For families that crave a vacation promising thrilling outdoor adventure, incomparable luxury, and a chance to create unique and treasurable memories, Chile is arguably the top destination in South America. From the unlikely natural spectacles of the Atacama to the rustically charming Chilean Lake District and the mighty Patagonian mountains, there are so many excellent places to go and things to do on a family trip to Chile. In this article, we use our expertise as travel providers to share the very best of it all to assist you in the beginning stages of creating your vacation itinerary. We share insight on stargazing beneath the world’s clearest skies, ice hiking across a glacier, sandboarding down desert dunes, and kayak racing on a lake, as well as simple moments like sharing stories around a fire and playing chess in a city square. Covering both the big moments and the small, this guide to top destinations for your family trip to Chile will inspire you to create the perfect vacation for your family. For those seeking an extra touch, our luxury Chile tours offer tailored experiences.
A Family Trip to the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile
As the world’s highest and driest desert, the Atacama is a uniquely adventurous destination that will make your family trip to Chile one to remember. Rather than sandy desert dunes, expect lunar landscapes, mind-blowing rock formations, and vast salt flats amongst hot springs, geysers, and lagoons. Whether you arrange a guided tour or hire your own 4×4, this incredible region of northern Chile will be a fun one for kids and adults to explore. Here are some of the best family activities you can enjoy in the Atacama. Between them, not only will you and your kids share once-in-a-lifetime experiences, but you will also get the rare chance to show them some of the most rare and unique spectacles of nature on Earth. Interested in a few different routes, check out our blog on the best Chile Adventures.
Horseback riding through Valle de la Luna: your children will be blown away by the otherworldly views you’ll find on a horseback ride through Moon Valley which features some of the most unusual and impressive rockscapes on Earth
Sandboarding in Valle de Marte: big or small, sandboarding down the dunes of this Mars-like valley is another out-of-this-world experience that your kids will thank you for
Floating in Laguna Cejar: concentrated with salt, Laguna Cejar is one of the few places in the world you and your kids will be able to experience the unique sensation of effortlessly floating in a lagoon
Desert stargazing through a telescope: Home to the world’s clearest skies, there’s nowhere better to take your kids to spot constellations, planets, and shooting stars on a stargazing telescope tour following a trip to the ALMA Observatory
Private 4×4 tour: treat your family to an adventurous 4×4 tour around the Atacama stopping at its best highlights including the Tetio Geysers, Salar de Talar (salt flats) flamingos at Laguna Chaxa, and Termas de Puritama hot springs
A Family Trip to the Chilean Lake District
A dramatic region made up of snow-capped mountains, coniferous forests, and sapphire blue lakes, the Chilean Lake District is a beautiful backdrop for your family trip to Chile. Much like the Alps, it exudes a sense of coziness come summer or winter with luxurious estancias and lodge-style family stays. By day, you can take the kids out into the great outdoors for some mountain and lakeside fun and adventure. By night, you can gather around the fireplace to reminisce on your day or play your favorite game of cards. There are plenty of adventurous family activities for an action-packed trip, but it’s also the perfect destination for those who want to balance their vacation with relaxation time too. Here are some of the active and relaxing activities you can include on the itinerary of your family trip to Chile.
Family fly fishing: this chilled outdoor activity provides the perfect chance to bond with your kids as you teach them about fishing (or learn together!) and chat about life whilst waiting for your catch
Cycling along Lago Llanquihue: this route along the banks of Lago Llanquihue, one of the biggest in the lake district, is a scenic yet simple cycling route for all the family
Kayaking around the lakes: whether you go adults versus kids or mom versus dad, kayaking is a great way to have a little family competition as you glide along the lake
Hiking up a volcano: your kids might not be thrilled about the idea of hiking, but tell them you’re hiking to the top of a volcano and you’ll bet they’re the first ones to reach the top
Whitewater rafting: few places in the world can you experience the thrill of whitewater rafting as a family and it’s guaranteed to be one of the core memories from your trip
More adventurous activities: skiing, ziplining, mountain biking, sailing
More relaxing activities: nature-spotting in Huilo-Huilo National Reserve, swimming in the lakes, visiting a local Mapuche community
A Family Trip to Torres del Paine, Patagonia
Share some of Chile’s most breathtaking landscapes with your kids on a family trip to Chile’s Torres del Paine, a premier Patagonia destination. This national park, like many in the region, is known for its challenging multiday hikes for keen adventurists but it has so much more to offer those looking for little adventures too. Among the many doable day hikes, you and your kids can get up close to world-famous glaciers, learn the ways of the gaucho, and experience life on a rural Chilean ranch. Between the epic adventures, you’ll get some downtime to spend quality time together in the region’s most luxurious hotels and lodges.
Trekking to the Mirador Torres del Paine: while this day hike (13 miles/21 km) is long and sometimes relatively tough, it’s definitely doable for families with older children and very much worth it to reach the top together
Horseback riding through the plains: explore the foothills of Torres del Paine on horseback with a guide to give your kids a fascinating insight into gaucho life
Sailing to Grey Glacier: this iconic glacier which impresses all who see it, no matter what age, is a must for your family on your Torres del Paine visit
Ice Hiking on Grey Glacier: it’s one thing to see the glacier, but it’s another thing entirely to put on some snow shoes and walk across it beside your family
Staying at an estancia: introduce your children to a new and unique culture by staying at a rustic estancia where you can experience family life in rural Chile
A Family Trip to Chile’s Best Cities
Cities aren’t usually very child friendly, but the spacious and serene Santiago sure is. The capital city is a must-stop for any family and not just because you’re likely to fly into it! Its world-class museums including the thought-provoking Museum of Memory and Human Rights are both culturally and humanistically enriching for your children. Meanwhile, its culinary scene will introduce them to fantastic new cooking styles and flavors that will widen their palette. Besides being an enriching city, Santiago is fun too. Take your kids to watch a football game at the national stadium, play chess together in the Plaza de Armas, see the cityscape from the 62nd floor of the Costanera Center, and ride the funicular to San Cristobal Hill.
The city that has captured the world’s heart with its colorful free-spirited street art will undoubtedly capture your family’s too. And situated on the coast only a 1.5-hour drive from the capital of Santiago, it’s an easy addition to your family trip to Chile itinerary. One of the best things to do here is simply to join a walking tour that highlights the best street art in the city, as well as its local history. Its colorful and creative streak lends to a laid-back and open-minded atmosphere that can’t help but inspire everyone that walks its streets, regardless of age. After wandering the streets, browsing the galleries, and stopping for lunch at a local seaview cafe, you can opt to take your kids surfing on the Valparaiso coast.
Create the Itinerary for your Family Trip to Chile
Now that you know all about the top destinations for your family trip to Chile, it’s time to create your bespoke itinerary. Tell us which destinations and activities sound most suitable and exciting for your family, and TLA will seamlessly weave them into a bespoke itinerary complete with the very best hotels, guides, and transport options. To get started, get in touch today by messaging us here or calling on +1 855 217 9045.