Family travel wishlist 2019: Action-packed Patagonia

With out-of-this-world landscapes and faraway fauna, nowhere packs a punch like Patagonia for the ultimate family adventure.

By Adrian Phillips
Published 8 Apr 2019, 23:50 BST
Ice-trekking on the surface of Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia.
Ice-trekking on the surface of Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia.
Photograph by Getty Images

If a landscape has the power to shift something in your heart, you're likely to find it in Patagonia. This is a region where nature is at its most epic and brooding and timeless, from purple-tinged mountains to creaking glacier fields and vertiginous fjords. Putting any family-friendly factors aside, Patagonia would make my bucket-list simply because it's a place I want my children to see. And that I want to share with them.

But it's also packed full of family-friendliness. There's hiking, kayaking, fishing and biking; a horse trek in the Andean foothills is spectacular and doesn't require any specialist skills. The wildlife is as quirky and endearing as it gets — penguins, elephant seals, guanacos, flamingos — and there are few of the risks that typically come with wilderness, such as altitude or illness. Accommodation ranges from the luxury lodge to the colourful homestay. Overall, Patagonia wraps accessible adventure inside some of the most beautiful packaging the world has to offer. 

Age most suited: 8+. Some activities limited to 12+.

How to do it: Swoop Patagonia offers a seven-day family Patagonia Experience trip from £2,300 per person, excluding flights. 

Adrian's wild trip list

Safaris offers something for all ages and are a popular bucket-list must.
Age most suited: 5+
How to do it: Safari Consultants has an eight-day trip from £4,495 per adult and £2,940 per child (5–11). 

See blue whales, leopards and historic sites.
Age most suited: 6+
How to do it: Experience Travel Group offers an 18-night trip costing £3,100 per adult and £2,650 per child.

The enormous province of Ontario would be my road-trip pick.
Age most suited to: 6+
How to do it: First Class Holidays offers a 15-day self-drive Ontario tour (including car hire but not flights) from £1,860 per adult and £1,820 per child. 

Thailand is the ideal first taste of Southeast Asia.
Age most suited: 7+
How to do it: Yonder has a 15-day twin-centre holiday on Koh Pha Ngan and in the Golden Triangle from £2,400 per adult and £2,000 per child (without flights). 

Published in the Family 2019 guide, distributed with the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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