Many people ask which spots would make for a good family holiday in Latin America. The truth is, the Latins love children; the answer could be anywhere. But of course some countries are more geared up for keeping little ones entertained than others. Here’s our rundown of travel plans to keep the whole family entertained—big kids and little kids alike.
Stunning scenery, fascinating culture, great fresh food, and an array of activities suitable for everyone. The Sacred Valley is a fantastic area to spend a few days: hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and rafting are all possible options. The Amazon also makes a great experience, where local guides can make jungle exploration compelling for kids.
Guatemala & Belize
The perfect blend of culture, activities and relaxation. There are some great ziplines and canopy tours, and families can explore caves and Mayan sites. End your trip by the beach to snorkel (perhaps with some whale sharks, should you be in season). Both countries are very easy to reach from all over North America, meaning less time stuck on airplanes (and fewer cabin fever temper tantrums).
Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands are a unique destination for a family holiday that works well. During school holiday periods, many vessels operate what they call ‘family departures’, which means they have extra guides on board to make sure the children are entertained, making new friends, having fun, and secretly learning! Easter is our favourite time to visit for warm waters and lots of wildlife activity. Make sure you plan well in advance to get your preferred choices of accommodation.
Once again, a country with something for everyone: wildlife, rainforest, volcanoes and beach. Daring kids can speed along some of the biggest and longest ziplines out there, or give surfing a try on some beginner-friendly waves. The more nature-focused little ones can watch turtles hatch and make their way to the ocean, if you arrive in the right season. Like Guatemala and Belize, Costa Rica is very easy to get to, serviced by many direct flights out of North America.
Brazil is a vast country to explore, so the choices and options are endless. A trip to Brazil can involve a lot of travelling on internal flights, so keep in mind that it may be suited to older children or teenagers. The Amazon and Pantanal are brilliant for wildlife experiences, and if everybody wants to hang out at the beach there many options to choose from; low key Jericoacoara in the northeast, or easy-access Buzios near Rio to name a few.
Like Brazil, Mexico is another huge country with a lot to explore. The best area for families tends to be the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula, where you have a mix of glorious beach, great hotels, and access to some interesting cultural highlights. The Pacific Coast can also be another good option but the waters tend to be rougher, so not the best for young children. Baja California is fantastic if you are looking for a blend of wildlife (whales and dolphins), beach, and adventure (kayaking, swimming, and snorkelling).
Alison is one of our fine Latin American experts here at Trufflepig. With a child of her own, she knows all about the trials (and joys) of travelling with a youngster in tow, and exactly how to make the best of your family vacation.