I started collaborating and writing this post about ‘Best Things To Do In Chile with Children’ a few months ago and then I never got a chance to actually finish it. We were busy moving from South Africa to The Netherlands so you can imagine that took up most of my time after having lived for 17 years in gorgeous Cape Town. When you read the post below, we have arrived safely in The Netherlands on the 24th of December 2019, had a great Christmas and New Year with friends and family and are now getting ready for our 4 month Solo Parent Adventure in South America including Chile, Peru, Ecuador & Galapagos and Colombia. This article is a collaboration with other writers and I will add my own take on Best Things to do in Chile with Children along the way.
UPDATE February 2020: We have now spend 1 month in Chile and we’ve discovered incredible Things to do in Chile with Children. We have travelled to El Rincon near Los Angeles, Pucón, The Island of Chiloé and we just came back from 5 days in San Pedro de Atacama. Our best things to do in Chile definitely include: seeing a snow volcano for the first time, floating in a salt lake and enjoying beautiful thermal baths.
- 1 Introduction to our Solo Parent Adventure 2020 of South America
- 2 Visiting San Cristóbal Hill in Santiago, by Daniel James from Layer Culture
- 3 Enjoying Curanto on Chiloe Island, by Joanna from The World in My Pocket
- 4 Visiting Torres Del Paine by Sinead Camplin from Map Made Memories
- 5 Hot Spring of Termas de Agua Calientes by Andrea from One Savvy Wanderer
- 6 Visiting the area of Los Angeles, staying at El Rincon Eco-Lodge
- 7 A visit to the Atacama Desert
- 8 A Daytrip from La Serena to Isla Dama to visit the Humboldt Penguin Reserve
- 9 Celebrate Fiestas Patrias by Priyanka Gupta from On My Canvas
Introduction to our Solo Parent Adventure 2020 of South America
Our flights to Chile are booked to fly out of Amsterdam on the 15th of Jan and we will arrive in Santiago on the 16th of January 2020. We fly out of Bogota on the 15th of May. Our Solo Parent Adventure will include: Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
Although I tried to plan our trip from blog posts and articles only,, last week I surrendered and ordered the ‘Lonely Planet of Chile & Easter Island‘ and the one from ‘Ecuador and Galapagos Islands‘ as well. I’m SOOO glad I did!! I hadn’t bought a Lonely Planet in ages simply for the fact that they were super expensive in South Africa and never had the latest version but now being back in Europe we have access to all this again. I love reading the first Lonely Planet about Best things to do in Chile and I love how they have whole sections about kidsfriendly Chile and activities with kids in Chile so it will be very easy for us to find the best things to do in Chile with children
We are so excited over the moon for our 4 month adventure and I’m happy to have found the time just before departure to at least finish this blog post finally. Contributions from a few very patient guest bloggers will be included in the following article about Things to do in Chile with kids. I will also include some of the things that we are planning to do.
We talked about Chile because good friends moved back to Santiago the Chile last year and we started dreaming up a plan to go and visit them. Visiting Chile was in our vision board for 2019 and we are happy to say that at the beginning of 2020 we flew out to Santiago to visit our friends.
While being part of a big blogger community we often share knowledge with each other. To prepare for our adventures in Chile I asked around for great things to do with kids in Chile so this is what this article is about. While neighbouring countries like Peru and Argentina are much more popular, I wanted to find out:
Is Chile worth visiting with children? So let’s find out.
We know that recently (end of 2019) there was a lot of unrest but it has really calmed down again and our friends in Santiago ensured us it is fine to come and visit. Also the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is ok. You can check it HERE.
Visiting San Cristóbal Hill in Santiago, by Daniel James from Layer Culture
Souvenirs, gifts, and typical food local to the Chilean culture can all be found. There are many areas to relax situated close to the pathways and close enough to be able to enjoy the views. The 14m high-statue of the Virgen de la Immaculada Concepción at the top is the main attraction at San Cristóbal Hill.
