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Best Places To Visit In South America with Family

Best places to visit with family in South America

If you’ve been thinking about taking a family vacation to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, or anywhere else in South America, you’ve probably felt a little overwhelmed. You’ve probably wondered where the best places to visit in South America with your family are.

Some of the best places to visit in South America with family are Patagonia in Argentina and Chile, the wine region in northern Argentina, Rio and the Amazon in Brazil, and Machu Picchu and Cusco in Peru. These are only a few of the best places you could include in your next family trip to South America and we will explore more in this article.

Now, if you are reading this post you are probably in the process of planning a family trip to South America. No matter what’s on your mind whether it is the warm jungles, the Andes mountains, majestic icebergs, or colorful culture trust that each country will be a trip of a lifetime. Remember that South America is an extremely diverse place with each country and each region has its own culture, foods, activities, and spectacular places that are as rich as the countries themselves, there is so much to explore in South America with kids and extended family.

We’ve compiled some of our favorite family-friendly South American destinations. 

What is the best month to visit South America?

While all seasons have their good sides in South America, the best time to visit is between September and November. Summer in much of South America is November to February and winter is June to August. In many places, you need to also keep in mind that the rainy season occurs between January and March. 

What time of year is the cheapest to travel to South America?

The cheapest time of year for visiting South America is during the shoulder seasons. Spring and Autumn are both inexpensive. If you want to avoid high prices, avoid the holiday periods of July, August, and December. 

Argentina’s Best Places to Visit with Family

Urban Experience in Buenos Aires

Urban Family Experience in Buenos Aires South America

It’s impossible to travel to Argentina without visiting the capital city of Buenos Aires. Colonial architecture, unique and colorful neighborhoods, delicious food, and great nightlife make this unique city shine as a family travel destination. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Teatro Colon, Casa Rosada (made famous by Evita), Parque 3 de Febrero, and the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires. 

Family Exploration in Iguazu Falls

Family Exploration in Iguazu Falls

Are you interested in seeing one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World on a family trip to South America? Head to northern Argentina and see Iguazu Falls. 

The falls are along a 3 kilometre long U shaped cliff above the river. 

You can hike to the Devil’s Throat Viewpoint or see the spectacle from below on a boat excursion beneath the falls. There’s also the option of riding in a helicopter to see it. 

The best time to go to Iguazu Falls is in July when temperatures are in the 60s in the afternoon and 50s in the morning. It’s also the least rainy month of the year. You’ll need cash at the park, and they only accept Argentine Pesos. If you want to take a speedboat ride, your children need to be over the age of 12. Besides that, the falls are a good destination for all ages.

Wine and Fine Dine In Mendoza

Wine and Fine Dine In Mendoza South America

Mendoza is a city of plazas, leafy avenues, and cafes. The city is alive during the daytime but also has a vibrant nightlife where you can go to Av Aristides and hop into bars and restaurants. Mendoza, most famous for wines, is a great base if you’re interested in visiting Argentinian vineyards. Nearby you can also go rafting, skiing, or exploring a part of the Andes mountain range. 

Extreme Nature in Patagonia

Nature like no other in Patagonia south america

Patagonia is on every hiker’s bucket list. Visit Los Glaciares National Park with the family and take day hikes to the Perito Moreno Glacier. Explore via 4×4, or take a boat ride on Lake Rico. Patagonia is the perfect location for adventure vacations in South America. 

Parque Esteros del Iberá

This wetland reserve is 44,479 acres and home to plenty of wildlife to see, as well as beautiful, untouched nature to make you feel like you’ve entered a whole different world. When you’re there, you can visit Balneario Cacique Ira, a scenic lagoon dotted with thatched huts and perfect for swimming. If you’re as much a fan of capybaras as the rest of the internet, you can go to the Mirador to climb a tower at the edge of town and observe them along with plenty of local birdlife. If you’d like to bring back interesting souvenirs for the family, you can end your time at the park at Casa del Artesano, a gallery shop run by a local artisans’ cooperative. 

This is a great place to go with kids of all ages. They’ll love the opportunity to see wildlife and explore a whole new world.

The World’s Southernmost City Ushuaia

Travel to Ushuaia with you family

This port city is the world’s southernmost city and is a unique place to visit. The best way to get here will be to get a flight out of Buenos Aires. A cool memory for your family will be to stamp your passport with the unique local stamp. 

Nature is king in Ushuaia, surrounded by mountains, and is an access point for ships heading to Antarctica. You can also ski here, hike, sail, kayak, or scuba dive. When you’re in the city, you can go to the Maritime Museum or the Parque Yatana, both great choices for South America with kids. 

If you’re on a family trip to Ushuaia, you can take your children to the National Park for hiking in a beautiful place. There are many child-friendly guides that are happy to take frequent breaks and show you family-friendly activities like canoeing and fly fishing. Children would also love Gable Island, a patch of land inhabited by penguins. 

