Luxury Family Vacations

by Kate Sekules

Adventure, educationally

Don't tell them, but the kids will learn buckets about not only the Amazon but also natural history, biology, anthropology, and geography on this river voyage aboard La Amatista—a refitted traditional Amazon boat that looks like a cross between a Mississippi side-wheeler and a pirate galleon. It's one of several family trips run by Smithsonian Journeys, the estimable travel arm of the museum institution, and it certainly isn't boring. Here on the Peruvian Amazon and its tributaries, the point is wildlife watching—from primates such as the monk saki and red howler monkey to birds as exotic as their names, like the spangled cotinga, the hoatzin, and the russet-backed oropendola. Plus, those jungle cuties capybaras, three-toed sloths, and giant blue morpho butterflies are practically guaranteed. To cap it off, you all get to meet the remote river people, the Ribereños, play a game of soccer, and meet an actual shaman who will explain what he does (no easy feat). If you missed this boat, by the way, there's always the Greek cruise, the Galápagos ship, or kayaks in the Pacific Northwest.

Smithsonian Journeys
Tel: 877 338 8687
Amazon Family Adventure (July 6–15, 2007) from $12,160 for a family of four; other Amazon trips in November and December

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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