Trips which are grouped as age appropriate include Easy Expeditions (age 4+), Awesome Escapes (age 7+) and Epic Excursions (for serious adventurers, generally age 12+). Destinations from Canada to Peru range from a laid-back kayaking adventure for 3 days/2 nights on Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park, to a week-long, lodge-based, multi-sport adventure in Costa Rica.
“Time-stressed families should look no further when it comes to vacation planning,” says Steve Markle, spokesperson for O.A.R.S. “We offer families the chance to unplug from our highly connected lives and reconnect as a family. Plus it’s a real vacation for the parents as our guides take care of the meals, all the activities and camp set-up is a breeze.”
Most of O.A.R.S.’ highly popular family adventure vacations are US-based: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. However, the company also offers family programs in British Columbia, Costa Rica, Peru, and the Galapagos Islands.
A new trip this year floats families on the Green River through Utah’s Desolation Canyon. Featuring scenic bedrock canyon walls that tower overhead, the canyon boasts more than 50 playful Class II-III rapids that O.A.R.S. navigates via oar raft, inflatable kayak, and paddle raft. Off the water there are lots to explore including Native American ruins, abandoned homesteads and one of the hideouts of the infamous Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid.
The trip begins and ends in Green River, UT, and includes a scenic flight to the put-in. Five day trips start at $895 for youth (ages 6 and up) and $1,295 for adults: http://www.oars.com/utah/desolationcanyonrafting.html. Other enticing destinations for families include the Lower Salmon River in Idaho, the Rogue River in Oregon, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and Peru’s Machu Picchu.
In Costa Rica, families enjoy six days of rafting, kayaking, hiking, zip lining and wildlife viewing with 5 nights in comfortable lodges. Two nights are spent on the northern Caribbean coast near Tortuguero National Park with 3 nights at a rainforest eco lodge on the banks of the Pacuare River. The program is open to ages 12 and up at $2,299 per person.
“O.A.R.S. is family owned and operated so we know from experience how to keep the kids entertained and the parents happy at the same time. Once you’re on the river, we promise the only tweets or twitters you’ll hear are from the frogs and birds,” says Markle.
O.A.R.S. has been family owned and operated since the company was founded in 1969. Since then, O.A.R.S. has set the standard in first-class rafting, sea kayaking and multi-sport vacations, with destinations and unparalleled experiences on over 35 rivers and coastlines of the world. O.A.R.S. caters to active travelers of all ages and abilities with more than 75 unique itineraries worldwide, including one-day and weekend escapes and more than 10,000 families have trusted O.A.R.S. with their vacation in the last 10 years alone.