April 13, 2017

Easter Traditions Around the World

Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection from the dead. The origins of the word “Easter” are largely unknown but there are several common theories. Some claim that “Easter” comes from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring and fertility. Others account the origins to hebdomada alba, white week, in Latin, for people who wore white when they were baptized. Easter is an entire season of celebration and observance, from Shrove Tuesday to Easter Monday. Easter is celebrated all around the world and you can take a family vacation in one of these countries to take in the traditions!

Italy: Pasqua

There aren’t set traditions in Italy. It’s more about where in Italy you are that sets the stage for the traditions and celebration you will encounter. The Vatican is a mecca for Catholics and all pilgrims who wish to attend the Pope’s mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica on Good Friday. After the evening’s mass, the Pope goes on a candlelit procession at Palatine Hill stopping fourteen times along the way to remember the walk of Christ and pray, ending at the Colosseum. Mass is held every day from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday. Another tradition in Rome is the food that is traditionally served: pizza sbattula (sponge cake), hard boiled eggs, ham and salami, and colomba (dove-shaped cake).

Peru: La Semana Santa (Holy Week)

One of the most well-known Easter celebrations takes place in Cuzco. The city’s celebration circles around Señor de los Temblores, Lord of the Earthquakes. The King of Spain had sent a statue of Christ to Cuzco to convert the locals. The statue was placed inside the church in Cuzco but during a major earthquake in 1650, the locals removed the statue from the church and the earthquake stopped. Since then, the statue has remained in the Plaza de Armas as a symbol of their Savior. One of the celebrations falls on Holy Monday when there is a six-hour procession around the plaza. There is mass during the rest of Holy Week. Another Easter tradition involves food as it represents a time of rejoicing and gratitude after an extended period of fasting. On Good Friday, is it common to eat twelve main dishes like soup, fish, potatoes, and dessert like mazamorra.

Canada: Easter

Easter in Canada is much like that in the United States. The celebration of Easter is preceded by Lent, during which Christians practice penance that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. In French Canadian communities, Lent is interrupted by Mid-Lent. This is mostly celebrated in Quebec and Acadia. Otherwise, Easter is celebrated in the same manner as other Western countries.

Canadians mark the holiday with family gatherings and food. Lamb is a common dish, as well as ham and hot cross buns. Consumption of the buns dates to the British tradition of making the cross buns incised with a cross as a symbol of Christ. In modern times, icing is used to mark the cross on top of the buns. There are many symbols of modern Easter that have more to do with the beginning of Spring than with the religious holiday itself such as egg hunts, the Easter Bunny, chocolate, and more.

The messages of rejoice and gratitude are the same while celebrations in these countries can be different. This is a time of the year to celebrate new life and a fresh beginning of the season. You can travel to any one of these places and see these celebrations and traditions up close and personal. Seeing traditions play-out in a different culture is one of the best parts about travel!



March 16, 2017

Best Destinations for your Next Family Vacation

Are you struggling to figure out where your next family vacation will be? Not sure you’d like to leave it up to the “fate” of “close your eyes and stick a pin on the map, that’s where we’ll go!”? With over 18 years of experience in the family vacations game, we’ve been to some of the best destinations in the world for families, some more exotic than others but all with something really special to offer. Below is a quick snip it of some of the best destinations for a family vacation!

Baja

Baja may be “close to home” but for many of us, will feel worlds away! Bright blue skies, crisp clear turquoise waters, rugged, pristine coastline and an eclectic group of locals make Baja a truly unique destination. In Baja you can also go glamping, which is basically the best and most comfortable form of camping that you could imagine. Add in swimming with sea lions and whale sharks and everyone will have a good time!

kayaking on a baja family vacation

Panama

Panama may be small in size but there is no question the country is bursting with adventure and flavor! From exploring the monumental giant, yes the Panama Canal, to spending an afternoon with a local indigenous tribe, relaxing on white sandy Caribbean beaches and even hiking through the jungles teeming with wildlife. Panama has something special to offer any adventure seeking family.

Thailand

The home of bustling Bangkok, quiet countryside, and picturesque beaches- there is something for everyone. Visit the night markets, spend a day caring for Elephants, give alms to Buddhist Monks, and snorkel alongside James Bond Island. Action, culture, oh and did I mention delicious, authentic Thai cuisine? Whether you have a family of older kids, millennials, or pre-teens; the long flight is well worth it to experience Thailand, an amazing country.

