A recent survey by the World Travel & Tourism Council reveals that 99 percent of American and Canadian travelers are eager to voyage again. Seventy percent of respondents are already planning trips for 2021. What’s more, 45 percent of participants have already entered the planning phase. Make no mistake, travel will make a comeback.
That said, challenging questions remain. For starters, where to go in 2021? To answer this question, we’ve got new priorities and considerations to bear in mind, from cleanliness to access to local support. Monitoring destinations for changing restrictions and updates will also remain important. That’s why we highly recommend working with an established, experienced family travel advisor. Of course, some destinations stand out as better options than others at the moment this blog post is published. Here’s a look at some family adventure travel possibilities your family will love in 2021.
Family Adventuring in Costa Rica
With one of the lowest COVID-19 fatality rates worldwide, Costa Rica has successfully managed and contained the virus. It reopened to American tourists on November 1st with restrictions. These requirements are meant to protect locals and travelers alike while instilling a greater sense of confidence in the tourism industry.
What do families love about Costa Rica? Its incomparable hospitality, kid-friendly culture, and harmonious approach to life, summed up in the nation’s motto, “Pura vida.” You’ll also be awed by its pristine ecosystems and focus on sustainability. Clean and renewable energy sources power 99.5 percent of the country. And Costa Rica’s government has set in place a clear plan for complete decarbonization by 2050.
As you tour lush forests like the Tirimbina Biological Reserve, you’ll appreciate how effectively this approach to natural resource management is. What if you’re chasing an adrenaline spike? Give canopy ziplining a try. You and your kids will also adore whale watching, surfing, hiking, and much more. Enveloped in nature at an ecolodge, savor abundant opportunities to discover the nation’s impressive wildlife, rainforests, waterfalls, and volcanoes.
Destinations like Arenal National Park offer sweeping views of the rainforest canopy, particularly when speeding above the forest on a 3,280-foot-long ziplining adventure. Six hundred feet above the ground, you’ll soar with the eagles and enjoy their incredible perspective.
Where should families who place a premium on social distancing head? Check out hidden gems like Samara in Guanacaste Province. This authentic beach town packs plenty of fun family entertainment options, including snorkeling, sea kayaking, hiking, and more. Find out more about the many adventures awaiting your family in Costa Rica.
Mexico: Beach and Beyond
Mexico was among the first countries to welcome Americans again. In this culturally vibrant locale, you’ll find off-the-beaten-path spots where your family can escape from it all. For families on the go, La Paz proves a fabulous natural choice with plenty of outdoor activities.
For example, you can take a short boat ride into prime whale shark territory. For families with an adventurous streak, give snorkeling with these gentle giants a try. You’ll also enjoy many opportunities to observe playful sea lions in their natural habitat as well as give glamping on Espíritu Santo Island a try. If these ideas sound like your family’s idea of adventure, here’s what you need to know about planning the perfect family-friendly Mexico adventure.
When cities are safer again, the “white city” of Mérida (the capital of Yucatán) is one hidden gem worth exploring. Or, consider a trip to San Miguel de Allende. Despite its quaint size, this charming town boasts a reputation as a “food lover’s paradise.”
Glacier-Hopping in Argentina
Argentina is slowly opening up to foreigners. While the process is still long and bureaucratic, special permits should be easier to get in the coming months.
The largest protected area in Argentina, Los Glaciares National Park is punctuated by lakes, embraced by rugged mountains, and immersed in thick forests. In stark contrast to these landscapes, you’ll find glimmering glaciers. Situated in Santa Cruz Province, the Argentine part of Patagonia, these icy realms afford otherworldly views. They also contain essential lessons about conservation.
Los Glaciares National Park truly lives up to its name. Thirty percent of the park sits buried beneath massive, ancient ice flows. Among its most famous sites? The famed Perito Moreno Glacier. Two towering mountains located in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy, also draw plenty of attention.
Which family-friendly activities will you enjoy in Argentina? Everything from trout fishing expeditions to photography safaris and rafting trips on the Santa Cruz River. The park’s well-marked network of trails also welcomes biking and horseback riding expeditions.
No matter how you choose to explore this sublime park, you’ll come away exhilarated and inspired. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for wildlife. Lucky visitors may catch glimpses of elusive condors or black-chested buzzard eagles soaring overhead. Does this sound like a trip your family would adore? Check out this adventure-packed Argentina sample itinerary
African Safari: Glamping in Mara, Kenya, or a Safari in South Africa
The Masai Mara in Kenya affords plentiful opportunities for slow travel in remote areas and less frequented destinations. The northern conservancy of Masai Mara remains one of East Africa’s best-kept secrets. Kenya is well-known for its diverse animal species, and it boasts one of the most rigorous environmental protection programs on the continent.
For these reasons, it marks the ideal destination for eco-minded families who want to experience Africa’s wildlife while enjoying luxury glamping accommodations. What’s so great about glamping? It places you and your family in the heart of the action. You’ll wake up and fall asleep to the sounds of wild animals while becoming naturally attuned to the rhythms of life on the Masai Mara.
