Exploring a rainforest environment includes traversing through streams, climbing muddy hills, and navigating through dense trees. Keep the pace slow enough for kids to manage, and plan to begin in the early-morning hours when the temperatures are cool and the wildlife is out and about. Finish with a picnic lunch or a local spot near the rainforest, and then spend the afternoon on another adventure.
Kids love to be a part of the planning process and making decisions on their travels. Talk to your children before you set off and find out their interests, as well as provide them with kid-friendly guides and games (often on websites) to help them understand the rainforest and know what to look for when they are there.
You can help your kids learn about the environment in a fun way by making games of identification charts of plants, animals and other sites. Provide kids with their own travel journal and binoculars and invite them to take the lead on explorations.
The heat, humidity and tough terrain of the jungle can be difficult to manage, especially for younger children. Consider kayak or boat tours where lakes and canals are available, such as Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica, or even small ship cruises in the Amazon.
During your visit, take time to visit a local village or school and interact with the friendly and welcoming people, many of whom are happy to play games or invite you into their homes for coffee. Many resorts and tour groups incorporate programs with locals into their itinerary.
Eco-lodges, the majority of options for families traveling to the rainforest, may not have air conditioning. Look for one that has a pool so kids can cool off and relax when spending days in the heat and humidity.
Guided tours are certainly the best option when exploring unfamiliar jungle lands. Be sure you request guides who do family trips and can provide lessons and fun for young ones.
Whether in a group tour or a multigenerational trip, you will all enjoy the vacation even more with other children for the kids to interact with and other grownups in which to share experiences.
Todd Smith and is family have traveled to many great rainforests, and AdventureSmith provides family tours to destinations like Costa Rica, Panama, Hawaii and Ecuador, with small family cruises to the Amazon and the Galapagos.
Learn more about rainforest tours by visiting the AdventureSmith website.