As tempting as it might be to stay close to home for your next family vacation, would it ever compare to the once-in-a-lifetime experience of exploring the Amazon, Andes and Galapagos Islands with your family?
Family vacations are known to be stressful, but the pros to exploring a new country with your family far outweigh the cons. For one, exposure to a new place and culture positively influence a child’s development, especially during their formative years. Experiences are absorbed in ways you might not expect as a parent, and greatly impact how a child eventually views and interacts with the world.
As a parent, despite the associated stress, international travel is exciting and revitalizing. You’ll come back with stories and new perspective to share with your extended family and friends. You’ll acquire memories to last a lifetime.
Choosing your ideal destination gets complicated, especially when you have to prioritize the needs and desires of the entire family. In the following blog, we’ll go over a few reasons why Ecuador might just be your next family trip destination.
As an international destination, Ecuador is quickly rising to the top. While this can be attributed to its natural attractions and biodiversity, it has more to do with the versatility of the country’s tourism sector. There’s something for everyone who travels to Ecuador, and that includes families with young children, so if you’re doubting whether it might be a good fit, keep reading!
One of the advantages of Ecuador, relative to other nearby South American countries, is that it’s quite small and, therefore, accessible. This means that even over the course of a short vacation, you can expect to see many different locations and animal life. It’s hard to get bored when the scenery changes so dramatically!
Regardless of your travel style preferences, you’ll find suitable travel and tour options in Ecuador. For a backpacking family on a budget, you can choose to travel between cities by bus for between $6-$13 per person. If you’re looking for a safer, more comfortable and convenient bus option, consider Wanderbus Ecuador, an innovative hop-on, hop-off bus company. And if you prefer going the private tour route, you’ll find many of those as well, especially for more exclusive destinations like the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon rainforest.
When traveling with kids, direct flights are a lifesaver. Fortunately, over the last few years, more direct flights have been made available from the United States and Europe. From the U.S. there are some impressive prices on JetBlue, starting at around $300 from Florida, direct to Quito, Ecuador.
The best destinations for traveling families are those that provide a unique experience to all members of the family. Though there innumerable things to do in Ecuador and destinations to visit on your trip, the top Ecuador destinations for families include:
The Galapagos Islands: One of nature’s wonders, this archipelago of islands is the “laboratory of evolution” and essentially a walkthrough biology class. Here, your family will follow the (literal) footsteps of Darwin himself, observing wild animals from only yards away. Whether you travel by land or boat, you’ll experience wildlife in a way you never thought possible, and your children will walk away with a renewed appreciation for nature. If there’s anything this world needs right now are young and energetic conservationists!
The Amazon rainforest: Like the Galapagos Islands, a visit to the Amazon inspires children to value the Earth, its creatures, water and oxygen! It’s impossible not to visit “the lungs of the Earth” and not contemplate its importance for our daily survival. The Amazon rainforest is under threat on a daily basis and, without exaggerating, it may not be around for much longer. Show it to your children before it’s too late!
Cuenca: This historic city is another family-friendly Ecuador destination as well as a popular retirement destination for expats. The arid, high-altitude weather is a nice change if you’re coming from the coast or Amazon, and the city is generally quite accommodating, though less adventurous compared to the previous two destinations. There are many comfortable hostels to choose from and a generous selection of international eating. If you’re planning your trip from Quito to Cuenca, consider stopping through the sights in between, like Cotopaxi Volcano, Quilotoa and Baños.
Choose adventure over comfort and consider Ecuador as you plan your next family vacation. We guarantee it’ll be unbelievable!
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