Adventure Travel


Family Adventures

Globetrotting with the Tribe: Iconic Family Adventures

Discover the best global destinations and experiences for family adventure travel, featuring a diverse range of enriching experiences designed to engage and educate all ages.


Family hiking in High Tatras, a mountain range along the border of northern Slovakia in the Prešov Region.

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By Adventure Desk/Freesolo

May 21, 2023

At Freesolo, we’ve long celebrated the individual adventurer—the solo explorer charting a unique course across the globe. But as the realm of adventure travel has broadened and evolved, so too has our understanding of who can participate. Today, the thrill of discovery and the joy of shared experiences is no longer the exclusive domain of solitary nomads. Families of all ages are heeding the call of the wild, seeking out adventures that both foster connections and create lasting memories.

Indeed, exploring the world through adventure travel can shape young minds, instill a sense of wonder, and inspire respect for our shared planet. And it’s not just the younger generation who stand to benefit—adventure travel can revitalize the perspectives of parents and grandparents too, pushing them beyond their comfort zones and into a world of discovery.


Canadian Rockies

A Multigenerational Odyssey


Five Lakes Hiking Trail, Jasper, Alberta, Canada.

Sebastien Cote/Getty Images

In the northern reaches of the Americas, where the grand peaks of the Canadian Rockies scrape the cerulean sky and clear glacial lakes mirror the breathtaking beauty of the heavens, lies an unspoiled wilderness that promises families an unparalleled immersive nature experience. This expansive mountain range—a veritable cathedral of stone, water, and sky—is an awe-inspiring testament to the Earth’s sculpting powers and a world-class destination for family adventure travel.

An Adventure Across Diverse Landscapes

The adventure begins in the captivating confines of Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park and the flagship of the nation’s park system. Families can traverse over 1,600 km of maintained trails that wind through a diverse array of landscapes—from sprawling valleys carpeted with wildflowers to forested hillsides teeming with wildlife and up to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking sapphire-blue lakes and snow-capped peaks.

Further north, Jasper National Park offers its own medley of mesmerizing terrains. Home to a labyrinth of trails, it presents families with an opportunity to venture into the backcountry, traversing ancient glaciers, cascading waterfalls, and deep limestone canyons. No matter the chosen path, the stunning grandeur of the park unfolds with every step.

Guided Discovery

To ensure an accessible adventure for all family members, regardless of age or fitness level, expert guides can tailor hikes according to each group’s capabilities. They offer a wealth of knowledge about the region’s geology, flora, fauna, and history, turning every step into an educational journey. Young children can learn about the intricate life of the forest floor, while teens and adults gain insights into the fascinating geological processes that shaped these magnificent mountains.

Beyond the Hiking Trails

But the Canadian Rockies aren’t just about hiking. Families can also saddle up for a horseback riding adventure, exploring the region’s lush valleys from a unique vantage point. Riding together allows families to cover more ground and access remote areas, all while immersing themselves in the same method of travel used by the pioneers of the Old West.

Wildlife watching is another integral part of the Canadian Rockies experience. Families can embark on guided excursions to spot some of North America’s most majestic creatures—elk, grizzly and black bears, moose, bighorn sheep, and eagles—in their natural habitat. The thrill of witnessing these wild animals in the flesh is an unforgettable experience that enthralls both the young and the young-at-heart.

A Journey of Shared Discovery

Family adventure travel in the Canadian Rockies transcends the usual vacation itinerary. It’s an opportunity for shared discovery, for learning, and for building a deeper connection to the natural world. It’s about overcoming challenges together, fostering resilience and teamwork, and creating a treasure trove of shared memories. The allure of the Canadian Rockies transcends generational gaps, captivating children, parents, and grandparents alike. The only prerequisite? A collective sense of curiosity and a desire to explore. For families ready to heed the call of the wild, the Canadian Rockies await.


Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Embarking on an Evolutionary Odyssey


Photographing a Galapagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus).

