Travelling in Patagonia with kids

Patagonia’s beauty is its harshness, its wildness, its end-of-the-worldliness. Unfortunately, these characteristics tend to be better appreciated by adults than children.
Biting winds can be gruelling, the sublime landscapes unappreciated by smaller travellers, who are unable to undertake the lengthy hikes and scree scrambles that make this region so exciting. But if you plan well when travelling in Patagonia with kids, the kayaking, penguins, cowboy horses and llamas will keep them amused, and you’ll inspire their inner explorer.

Spirited teenagers will be buzzing, however, at the scale of the challenges that await them – snowshoeing, kayaking, rafting and boat tours past colonies of elephant seals, Magellan penguins and the chance to brag to buddies about having been to the end of the earth.
Travel Team
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Activities for families in Patagonia

Patagonia’s splintered coastline, protected peninsulas and glacier-fed rivers and lakes make for dramatic sea and river kayaking, plus whitewater rafting for the more adventurous - and highly experienced guides will take care of novice paddlers. If travelling in Patagonia with kids, you'll find that many trips are suitable for those aged ten and up, especially if you opt for double kayaks or family-sized canoes.
The weird and wonderful wildlife of Patagonia is sure to impress kids. The creatures’ names are a clue to their exoticism – the ñandús (rheas) of Torres del Paine are fluffy, ostrich-style birds, while guanacos are pretty relatives of the llama, farmed for their fine fur. Along the coast are penguins, whales and the enormous, blubbery elephant seals with their ludicrous-looking "trunks.

Sometimes kids need nothing more complicated than to just be in nature. With lives filled with after-school activities, clubs and structure, the opportunity to just go outdoors and play – particularly for urban dwellers – is a wonder in itself. Scrambling around rocks, playing hide-and-seek in the forests, feeding the horses and getting lungfuls of crisp, unpolluted air is childhood as it should be.

Travelling in Patagonia with kids

Myer Henderson, from our supplier Say Hueque, shares his tips on travelling in Patagonia with kids: "Patagonia is a great destination for families because unlike parts of Africa or the Amazon, you don’t have mosquito-borne illnesses, and there aren’t lots of creepy-crawlies that are going to bite kids. One thing to bear in mind is that in remote areas you should bring a good medical kit, including antibiotics from your doctor. In Ushuaia there are doctors and a hospital, but in some of the more rural areas, in between Calafate and Ushuaia, there’s not a lot there. There will be a little clinic or a local doctor but if you or your children have any specific medical needs or any medicine you’re concerned about being able to access, it’s always good to have an extra supply."
Written by Vicki Brown
Photo credits: [Page banner: Justin Vidamo] [Intro: Arto Marttinen] [Activities for families in Patagonia: Zachary Collier] [Myer Henderson Quote: The Travelista]