Traveling in South America with kids
South America is a magical lab able to conjure up any child's dream
Traveling in South America with kids will make lifelong memories. Animal lovers will adore a startling menagerie: penguins, pumas and pygmy deer; whales and condors; soft-furred alpaca and giant flightless rhea; jaguars and marine iguanas. Fit kids will jump at wilderness hikes, kayaking fjords, rafting wild rivers, or surfing on golden beaches. Horse-mad types have trail rides with the cowboys of Chile and Argentina or splashing canters through Brazil's Pantanal. Let them discover wondrous cultures older than Egypt, from the Andes to the Amazon, and learn about the earth and sky amid smoking volcanoes beneath remote starry skies lit by the Milky Way.
Our South America family Vacations
Things to do in South America
South America is home to a plethora of quirky but enchanting animals. Marvel at giant flightless rheas, adorable pygmy deer and cute soft-furred llama-like guanacos. Smile at waddling penguins and blubbery elephant seals. And be very glad your hamster isn't as big as a capybara!
Burn youthful energy on land and water. Kayak around fjords and glaciers, thrill with whitewater rafting or canoe through flooded Amazon jungle. Scale Andean peaks on ancient trails or cross vast plains. Horse-ride through a wetland nirvana. Or wander amid jetting geysers and smoking volcanoes.
Chile and Argentina have fascinating - but distinctive - cowboy cultures, without any Wild West bad guys! riding with Argentinian gauchos across the grass sea of the Pampas is fantastic even without the stupendous barbecues!
If you'd like to chat about South America or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Tips for families
Alan Lyall from our supplier Andean Trails reels off some Patagonian pleasures for traveling in South America with kids:
“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.”
Tim Winkworth from our supplier The Family Adventure Company highlights Andean culture in his tips for traveling in South America with kids:
“The Inca culture is not as prevalent in Ecuador as it is in Peru as it doesn't have the ruins - but there are traditional communities, and where you really get that feel is in the markets and in the highlands. You have farmers working in a traditional way, and it's great to show children what's outside of the technological world they live in. The colourfully dressed children are happy to see people, you can kick a football around with them; it's a wonderful opportunity. It's great to take the kids to the markets too. They can have a look at the different trinkets and see all the people.”
Anna Scrivens from our supplier Audley Travel explains why Brazil is a good choice for traveling in South America with kids:
“I think Brazil works well for families – as long as they’re aware of all the traveling involved. Children would love the wildlife in the Pantanal or the jungle in the Amazon or the waterfalls, it’s all very visual. In Rio there are some really good family tours. You can do cycling trips around the beaches, walking, kayaking... It’s a very active country, so even if you just go to the beach, there are kayaks you can hire or boat trips you can take.”
More about South America
The best time to visit much of South America is any time outside of the Jan-March rains. Remember that in the southern hemisphere, seasons are reversed...
We take you trekking, bushwhacking, rafting and salsa-ing your way across this thrilling continent, from Amazon depths to Andean peaks...
Our map helps you choose which places to visit in South America, whether you're enjoying an epic overland tour or a relaxing two-week vacation...
Trek in the Andes, spot Andean wildlife, discover Aymara, Quechua, Afro and Latino culture, or cross remote borders on a thrilling overland tour...
There are few places that hold such significance for life on earth as the Galapagos Islands.
Towering walls of glacial ice, windswept open steppe and spectacular miradores with views of majestic jagged mountains are Patagonia’s calling cards.
Wildlife in South America has thrilled scientists and explorers and beguiled travelers for centuries.
Get tips on the best way to explore Patagonia, the Amazon vs the Pantanal, what to do in the Lake District and where to find the best street food...
Is there really such a thing as an ethical wildlife selfie? The spread of social media has encouraged a worrying trend in pictures of tourists holding, hugging and feeding wild animals, and NGO World Animal Protection has campaigned to stop this.
Across the continent there are issues with the displacement, deforestation and deep set poverty. Our guide helps you make wise - and kind - choices...
Find all of our South America guides in one place, for particular places in South America such as Bolivia, the Galapagos or Peru.