Patagonia is a wonderful destination for outdoor-oriented families and Torres del Paine a popular destination for families with children of all ages. However to make sure all family members have a truly enjoyable experience, a family holiday in Patagonia needs to be well-planned.
We have compiled a list with the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Family Travel in Torres del Paine.
What Should Families Who Plan to Visit Patagonia Keep in Mind?
Patagonia is a vast region and distances are long. Traveling from Punta Arenas to the heart of Torres del Paine takes around 6 hours. If you would like to avoid spending that many hours in a bus, staying a night in Puerto Natales (which is half-way) before and after heading to Torres del Paine is a good idea. Once you drive into Torres del Paine the landscapes becomes more diverse, your kids might be able to spot some wildlife (like the beautiful guanacos) and it will be easier to keep them entertained. However on the way from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales there is not so much to see, so consider bringing something to prevent boredom, like a book, a small toy, music or an audio book.
Is It Possible to Hike the Torres del Paine W-Trek With Children?
Doing the whole W-Trek requires at least 4 full days of hiking and is usually appropriate for families with teenagers, who are at least 12 years or older and used to doing multi-day hikes and walking up to 22 km / 14 miles a day. You need to spend 3 nights in mountain huts in shared dorm-style rooms which isn’t the best option for families who usually need a bit more space and privacy, especially if your children are still small.
Families with younger children who are used to hike longer distances can however still do some stretches of the W-Trek. The most beautiful parts like the hike to the Tower Base or the hike into French Valley can be done as day tours from a fix accommodation in the park. This is also a great option for parents with small children who plan to carry their child on their back in a carrier, but need a calm and family-friendly “basecamp” where they can spend the nights.
The Torres del Paine Family Trek is a great way to hike some sections of the W-Trek as a family.
Will There Be Enough to Do in Patagonia If We Don't Do a Lot of Hiking?
If your kids are still small, or you haven’t previously done a lot of trekking with your children, then a hiking-oriented trip might not be the best choice for you. But you also can enjoy Torres del Paine without longer hikes! There are a couple of shorter walks, appropriate for children of any age and the navigation on Grey Lake to the glaciar walls is a stunning tour children of all ages will enjoy.
There is also a lot to do in the surrounding area, on Magdalena Island your kids can get up close to some adorable cute penguins, and visiting a traditional sheep farm is an interesting way to learn about the local culture.
The Patagonia Family Trip is appropriate for families with children of all ages and includes several kid-friendly highlights of Patagonia.
What Family-Friendly Accommodation Can You Recommend in Torres del Paine?
The Riverside Camp is the perfect place for families who would like to enjoy an outdoor experience and a closer contact to nature, without sacrificing comfort. Nights will be spent in spacious deluxe tents equipped with double-height mattresses, cozy down covers and heaters that can be operated during the evening to ensure a warm night’s rest. As a plus there is a children’s playground just next to the camp’s restaurant.
What Do You Recommend to Add to the Typical Packing List If Taking Your Kids to Torres Del Paine?
Patagonian weather is completely unpredicatable. The key to being prepared for all types of weather is dressing in layers, so bring appropriate clothing both for yourself as well for your children.
If you plan to carry your children, bring a comfortable backpack carrier with a wind- and waterproof cover.
Also remember to stock up on diapers, baby food or any other things your children might need, while still in Puerto Natales and before heading to Torres del Paine. Remember, Torres del Paine is a very remote place, there are no shops in the park.
Anything Else to Keep in Mind for Our Trip to Patagonia?
If Patagonia is on your family’s travel list don’t hesitate! Long distances on the ground and unpredictable weather for sure make a trip to Patagonia a bit more challenging than other holidays, but if you plan well it surely is going to be one of the most memorable trips for your family
Taking your children into a remote place like Torres del Paine is a wonderful chance to take them away from their electronic devices and incentivate them to reconnect with nature, spend some quality time together and bond as a family.
Also keep in mind that your children will enjoy activities as long as they can go at their own pace. Thus rather than joining a group we recommend families to book a private tour which can be adapted to the specific needs and interests of your family.