Best destinations to travel to with kids in Latin America
We understand the unique joys and challenges of travelling with children and teenagers, and we’re the experts when it comes to designing flexible trips built specially around you and your family. To make the search for your ideal family holiday somewhat easier, we’ve compiled a list with the best destinations for children at different ages:
Travelling with little children can be challenging, but not impossible. Children under the age of two fly at a low infant fare, and destinations such Costa Rica, Mexico and Brazil offer great stays for young families. There are direct flights available from the UK to these countries, meaning less travel time and hassle. Especially the beach areas, such as the Riviera Maya in Mexico, and Rio de Janeiro and the Green Coast in Brazil have plenty on offer for families, including accommodation featuring child-friendly pools, beaches and dedicated amenities for baby’s and small children.
Slightly older children in this category will also enjoy a little exploring, which make destinations like Chichen Itza and Holbox in Mexico fantastic options. Jungle ruins, sandy beaches and shallow waters make it the perfect choice for little explorers and their parents alike. Sounds good? Try our Family Mexico: A self-drive adventure holiday to visit these places and more.
Children between the ages of four and seven are slightly more independent and love the company of other kids. Kids clubs accessible for children aged four and above are available in hotels in for example Yucatán Peninsula, and provide great entertainment in a safe environment.
Activities for children at this age, especially for younger ones, need to be relatively easy, but that’s not to say that you can’t enjoy a holiday with gentle activities. Suspended from the treetops , the hanging bridges in the Arenal Volcano area and the fairytale-like landscape of Monteverde cloud forest in Costa Rica provide great potential for (soft) adventure, while the Guanacaste and Nicoya peninsula are easily-accessible beach stops.
Cities also become more interesting for children at this age. The cities of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador in Brazil can be perfectly combined with nearby beaches or explorations in nature, adding an educational aspect to your holiday.
Belize is another great destination if you’ve younger children. It’s a small, easily accessible country with no language barrier and plenty of dense jungle, exciting wildlife and relaxing beaches to enjoy.
Self-drive holidays are excellent for families with children this age as well. The flexibility it gives is a great added value, and all accommodation is booked by us. Meaning it gives you enough time to explore everything at your own pace.
As children get older, they’re likely to need plenty of variety. Consider unspoilt Colombia for the greatest variety of flora and fauna, the most atmospheric towns, and among the friendliest people in Latin America. You can fly direct from London.
For dramatic scenery and extreme outdoor adventures, Patagonia is a world of variety and contrasts. From the Chilean and Argentine Lake District in the north, to the needle-sharp spires in Torres del Paine National and Los Glaciares National Parks. Not only will everyone been blown away by the views, there’re also enough opportunities to get into outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, river-rafting and kayaking.
Combining mainland Ecuador with the Galápagos Islands will provide your family with a truly exotic and educational experience, with lots of fun built in, mind boggling landscapes and trusting wildlife. During our Family Ecuador: Ecuador and Galapagos holiday journeys tend to be short and scenic on the mainland, and instead of taking a conventional cruise you stay on one of the main islands of the Galápagos, Santa Cruz.
What’s more, Panama showcases not only the giant Panama Canal, one of the great engineering feats of the 20th century, but is also great for explorers who’d like to learn more about the country’s wild history of pirates and smuggled gold. Furthermore, the 3,000km of beautiful coastline with coral reefs, islands and undeveloped beaches are perfect for snorkelling and seeing jungle wildlife including monkeys, sloths and toucans, to name just a few.
In general the whole of Latin America is suitable for older teenagers and young-adults. As a family you might want to consider taking up more challenging activities, such as hiking the slightly longer treks, including treks in Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, the W Trek in Chile, or the Inca Trail in Peru. See the major sites, including Machu Picchu, which are at altitude. Our Active Peru: Cycling, rafting and the Inca Trail holiday or Family Peru: Machu Picchu and Amazon Adventure holiday are the right choices for these kinds of experiences.
Sea kayaking and whale watching in Baja California, Mexico are other highlights for families with children of this age. Or what about an exploration of the dunes and lagoons of Lencois Maranhenses National Park in Brazil which can be done by jeep, boat and 4WD during our Off the beaten track Brazil: Dunes and lagoons of Lencois Maranhenses holiday?
More on Latin American history can be explored in Bolivia where a new route through the remote mountains can be taken, following the footsteps of the Argentinean rebel leader Che Guevara and his little band of fellow revolutionaries. Not to miss in Bolivia either is the visually stunning Salar de Uyuni Salt Lake – leaving an everlasting impression with every member of the family.
Expedition cruises are unique experiences that are great to undertake with older teenagers and young-adults. Our favourite cruises are adventurous in spirit, allowing for far more than a superficial glimpse of the destination, thanks to illuminating commentary from expert guides and enthralling land excursions. We offer expedition cruises in Antarctica, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, Panama, Patagonia and Peru.
Whether it’s for a special occasion or just as another family holiday, travelling with 21+ year-olds can create unique memories that last a lifetime. You might be looking for a range of choices to meet the diverse interests of all family members.
Explore some of the more intrepid destinations with 21+-year-olds. The area of southern Colombia leading off from the Cauca Valley south of Cali for example used to be off-limits but can now be accessed. Volcanoes, steep emerald green valleys, sugar plantations and attractive villages can now safely be explored. Two other less visited destinations in Latin America are Honduras and El Salvador. The former offers mountainous jungle scenery, archaeological treasures, Caribbean coastline and tropical islands to the north and east. The latter features spruced-up colonial towns, volcanic landscapes and tropical forests.
For wildlife fans, the Pantanal in Brazil is perhaps the best place in South America to go on safari. You’re highly likely to see plenty of capybara, howler monkeys and caiman. With some luck you might even get an once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of a jaguar or an anaconda. Our Wildlife Brazil: Jaguars of the Pantanal is the perfect choice if you and your family wish to explore the incredible natural landscapes and wildlife of Brazil.
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Real Latin America Experts
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Evie Oswald - Travel Expert
It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.