South Africa

It’s quite the commute to get here, but trust me; it’s totally worth it! A family vacation to South Africa is bursting with cultural differences, varied economic backgrounds, breathtaking scenery, and incredible wildlife viewing. The history within Cape Town, the stories of the struggle, and the vibrant, flourishing metropolis it is today provides a humbling feeling as you walk through the streets. The beautiful private nature reserves, the hospitality, and the flora is just “wow!” And finally, who doesn’t want to see elephants, lions, leopards, and the rest of the Big 5 up close and personal? The private game reserves allow you to see some of the most incredible animals at a distance where you don’t need to zoom in on your camera. It’s an experience like nothing else!

Croatia

Any history buff would appreciate the elegance and colorful beauty steeped within this amazing country. From architecture dating back to the 15-century Gothic-Renaissance era to 12th century churches. The charming cities of Dubrovnik and Split tell beautiful stories of the past, present, and future. For those that appreciate that perfect Instagram backdrop will have so many options here! I mean, you are exploring the Dalmatian coast, the epitome of the Mediterranean dream – bright blue waters, old stone fortresses and buildings lining the edge of the sea, and big dramatic cliffs overlooking white sandy beaches. Croatia is truly an amazing destination.



March 2, 2017

Irish Folklore and Legends

If your family is interested in history and folklore as well as adventure, where should you look to go on a family vacation? No further than Southwest Ireland! A Southwest Ireland family vacation is full of gorgeous countryside, quaint towns, dramatic coastline, and friendly people. There are plenty of opportunities to ride bikes, hike, and be active and also plenty of places to explore with deep ties to mythology and folklore.

Southwest Ireland - a beautiful place for a family vacation

The Slieve Mish Mountains

The Slieve Mish Mountains in Country Kerry are actually named, Sliabh Mish, and were named after Mish the Milesian Princess who was slain in the battle of Sliabh Mish. This was a great battle in prehistoric times between the early settlers.  Caherconree a mountain peak in the Slieve Mish Mountains is home to a stone ringfort called Bóthar na gCloch (“road of the stones”) which is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs and was the fort of Cú Roí mac Dáire, a magical warrior and master of disguise in Irish Mythology. Today, the mountain range is great to explore and ride through on horseback.

The Barbary Pirates

Barbary Pirates attacked the small fishing village of Baltimore in County Cork, in 1631 and kidnapped most of the villagers under the cover of darkness. A popular poem entitled The Sack of Baltimore, as well as books have been written about this terrible night. When visiting Baltimore you’ll learn more about the fascinating tale of what happened to this village.

Charles Fort

Charles Fort is one of the largest military forts in Ireland and it is also said to be haunted by a tragic figure. The White Lady, as she is known, was the bride of a soldier who tragically died on their wedding day. When she learned of his death, she leapt to hers jumping off of the wall of the fort. She has been seen wandering not only the fort, but also the streets of nearby Kinsale. If you don’t runinto the White Lady in Kinsale, you’re sure to run into some up and coming restaurants on the culinary circuit! Kinsale is getting quiet the reputation of a food hub for travelers.

Leprechauns

There have never been female Leprechauns! While modern holiday decorations show female leprechauns, in traditional Irish folk tales, there are none!  Leprechauns are considered “tall fairies” and some people believe that these elusive little guys still exist. The last supposed sighting of a Leprechaun happened in 1989 and because of this the area where he was sighted is “now a protected area for flora, fauna, wild animals, and leprechauns.”

The Shamrock

The shamrock, a well known symbol of Ireland, comes from the Irish Gaelic word Seamrog. This is a word that refers to the plant’s most noticeable feature, its three leaves.

Our family vacation through Southwest Ireland is a great way to experience this folklore and investigate the mythology! It is not only a fun, active family adventure but also a great opportunity for the whole family to learn about the history and culture of a magical country.



February 16, 2017

The 6 Things I Love Most About Japan

Japan is a fascinating country and makes for a great place to take a family vacation. Between its ancient history and cutting edge technology, you can get a look at the future and the past. Here are some of my favorite things from when I traveled on a family vacation to Japan.