Chile’s Best Places to Visit with Family

Santiago The Capital Of Chile

Santigo de Chile great place for families traveling in south america

While the natural wonders of Chile are not to be missed, the bustling city of Santiago is worth a visit when you visit South America with kids as well. Santiago is a great city for walking, with unique neighborhoods, museums, architecture, and hillside parks. There are great restaurants, cafes, and beer halls, as well as an exciting arts scene and more.

Norte Grande A Unique Region

A place of Andean lagoons, snow-covered volcanoes, and a long coastline, Norte Grande is the place to go if you want to feel like you’ve reached the end of the earth. The number one place to visit in Norte Grande is the adobe village of Dan Pedro de Atacama. Nearby, see the high-altitude reserve of Parque Nacional Lauca, or visit the beaches around Arica. If you’re a fan of seeing ghost towns, you can visit the abandoned mining towns around the region. Head to El Tatio, surrounded by volcanoes and fed by geysers. Or go to Museo Arqueologico San Miguel de Azapa to see some of the world’s oldest known mummies. 

Iquique Port City In The Desert

Visit unique places in South America with Family

This port city is on the Pacific coast. The ocean is on one side and the Atacama Desert is on the other. If you’re looking for outdoor activities on a family-friendly South American vacation, this is the place to go. Cerro Dragon is an area nearby with large sandy areas where you can sandboard. Cavancha is one of the best beaches in the area. The Corberta Esmerelda is a museum inside a replica of a historic ship.

The Atacama Desert

Go on another world with your family in South America

The Atacama Desert is the driest place on earth, and perfect for a family trip in South America. Visiting the Atacama Desert on a Chile family vacation feels like walking on Mars, with its red plateaus and rock formations. Locations like the Valley of the Dead and the Valley of the Moon are some of the most spectacular places on the planet. There’s a salt lake, hot springs, and more. You can go bike riding, hiking, rock climbing, or exploring the other-worldly scene on four-wheelers. 

San Pedro Atacama, the nearby city, is small and easy to navigate with kids. It’s hot, though, so water and hats are recommended. There are some sites children can’t go to for safety reasons, like Mars Valley, so it may be best to go with older children. 

Chile’s Lake District

Beautiful places in South America

Another one of the most beautiful places on the planet, the Lake District is a great place for snowboarding, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, kayaking, skiing, and even trekking along a volcano! You can take a scenic helicopter ride to see the place from a bird’s eye view.

Chiloe Pastoral Landscapes And Its Iconic Wooden Churches

This island is home to seafaring people. You can see the famous Chilote wood shingles of Chile, the palafitos, houses on stilts along the water, and 16 different churches that are Unesco World Heritage Sites. The island also has an interesting mythology based on ghost ships, forest gnomes, and witchcraft. The landscape is also spectacular–one of undulating hills, dense forests, and foggy coasts. 

Brazil’s Best Places to Visit with Family

São Paulo One Of The World’s Most Populous Cities

Sao Paulo a place to visit in South America

There is nothing like this sprawling Brazilian city filled with theatres and cinemas, as well as delicious food and underground bars.  São Paulo in Brazil is South America’s largest city, but with the right plan, you can take full advantage of this spectacular place. Head to the Mercado Municipal to purchase a souvenir, or visit the Museo de Arte. Take a tour around the street art of Beco de Batman or visit the Theatro Municipal for opera, symphonies, and ballets. Go to the Ó do Borogodó for live samba and other music, as well as Pagode music.

The Great Amazon Jungle

The Jungle is great for Family tours in South America

Visit the Amazon on a Brazilian family vacation and adventure under its tall trees, seek out the world of wildlife that lives between them, and see the river that makes it what it is. Canoe through the forest or keep an ear out for howler monkeys. There are plenty of great places to explore the Amazon, such as Xixuaú, a haven of forests, remote communities, and wildlife. You might see giant otters there, or even manatees and dolphins, as well as wild cats like jaguars and ocelots. 

Belém The Gateway To Brazil’s Lower Amazon Region

A beautiful city of streets and parks and mango trees, basking in the past as you walk along pastel mansions, that faded over time. Visit museums, shop at markets, and eat at good restaurants. The Mercado Ver-o-Peso along the water is worth visiting, as well as the Teatro da Paz. For family vacations in South America, there’s also a museum and zoo with a collection of Amazonian species like anacondas.

Manaus The City In The Jungle

Manaus, the largest Amazonian city, is in the middle of the jungle. It’s a port for ships from the ocean but is actually 1500 kilometers from the ocean. If you visit, you should see the leafy zoo and a museum on a beach. Manaus is a good base for traveling into the jungle, but there’s a spectacular botanical garden to visit, a historic city market, and adventure activities along the coast.

Lençóis Small But Close To Nature

Expose your family to natures best things in South America

This old mining town in the Chapada Diamantina has charming cobblestone streets and outdoor cafes and restaurants. The best part of coming here is exploring the surrounding areas–waterfalls, caves, rivers, and plateaus make this the perfect base for an adventurous trip. You can also go hiking nearby in the Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina or get handicrafts at the Mercado Cultural.

