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How to Choose a Chile Vacation for Kids

There’s no shortage of information out there on ‘Kid’s Holidays’ and ‘How to Travel with Kids’. Yet there’s one obvious thing that they all seem to miss: not all children are the same! We know that flying with kids in tow can be hard work, we know you’ll have to slow your travel pace, and that certain activities (like trekking the Paine Circuit, Chilean Patagonia’s ultimate hiking trail) are definitely out. But that doesn’t mean that there’s one Chile vacation to suit all kinds of kids. Here’s a look at some different Chile tours to suit your child, not just any child!


atacama petroglyphsYour Junior Archaeologist

If your kid is always grubbing around in the garden, unearthing buried treasure (cunningly disguised as bits of broken pottery and shiny stones that somehow end up rattling around in the washing machine), then head to Chile’s northern Atacama and Altiplano regions. Since it’s one of the driest places on Earth, many of the traces of the pre-Columbian society that once flourished here have been beautifully preserved. Explore the region’s many petroglyphs, ancient images carved into the desert rocks, and if they’re not easily spooked, take them along to the Padre Le Paige Museum in San Pedro de Atacama for a look at the famous Atacama mummies. Just remember to take things slowly as some people can suffer from altitude sickness in these areas. Children are no more susceptible than adults but they may be less able to identify any symptoms, so keep an extra eye on them, give yourself extra time to acclimatise and you should be fine!

easter islandYour Little Dreamer

For youngsters who are always away with the fairies, lost in a daydream or happily chattering away with an imaginary friend, a mystical location like Easter Island is perfect to stimulate their active imaginations. The island is famous for its stone statues called Moai, which were carved by the island’s early inhabitants between 1250 and 1500 AD, and for its remote location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It might be remote, but these days the flight from Santiago only takes around five and a half hours, making it perfectly child-friendly. Once you’re there, you’ll find plenty of wide, open beaches for daydreaming along and caves full of magic and ancient wall paintings. Be sure to pack plenty of paper and pens to soak up the inevitable reams of drawings and stories of enchanting Easter Island.

suite dome loftYour Pint-sized Adventurer

Your mini adventurer may not be the biggest in the world, but they’re always up for trying something new. Lose sight of them for a second and they’ve shimmied up the nearest tree to scout for new horizons to explore (ripping yet another pair of jeans in the process). If you’re looking for a new land to enjoy with your intrepid youngster, just watch their eyes light up when you mention a trip to the very bottom of the Earth. Chilean Patagonia is located at the far southern tip of the country and is one of the world’s truly wild places. Experience Patagonia as a real-life explorer at EcoCamp Patagonia, staying in two-tiered, eco-friendly dome in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park, and contemplate the final frontier of space through the ceiling windows as you drift off to sleep each night. You might even consider hopping the border and taking a sailing trip around the Argentine city of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world!

robinson crusoe islandYour Young Bookworm

In many ways, self-contained little bookworms are a joy to travel with. Sit them on the plane with a good, thick tome and you may not hear from them again until you land. But equally, when you’re travelling somewhere as exciting as Chile, you don’t want them to miss out on the fantastic wealth of sights around them because they’re too deeply buried in their favourite book. So how to tempt them out into the real world? A trip to Robinson Crusoe Island might just do the trick! Unless they’re really wise beyond their years, they might not have got as far as reading Daniel Defoe’s classic tale, but the prevailing air of shipwrecks, pirates, castaways and treasure are the making of many a good tale. Activities like sailing, walking and even horse-riding will draw indoor-types out into the great outdoors, and at the end of the day, there are still plenty of quiet nooks for hiding away with a good storybook.

guanacoYour Miniature Natural Historian

Is your kid the next David Attenborough in the making? Are you always having to check his or her pockets for snails, frogspawn and all manner of creepy crawlies? If so then Chile is the perfect place to enjoy with your child. The entire country is extraordinarily rich in flora and fauna, which is often wildly different from anything they might stumble across in the backwoods back home. For the greatest variety of wildlife in the shortest distance, head to Patagonia, which combines coastline, fjords, forests and plains for the chance to see all kinds of animals. Spot penguins, whales and dolphins along the coast and then head inland to track down llama-like guanacos, ostrich-like ñandus, condors, foxes and maybe even a puma! We suggest a Wildlife Safari with expert local guides, recommended for kids aged six and up. Buy them a scrapbook and a cheap disposable camera, or print out our Patagonia Kids’ Scavenger Hunt to get them started!
Have you travelled to Chile with kids? What tips do you have for families on the move?