Stretching from the beaches of Mexico to the windswept wilds of Patagonia, the Americas are all about family Adventure with a capital A. Travelling with the kids to the lost city of Machu Picchu, snorkelling together over Cuban atolls, zip-lining through the cloud forests of Costa Rica or exploring the jungles of Guatemala – anything’s possible when it comes to the world’s most colourful continents. Our trips in Central and South America are geared towards natural exploration and cultural immersion. Think of them as the cure for couch potatoes.
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The clue’s in the title. These trips are for families only (including any aunts, uncles or cousins who’d like to come along, of course). As long as you’re travelling with a child under the age of 18, you’re a family in our eyes. Plus, unlike other travel companies, children aged 17 years and younger receive a 10% discount off the price of their trip.
Travel with other families
Travelling the Intrepid way is a bit like travelling with a group of friends. These trips are made up of 3–5 like-minded families, and the kids tend to hit it off straight away, allowing you to enjoy some well-earned R&R. We often find the whole family ends up making friendships with people from all over the world, staying in touch long after the adventure ends.
Small group sizes
Intrepid’s family group sizes are small enough to avoid the crowds and reach some out-of-the-way places, but big enough for a good social mix. Our average group size of 10 allows us to hop aboard local boats, buses or trains, eat at friendly, family-run restaurants and kick back in traditional accommodation and homestays.
We know the biggest challenge on a family trip is keeping the kids entertained. So we’ve planned in advance. Nearly all of our hotels feature pools, and each day has a great mix of action-packed adventure and flexible free time. Your local leader can also suggest activities based on your kid’s hobbies or school curriculum.
Our leaders are specially trained to run family adventures, so you’re well taken care of. You can also rest easy knowing we conduct safety assessments on all our activities to meet local standards as well as our own comprehensive safety policy.
We strive to use travel as a force for good. That’s why we choose to give back to the communities we visit, carbon offset all our trips and take our social and environmental responsibilities seriously. We’ve been officially certified as the world’s largest travel B Corp, which means when you choose Intrepid Travel, you can rest assured you’re travelling to improve the planet.
Green beaches? Check. An intriguing history? Check. Mega wildlife-watching opportunities? Of course. Isla Floreana has long been considered a highlight of the archipelago, famous for its 18th-century wooden postbox where the ships of yore came to collect the mail. Travellers can still post letters in it today.
Meet the local artisans, farmers and townsfolk of the Sacred Valley, a place where tiny farming hamlets dot the landscape and oxen still tend the fields. And let’s not forget the cute alpacas and vicunas. A scenic walk through the Andes leads to Chinchero, where the locals invite you in for the night.
Blinding white sands and amazing Maya ruins are the stars of the show on this far eastern outpost of Mexico’s coastline. Laze about on Tulum’s pristine shore, explore Coba Archaeological site by bicycle and go snorkelling in a limestone cave in the jungle at Xkeken Tourstation.
Not many countries combine jungle and beach like Costa Rica. Enjoy some time in Manuel Antonio Park, where the options seem endless. Hiking, horse riding, zip-lining, kayaking and dolphin-spotting are all good ways to explore this Pacific paradise. If it all gets too much, just while away the day on a secluded beach.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is a sanctuary for the unique flora and fauna of Costa Rica. There will be chances to explore the canopy on foot as you walk across a suspension bridge, but for the thrill-seekers, zip-lining through the misty foliage is a sure way to get the heart pumping!
Peel yourself away from Tulum’s perfect beaches and enjoy a leisurely bike ride around the ruins of Coba. This is the major joining point of the most incredible network of ancient Maya ruins in existence. It spans more than 80 square kilometres (30 square miles), but with local leadership you’ll go straight to the best stuff.
Visit a local farm to see how things are still done the old-fashioned way in the Andes, learning about age-old techniques of dyeing, spinning and weaving alpaca wool. Then it's off to explore the awesome Inca ruins, which are spread out on the mountains above the town.
From quality hotels in Costa Rica to camping along the Inca Trail, we always look to strike the right balance between comfort and authenticity. We want to make it fun and give you a cultural insight, but not at the expense of a comfortable holiday. In the Galapagos, we find it’s better to stay on land, rather than a boat (lots of extra space for the kids to run around). In Cuba we like to use a mix of Cuban hotels and traditional guesthouses (known as Casa Particulares).
Located on 34 acres (14 hectares) close to the entrance to Tortuguero National Park, this superb rainforest lodge ticks all the boxes: comfortable rooms, great food, easy beach access (a 5-minute walk away), friendly bilingual staff, an excellent pool and, even better, a spa.
With a strong emphasis on family, Cuba is one of those countries in which an experience of home life is priceless. Whether it’s a homestay on the Caribbean coast or a two-day stint with a Havana family, it’s the best way to get to know the culture and customs as they really are.