South America family travel offers natural splendors, adventure options, wildlife conservation education, and a great value for the money. There are lots of family travel options and with the benefit of not having to worry about a time zone difference, there’s no reason you cannot tackle this part of your travel bucket list.
Many areas outside Macchu Picchu offer travelers a variety of wildlife, culture, and adventure options. Ecotourism, specifically, is having a positive effect on conservation and carbon offsetting measures that aim to address some key environmental issues, including deforestation, pollution, and fishery depletion. Peru is expanding its environmental awareness to preserve culture and lands and is worthwhile to consider for family travel. Read more about travel options in Peru including the Peruvian Amazon.
Ecuador is mostly known for the Galapagos Islands but offers so much more. Home to more than 25,000 plant species, 1500 bird species including the Andean condor and blue-footed booby, 1000 species of fish and 300 mammal species, Ecuador offers an educational conservation lesson at every turn. In addition, Ecuador’s geographical diversity is a dream destination for nature lovers given its 20 national parks and activities such as trekking and whitewater rafting. Read more about travel options in Ecuador including in the Andes region.
The link between conservation efforts and tourism in Brazil became stronger after the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Since then, Brazil has made a considerable effort to tie tourism with community impact projects. This is most prevalent in the Brazilian Amazon with efforts to increase awareness of environmental efforts as well as increase living standards. Read our review of the Brazilian Amazon small boat cruise ecotourism experience.
Chile is one of the richest in the world when it comes to natural and dramatic landscapes. In fact, it was named in 2010 as one of the most sustainable destinations in South America. While there’s room for improvement, birding adventures represent a true success story for Chile. Read more about the environmental challenges Chile is facing and overcoming.
Bolivia is not necessarily known for its biodiversity, but it’s been quietly developing sustainable projects throughout the country. One very successful project has been the Chalalan ecolodge. The lodge is managed and staffed entirely by the local Quechua-Tacana community and attracts over 1,000 tourists annually. Fifty percent of revenue goes to pay the wages of 74 indigenous community families working with the lodge, and the other half provides health and education services for the local community. View our trips through Bolivia.
The region of Salta in Argentina with its position at the foothills of the Andes Mountains is filled with many undisturbed natural wonders. Better still, there are a few travel companies that believe in the power of sustainability. Family options include leisurely hiking through varied and beautiful terrain. Picture jungles, mountains, and dry valleys all within a short radius, and the added reward of lots of food and wine tasting each day. Read our review of the Salta hiking experience.