Keep active on these multisport vacations:
Where: Jackson, Wyo.
Duration: 5 days
Distance: 50-plus miles
Cost: $1,241, adult; $1,117, child
Operator: O.A.R.S. ( www.oars.com; 800-346-6277)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate The first day of this family-oriented wilderness adventure takes you kayaking on Yellowstone Lake, North America's largest mountain lake. Next, it's rafting or kayaking the Snake River and a moderate paddle to the western shore of Jackson Lake, where you'll camp for two nights in the shadow of the Grand Tetons. Day hikes to Bear Paw Lake or the cascades in the Moran Canyon often involve elk and moose sightings, and this is prime bald eagle territory. Kids over age 7 are welcome, and no previous wilderness experience is required—though you need to be able to paddle for up to two hours. The average group size is 10.
Where: Whitefish, Mont.
Duration: 6 days
Distance: From 3 to 49 miles a day
Cost: $1,898 to $1,998
Operator: Backroads ( www.backroads.com; 800-462-2848)
Difficulty: Easy to challenging You have so many choices on this trip that you can make it as easy or tough as you want, and kids are invited. After meeting with your guide at the Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish, you're shuttled to the edge of Glacier National Park, where you'll camp in comfort—spacious dome tents, extra-thick padding, and dinners of broiled salmon and roast chicken—at four different locations. The first-day bike route offers a choice of 6 miles or 17, between jagged peaks and alongside turquoise lakes. A shuttle takes you across the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. On subsequent days, you can choose to hike, bike, or go horseback riding; one option is a 49-mile bike trip across the border and through Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park. The week concludes with a three-hour white-water rafting trip on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.
Where: San Jose, Costa Rica
Duration: 8 days
Distance: 24 miles to 48 miles
Cost: $3,198, adult; $2,798, child
Operator: Country Walkers ( www.countrywalkers.com; 800-464-9255)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate This family adventure surveys Costa Rica's diverse ecological treasures, from Arenal Volcano National Park to Monteverde's misty cloud forest to the west coast's beaches, and puts you up overnight at a series of lodges and inns. You'll embark on a two-hour paddling trip on the Penas Blancas or Arenal River. (Look for monkeys and iguanas, perhaps a turtle, and surely a toucan or two.) A two- to three-hour walk through the rain forest takes you to the Eco Hot Termales Hot Springs; another day's leisurely walk along La Peninsula Trail at the base of the Arsenal Volcano can fill up three to six hours—your choice. Not to be missed is the Sky Trek Zipline tour, on a set of trails, suspension bridges, and zip lines in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. On the sixth day, you journey along the Pacific Coast by outrigger canoe to a secluded beach for snorkeling. Each canoe holds eight paddlers and a guide. The vacation wraps up with a hike in the Manuel Antonio National Park, a rain forest. A variety of trails lead to a white sand beach, so you can choose one that suits your athletic prowess. Whiteface monkeys and sloths might share the trail with you. When you reach the shores, it's time to pull on your mask and fins and check out the world below the surface.
Where: Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 14 days
Cost: $6,150 (2008); $6,495 (2009)
Operator: National Geographic Expeditions ( www.nationalgeographicexpeditions.com; 888-966-8687)