Efficiency

It’s the most efficient country I have ever been to.  I remember standing in awe at a train platform with its three tracks all empty.  Suddenly one train arrives and the doors open.  I watched as a businessman walked at full speed into the open door and not slowing down as he exited the other door.  At that very moment another train appeared in the middle track.  He continued walking at a normal pace, exiting its other door only to have a third train arrive the exact second the door opened.  He casually took a seat on that third train as the doors closed and it departed the station.   There was no hesitation, he just knew those trains would arrive at the exact same second as they did every single day.  The MBTA in Boston could take a lesson from the Japanese Rail system!

Vending Machines

Yes, vending machines!  Literally everything can be found in vending machines, which are located throughout the country.  They can be found in train stations, near public parks and gardens, and sometimes on an alley seemingly in the middle of nowhere.  Some of the most interesting items I observed purchased from vending machines included a fresh hot pizza, hot and cold sake, heads of lettuce, flip flops, umbrellas, live crabs, and mashed potatoes with gravy.

Cleanliness

It’s the cleanest place I’ve ever been.  No trash, zero.  I cringed as a Western tourist casually dropped some paper waste on the ground, but then immediately two teens (with their bright neon colored hair and rock band t-shirts) ran out to the street to clean the trash and properly dispose of it.

The Food

Not only the fresh and colorful sushi, but everything you can find.  Often the meals are an art form in and of themselves.   My favorite was the okonomiyaki, a savory pancake – it is just as fun to say as it is to eat!

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Karaoke Bars

If you’ve ever been to karaoke in any bar in the U.S. you know it can be fun, but it isn’t for everyone.  However in Japan the experience is entirely different.  It’s an essential part of the culture and often there are private rooms – called karaoke boxes – for just your group to sing as loud and get as crazy as you want – without feeling self-conscious because you aren’t singing in front of a room full of strangers.

The Cherry Blossoms

Sakura: literally translated to the “cherry blossoms” which bloom for just a couple of weeks each spring.  The cherry blossoms symbolize spring and renewal so while they are in bloom Japanese people enjoy numerous parties and barbecues under the trees in a custom called “hanami,” or watching blossoms.  It reminds me of the American saying “stop and smell the roses” but in Japan the entire country actually does this for two weeks every year.

This is only the beginning when it comes to some of the best things about Japan and what your family can see on your next vacation together!



February 10, 2017

Top 5 Reasons to Take a Family Vacation to Switzerland

Although small, roughly the size of Massachusetts, Switzerland is a country that offers quite a lot for families to enjoy while on vacation. Switzerland is fun, adventurous, and multi-faceted. It’s clean, crisp air is inviting, relaxing, and rejuvenating. It’s easy to forget how taking in a breath of fresh air is supposed to feel! From the mountains and grazing cattle to watches and chocolate, family vacation to Switzerland has a variety of things to do and things to see.

scene from a Switzerland family vacation

The Mountains

The Swiss countryside is full of mind-blowing mountains with snow covered peaks. You can hike them. You can see them from afar. You can get up close. You can visit the tops of them. No matter how you choose to see the mountains, there isn’t a wrong answer. The most striking and famous of the Swiss mountains is the Matterhorn. You’ve probably seen images of the Matterhorn on chocolate wrappers, in movies, or photos, but nothing compares to what it’s like in person. Interlaken is a town home to three impressive mountains, Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. The best part is that many of these mountain peaks have options to take cog railways or cable cars up to the peak for the ultimate view.

The Goods

If there is one thing that the Swiss know how to do, it’s really perfect a craft to produce something that people around the world can enjoy. The two that come straight to mind are chocolate and watches. The chocolate is of the highest and most delicious quality. Keep an eye out for classic brands such as Callier, Chocolat Villars, and Suchard. Swiss watches are sold all over the world and are famous for their precision, ingenuity, quality, and ability to set the tone for trends in the industry. This is one of the best things to bring home after visiting Switzerland, it’ll last you a lifetime!

The Waterfalls

It isn’t only the mountains that are a natural wonder in the Swiss countryside. Among the tallest and largest in all of Europe, they can be inspiration for art or simply enjoyed by a traveler that comes across one. Some of the most striking waterfalls are in the Bernese Oberland region where plenty of hikes and trail walks cross old wooden bridges in front of gorgeous waterfalls.

Train Rides

Traveling by train or railway is one of the best ways to get around Switzerland. It is often faster than taking a bus and cheaper than a flight. It also allows people to see some of the most wonderful views on the continent, from the comfort of a seat. It isn’t just cross country trains that people should check out, but also the cog railways that wind along the sides of mountains until reaching the peak. It’s an easier and faster way to get to some of the highest points in Switzerland and see some amazing views.