Alex Shalamov/Getty Images

The Galapagos Islands, an archipelago of volcanic islands straddling the equator in the Pacific Ocean, has been aptly dubbed a “living laboratory of evolution.” This unique haven of biodiversity, which once provided Charles Darwin with the insights that shaped his groundbreaking theory of natural selection, promises families an adventure travel experience that blurs the lines between education and exhilaration.

A Tapestry of Unique Life Forms

The unique species inhabiting the Galapagos are its ultimate draw. Here, families can observe first-hand the fascinating creatures that have adapted to the islands’ challenging conditions over millennia. Marine iguanas, the world’s only sea-going lizards, can be seen basking on sun-drenched volcanic rocks. Giant tortoises, the very emblem of the Galapagos, roam freely in the verdant highlands, their unhurried pace a testament to a life unhindered by natural predators.

Bird lovers will be enthralled by the blue-footed boobies, endearing birds known for their distinctive aqua-blue feet and comical mating dance. The islands are also home to the flightless cormorant, one of the world’s rarest birds, and the world’s largest colony of red-footed boobies, among many other species.

Cruising into the Wild

Families embarking on a cruise around the archipelago can soak up the varied landscapes and wildlife of the different islands, all while enjoying the comforts and conveniences of their cruise ship. These floating hotels provide a seamless experience, balancing exploratory daytime activities with onboard amenities and lectures that deepen the understanding of the Galapagos’ ecological significance.

From the Deck to the Depths

While the land-based wonders of the Galapagos are manifold, an entirely different world awaits beneath the waves. Snorkeling excursions offer families the chance to delve into the islands’ marine domain, a world as vibrant and varied as the one above. From playful sea lions and sleek reef sharks to intricate coral formations teeming with colorful fish, the waters of the Galapagos brim with life.

Education through Experience

What sets a family adventure in the Galapagos apart from a typical vacation is the unparalleled opportunity for learning it offers. The islands serve as a living classroom where children and adults can grasp the principles of evolution, endemism, and conservation. With expert naturalist guides leading the way, every excursion becomes an educational exploration, an invitation to marvel at the wonders of nature, and a call to safeguard our planet’s biodiversity.

A Journey of Lifelong Learning

A trip to the Galapagos Islands is more than a journey; it’s a hands-on natural history lesson set in one of the world’s most important natural habitats. It invites families into an immersive learning experience that extends beyond the confines of a textbook, fostering a deep appreciation for our planet’s biodiversity. For the young and the young-at-heart, this is a journey that will spark the imagination, kindle a love for science and nature, and create memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.


Costa Rica’s Tropical Rainforest

Embracing the Exuberant


Rainforest path  in Costa Rica.

Mike Crane/Getty Images

Costa Rica, a Central American jewel teeming with biodiversity, welcomes families to a land where adventure and nature coalesce in the most enchanting way. This verdant paradise, characterised by its dense rainforests, throbbing with life and filled with a cacophony of exotic bird calls, offers a thrilling getaway for those undeterred by the warm embrace of tropical humidity. Every activity here is an exploration, a chance to lose oneself in the wilderness and emerge with an enriched understanding of the planet’s myriad lifeforms.

The Sky’s the Limit

Imagine soaring through the lush canopy of a rainforest, held aloft by a zipline, the ground far below your dangling feet, and a vista of endless green stretching to the horizon. Costa Rica’s canopy tours offer exactly this exhilarating experience, giving families the thrill of feeling as free as the forest’s winged inhabitants. It’s an adrenaline-fuelled escapade that provides a unique perspective of the rainforest ecosystem.

Riding the Rapids

For those who prefer the thrill of adventure at ground level, white water rafting on the frothy currents of Costa Rica’s rivers delivers in spades. The roar of the rapids and the exhilaration of navigating them provide an unforgettable bonding experience. Whether it’s the calm, family-friendly waters of the Sarapiqui River or the more challenging rapids of the Pacuare River, there’s an adventure awaiting every level of thrill-seeker.

Nature’s Nocturnal Symphony

As the sun dips below the horizon, the rainforest undergoes a transformation. The diurnal creatures retreat, and a whole new set of inhabitants wake to play under the starlit sky. Guided night walks provide families with an opportunity to witness this shift, spotlighting the incredible nocturnal life, from stealthy jaguars to slow-moving sloths, and illuminating the unique dynamics of this ecosystem. It’s an adventure that’ll have the kids’ curiosity piqued and their senses on high alert.

Responsible Adventure

Costa Rica is well-renowned for its commitment to sustainable tourism, offering an array of eco-friendly accommodations and experiences that resonate with families conscious about their environmental impact. This ensures that your adventure is not just thrilling, but also respects the integrity of the very environment you’re there to enjoy.

From exhilarating daytime escapades to fascinating nocturnal forays, Costa Rica’s rainforests offer an adventure that will stimulate the senses, foster a deep appreciation for nature, and leave families with indelible memories of their shared experiences. It’s more than a vacation; it’s a spirited dive into the very heart of nature.


Norway’s Northern Lights

Illuminating the Night Sky

Bathing the night sky in a swirl of ethereal colours, the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, offer a celestial spectacle that captivates viewers of all ages. Norway, with its high latitude and dark winter nights, provides the perfect stage for this grand performance, and the city of Tromsø serves as a welcoming gateway to this otherworldly experience. Offering both the necessary amenities for families and easy access to prime viewing locations, Tromsø is an idyllic destination for a family adventure rooted in the wonders of the cosmos.

Unlocking the Science Behind the Spectacle

Part of the allure of the Northern Lights is the scientific marvel behind the visual spectacle. Guided tours from Tromsø cater specifically to families, with experts adept at explaining the fascinating science behind the auroras in a way that both children and adults can appreciate. As the shimmering lights undulate across the sky, guides delve into how the Earth’s magnetic field interacts with solar winds, creating this radiant phenomenon. It’s a captivating science lesson that unfolds under the expansive Arctic sky, sure to inspire curiosity and wonder among the youngest observers.

Creating a Winter Wonderland

The adventure doesn’t stop at the auroras. Tromsø, being within the Arctic Circle, is a winter wonderland where snowy escapades further enhance the family adventure. Dog sledding stands as a highlight, inviting families to traverse the pristine snowscapes under the power of Alaskan huskies. Feeling the cool Arctic breeze on your face as you glide across the shimmering snowfields under the gaze of the Northern Lights is an experience of a lifetime.

Snowshoe walks present another thrilling endeavor, allowing families to tread softly through the wintry landscapes that surround Tromsø. It’s an enchanting way to explore the Arctic wilderness, making the chase for the Northern Lights a thrilling adventure in itself.

Bringing the Cosmos Closer to Home

Experiencing the Northern Lights is akin to having a direct, visual conversation with the cosmos. It’s an adventure that reaches far beyond the Earth and touches the sun. For children, it could spark a lifelong fascination with the natural world and the universe beyond. For adults, it serves as a beautiful reminder of our place in the cosmos. When experienced as a family, the adventure becomes a shared moment of awe and discovery that’s bound to be retold for generations.

In Tromsø, families can find an adventure that combines the thrill of winter activities with the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Northern Lights. It’s a journey filled with discovery, offering a blend of education, excitement, and the undeniable magic of experiencing one of nature’s most incredible phenomena. It’s more than a trip; it’s an unforgettable story the family will write together under the dancing lights of the Arctic sky.


Safari Experience

A South African Adventure

South Africa, with its diverse landscapes and an extraordinary array of wildlife, is a destination that turns the family vacation into an epic adventure. A safari in this magnificent country offers an opportunity to step into the world of nature, to witness the cycle of life in the African bush, and to create shared memories that will last a lifetime.

Vivid Encounters in the Wilderness

Imagine the thrill of watching a herd of elephants as they amble across the savannah, or the excitement of spotting a pride of lions lounging under the African sun. A safari in South Africa promises these encounters and more, bringing families face-to-face with the wildlife they’ve seen only in books or on screen.

