Here are some of our most memorable animal encounters:
Riviera Maya – The jungle extending from Puerto Morelos to Tulum is home to not only dozens of great family-friendly resorts, but also to many lizards. At the Fairmont Mayakoba, we couldn’t take two steps without seeing a gecko or iguana, and there was even a resident alligator in the canal! And Akumal Bay will always have a special place in our hearts, after hours spent snorkeling with manta rays, turtles, and even the occasional barracuda.
Alaska – While grizzlies have the most fearsome reputation, we had more encounters with black bears, including a very persistent guy who kept following us around on a backpacking trip in the arctic. Watching bear cubs tumble down a hillside in play (from a safe distance via spotting scope) was adorable. But one of my favorite experiences was kayaking in a small arm of Glacier Bay alongside seals that delighted in surfing with the incoming tide. San Juan Islands – One of the highlights on our Backroads family cycling trip was a wildlife-watching cruise. There are resident orcas in the waters off San Juan Island, which can also be observed from land at Lime Kiln Point State Park, along with the occasional minke and gray whale. It’s also a great destination for bird-watching.
Yellowstone - A visit to our nation's first national park is like going on a safari - wide open spaces and lots of big game. The kids squealed in delight as a bison practically stuck his (her?) head through our car window. And a bear foraging alongside the road was a real traffic stopper. We also saw moose, bald eagle, antelope, and heard there were also some wolves in the area, though we didn't get a chance to see them.
There are many other great family vacations that offer amazing opportunities to view, and sometimes even interact, with wildlife. Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, Africa, just to name a few. These are the kind of vacations that not only create memories to last a lifetime, but can also change your life.
For more information about planning your next family vacation, contact Suzette Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org.