10 Fun Brazil Coffee Facts & 3 Must-Visit Coffee Shops in Sao Paulo

After having spent the past few weekends among the sprawling coffee farms in the verdant Brazilian mountains of Minas Gerais State, our Brazil expert, Gretchen Traut, is here to share 10 fun facts about coffee in Brazil as well as her top three favorite coffee shops in Sao Paulo!

Minas Gerais

Sunset in the mountains of Minas Gerais


  1. Brazil produces about 30 percent of the world’s coffee supply.
  2. Situated in the southeastern part of the country, Minas Gerais is Brazil’s largest coffee-producing state; with nearly 2.5 million acres planted, Minas Gerais accounts for about half of Brazil’s coffee harvest.
  3. With a 28 percent share, Brazil is the top supplier of coffee to the U.S.
  4. Eighty percent of coffee from Brazil is a variety known as Arabica.
  5. Small-scale coffee farming in Brazil gained traction in 1888 after the abolition of slavery and the introduction of favorable immigration rules; currently, seventy-one percent of coffee farms in Brazil cover LESS than 25 acres.
  6. Following a trip to neighboring French Guiana, Lt. Col. Francisco de Mello Palheta planted the first tree in Brazil in 1727 and by 1820, coffee had become the most exported product in Brazil.
  7. Coffee-growing elevations in Brazil range from about 2,000 feet to 4,000 feet.
  8. Brazilian coffee is known for its clear, sweet, medium-bodied, low-acid qualities.
  9. