Adventures Fit for Grandparents to Grandkids

The more the merrier, they say, until it comes to vacation planning. That’s when things get complicated, trying to find activities that are not only enlightening and energetic, but also physically realistic for all age groups. You love grandpa and you love hiking, but taking grandpa on an ascent of Kilimanjaro may not be the wisest option.

Good news: there are many options out there that will easily engage and impress every generation you bring along.

The key is finding the right balance of activity, history and natural splendor—a balance you’ll definitely find on these family-friendly adventures.

Biking down Jamaica’s Blue Mountain

You might think it’s a crazy notion to go biking on Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Peak, the island’s highest point at 7,402 feet. But it’s not, because riders are taken to the top of the mountain first on a bus, so the day begins with a gorgeous, panoramic view over miles of rolling, mountainous jungles.

The view only improves on your winding and gentle downhill descent through small villages and past waterfalls, all while being serenaded by red-billed streamertails and warblers in the trees.

Turtle Spotting in Tortuguero National Park

Do you adore turtles? You’ll get your fill of these resplendent reptiles at Tortuguero National Park, which literally translates to “Region of the Turtles.”

Here grandparents and grandchildren will delight to find leatherback, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles, along with the endangered green sea turtle. If the teens in your group are unimpressed, they’ll soon change their tune when they spot spider and howler monkeys, tapirs, jaguars, river otters and manatees that also inhabit the park.

Hiking in Paradise on the Mastic Trail

Tropical vacation destinations often feel more suited for a leisurely stroll than huffing and puffing through an adventure hike. Luckily, Grand Cayman has a spot that will please both explorers and relaxation seekers alike.

The Mastic Trail is a winding path that takes visitors through some of the last remaining examples of Caribbean dry forest. You’ll spot a wide range of vibrantly-plumaged birds, from Cayman Parrots to West Indian Woodpeckers, playing amidst the tall trees and mangroves. There’s also a lot of history to absorb during your two mile, gently sloping trek, as the woodlands are more than two million years old, and they have a lot of stories to tell.

Visiting the Glowworms of Waitomo Caves

You haven’t seen anything like New Zealand’s Waitomo Caves, though there’s a chance you’ve at least seen a photo of its mossy backdrop. Often called the “glowworm caves,” inside, thousands of dazzling luminescent creatures sparkle through the dark waters as you raft or hike through.

Lucky for all the age groups in your party, there are plenty of ways to see them, from black water rafting, rappelling off the craggy mountain cliff or leisurely kayaking over them as they twinkle against the dark cave walls. Along with the glowworms, the area also boasts Aranui Cave – a dry cave that is known as Waitomo’s best kept secret.