View of Machu Picchu

Just because you have kids does not mean you have to stop travelling altogether. South America is a destination perfect for families. Here are five of the best destinations for the ultimate South American trip that you and your family can enjoy.

Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador

Cotopaxi National Park in Ecuador is a great day trip for families to experience. You and the kids will get the best of both worlds with a combination of nature, history and shopping with a full day guided tour starting in Quito. A guided tour can be done on train or bus, and either form of transportation allows your family to witness incredible landmarks such as the Limpiopungo Lagoon and the active Cotopaxi volcano, which is one of the world’s tallest volcanoes at a staggering 5900 m tall. The tour includes free time for lunch and exploring the museum where the kids will love learning about the diverse animal and plant life that reside in Cotopaxi National Park.

Machu Picchu, Peru

If you are taking the family to South America, Machu Picchu should definitely be on your list of places to see. As the top archaeological attraction in all of South America, this destination is best for older kids who have an interest in history. This remarkable ancient city was never revealed to the conquering Spaniards and was forgotten about until the early 20th century. There is nothing the world that compares to this historical site, but even with the mass amounts of visitors annually, the site still retains intact and a visit to this ancient Inca city is always a highpoint of South American holidays.

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Chile is a great South American location for family travellers. Being one of South America’s most economically advanced countries, Chile has a ton to offer to keep kids entertained. The Torres del Paine National Park, in Chile’s Patagonia region, is thought to be one of the most scenic aspects of Chile. The massive icebergs and enormous mountains alongside glaciers and vast lowlands that shelter rare wildlife make this park one of a kind. This major tourist attraction offers tons of activities for little explorers including guided hikes, horseback rides, kayaking and climbing. There is are hotels and restaurants located within the parks boundaries for when the kids get tired or hungry. This park is one of the most iconic sites in Chile and is incredibly easy for families to enjoy.

Manaus, Brazil

Head out to the Manaus to explore the Amazon forest and enjoy the rhythm and harmony of Brazil. Manaus is the Amazon’s largest city and has some rewarding sights of its own including a zoo, and a beach-and-museum combo that gets you out of the city centre. This city is where most Amazon tour operators are based, and with endless activities like river cruises, jungle lodges and a variety of day trips, you would never think the Amazon forest could be so easy to explore with kids. Manaus is a hub of activity with hotels, restaurants and tons of shopping that is ideal for families looking to get a taste for the Amazon without having to spend weeks in the jungle.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

You might forget you are holidaying in South America as you experience Buenos Aires. The capital of Argentina is a mix of European design and South American culture. With cobbled-stone streets, and impressive European architecture alongside incredible cuisine, this destination appeals to city explorers. Buenos Aires is remarkably kid-friendly. There are excellent museums, plazas and playgrounds, and the majority of restaurants offer a selection of food suitable for children. Also, being a major city makes it easy to find transportation when you kids get tired of walking. Visit the birth place of the tango and you and your family will most definitely not be disappointed.

South America is one of the most naturally beautiful and untouched regions in the world. It is great for exploring, but travelling with kids often comes with its own sorts of accidents. Purchasing travel insurance beforehand will ease your nerves about any medical emergencies that may happen when you and your kids are discovering this amazing continent.

Image courtesy of Flickr user David Stanley; cropped from original