Traveling in Chile with kids

Chile puts on a great show for kids, from cowboys to condors, mummies to mountains.
Traveling in Chile with kids is fantastic – just match them to the right things. Nature-loving children will love diverse wildlife: penguins, pumas and pygmy deer; whales and condors; plus a host of cute llama-like beasts! Fit kids will love wilderness hikes (from gentle to hardcore), or burning energy kayaking icy fjords, rafting wild rivers, surfing – or paragliding. Horse-mad types can ride dramatic trails or marvel at Chilean cowboy skills. Let them discover that Chile has scary-but-awesome mummies a lot older than Egypt. And learn about the stars beneath the glittering desert skies of the Atacama.

Things to do in Chile with kids

Get active

Burn off youthful energy on land and sea. Kayak around the fjords and glaciers of Patagonia (double/family boats available), or thrill doing whitewater, wild river rafting. Chile's vast tracts of wilderness offer wonderful hiking trails for all levels through forest and plains – or climb a smoking volcano.


The potato is a Chilean staple, and novel dishes show kids there's much more to this nutritious nosh than chips. Try mayocan (spud, seaweed and dried shellfish stew), colao (potato cakes with wheat, pork fat and crackling, cooked in hot embers) and papas rellenas – mash filled with meat or fish.

Strange beasts

Chile is home to plenty of quirky but enchanting animals: the giant flightless rheas of Torres del Paine are like ostriches but prettier. Add cute guanacos (soft-furred cousins of the llama), waddling penguins and blubbery elephant seals, plus adorable pygmy deer and the comic leaps of the chinchilla-like vizcacha.

Our top Chile family Vacation

Chile activity tour

Chile activity tour

Active adventure vacation in Chile's Lake District

From US $1310 4 days ex flights
Tailor made:
Daily departures between November- March
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Chile or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Tips for families

Alan Lyall, from South American vacation specialist Andean Trails, reels off some Patagonian pleasures to make traveling in Chile with kids a real pleasure: “Walking trails in the Torres del Paine National Park. Seeing if you can spot a fox, pudu (miniature deer) or ñandu (rhea). Zip lining in cold rain forest, floating on emerald coloured rivers, exploring volcanic caves, picking shellfish and crabs on rocky beaches. Spotting shooting stars in immaculate clear desert skies, horse riding and so much more. Active kids = happy kids.”
Mary Anne Nelson, from specialist vacation company Journey Latin America, reveals a panoply of possibilities for traveling in Chile with kids: “Chileans are very friendly towards children. For active adventures, the Lake District hosts white water rafting, horse riding, volcano climbing and much more. The glaciers and mountains of Patagonia plus the Atacama Desert in the north bring geography books to life. And Chile will amaze parents with its comfortable infrastructure, good food and wine!”
David Orrock, from tailor made vacation specialist Pura Adventure, says adventure makes traveling in Chile with kids a real thrill: “In July and August families can ski in the Andes followed by adventures in the Atacama desert - mountain biking, hiking across sand dunes, riding horses. In summer, central Chile – Santiago south to Puero Montt – is one enormous and beautiful adventure playground. For families with younger children, flight times perhaps make Chile too much of a stretch, plus they won’t be able to fully enjoy the adventures Chile has. But once children are 10+ they should be doing the rafting, volcano climbing, mountain biking, hot spring soaking with the best of them!”
Written by Norman Miller
Photo credits: [Page banner: Christopher Michel] [Intro: Steven Depolo] [Get active: Liam Quinn] [Strange beasts: Diego Delso] [Mary Anne Nelson Quote: Latin Discoveries]