Variety and Neutrality

Switzerland is perhaps most famous, more so than its mountains, watches, and chocolate, for its neutrality. It has time and time again kept itself out of conflict and from choosing sides. This is part of the national culture; people are friendly and like to keep their noses in their own business! There are also four languages spoken in Switzerland. In addition to English, the main languages of Switzerland are French, German, Italian, and Romansh. What language you hear will depend on what region you’re in.

There is a ton to see, do, and learn in Switzerland. It’s one of the best places to go for a European family vacation!



February 2, 2017

Sicilian Blood Orange and Shrimp Risotto Recipe

One of the best parts about taking a family vacation to Italy is the food, although there are many things to love about Italy. One place that is especially great is Sicily. Sicily is famous for its citrus orchards and their fruit is frequently used in Sicilian cooking.  One fruit that deserves special mention is the Arancia Rossa di Sicilia or blood orange.  With its rich orange flavor and delicate raspberry notes, it is a delight to cook with and wonderful to match with seafood.  Here is one of my favorite recipes for one of the dishes that my family loved on our last vacation to Italy.

(If you can’t get blood oranges, the dish is very good with regular oranges.)

Risotto:Sicilian Blood Orange and Shrimp Risotto Recipe

  • 6 cups Shrimp Stock
  • 1 ½ cups Risotto
  • 2 Shallots, chopped
  • 3 T Olive oil
  • Zest of one blood orange
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream (optional)
  • 3 T Butter
  • Salt & Pepper

 

Shrimp:

  • 1 T Olive oil
  • 1 lb. Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • ½ cup Grand Marnier
  • Juice of one blood orange

 

Risotto Recipe:

In a large sauté pan with olive oil, soften shallots over med-low heat.  You should avoid getting any color on the shallots, you just want them to go clear.

Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, bring shrimp stock to a simmer.

Add rice to sauté pan and cook lightly for 2 minutes.  Add one cup of shrimp stock to rice, raise temperature to medium, and stir with a wooden spoon until most of the water is absorbed.  Continue adding one cup of stock at a time until all stock is absorbed and rice is tender.  Taste for salt.  Depending on your stock you may need to add a significant amount of salt to make the rice flavorful.

Reduce sauté pan to low heat.  Add heavy cream, zest, and butter. Stir until thoroughly incorporated.   Add fresh ground pepper to taste.  Cover and leave on very low heat to keep warm.

Shrimp Recipe:

CAUTION: you are about to add alcohol to a hot pan, please be careful! 

We are going to flambé the shrimp.  To do this you need to be prepared.  You will need a lid which fits your skillet (in case of emergency use the lid to extinguish flame).  And you will need a long match.

Add oil to pan and heat until shimmering.  Add shrimp.  Cook for 1 1/2 minutes.

Move the pan safely away from the cook top.  Add Grand Marnier, and orange juice to the pan.

Return pan to heat.  When the liquid begins to simmer, use a long match to light alcohol.  Shake pan gently while alcohol burns off.  When flames go out the shrimp should be fully cooked and ready to serve (about 2 more minutes).

Serve shrimp and a spoonful of the juices over the risotto, garnish with a slice of orange.

You can make this at home, or, the other option is to plan your next family vacation to Italy and try the dish right from the source!

 



January 19, 2017

7 Tips for Taking a Family Vacation

Family vacations have been popular forever. For me personally, I look forward to taking time off work, the regular day-to-day routine, and taking an adventure with my family. There are undoubtedly challenges when it comes to traveling with your family from petty arguments to the kids not getting along, just because. But with a little guidance and these tips, your family vacation will be a blast!

a beautiful sunset, as seen on a family vacation from Thomson Family Adventures

This is a sunset the whole family will remember!

1. Don’t let the little things bother you, you’re about to take an adventure with the people you love! Make the memories count, it’s a once in a lifetime getaway. Remember, you’re getting a break from life— don’t sweat the small stuff!

2. Put one outfit in each person’s carry-on bag. If the airline loses your checked luggage, you’ll still have some backup clothes and outfits to choose from. Nothing is worse than starting your vacation and not having any clothes. If you don’t bring a carry-on try to put some clothes in one of your family member’s bags!

