Travel Q&A: Nature Excursions in Florida, the Best Time for Machu Picchu
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Q. My 10-year-old son and I are planning a summer adventure (emphasis on "adventure") in central Florida. We want more than the usual Disney-like tourist options. Any advice for off-the-beaten-track things that would appeal to a young boy (and his dad)?
John Paul Parker, Falls Church
A. Who needs Disney? Mother Nature can hold her own quite nicely when it comes to special effects, and for a lot less money. At Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, about 35 miles east of Orlando, you and your son can take a nighttime bioluminescent kayak tour on the Indian River. That's right: You don't have to travel to Puerto Rico to experience this eerie phenomenon, in which organisms in the water emit blue-green lights with each dip of your paddle. A Day Away (321-268-2655, http:/
As long as you're in the neighborhood, you could always do the whole Space Coast thing (Kennedy Space Center, 866-737-5235, http:/
Another option: Play cowboy. One idea is the Westgate River Ranch Resort, just over an hour south of Orlando (863-692-1321, http:/
For more ideas, go to http:/
Is August an okay time to visit Machu Picchu in Peru?
Stephanie Sefcik, Vienna
Yes. High (and dry) season is June through August, with cool, sunny days and cold nights. To beat the crowds, though, many guides recommend visiting just before or after the rush, in April-May or September-October.
Several readers had advice for the couple considering hiking England's Coast to Coast Walk (Travel Q&A, April 12). Clayton and Judy Cochran of Kensington recommend the trekking company Contours (011-44-17684-80451, http:/
More on tour operators for older women traveling on their own (Travel Q&A, April 5): Dora Pugliese of Silver Spring said she enjoyed several trips she has taken with Vantage Travel (800-322-6677, http:/
Send queries by e-mail (email@example.com) or U.S. mail (Travel Q&A, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071). Please include your name and town.