The Lewis’s International Adventure

Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo / Courtesy of Four Seasons

April 2024

I’ve created a destination menu below of places with a good mix of activities, including wildlife, light hiking, horseback riding, dining, and culture. I think any of the international options would be a great fit if the passports work out. Availability on all sample hotels mentioned here is not guaranteed. I’ll also inquire into villas once we settle on a destination.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is my favorite international family destination for small kids. It’s safe, clean, easy to get around, and there is plenty to do for all ages. A simple family trip is to fly into San Jose and stay at Arenas Del Mar beach resort in Manuel Antonio. The national park is small but very walkable with lots of monkeys, and there is an excellent little surfing and swimming beach. Alternatively, you could fly into Liberia and mix the beaches of Guanacaste (where the Four Seasons is) with hot springs near Arenal Volcano at a place like Nayara Tented Camp. You can see details on a few different approaches in this itinerary.

April is a nice time to visit Costa Rica. It can get hot with humid temps in the 80s, but the spring break crowds have calmed somewhat. Because of its popularity, availability may be limited, but I think we can find something.


I like to include Belize in proposals to people interested in Costa Rica because it shares many of the same attractions. It’s only a 2.5-hour flight from Houston, and you get crystal blue Caribbean waters and dense jungles with howler monkeys and even jaguars. You don’t have the mountains or hot springs of Costa Rica, but there are Mayan ruins and better snorkeling. This Rainforest to Reef itinerary will give you an idea of how you could do it.

April weather in Belize is similar to Costa Rica – sunny and warm.


Ecuador could be a unique destination for your family because it’s halfway between Texas and Rio. It’s a little over 5 hours from Houston, but the flight from Rio is 11-12 hours because you have to connect through Lima. April is the rainy season in Quito, but you could spend a few days in the historic city and surrounds. Mornings would be for exploration, and you could relax and dine out when the afternoon rains come. Surprisingly, April is a fantastic time to be in the Galápagos Islands. A 2-hour flight from Quito accesses the islands. Because of the kids, I would stick to a land-based itinerary instead of a cruise, but there is plenty to see – from the iconic tortoises to sea lions and iguanas. You can still get a taste of the outer islands through day cruises that involve snorkeling and whale watching.


After looking at the flights from Rio, I started considering Peru as a possible destination. Lima is 6.5 hours from Houston and 5.5 hours from Rio. It doesn’t have the Galapagos, but the rains in the Andes will have subsided by April if you are more interested in mountains. Lima has a great food scene and is worth a short stop, but the main attraction in Peru is the historic Cusco. From there, you can explore the Incan ruins, local markets, and farms and even visit Machu Picchu. There is a short way up to the famous ruins that is easy enough to do with a baby in a backpack. This itinerary details many things you can see, but we would simplify it for the kids.


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