We all agree that the scenery in Torres del Paine is among the most stunning in the world, and that the trekking here is world-class. But at first sight, it doesn’t appear to be a family-friendly destination. All kinds of problems seem to pop up as you consider bringing your kids to the end of the world: Will there be enough space for the whole family? What if the children don’t like trekking? What is there to entertain the little ones while you unplug and unwind?
But parents, worry not. Torres del Paine isn’t only for adult trekkers. In fact, it hides so many unexpected treasures up its sleeves that it is sure to enthrall visitors of all ages. Even better, here at Ecocamp we are committed to providing the most family-friendly Patagonian experience and ensuring that both kids and adults are equally well catered for.
Why travel to Patagonia with your family?
In this article, you’ll find out why Torres del Paine can be a great family destination and staying at EcoCamp will be an unforgettable experience of a lifetime for the younger members of your family.
We know that families want to have their own space to enjoy quality time together. Our Suite Dome Lofts are specially designed to suit this need. These two-storey domes fit up to four people and have comfortable double or twin beds both up and downstairs. They also have a private bathroom and an outdoor terrace where the whole family can enjoy a spectacular sunset together. However, for safety reasons, the minimum age for children wanting to stay at the EcoCamp is 6 years old at the time of travel. Read more about our policies in The Kid's Guide to EcoCamp.
But what if you're having a multi-generational holiday, and the grandparents are coming along as well? Well, there are various ways to accommodate everyone. For example, you can share a Suite Dome Loft with your kids, while grandma and grandpa can have their own Suite Dome. But if your kids are a bit older, we suggest that they have a Standard Dome to themselves. Sleeping in a Standard Dome and listening to the wind whistling outside will give your kids a sense of camping out in the wilderness. When they wake up next morning, you will likely find them energised and ready for a big day ahead full of adventure.
Torres del Paine may be at the end of the world, but getting there is not especially difficult. Why? There are frequent flights daily from Santiago to Punta Arenas. At the airport, you will be picked up by our staff and get transferred directly to EcoCamp in a comfortable van. No need to run around bus terminals or worry about who’s going to drive! So if you’re thinking of a multi-generational escape into the wild, Torres del Paine might just be what fits the bill perfectly.
Does Ice Age rank top on your children’s list of favourite films? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. Short of Antarctica, Torres del Paine’s primordial landscape probably comes closer to transporting them to that long-gone world than any other place on earth.
So what’s on offer? You can take a boat cruise to Grey Glacier, part of the massive Southern Ice Field. For more glacial experiences, consider hopping across the border to Perito Moreno Glacier, where kids aged 10 years or more can ice-trek on the glacier itself. Nearby the glacier, visit the Glaciarium for an accessible and interactive lesson on the science of glaciers.
Step into ice age on an ice-trekking tour to Perito Moreno
But it’s not just about the ice. Children love strange animals that went extinct millennia ago. While there are no woolly mammoths or sabertooth tigers here, you can venture into the Mylodon’s Cave on the way to the national park to learn about this lesser-known but no less fascinating beast. The mylodon is a huge sloth that inhabited Patagonia thousands of years ago. Remnants of this animal were found in the Mylodon’s Cave just outside Puerto Natales. For the budding paleontologist, nothing can be more awe-inspiring than contemplating the fact that he is walking on the same ground where colossal mylodons once roamed.
Meet the mylodon, a long-extinct gigantic sloth
Worried that long treks will be too hard for your children? Then our EcoCamp Patagonia Wildlife Safari is for you. The package lets you choose from a wide range of activities those best suited to your children’s abilities and interests, including easy strolls and relaxing bike excursions. But easy doesn’t mean less exciting: In the fauna trail, kids can come into close contact with wild animals such as guanacos, condors, foxes and ostriches.
Or how about this? On the boat cruise on Grey Lake, the strong winds of Patagonia can make it into a veritable roller-coaster ride! Staying in Patagonia, where nature runs her own theme park, will no doubt open the eyes of your young ones to the power and wonder of nature.
Feel the power of Patagonia's wind
Have the mountains and fjords of Torres del Paine whetted the little travellers’ appetite? Luckily, EcoCamp has more mini-adventures in store! Our fly-fishing extension takes fishers of all levels to the trout-rich rivers and lakes near Torres del Paine to experience the joy of catching a big fish with your own hands! This is a perfect introduction to the sport for beginners as we provide all the equipment and our guide will teach them the necessary fishing techniques. For those tiny feet that prefer to stay dry, ride with gauchos across the Patagonian plains on our horseback riding extension, or try our new Wild Horse Tracking extension, which involves going to a little-known corner of the national park to observe the last packs of wild Patagonian horses.
Track down the last packs of wild Patagonia horses on our new extension tour
We’ve all heard this oft-repeated travel maxim. And indeed we have to nod our heads in agreement on this one. For young inquisitive minds, the pre-trip anticipation can be a part of the experience just as important as being there in the place itself.
Before coming to Torres del Paine, be sure to make your kids rub their hands in excitement by lifting up that heavy atlas to locate Torres del Paine on the map, creating your own night sky diagram as seen from the southern hemisphere, or investigating the mathematical principles behind the unique design of our EcoCamp domes!
We’re looking forward to welcoming your family at EcoCamp Patagonia. Will you be among them? Book your Patagonia Wildlife Safari right now or let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.