Enjoying Curanto on Chiloe Island, by Joanna from The World in My Pocket
One of the most cultural immersive experiences that you can have in Chile is having a Curanto in Chiloe Island, with a local family. This is one of the very special things to do in Chile with children. After reading Joanna’s article, I’m certainly making a plan to visit Chiloé with Rosie. Chiloé Island is situated in Southern Chile in the Los Lagos Region.
Chiloé Island is known for its folklore and its mystical believes of the natives living in the Archipelago which fusioned with the legends and superstitions brought in by the Spanish Conquistadores. The local mythology is alone a reason to travel to Chiloé Island with your family, to learn about the importance of the legends on the island.
The local cuisine is another reason to travel to Chiloé. This is the only place in Chile where an ancient cooking method that our ancestors used to practice thousands of years ago, is still used. Many restaurants on the island have adapted and make the same recipe using pressure cookers, but the result is not the same.
To experience Curanto, the cooking method I am talking about, you need to find a local family on the island. Curanto is more of a ritual of cooking than a recipe. The freshest mussels, shellfish, clams and barnacles are cooked together with meat, sausages and potato cakes, on hot stones, underground, under a layer of rhubarb leaves covered with sacks, dirt and grass chunks. No worries, the earthy elements do not reach the food. The entire process, from preparing the fire and the hot stones until enjoying dinner takes a good few hours. During this time the participants will have a chance to chat and learn more about each other’s cultures. It is a fantastic experience that every family should experience when traveling to Chile.
UPDATE: February 2020: We made it to Chiloé! It was a last minute spur of the moment, let’s go while we’re going already and I’m so happy I made it happen. I made sure to have the ‘Curanto experience’ and enjoyed a fabulous afternoon at Meson Chilote in Ancud where Curanto is prepared 1x or 2x a week in the traditional way. It is one of the best things to do in Chile on Isla Chiloé. We spend the afternoon chatting about the traditions while I enjoyed some glasses of Chicha de Manzana with the chef.
Visiting Torres Del Paine by Sinead Camplin from Map Made Memories
Torres Del Paine National Park in the southern Chilean region of Patagonia is an unmissable family activity in Chile. The landscapes of this world-renowned UNESCO Biosphere Reserve offer jaw-dropping scenery and breathtaking views at every turn. We were fortunate to visit Torres Del Paine on a beautiful sunny day and were lucky enough to get picture-perfect views of the three, iconic granite towers which gave the park its name and for which it is famous We drove all over the park, stopping at whim to explore and complete short hikes. Sometimes we simply sat on the grass and savoured the incredible views. We visited powerful waterfalls, crossed rickety wooden bridges over swollen rivers and walked through dense forest. There is so much varied flora and fauna within the park you will never be bored and you will leave wishing to return. Our children loved using their binoculars to spot soaring condors and grazing Guanacos. They enjoyed skimming stones in a fun but futile attempt to hit the mini icebergs floating in the glacial waters of Lake Grey. Torres Del Paine left an impression on our family and we cannot wait to return.
Hot Spring of Termas de Agua Calientes by Andrea from One Savvy Wanderer
The remote hot spring of Termas de Aguas Calientes is located approximately 50 km from the Chile-Argentina border. A trip to these hot springs is a perfect family getaway when visiting Chile or nearby Bariloche, Argentina, which is only about a three hour drive away.
My family and I visited the Termas de Aguas Calientes during April but the thermal baths and on-site accommodations are open year-round. It is located in the Puyehue National Park and is surrounded by rivers, lakes, forests and mountains. The location provides many family activities in addition to the thermal baths (there are both indoor and outdoor options), like hiking, biking, mini-golf and fishing. The mini-golf course is onsite and guests can rent bikes from the facility to explore the Andes Mountains.
Families staying at the Termas de Aguas Calientes can choose between cabin or duomo (dome tent) accommodations. We opted for the duomo, which was heated and had electricity, a mini-fridge and comfortable beds for us and our kids. There is also an on-site restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To make a booking click HERE!
