Traveling in Bolivia with kids

What does Responsible Travel recommend?

Traveling in Bolivia with kids is daring – but doable. The key is to adjust to the altitude, break up long journeys and pick destinations with the seasons in mind; the desert is brutal in winter (July-Aug). The cities and markets are fascinating for little ones, the abundant wildlife of the Pampas is the closest thing you’ll get to a wild zoo – and of course, everyone loves a llama.
Boat tours are a perennial pleaser – whether on Lake Titicaca or dolphin-filled Amazon tributaries. Younger children may prefer the warmth of the lowlands – along with the more spacious lodges and gentle activities.

Activities for families in Bolivia

What to do with little ones

Each Sunday, La Paz’s Prado Boulevard is closed to traffic, and turns into a street festival – with food stalls, craft displays, live music and dance and a fantastic kids’ zone – where they can paint, play, make music and create. Kids can get creative – and mix with local children as well.
Head to the jungle! Boat rides, monkeys, swimming pools, pink dolphins, warm weather, hammocks and capybaras are just some of the attractions in the lowlands. Stay at a community-run lodge and get stuck into indigenous life – learning how to make chocolate, squeeze sugarcane juice and fish for piranhas.
The ultimate Andean experience: trek with llamas along an ancient Inca trail. Take a boat across Lake Titicaca to the mysterious Isla del Sol, and walk with a local Aymara guide and llama across the stunning landscape, passing women working in the terraced fields, fishing huts and shepherds.

Traveling in Bolivia with kids

responsible travel asks the experts

Kat Dougal, from our supplier Andean Trails, frequently travels with her own daughter: “I would recommend it for people traveling with children, simply because people are very kid friendly. Family means a lot in Bolivia, so people are quite welcoming. In certain areas, you can have long journeys so it’s important to have someone who helps you decide an itinerary that breaks up journeys and doesn’t pack in quite as much. The altitude is difficult to avoid, but often kids are perfectly fine, and often they take it better than adults, so I wouldn’t let that put me off. I’d just make sure that I allowed enough time for everyone to settle in rather than rushing.”
Bibiana Tellez-Garside, owner of our supplier High Lives: “Children can only travel in the vacations, and the summer vacation is when it’s winter in Bolivia. In the Salt Flats, temperatures can sometimes get down to minus 20. I think the Easter break is a great opportunity, and the Christmas break as well as it’s summer or autumn so temperatures won’t be as cold. Sometimes it’s only a week that temperatures drop down, but parents might not want to do the salt flats, or the desert. But Madidi National Park in the Amazon is great for families. And in our winter there are less mosquitoes, less thunderstorms… And children can walk around, there’s lot of space in the lodges.”
From our supplier Latin America Journeys: “We recommend private transportation with children; most of the buses do not have a toilet and they do not stop if you need it. Also children get bored in long trips and they need to go out of the car to have a short walk or a short break. Always carry snacks and hot/cold beverages with children, there are no restaurants on the way.”
Photo credits: [Top box: ] [La Paz's Prado Boulevard: Kat AndeanTrails] [Jungle: Vicki Brown] [Trekking with llamas: Matthew Straubmuller] [Bibiana quote: Geoff Gallice]
Written by Vicki Brown
Photo credits: [Page banner: Ali Martin]
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