If you’re planning a luxury trip to South America for the entire family and want to include some kid-friendly immersive experiences, but you’re not sure how to do so effectively, this guide is for you! Getting young travelers interested and engaged with travel is an amazing way to expand their horizons with interactive, educational activities that leave a lasting impression on them. Whether they are exploring entirely different ecosystems or learning about other types of cuisine, family travel to South America is ideal for parents who want their kids to have fun while learning more about the world!
Some experiences like a four-day trek to Machu Picchu may not be suitable for all ages. But that does not mean you can’t travel outside the boundaries of the major tourist destinations! Below are our tips and ideas for parents who want to engage with family-friendly cultural experiences in South America.
– Explore Ancient Civilizations That Are Easily Accessible
Across South America, travelers will find important archeological sites that belonged to pre-Hispanic civilizations – most notably, the Incan Empire. Many of these archeological sites are situated in unique locations that may be difficult to access with young travelers.
Instead of trying to solve the transportation problem that may require long car rides, steep hikes, or dealing with crowded tourist destinations, expand your search and explore some of the more easily accessible historic sites throughout South America. For example, although the trek to Machu Picchu is the most immersive way to access the landmark, it is definitely not doable for young kids who may get tired easily and can’t exert high levels of physical activity. Instead, opt for the train ride and make it a fun part of the journey! The Vistadome Train is a popular option thanks to its unique panoramic windows. You and your kids can look out at the Sacred Valley as you climb toward Machu Picchu comfortably!
Some other great sites that are easy to access include Coricancha in Cusco, also called the Temple of the Sun. This site is actually located within the Cusco city limits, so your family won’t have to travel far from your hotel to see this!
Another easy alternative is to request a private tour that includes multiple sites in one day and allows the local guide to lead your family while providing expert historic background. Peru’s Sacred Valley is an amazing destination to do this. You may not see Machu Picchu on a day-long tour, but you will see some of the most important sites to the Incan culture, including Maras and Moray, Pisac, and Ollantaytambo. While going off the beaten path can be fun, it’s oftentimes a bit more complicated, which you don’t want to be worried about when you’re traveling with little ones. Simplify your vacation while still learning all about the Incan Empire and its influence over South America!
– Choose Immersive Accommodations That Combine Culture With Luxury
Another amazing way to add some fun and education to your luxury trip to South America is by choosing accommodations that are centered around local lifestyles. From authentic culinary experiences to unique activities and educational tours, staying somewhere that is inspired by regional traditions is a great way to immerse your family in local culture.
For example, if you plan to visit Patagonia, replace a regular hotel with a luxury estancia and be immersed in the traditional gaucho lifestyle. Gauchos, the Argentine version of a cowboy, often spend their days herding cows or sheep on a ranch, tending to the land, and these days, providing educational experiences for travelers who are curious about this style of living. Throughout Argentina, there are many different estancias you and your family can stay at to be fully immersed in this ranch lifestyle while enjoying the luxury comforts of beautifully renovated accommodations.
One such destination is Nibepo Aike, located in the El Calafate region. Disconnect from the rest of the world as you venture deep into Patagonia, where you and your kids can relax in a charming home away from home every evening. During the day, venture out into the stunning nature surrounding you on all sides, and go on a horseback riding tour to learn more about what being a gaucho entails exactly.
– Get A Hands-On Experience Cooking Authentic Cuisine
Kids can be picky eaters, which can make it difficult to travel, which is unfortunate since food is one of the best ways to feel connected to new cultures. Instead of just introducing your kids to a new type of food out of nowhere, let them learn about how the food is made so they can warm up to the idea before actually trying it! Cooking classes are a phenomenal immersive activity for families on a luxury trip to South America. It’s a fun, hands-on way to teach little travelers about the different ingredients that grow around the world and help them understand the food they’re about to try.
One amazing place to test your skills as a chef is Santiago, Chile. This city is one of the gastronomic capitals of South America. The streets are lined with world-class restaurants, delicious street food, and traditional Chilean dishes that celebrate the diverse ingredients from around the country. Before introducing kids to all this amazing food, take a cooking class and learn how these dishes are made!
Depending on your dietary needs and preferences, Kuoda can help find the right cooking class for you and your kids. We’ll ensure that the chefs are able to help young cooks in the kitchen and that the class you attend reflects the authentic local cuisine.
– Find The Most Fun Activities So Your Kids Don’t Even Realize They’re Learning
Immersive travel experiences are the best way to teach kids because typically, the activities you have planned sound like a fun adventure rather than something educational. And while you may want to stop and spend some time exploring the different museums of South America or wandering the historic city centers, it’s also important to include things that appeal to a childlike sense of joy to keep kids engaged and excited for the entire trip!
Activities like a chocolate farm tour in Ecuador are perfect for this. It sounds like something straight out of Willy Wonka, but it’s actually an informative excursion to help kids learn about how chocolate is turned into a sweet confection when it started as a tiny, bitter bean. Tours like this can also help educate travelers about the importance of responsible, sustainable travel, which is especially important for young generations who will be dealing with the impact of climate change for years to come.
Planning a family trip to South America may sound overwhelming. There are so many logistics to work out, and activities to organize. Instead of stressing about how you’ll accomplish everything, let our team help by taking your travel dreams and turning them into an expertly curated family travel itinerary.
Let us know what type of experiences you’re looking for – whether it’s culturally immersive adventures like these, nature excursions, adventure sports, art tours, or anything you can imagine! We’ll help find the perfect family-friendly activities so you can relax and enjoy a luxury trip to South America you will never forget.
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