In South Africa, national parks and private game reserves often offer family-friendly safaris, ensuring a comfortable and educational experience for all ages. Game drives are conducted in the safety of specially-equipped vehicles, allowing families to observe the breathtaking spectacle of wildlife from a safe distance. Guides trained in wildlife behaviour and safety regulations enhance the experience with their wealth of knowledge, ensuring that every encounter is a lesson in nature’s wonders.

Engaging the Young Explorers

Children are natural explorers, and a safari presents an unrivalled playground. Many safari lodges and camps offer junior ranger programs designed to engage younger guests in the wonders of the bush. These programs offer activities that combine fun and learning—kids might track animals, learn about local flora and fauna, or even participate in bush survival techniques. Such experiences not only keep the little ones entertained but also foster a deeper understanding and respect for the natural world.

Choosing Your Comfort in the Wild

From luxury lodges complete with private pools and gourmet dining to more modest tented camps that offer an authentic bush experience, South Africa’s safari accommodations cater to a range of preferences and budgets. Families can choose their comfort level, balancing their desire for adventure with the need for relaxation and convenience. Regardless of the choice, waking up to the sound of birdsong, spending the day tracking wildlife, and sharing stories around a campfire under the African stars is a routine that families will cherish.

An Unforgettable Family Journey

A safari in South Africa is more than a vacation; it’s an immersion into the primal rhythms of life. It’s a chance for families to disconnect from their everyday routines and reconnect with the natural world and each other. Amid the grandeur of the African bush, families will find their own stories intertwined with the narrative of the wild, creating a shared adventure that they will reminisce for years to come. Whether it’s the thrill of a first wildlife sighting, the joy of learning new things, or the sense of togetherness fostered by shared experiences, a family safari in South Africa offers an adventure that’s as rewarding as it is unforgettable.


Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

The Underwater Eden


The family that snorkels together…

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An aquatic adventure in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef offers a journey into an otherworldly realm of vibrant corals and myriad marine species. For families who share a love for the ocean, exploring the largest coral reef system in the world promises an experience that is as educational as it is awe-inspiring.

A Celebration of Marine Biodiversity

The Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, extends over 2,300 kilometers and harbors an incredible diversity of life. It’s home to thousands of species of colorful fish, hundreds of types of coral, plus an array of turtles, dolphins, sharks, and countless other sea creatures. When families venture beneath the waves, they enter a world where every glance reveals a new wonder.

Snorkeling and Diving Adventures

Companies such as Quicksilver Cruises offer snorkeling and diving experiences that are suitable for all ages and levels of experience, from beginners to seasoned swimmers. Under the watchful eye of experienced guides, even young children can safely snorkel and marvel at the underwater spectacle. Meanwhile, older kids and adults might opt for an introductory dive or a guided scuba excursion.

When families immerse themselves in the reef’s warm waters, they can float above coral gardens, encounter clownfish darting among anemones, and watch in awe as a majestic manta ray glides by. It’s an immersion into an underwater spectacle that rivals any wildlife safari.

Learning and Conservation

The Great Barrier Reef is not just a place for adventure; it’s also a living classroom. Many tour operators incorporate educational aspects into their trips, explaining the reef’s complex ecosystem and the challenges it faces. This enables families to understand the importance of conservation efforts and the role they can play in protecting such delicate ecosystems.

Island Escapades

For those who prefer to stay dry, or to complement the underwater exploration, several islands within the Great Barrier Reef offer their own adventures. Families can embark on guided nature walks, beachcomb along pristine shores, or simply soak up the sun on a sandy beach. These islands also serve as excellent bases for birdwatching or spotting other wildlife like turtles and dolphins.

Experiencing the Magic Together

The Great Barrier Reef presents a unique adventure that enables families to discover and appreciate one of the world’s most remarkable natural wonders. Whether it’s the shared thrill of encountering a sea turtle, the collective wonder at the sight of a humpback whale, or the mutual learning that occurs through understanding the reef’s delicate ecosystem, the experiences weave together into a vibrant tapestry of family memories.