3. Pick a destination that has something for everyone! One great place for families to explore together is Costa Rica. There’s an incredible amount of wildlife from Capuchin monkeys to scarlet macaws. It’s also a great place to find adventure. You can zip-line through tree-top canopies and hike through the jungle around the Arenal Volcano!

zip lining on a family vacation

4. If you pick a destination that’s far, make the most out of your time there by staying the right amount of days. You don’t want to spend 20-hours traveling for only 5 days of fun. Some good places to go if you want to travel far from home, that are incredible, are South Africa and Thailand! I promise you’ll be blown away by the sites and their cultures.                     

5. If you have a long lay-over, try to make a day trip out of it! Kill two birds with one stone, it’s travel efficiency at its finest. When flying to Tanzania you are almost guaranteed to have a layover in Amsterdam. Why not take an extra day to see the city and cross it off your bucket list?

6. Take a day off from one another. It’s OK if some of your family wants to take a break and split off from one another. Everyone needs a break now and then!

7. Do a little research about a destination before choosing where to take your family vacation. The world has endless opportunities. Regardless of a planned itinerary, it’s always good to look at the country your visiting and learn a little about it; food, culture, languages, and history. Every destination has something unique to its culture!

 



January 6, 2017

6 Reasons Family Vacations are the Best

The first part of planning a vacation is deciding who you are going to vacation with. Now we may be biased, but the best people to travel with are family. There are a lot of reasons to travel with your family and why family vacations are the best kinds of vacations.  From new memories to amazing adventures we have narrowed down the best seven reasons why family travel is the best.

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Traveling with your Family Creates Amazing Memories

It’s more than just the incredible scenery that makes it special, it’s the laughter, the awkward encounters watching mom haggle with a street vendor, and all the inside jokes that you’ll be talking, and mostly laughing, about during dinners and holidays for years to come.

Appreciation for Travel & Different Cultures

The world is huge. Spending time far from home, getting away from life as we know it can help us all to find our place in this world. There’s a path and a group for everyone. As a family you may even discover something new that you’ll love, together.  The sooner you can travel with your family, exposing your kids to new cultures, the bigger the impact on their life. It may even mold and shape their future paths. All of which is exciting to watch!

Establishing New Traditions

Traditions are what make families, well, family. There is no way like traveling together to develop mew traditions. Maybe it’s something you pick up from the local culture or maybe the tradition becomes traveling as a family. Whatever it is, it’s always great to start a new tradition!

Learning New Things About your Family

There’s a good chance you’ll learn something new about your family and give them a chance to learn something knew about you too. There’s no better way to show your kids how cool you are than to go looking for lions together! Who knew your sister was so good at tracking wild animals? Seeing your family in a different light and getting to know them in new contexts can be really cool and eye opening.

a person enjoying a family vacation

You’ll Try New Things

Mom agreed to go shark cage diving with us?! And she’s good to go snorkeling with fish and zip-line over the jungle? Who knew she was that adventurous? When someone in your family is excited about trying something, you just might get the urge to try that new adventure too!

Experience a New Place Together

New places are exciting for everyone. Everything from the tastes to the sounds to the smells is an adventure. Chances are you’ll want to experience a new place together again! Whatever you do and wherever you go, whether it’s South Africa or Thailand, being there with your family is the best!

3 family members enjoying their vacation

Take the stress out of planning your next family vacation and focus on the fun and the memories! Give us a call today and we can help your family go on the vacation of a lifetime.



December 22, 2016

Holiday Traditions Around the World

Delicious food, cheery music, and colorful light displays. These are signs of the holiday season. We all have exciting traditions that we share and create with our families. But it is equally exciting, in season of sharing and giving, to teach our children the importance of traditions around the world. The best part about these holiday traditions is that they happen every year and you can visit these countries on a family vacation and see these traditions play out first hand!

blue footed booby wearing santa hats

Ecuador – La Navidad

Traditional Christmas in Ecuador is a religious occasion where families gather for midnight mass on Christmas Eve. As mass begins, eucalyptus branches burn in front of the church and families proceed into the church. Families carry figurines of Christ and sing carols. Inside the church, the figurines are placed at the Nativity. Ecuadorians attend morning mass on Christmas Day and bring more figures to place at the Nativity. In homes, you see nativity scenes and dinner tables with large Christmas Eve meals including variations of rice – like rice with stew, spicy rice, rice with corn, and arroz Navideño (Christmas rice). Christmas trees are not traditional in this Andean region. Instead fake trees are adorned with lights and ornaments.

