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Top 7 Trips for Animal-Crazy Families

Created: 13 September 2013

May 14, 2013

If you have animal-crazy kids, there comes a point where watching re-runs of Animal Planet and endless visits to the zoo to see the baby marmosets AGAIN will no longer appease them. Its time to take them to see the real thing! We've selected our Top 7 Trips for Animal-Crazy Families based on careful criteria: activities that are kid-friendly but not commercial, a diversity of experiences that appeal to kids sensibilities and attention spans, and 23 years of feedback from families.



Costa Rica

Visit the world-famous sloth sanctuary where the cuteness factor is off-the-charts, enjoy hands-on interaction with animals at a wildlife rescue center, meet biologists studying the rainforest at La Selva Biological Preserve, plus visit Costa Rica's extraordinary national parks, enjoy moderate whitewater river rafting, flat-water wildlife float-trips, cloudforest canopy tours, volcanoes, hot-springs, beaches, night hikes for nocturnal animals, sea-kayaking with dolphins, and snorkeling at night in the bioluminescence. With flexibly designed activities that cater to all levels, 100% safety record over 23 years, and 10% of the world's biodiversity, there is no better family wildlife experience than our award-winning Costa Rica Ultimate Wildlife Eco-Tour, named one of the world's "Top 10 Must-Do Trips" by Fodor's.



Nowhere else in the world can you get as up-close and personal with animals than in the Galapagos. Our three 20-passenger yachts have special family departures, kayaks on board, and 2 naturalist guides per nature cruise who specialize in families. The diverse itinerary of our Galapagos Ultimate Wildlife Cruise includes walking amongst colonies of sea-lions, tracking giant tortoises, witnessing the mating and courtship rituals of the sea-birds, and snorkeling amongst penguins and other marine wildlife. Great for families who love the ocean!





With 200 species of mammals including 13 species of primates, Manu Biosphere Reserve is the #1 most bio-diverse park in the world. This area of the Peruvian Amazon is also home to Tambopata Reserve, where you can see nearly 1,000 macaws and parrots turn the sky full of color and sound at a clay lick - truly a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle of nature. Our family-friendly activities include our exciting "Jaguar Kayak Float" and special expeditions to see the world's smallest - and cutest - primate, the pygmy marmoset - both Wild Planet exclusives! Plus rainforest wildlife viewing, oxbow lakes, meeting an authentic shaman and learning about the medicinal value of rainforest plants. Add a cultural segment to visit Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Sacred Valley, the enigma of the Nazca Lines, or the world's deepest canyon, and you've got a dream trip suitable for families of all ages and skill levels.



Take your family to visit the world's fastest disappearing rainforest before its gone, and one of the world's most breathtaking and endangered barrier reefs. Family friendly activities include visits to an Orang-Utan sanctuary to see the most human of the great apes, plus electric riverboat cruises to see pygmy elephants and proboscis monkeys with their huge noses. A highlight of the Borneo Weird & Wonderful Wildlife EcoTour is Wild Planet's special expeditions to see Borneo's unique flying and gliding mammals, and night excursions to see tarsiers and slow loris, two of the world's smallest and cutest primates.



With an astounding array of family-friendly adventure activities that exceeds even Costa Rica, Brazil is the new up-and-coming destination for family wildlife travel. Our Jaguar Safari in the Pantanal averages 1.5 jaguar sightings per day viewed from the safety of a riverboat. Options to view wildlife by horseback, foot, boat or jeep meet every family's needs. See the purple hyacinth macaws, playful giant otters, giant anteaters and silvery marmosets. Then witness the transition from the world's largest wetlands to the Amazon, the world's largest rainforest. Our exclusive Amazon primate program - designed by a primatologist - includes educational slide and video presentations each evening, with excursions each day in the Amazon. Plus options to see the spectacle of Iguassu Falls, Rio and more!





Our #2 overall destination for families and No. #1 destination for women travelers, Thailand is the "Costa Rica" of Asia in many ways. Wildlife safaris by jeep, foot, long-tail boat, and kayak in the national parks combine with mindful cultural experiences and end with snorkeling and relaxing on Thailand's incredible islands. The Buddhist culture oozes joy and open-heartedness, and the extravagance of Thai food, Thai massage, and the Asian aesthetic combine to create a richly joyous experience. And did we mention feeding and playing with elephants and cuddling baby tiger cubs?



India will ignite your family's passion to make a difference in the world. It will instill a genuine sense of gratitude and appreciation for your life, for the opportunities you have, and for the things you take for granted. It is ideal for families with teens and adult children who want a meaningful and potentially transformational experience. Our wildlife expertise shines at India's top national parks, wildlife reserves and UNESCO World Heritage Sites where you can thrill to the sight of wild leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, tigers and more. You'll feel transported back to a romantic era of turbaned warriors, valiant princes, and colorful harems as you explore the forts and palaces of Jodhpur and Jaipur, the magnificent Taj Mahal, the remote villages of Rajasthan and the contrasting bustle of modern Delhi.


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