In the grandeur of the Great Barrier Reef, families can find an adventure that captivates all ages, binding them together in a shared appreciation for the natural world’s extraordinary beauty. It’s a journey that reminds us of our place within the larger web of life and of the responsibility we share in preserving it for generations to come.


Icelandic Family Adventure

Land of Fire and Ice


Skógafoss waterfall near Skógar, Iceland.

Mike Crane/Getty Images

Iceland, aptly named the ‘Land of Fire and Ice,’ offers families an awe-inspiring backdrop for adventure. Imagine a place where geysers erupt towards the sky, massive waterfalls roar in cascades of mist, and glaciers creep across volcanic landscapes. A journey to Iceland is a foray into an elemental world, where geography leaps from the pages of textbooks and manifests itself in grand, tangible forms.

Unfolding the Earth’s Wonders

Iceland’s iconic Golden Circle route is a veritable highlight reel of geological marvels. This well-trodden path introduces families to the spouting geyser at Geysir, the powerful Gullfoss waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates drift apart. These sights ignite curiosity and provide a hands-on way to appreciate and understand our planet’s dynamic nature.

Glaciers, Volcanoes and Ice Caves

The country’s rugged terrain offers various levels of family-friendly hikes. One of the most unforgettable is a trek on Solheimajokull glacier. With the assistance of experienced guides and the security of safety gear, even young adventurers can learn about glaciology while they explore crevasses and ice formations.

Similarly, Iceland’s volcanic landscapes present an otherworldly scenery perfect for family exploration. Areas like the Reykjanes Peninsula are littered with geothermal vents, hardened lava fields, and cone-shaped craters. In winter, families can even venture into ethereal ice caves formed by seasonal freeze-thaw cycles.

The Warmth of Geothermal Pools

After a day of exploration, families can soothe tired muscles in one of the country’s many geothermal pools. The most famous is the Blue Lagoon, known for its mineral-rich turquoise waters. However, natural hot springs dot the landscape, providing plenty of options for a warm, relaxing soak. This is an experience that all ages can enjoy and is particularly well-received after a day of chilly adventure.

Learning Sustainability First Hand

Iceland’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its utilization of geothermal power, environmentally-conscious practices, and dedication to preserving its unique ecosystems. This ethos provides an invaluable context for discussions about sustainable living and responsible travel. For children, seeing renewable energy in action and experiencing a culture that values environmental stewardship can be profoundly impactful.

More Than a Holiday

Traveling to Iceland is more than just a vacation; it’s a journey into the wonders of the natural world, a real-life science expedition, and a lesson in sustainability. It’s about shared experiences—standing together under the dancing Northern Lights or feeling the spray from a geyser’s eruption—that strengthen bonds and create memories to last a lifetime.

A family adventure in Iceland is a venture into a land that both awes and educates, nurturing a spirit of discovery and respect for the natural world. It’s about igniting the flame of curiosity and stoking the fire of adventure that can inspire a family for a lifetime. The land of ‘Fire and Ice’ offers all of this in abundance, making it a premier destination for families looking for an adventure that transcends the ordinary.

At Freesolo, we strive to be a compass that guides you toward these experiences, helping you navigate the spectrum of adventure travel and tailor a journey that fits your family’s desires and abilities. The world of adventure is calling, echoing uniquely across different souls and circumstances, inviting families to step into a realm of shared discovery, excitement, and connection. The journey awaits—and in the realm of adventure travel, the family that explores together, grows together.

Adventure travel with family means stepping together into the unfamiliar, nurturing curiosity, and building resilience. It’s about discovering that the world is a vast, intricate tapestry of ecosystems, cultures, and wonders—and every thread is worth exploring. No matter where you choose to journey, the thrill of discovery will echo uniquely in every family member, drawing you all closer in the process. At Freesolo, we are committed to guiding you through the boundless possibilities of family adventure travel. The world is waiting. Are you ready to explore it together?

Freesolo staff writers collaboratively researched, wrote, and edited this article.  See more about this talented team at “About Us”.