Family Travel in South America : The Best Spots
Exploring the world with your loved ones is where the best childhood memories are made going on holiday all together is something that all families can benefit from, even in a continent as vast as South America.
When it’s time once again to make plans for family travel, South America should definitely be considered — a destination bursting with wonderful sights, vibrant culture, a rich history and plenty of exotic sights, sounds and tastes to revel in. Families are warmly welcomed in many distinguished attractions — there’s something for everyone to enjoy in these highly recommended spots:
A Family adventure to the Amazon
As home to the mighty Amazon river and surrounding Amazon rainforest, South America attracts the adventurous travelers but this region, particularly the Amazon basin can be a surprisingly great spot for family travel. There is no other ecosystem that can rival the size of the Amazon and its diversity of its flora and fauna. This enormous natural wonder presents a great interactive and educational experience better than visiting any zoo with the kids.
One of the best ways to experience the majesty of the Amazon is to book one of the popular jungle lodges, whilst these range from rustic to more comfortable lodges, an ecolodge stay allows for comfortable sleeping arrangements combined with tour and excursion programs, walks into the forest, skif and canoe rides along the river, visits to local Amazon tribes/communies and if you dare – perhaps even some piranha fishing. All with the assistance of ‘naturalist’ guides, havens of expert knowledge about the wildlife and uses of many plants found in the forest that you and your kids can learn from.
Ecolodges can be found in most of the different countries that contain the Amazon rainforest but some of our favourites include the Hacienda Concepcion and Reserva Amazonica that even go to the length of offering kids programs.
Galapagos for families
A thousand kilometres from the Ecuadorian mainland, you’ll find the Galapagos Islands, the famous archipelago that is home to a large diversity of marvelous wildlife species that do not exist anywhere else on the planet. Cruising is the most popular ways to explore these islands in depth but some of them offer specific dates for family travel, departures that are tailored towards groups and families rather than the older crowd. Talk about an open air zoo, you will most likely see sea lions, albatrosses, bright red Sally Light-foot crabs, and other unique animals in the closest way possible as most animals are unafraid of humans for an unforgettable family trip.
Family Travel to Machu Picchu
What’s a taste of South America travel with kids without heading out to the City of Cuzco and its stunning historic treasure, Machu Picchu? Cuzco was the Imperial City of the Incas and housed the civilisation’s religious and administrative architecture. The people’s mastery of impressive stone construction technology gave birth to the renowned Temple of the Sun, among many others. After the Spanish conquest, Cuzco became a centre of religious art creation and a number of marvellous Baroque structures remain to this day, along with temple ruins and other remnants of the Inca civilisation.
Machu Picchu, of course, is a proud testament to the power and achievement of the Incas, and people from across the globe travel to see its complex of temples, palaces, plazas and homes from centuries past. Whilst you must take care of the high altitude of this region with the children and not many hotels in Cuzco or Machu Picchu can accommodate families altogether in the same room, an expert travel agent can make suggestions to assist you to travel through this magnificent place, opting for the train journeys instead of trekking and even staying at the Sacred Valley on your way to the ruins to break up and pace your family through the journey.
Kids love waterfalls
And if your family wishes to behold a creation of Mother Nature that you can, quite simply, stand in awe of, there’s no better destination than the Iguazu Falls which lie on the border of Brazil and Argentina. This enchanting natural spectacle, with a name originating from the Tupi or Guarani language that translates to “big water” (which indeed, it is), boasts of 275 thundering individual drops. The whole family can arrange tours or excursions and head to the walkways specially built to enable visitors to see the splendour of the falls up close. There is even a bird park to browse through if you are on the Brazilian side of the falls or a helicopter trip you can take over Iguazu.
Whether you splurge on an extended annual trip to a different global destination or prefer to explore different domestic must-sees every few months, travelling with the whole gang offers an opportunity for parents and children alike to learn new things, gain unique experiences, understand different cultures, and emerge with stronger ties to each other than ever and that is what makes family travel so appealing.
Want to know more about travelling in South America? Check out our special Go To Guide featuring a brief summary of 32 of the most popular destinations.