This season we have gotten several requests from families with kids between the ages of 4 and 13 wanting to experience Patagonia in a kid-friendly way. Read on for suggestions from our Patagonia expert on how to make the best of your family Patagonia adventure:
Patagonia is one of those places where hours can easily be racked up in the car due to the remote locations of sites and activities. Long drives and more strenuous hikes are generally what keep families waiting to visit Patagonia until their kids are teens or older. That does not have to be the case though! When visiting Patagonia with younger children, establishing a kid-friendly “basecamp” is essential. I recommend staying in an all-inclusive lodge when traveling as a family with younger kiddos. With all-inclusive lodges families have much more flexibility in schedules, activities, food, etc. More and more lodges are catering to families and include child rates for kids as old as 12 or 15.
My two favorite lodges to recommend to families are: Remota Lodge and Patagonia Camp.
Remota Lodge, why I like this program for families and red tape:
Each day at Remota, you get to pick and choose what you want to do. Families can decide last minute what they want to do and can even divide and conquer the fam if some want to do one thing and others want to try something else without worries about logistics or cost- this is why I especially like the all-inclusive lodge option for families. Besides the fact that it is flexible, for many of the excursions with Remota families don’t have to drive anywhere- they start either at the lodge or right next to the lodge. You have more varied options with this lodge than you do with the lodges in Torres del Paine (ie, you can do boating out to glaciers, visit working estancias, go into town if you want, go for mellow mountain bike rides, etc). That said, you also have the choice to go into Torres del Paine and see the park in a more laid back way- you will not be forced to do long hikes with young kiddos and you will still be able to see the highlights of the park (however, do note, that the Torres del Paine Park visit day is a long day- but there is down time in the van and lunch and snacks are served between several gorgeous short hikes). Finally, Remota has great kid-food options in their restaurant- very important for those picky eaters out there! ?
Remota’s family option: you can have up to four of you in a triple room if one child shares a bed with either the parents or the other child in a bed. Up to 1 child between 4-15 years old can stay free of charge in a shared room. For a second child, child rates apply.
Patagonia Camp, why I like this program for families and red tape:
At Patagonia Camp, stay on the edge of Torres del Paine National Park in your own family YURT! Family yurts are two yurts joined by a bathroom- one yurt has a Queen Bed and the second has two twin beds. The Family Yurts have their own private jacuzzi’s outside. This program is great because of the flexibility it gives to families (especially with kids who might change their minds last minute about what they’re feeling and what they’re interested in doing). Staying in a yurt is an awesome experience for kids- its like being in a glorified fort with a private outdoor hot tub! (Parents: the yurts are heated and have electricity as well). While staying on the edge of Torres del Paine is amazing, it also means that most of the activities at Patagonia Camp are longer treks and hiking oriented. They do offer kayaking and SUP as well as some shorter hikes right from the camp itself, but most activities require a drive to another part of the park for a hike. Depending on how your family is, it could be the best option or it could be something that you want to wait to do with teens.
Patagonia Camp’s family option: you can have four of you in a quad family yurt (1 queen bed for parents and 2 twin beds for the kids). Child rates apply to children between the ages of 5-12 years staying in family yurt with 2 adults.
For an extra fun add-on before or after your lodge stay, think of staying in Punta Arenas and visiting the Magdalena Island Penguin Rookery! Early in the morning you will bet met at your hotel and then set out for a zodiac boat ride to Magdalena Island to see one of the world’s largest penguin rookeries. Get off the boat and walk around the island and experience the penguins up close! Boat around Marta Island to see sea lions and birds from a distance. Return to Punta Arenas. Take the afternoon to relax or go for a family walk along the Strait of Magellan boardwalk right in town- there are several children’s play parks set up all along the way. At night, eat a delicious local family dinner and ask us for our hotel recommendations with family rooms, pools and hot tubs for more fun for the kids (and parents!).
Want to book your next Patagonia Family Adventure? Contact us!
Your friendly Patagonia expert,