Ireland – Christmas

Christmas in Ireland is a lot like that in the U.S. Christmas trees are displayed in the center of town with nativity scenes displaying the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the Three Kings at local churches. Before Christmas trees gained popularity, holly and ivy were used to decorate homes. It was said that the more berries on the holly the more luck would come in the new year. Families attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve where blessed holy candles are lit. Celebrations on Christmas Day consist of a large Christmas dinner with turkey, ham, chicken, stuffing, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and mince pie. The day after Christmas Day is St. Stephen’s Day, with Saint Stephen being the first Christian martyr. This day is spent resting, attending mass, and celebrating with another large meal.

Israel – Hanukkah

Hanukkah or Chanukah (“dedication” in Hebrew) is the Jewish eight-day celebration that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem that occurred in the 2nd century B.C. During this time, Jews rose against their Greek-Syrian oppressors, who forbade Jewish religious practice, in an effort to refuse to worship the Roman Gods. On each night after sundown of Chanukah, a candle is added to a nine-branched menorah. The ninth candle is used to light the other candles and blessings are recited and the menorah is placed in a window as a reminder to others of the holiday. Traditional foods are made such as potato pancakes and jam-filled donuts or “sufganiyot”. Families engage in gift-exchanging and playing with dreidels.

China – New Year

The New Year in China traditionally honors household, heavenly deities and ancestors. The new year is based on the ancient Chinese calendar and each new year is marked by the characteristics of one of the 12 zodiacal animals, including the dragon, rooster, dog, horse, pig, snake, rat, sheep, monkey, ox, tiger, and rabbit. It is considered the most important festival of the year and homes are cleaned to rid them of “huiqi” or inauspicious breaths that accumulated during the old previous year and be clear for inspection by the gods from heaven. Firecrackers are set off to frighten evil spirits and food and paper are offered to the gods. This was all meant to bring good luck and long life to families. On New Year’s Eve families fast and during the first five days of the new year long noodles are eaten to celebrate long life. On the 15th day and the last day of the new year, dumplings shaped like the full moon are made to show unity as a family.

While these celebrations are all different, the meanings behind each are the same: unity. Unity brings us together as families and a people. This is the time of the year when ours hearts feel a little less heavy and a lot fuller.



December 9, 2016

Why Familes With Millennials Love Costa Rica

The travel bug is incurable. So if you’re childhood was filled with adventure, like mine, you’re not going to stop when you’ve grown up. Sure, the dynamic of your adventures change, but millennial family travel is an opportunity to share experiences that will help both generations see each other in a new light.

a family about to go zip lining

Just because you’re grown and out of the house doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a family vacation. One of our favorite destinations for families with millennials is Costa Rica. Why? Here are 4 “hip” reasons from a millennial herself:

Endless Opportunity for Outdoor Activities

Whether you are a super adventurous family that loves the thrill of zip-lining through the jungle or a more laid back family who loves leisure hikes searching for wildlife – Costa Rica is the perfect place for all sorts of activity. There’s an opportunity at every turn for your family to explore the wild outdoors or roll up your sleeves and jump into action, from kayaking through the mangroves to relaxing on the beach, learning to make chocolate and sharing cultural experiences— there’s something for everyone!

New Experiences and New Friends

Test your limits in Costa Rica and step out of your comfort zone! Get caught in a rain storm and expect the unexpected! Repel down waterfalls, zip-line high above the tree tops, whitewater raft through class IV rapids, or test your taste buds. You can make new friends from group travel, being paired with people the same age, or through meeting locals.  And there’s no better way to meet the locals than spending a night out with a local craft brewer and going to all the hot spots in San Jose to have a drink and route for the local futbol team.

The Vibrant Atmosphere

Costa Rica is one of the most colorful places in the world. From the lush green forests and magnificent birds to the vibrant farmer’s markets and lively nightlife – there’s not much more you can ask for.

The Mouthwatering Food

Who doesn’t love Latin food? YUM! Stop at a local mercado and pick up some plantains! Peel and fry them up in your favorite oil and enjoy these sweet treats. Or if you like a more savory dish try cooking up some tostones – flattened plantains covered in salt!

Doing Adult Things

One thing us millennials hate is being treated like children and our natural instinct is to cringe or roll our eyes when we hear the phrase “family vacation.” But Costa Rica is far from childish. From bar crawls to hanging out at beach clubs with exclusive access to swim-up bars and private beaches, your family vacation will feel more like a party than a punishment!