South Africa represents another excellent safari destination, containing many locations renowned for their biodiversity. These include Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve. Get ready for breathtaking views and exciting wildlife observation opportunities on a South African safari. From zebras and warthogs to African elephants, cheetahs, lions, rhinoceroses, and more, you and your kids will be amazed by the awesome native animals you’ll see. Find out more about our Africa family adventure and request a quote.
Get Lost in the Vastness of Brazil: Pantanal, the Amazon or Cerrado
The largest inland wetland area in the world, Brazil’s Pantanal supports some of South America’s largest species, including giant river otters, giant anteaters, giant armadillos, maned wolves, and marsh deer. The Pantanal’s vast open spaces offer some of the best wildlife spotting in Brazil. What’s the ideal way to scope out these animals? In their natural habitats on a canoeing tour.
Besides the Pantanal, Brazil is also renowned for containing vast swathes of pristine Amazon rainforest. The nation boasts more than 50 percent of Amazonia, which covers an immense 2.6 million square miles or 40 percent of South America.
The Amazon Basin provides food, habitat, and safety for more than 10 percent of the planet’s known species and 20 percent of bird species globally. You and your kids will be astounded by its expansiveness and biodiversity on a stunning river cruise down the Rio Negro. Find out more about our Brazilian Cruise Family Vacation.
What’s another way to take in the natural beauty of Brazil while avoiding crowds? A visit to the Brazilian Cerrado. An area of wooded grasslands blanketing more than 20 percent of the country, the Cerrado contains some of Brazil’s most beautiful biomes. On a visit, you’ll enjoy endless opportunities for active families, including hiking, visiting waterfalls, observing wildlife, and more.
Northern Lights & Denali National Park in Alaska
If you’re looking for a passport to rustic adventure, Denali National Park in Alaska is your answer. A true wilderness, there’s only one road bisecting the park, the 92-mile-long Denali Park Road. It spans vast areas of the Alaskan terrain, providing access for hiking, biking, and bus tours.
Visitors come to Denali to see the park’s most iconic species: caribou, Dall sheep, moose, wolves, and grizzly bears. You’ll also be delighted by Denali’s more than 1,500 species of plants and 169 species of birds. But the eye-catching sights don’t stop there.
Denali is one of the best places in the United States to see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Visiting at the right time (fall, winter, or early spring) ups your chances of glimpsing this natural wonder. The Aurora Borealis is a year-round phenomenon. But the night sky during these times proves dark enough to catch the otherworldly display of light and color. Clear, cold nights at Denali also provide some of the most pristine stargazing in the world.
Are you ready to go wild in Denali? Request a quote now.
Peru: Explore the Ancient Andes
From Cusco’s splendor to Machu Picchu’s marvels, channel your inner Indiana Jones on an archaeological tour of Peru. Ancient civilizations have left countless markers of their impressive achievements, from Lake Titicaca’s underwater ruins to Southern Peru’s Nazca Lines hidden in plain sight.
As you tour the most iconic, impressive archaeological ruins on the planet, increase your knowledge of the vast empires that once reigned over this land. From the Paracas to the Chavin and Inca, get the inside scoop on the history of South America and its most sophisticated peoples.
No archaeological exploration of Peru would be complete without visiting lesser-known (but no less impressive) sites in Northern Peru. From the Valley of Pyramids to the Temple of the Sun, these South American sites don’t disappoint. Once home to vast civilizations that predated the Incas, researchers are working hard to decode the mysteries of mighty peoples like the Chimu, Moche, and Sipán.
What’s the highlight of a trip to Northern Peru? A visit to Chan Chan, the largest pre-Columbian city in South America, spanning more than 12 miles (20 km). A sprawling adobe city, its intricate bas-relief murals and sculptures continue to astound visitors. Here’s one option for family-friendly adventure in Peru.
Antarctica: Eclipse in December 2021
Are you and your kids looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Then, consider an expedition cruise to Antarctica to witness the total solar eclipse that will occur at the end of 2021.
What’s the best way to observe the Earth’s most wondrous cosmic event of the 21st century? Observers can witness this stunning astronomical alignment in the wee hours of December 4, 2021. A handful of expert small tour companies have already crafted itineraries placing their ships at the ideal locations for viewing.
Departing from Ushuaia, Argentina, the worlds’ southernmost city and gateway to Antarctica, you’ll cruise the Beagle Channel and cross the legendary Drake Passage on your way to the outer shores and islands of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Along the way, enjoy the chance to explore some of the world’s most pristine wilderness areas where constantly changing ice patterns dominate the landscape. Wildlife observation includes a variety of penguins, from Adélie to Gentoo. Whale species in the area include humpback, minke, and fin, and you’ll also have plenty of chances to see leopard and crabeater seals as well as seabirds like the endangered albatross. Ready to start planning your Antarctica family adventure? Request a quote today.
Where to Go in 2021
What do our top family vacations of 2021 have in common? They pack in plenty of educational value, authentic cultural experiences, and stunning natural landscapes. When you travel with us, you’ll give back to local communities through our well-established partnerships.
We also leverage these partnerships to take every precaution so that your family enjoys the cleanest, safest accommodations and transportation possible. From a Costa Rican ziplining adventure to glacier hopping in Argentina, a world of new adventures is ready for you and your family.
Where are you going in 2021?