Our family’s time at the Termas de Aguas Calientes was a once in a lifetime experience and our children really enjoyed their time there. We didn’t go into the indoor thermal bath, opting to relax in the outdoor bath instead, and also had fun exploring the beautiful surrounding area on the rented bikes.
If visiting the Patagonia region of Chile or Argentina with your family, do yourself a favor and add Termas de Aguas Calientes to your travel plans, even if you only visit for 24 hours.
Visiting the area of Los Angeles, staying at El Rincon Eco-Lodge
Being part of the Worldschooling Community through various Facebook groups, I got in touch with an American family who run a small eco-lodge in a rural setting, 19km north of Los Angeles called Residencial El Rincón. It is situated about 6 hours south of Santiago. Since I’m always looking to connect with like-minded families, it is a nobrainer that we are going to stay in El Rincón. Another Single Mom with her boy will join us too. This will ensure that we ALL are happy! I’m looking forward to explore the area and will add pictures once I have them!
UPDATE February 2020: We had a lovely time with Carla, Don, Annie and all the children. El Rincon Eco-Lodge is the perfect place to enjoy some downtime and let the children just play and be! Rosie helped a lot in the kitchen, preparing all the delicious and wholesome food, mostly from the garden and they had fun on the small zipline. As cherry on the pie they created a massage area in the bamboo forest next to the river where Annie and I could enjoy a great massage.
If you would like to make a booking for El Rincon click HERE!
A visit to the Atacama Desert
This is going to be one of our highlights when visiting Chile. Visiting the Valle de La Luna, seeing the Geysers del Tatio at sunrise, see flamingos at Laguna Chaxa in de Salar de Atacama and of course an astronomy tour. I hope we can experience all of the above and will report back of course.
UPDATE FEB 2020: Atacama Desert is definitely one of the best things to do in Chile with Children. We stayed 4 nights at San Pedro the Atacama but I could have enjoyed myself for at least a week. There’s so much to do and see in the area. It is a favorite holiday destination in Chile.
A Daytrip from La Serena to Isla Dama to visit the Humboldt Penguin Reserve
This can only be great fun and very special to visit with children and we are looking forward to visit the nearby Valle del Elqui as well. Oh and of course we will HAVE to taste the amazing Chilean wines. Ok, Not Rosie but just me.
If you would like to follow us on Instagram, check @planetpilgrims and follow our adventures from there. I’m looking forward to sharing this amazing Solo Parent Adventure with you!
Celebrate Fiestas Patrias by Priyanka Gupta from On My Canvas
Chilean Independence Day or the Fiestas Patrias in Chile is one of the most important cultural activities in Chile. The 18th of September marks the Independence Day of Chile. The whole of Chile comes together for this celebration of independence from the long rule of Spanish that ended in 1820. If you are in Chile during that time it will be one of the best things to do in Chile with your kids to give them a true local experience.
Schools start preparing for Fiestas Patrias about a week or two weeks before. Students decorate the classrooms, prepare cueca dance, and participate in games on the national public holiday. Families get together to cook, drink, play, and party for as long as they can.
September is a great time to be in Chile because you can see the entire country prepare and celebrate their independence. Chilean Independence Day is a beautiful activity for kids as they can see how families unite and work together to celebrate their national day in Chile. This fun-filled community adventure should be best enjoyed by going to local ferias or fares, attending local parties, or getting invited to a Chilean home for celebrating Fiestas Patrias with them.
You might want to book a homestay for these dates. You will have a very close look at the preparation of the entire event. Children would see how the whole Chilean family cooks empanadas together, make asados or barbecues, prepare drinks, decorate the house, buy new things, and then hang out together every night for an entire week just celebrating. On the main day, many family friends and other relatives come along making this a very special day. Don’t miss the Chilean Independence Day if you are traveling in Chile in September.