and TVs in its cabins, you’ll be so busy doing outdoor activities, you won’t have any time to check what’s happening on Facebook. Togwotee Mountain Lodge, PO Box 91 Moran (Jackson Hole), Wyoming 83013, 866-278-4245, Email Togwotee Mountain Lodge

Zephyr Cove Resort, Lake Tahoe California/Nevada

When Mark Twain first saw Lake Tahoe he declared that it was “the fairest picture the world affords.” The high alpine lake, deep in the Sierra Nevada still has this impact on people today. Zephyr Cove Resort features some of the only lake-front cabins on the lake. To entertain your tech withdrawing kids, there is a plethora of beach activities, water craft rentals, horseback riding and scenic cruises aboard the two paddlewheel boats. Some cruises feature entertainment from a Mark Twain impersonator or guitarist. While the cabins do feature televisions, wifi and some cell service, with such a beautiful lake right outside your door, even the most tech-addicted kid will have trouble staying indoors. Zephyr Cove Resort & Lake Tahoe Cruises, 760 U.S. Hwy 50, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448, 775-589-4906.

See also:

Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park make adventure accessible, affordable and slideshow

For more travel features, visit

Asia Transpacific Journeys Offers Family Trips to Exotic Locales

May 26, 2011

With a Cambodian vacation, kids can be an archeologist for a day when visiting the Sambor Prei Kuk area - which could pass for an Indiana Jones movie set if it weren’t so completely authentic. (courtesy Asia Transpacific Journeys).

More and more families are  seeking cultural experiences in exotic locales where they can spend quality time together while expanding their horizons. Traveling to far-flung places in Asia and the Pacific with a family-oriented adventure program through a tour company like Asia Transpacific Journeys broadens everyone’s viewpoint and gives children perspective on their life by developing critical thinking skills and learning about other cultures.

Marilyn Downing Staff, Founder and President of Asia Transpacific Journeys for the Asia and Pacific region, believes that by visiting cultures so different from the American lifestyle children learn about other cultures and traditions early on, which helps them understand that the world is a much bigger place than they may have thought before.

“Our sensitive and seasoned Asia travel guides provide children with insights into the local cultures, religious traditions, exotic plants and animals,” says Downing Staff, herself a parent. “It shapes their attitude towards life.”

Here are their top picks for family trips that are both educational and fun in nature through hands-on learning:

BORNEO – A Wildlife Adventure

On a trip to Borneo, tropical forests lush with wildlife invite moderate trekking through jungle trails, while monkeys howl on the white-sand shores. A visit to Mt. Kinabalu, home to 270 species of birds and more than 70 species of frogs is a great day trip for travelers of all ages. Families can also visit an Orangutan Rehabilitation Center and observe such national treasures as Sumatran rhinoceroses and clouded leopards on night walks and passages over an aerial catwalk.

THAILAND—A Family Adventure

This Thailand vacation, originally developed as a family trip for the American Museum of Natural History, explores the family-friendly country’s cities, hill tribe areas and beaches. Families learn how to become mahouts (elephant caretakers), visit a puppet theatre, ride an elephant among hill tribe peoples and take a bamboo raft trip through the jungle.  The trip is not complete without a stay at one of Southern Thailand’s famed beaches, where families can try sea kayaking and snorkel in the emerald waters.

 CAMBODIA – Discovering Lost Temples

With a Cambodian vacation, kids can be an archeologist for a day when visiting the Sambor Prei Kuk area – which could pass for an Indiana Jones movie set if it weren’t so completely authentic. A visit to these lost temples will enable families to experience its serene atmosphere together with a fascinating sense of mystery and magic including wild parrots flying overhead. Afterwards, parents and kids should head to Siem Reap to explore Angkor Wat, voted the most beloved UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 and simply a stunning sight for both old and young.

AUSTRALIA – Down-Under Wildlife Discovery Tour

On a trip to Australia, families can explore the country’s eco hotspots, kangaroo to platypus. Wildlife sightings in this naturalist’s utopia co-mingle with hiking, snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, and tramping through the World Heritage Daintree Rain Forest.

In Tasmania families can also marvel at the smallest penguin in the world – called the fairy penguin—and rufus wallabies, eastern quolls, brush-tailed possums, wombats and the famous Tasmanian devils.

Asia Transpacific Journeys specializes exclusively in custom journeys and small group trips to the Asia/Pacific region. Founded in 1987, no other company offers such expertise in the region. Its long-standing connections in Asia, outstanding personalized service, and deeply insightful cultural interpretations have made Asia Transpacific Journeys the travel company of choice for organizations such as the American Museum of Natural History, the World Wildlife Fund, the Harvard, Yale and Princeton alumni associations, as well as discerning individuals, their families and friends.

For more information, visit or call (800) 642-2742.

Adventure Center’s 11-day ‘Headhunters of Borneo’ Family Trip is guaranteed to hold kids’ attention

May 6, 2011

The days of headhunting are long past, but an overnight stay with members of the Iban tribe – renowned for their blowpipe prowess and headhunting traditions – offers an enlightening look at their ancient customs and ceremonies.  Adventure Center’s 11-day “Headhunters of Borneo,” suitable for travelers ages 7 to 70 (and up), offers a peek into the old ways of this once-feared tribe: learning how to best behave with the Iban so as not to offend, visiting with the Headman (an honor and a courtesy), enjoying traditional dances, and dining on traditional foods (no heads) while sitting on the longhouse floor.  Other highlights include the bustling city of Kuching, the coral islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, guided treks through rainforests and nature preserves filled with exotic wildlife, and a cruise down the Kinabatangan River.

Prices for the nine departures beginning July 24, 2011 and running through 2012, range from $2,973 to $3,061 per person, double (children are slightly less), and cover entrance fees, activities, accommodations, most meals, services of a group leader, and transportation, including domestic flights; optional extensions and international air are extra.  An optional five-day post-trip in Mount Kinabalu challenges guests to ascend Southeast Asia’s highest mountain before spending a day in Kota Kinabalu.

After a day spent exploring the scenic waterfront and cityscape of Kuching, Borneo’s largest city, guests travel to Bako National Park for a trek along jungle trails that are home to proboscis monkeys, long tail macaques, wild boars and monitor lizards, among others.  A stop at the farmers market in Serian is followed by a longboat ride on the Lemanak River to the longhouse of the welcoming Iban tribe.  Travelers have the opportunity to navigate the waterfalls and rolling hills of the Damai Rainforest by sea kayak or on foot before arriving in Sepilok, where visits to the Sukau Rainforest and Orangutan Reserve – one of only three of its kind in the world – offer close-up views of the endangered species.  After the Kinabatangan River cruise guests fly to Kota Kinabalu for a final day of snorkeling around the coral islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, visiting the Sabah State Museum or taking a trip to the colorful local markets.

Adventurers on the optional post-trip “Mount Kinabalu Trek Extension” continue their adrenaline-fueled journey as they ascend through rainforest and swirling mist to the summit of Southeast Asia’s highest mountain.  Rewarded with a panoramic view of the sunrise, they then descend into Kota Kinabalu for a final night of exploration.  The five-day trip is priced at $768 per person, double.

Additional details can be found at  Booking information, brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents; Adventure Center’s visitor-friendly web site,; or by phone: U.S. (800) 228-8747, Canada (866) 338-8735.

Adventure Center has provided world-class, affordably priced adventure travel experiences with one-on-one advice for more than 35 years.  Adventure Center’s Travel Specialists have personally traveled to more than 130 countries and offer knowledgeable guidance to guests in selecting an “adventure of a lifetime.”