Ipanema In Rio de Janeiro

Rio South America

Located in one of the most colorful and interesting cities in the world – Rio De Janeiro and mostly known for the famous song, “The Girl from Ipanema ”, this beach has various subcultures but regardless of where you are, it’s one of the best places to go in Brazil. The sands are clean and the sea is beautiful. You should arrive early to get a spot to lie down. The waters are very strong, and in fact, the word Ipanema is from the indigenous language and means “dangerous waters.”

Make sure to extend your visit to Rio and enjoy all this city has to offer, from great food, parties, shows, and culture.

Ilhabela Heaven By Sao Paulo

Ilhabela is an island surrounded by volcanoes, beaches, a jungle, and around 360 waterfalls. Perfect for the nature-loving traveler, 85% of the island is a state park protected by UNESCO. Come for toucans and monkeys, stay for the stories of 16th and 17th-century pirates. If you’re looking for diving, the shipwrecks are perfect locations. There’s also windsurfing on the island, as well as hiking in the jungle and lovely beaches. 

Rio Grande do Sul

You’ll think you’ve traveled to a new country in this spectacular state, where you might be just as likely to see an Italian-style winery as you are to see an Alpine Village. Gauchos aren’t just in Argentina, the cattle-herding cowboys are also in Rio Grande do Sul. You’ll see people in traditional dress and wide hats, as well as drinking mate tea. While you’re there, you can visit many parks, including the Parque Estadual da Guarita and Parque Nacional de Aparados da Serra, or you can visit ArteLoja CCMQ, an art shop featuring all gaucho artists.

Peru’s Best Places to Visit with Family

Lima The Capital Of Peru

Lima great for families

Lima in Peru is the second driest world capital. It rises above a coastline, perched atop a cliff. It’s possible to get down to the water via various stairways, but you might feel like staying on the Malecon, or boardwalk, to enjoy the majestic view and the hang gliders flying above the water. 

The Museo Larco is one of the best sites in Lima, a treasure trove of pre-columbian art with a delicious restaurant. The Plaza de Armas is also a must-see, but what’s more important is the food–Peru has been named a gastronomical capital of the world, and restaurants like Maido and Pescados Capitales are the perfect places to really get to know this hipster capital of Latin America.

Mancora The Beach Town

A surfing haven and destination for the Peruvian jet set, this sandy beach is in the sunniest region of Peru. The main street is filled with great seafood and other restaurants, and the nightlife is unmatched in other oceanside havens. Go to Mancora to learn to surf, spend time on the sand, or just relax in this unique beach location.

The Peruvian Amazon Jungle

Take a cruise into the jungle or a hike. Stay in a luxury lodge and immerse yourself in the Amazon, discovering the lush green jungle and its animal inhabitants. Children can learn about the research and conservation efforts in the Amazon as they explore one of the most amazing places on earth. 

Machu Picchu The Symbol Of The Incan Empire

Amazing history in South America

Visit Machu Picchu and check one of the 7 Wonders of the World off your list. There are many ways to get to Machu Picchu, such as hiking the Inca Trail or taking an adventure-sport-oriented route, but you’ll likely go through Cusco, a beautiful city in the mountains. 

Climb up Machu Picchu and Huayno Picchu, take a picture with the llamas that keep the grass short at the site, and see one of the most spectacular sites in the world. 

Machu Picchu has many options for getting to the top, so even if you are with younger children, you can reach the wonders of the world by way of a shuttle or bus. 

Huaraz A Gateway to Cordillera Blanca

Great treks all around south America

Huaraz is one of the most beautiful places in the Andes. It’s a heaven for trekking, and if you visit you’ll see hundreds of backpackers tired from their hikes. There are great restaurants and bars in the city but the true beauty of this region is the nature–spectacular mountains, other-worldly blue lagoons, and more await in this adventure haven. 

Arequipa A Colonial-Era Capital In Peru

Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru, and still only a tenth the size of the capital Lima. The city is surrounded by three volcanoes, and it’s a great base for outdoor activities like rafting and hiking. The city center is a Unesco World Heritage city, with a beautiful display of baroque buildings carved from white volcanic rock stone. 

Arequipa is a great place to really explore why Peru is such a gastronomical center–the restaurants are out of this world. While you’re there, visit the monastery library at Convento y Museo de la Recoleta, or try a meal from Peru’s most famous chef, Gaston Acurio, at his restaurant named Chicha.

In Conclusion

See different culture with your family in South America

As you can see there are so many wonderful places to travel to in South America with kids and family, and we merely opened your eyes to the opportunities of a such family trip. 

Each destination is unique, and whether you’re looking for an adventure trip, a city trip, or an opportunity to practice your Spanish and Portuguese, there are great options for every kind of traveler in South America. 

So make sure to get more information on the type of trip you would like for your family in South America. Once you have a rough idea of the places and character of your trip get some help from a respected travel agency that can help you book flights, local guides, transportation, and so much more.

Until then we wish you a great trip to the unique place called South America.

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