South America’s mystical Patagonia region is a seemingly otherworldly destination that conjures up images of magnificent glaciers, snow-capped peaks, desolate pampas, and ends-of-the-Earth isolation. Taking the family to experience some of the most jaw-dropping wilderness on Earth should be on every family’s bucket list! If you’re looking to enjoy a family tour to Patagonia, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of what family-friendly activities are available to you on this epic adventure. We’ve put together a list of 8 can’t miss experiences to enjoy with the whole family:
1. Trekking in Los Glaciares National Park
Snow-capped mountains with stunning viewpoints and crisp fresh air are every mountain-lovers dream when they think about going to Patagonia, but few know that Los Glaciares National Park is the perfect place to bring the kids, or any family member who needs to enjoy easy, shorter walks without compromising the breathtaking views. Visit the jagged towers of Mount Fitzroy and Mount Torre and afterward enjoy delicious local ice cream at nearby El Chalten, Argentina’s trekking capital. This is the perfect place to take the family in hopes of those picture-perfect glacier views you think of when thinking about visiting Patagonia.
2. Horseback Riding at an Estancia
For parents looking to make the most out of the cultural offerings in the Argentinian Patagonia, a visit to a traditional estancia should be at the top of the list. Estancias offer the experience of staying with a family at their property, which often includes food, activities, and an unforgettable cultural experience for the family.
The entire family will enjoy empanadas, meat-stuffed pastries, salami, homemade bread, and drinks during a little downtime exploring the estancia. The real fun will begin when the gauchos bring out the horses. Most estancias take visitors on a guided horseback ride around the ranch. After working up an appetite, visitors generally return from the horseback ride to find more snacks and culinary delights like traditional Argentine asado, cooked on the grill.
3. Penguin Encounters at Tierra Del Fuego
If you travel to the end of the world, aka Ushuaia, the capital of the Argentina side of Tierra del Fuego, you’ll have a chance to see three species of penguins.
Here you’ll find those two small breeding colonies of Gentoo penguins. On a day tour, you can literally walk with the penguins on the island. These tours are organized for 20 people or less, so you’ll really have a chance to immerse yourself amongst the birds and learn all about them from your knowledgeable guide.
Besides the Gentoos, you’ll also find Rockhopper and Macaroni penguins here. They nest on remote islands, so you won’t be able to get as close to these colonies as you can with the Gentoos.
4. White Water Rafting
From raging rapids to gentle streams, both Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia have stunning Lake Scenery to enjoy. Enjoy white water rafting with kids and parents alike along the Petrohue, Rio Manso, or Bariloche Rivers and experience breathtaking scenery while getting up close with the rapids while overlooking the towering peaks of Patagonia. While the Patagonia region has plenty of whitewater rafting for expert rafters, novices need not worry – many of the river routes are beginner friendly so the entire family can enjoy a day on the water.
5. Take a Ride on The End of the World Train
One of the most recommended activities to do with children is to ride on the southernmost railway on Earth: the Train of the End of the World.
On the hillside of Mount Susana, in the valley of the Pipo River, a zigzagging landscape enters the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Although in fact it was created to transport firewood and supplies to the Ushuaia Jail, today it serves to connect this town with the national park.
In addition, the route offers stunning views all along the journey, and it is considered one of the most charming trains in Patagonia.
6. Whale Watching in Puerto Madryn
If you’ve ever experienced a whale encounter in-person, you know what a magical experience it is for the entire family. Fortunately, on your luxury tour to Patagonia, you have a high chance of getting lucky and spotting these magnificent creatures in the wild.
We mean the Southern Right Whales, which are possible to be watched from the beaches of “El Doradillo”, near Puerto Madryn, from May to October. Whales are very sociable and come very close to the coast so it’s a good idea to rent bikes and go with the family to skirt the coast. Kuoda can organize a boat trip for your family from Puerto Pirámides, Valdés Peninsula. Perfect for a fun-packed family day exploring Patagonia.
Visitors who stay near Puerto Madryn should dedicate one day to visiting the town’s “Ecocenter’, a place that attempts to acquaint visitors with the importance of the marine world through various exhibitions and activities for the whole family. A way for the kids to learn all the secrets of the sea and oceans as they play, touch, and have fun.
7. Marvel at the Perito Moreno Glacier
Those who want a unique vacation experience in Patagonia should definitely visit the most famous glacier in the world: the Perito Moreno.
Glaciers form when large amounts of snow accumulate in an area quicker than the rate it melts, leaving behind a large mass of frozen ice. Over millennia this becomes so compacted that an ice river is formed, leaving these beautiful glaciers dotted around the world.
Whilst most glaciers in the world are shrinking, Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina is one of the few that is growing every year. Scattered with boardwalks and viewing platforms along the glacier perimeter, visitors can get close enough to the action to hear ruptures of ice collapsing into the water.
While there are many glaciers in Argentina, Perito Moreno Glacier is by far the most spectacular and unique. Since its UNESCO inscription 40 years ago, watching the baby blue ice break away from the glacier and plunge into the ice field below is a tourist attraction that will capture the attention of the entire family.
An unforgettable experience for the family, head to the Glacier’s catwalks, an ideal spot for a picnic, hiking, and taking photos of the incredible ice wall.
8. Go Glamping
Modern convenience and comfort meet breathtaking nature when glamping in Patagonia. Glamping, a modern twist on a traditional camping experience, offers you the chance to combine the best of Chilean or Argentinian Patagonia with luxury hotel comforts to help inspire the family to reconnect with nature.
Patagonia Camp is a great option for a stunning encounter with nature while enjoying a luxurious holiday. Book a yurt with a hot tub if possible and recover from a day’s hike while enjoying the fabulous views of Lake Toro and the distant Paine Massif. The kids will love all of the activities that are included, like trekking, kayaking, and stargazing.
Ready for that Family Tour to Patagonia?
Ready to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in Patagonia with the family? Whether you’re bringing the kids, parents, or grandparents – there is a certain magic to Patagonia that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family. From trekking to kayaking to stargazing and more – your family will appreciate the incredible memories you’ve made together in one of the most remote, most beautiful parts of the entire world. Where to begin planning? Let us do the hard work. See more about our Patagonia itinerary here, and contact us today to get started making your family vacation to Patagonia more than just a dream.