The main family-friendly destinations are the Amazon, Patagonia, Galapagos, Pantanal, Machu Picchu, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica.
This really depends on your definition of easy. South America, like Europe is a long haul flight from Australia and New Zealand and so you need to be prepared for that part of the journey. Once you arrive in South America, the infrastructure is generally good, there are plenty of great hotels to choose from and generally a range of food options. Sometimes you just need a little patience in case something doesn’t quite run to plan - but that is often part of the adventure!
Most children love encounters with wildlife and enjoy heading out by boat or on jungle walks in search of birds and animals. That is why the Galapagos, Pantanal and Amazon as well as Costa Rica are such great family destinations. Patagonia offers not only wildlife, but great outdoor activities that children enjoy - with options including walking, cycling and horse-riding. Costa Rica offers these activities as well as zip-lining and canopy walks. Then of course there are swimming and snorkelling opportunities - the Galapagos in particular is a fantastic destination for this activity, with a myriad of colourful fish and turtles to swim amongst. Piranha fishing is always a highlight in the Amazon! Children love the colour, buzz and excitement of local markets and Mexico and Guatemala certainly have their share of vibrant local markets.
Many Latin American families travel with their children and so it is not uncommon to find family-friendly hotels throughout South and Central America. If you are concerned, however, please check with your travel consultant prior to booking as not all accommodation is family orientated. If booking a private tour then we can obviously hand-pick hotels to suit your family’s needs.
Most of the higher standard hotels provide Western food as well as local dishes. Latin American cuisine is fairly palatable for children with many countries having asados (barbeques), papas, (potatoes) and a good selection of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as delicious fresh fruit juices. There are great seafood options along the coast and Argentina is of course renowned for its beef.
Children above the age of 3 months have the same responses to high altitudes as adults. You never quite know how your body, even as an adult, will respond to altitude until you get there. It is important for anyone, whatever their age, to ascend slowly, giving your body time to acclimatise. It is also important that you drink plenty of water and do not over eat as your digestion works slowly at higher altitudes. Also remember that the sun’s rays are more intense at high altitudes and so protection from the sun is vital. If you are concerned about altitude, we recommend that you consult your doctor or medical practitioner prior to departure.
In most areas yes, and we will request guides at the main sights that understand the needs of families and who will be able to bring the destination to life in a slower, more child friendly manner. For private tours we are able to tailor the tour to meet your family’s needs.
Although the guides will try to interact with your children as much as possible, they are not responsible for providing childcare. Parents are expected to look after their children during the tour.
The minimum age really depends on you and your family and also on where you are planning to travel and the activities that you wish to include. It also depends on the kind of traveller you are. Chimu staff have been travelling with their children to Latin America since they were babies. Obviously the older they are the more they will get out of their tour and the more they are likely to remember.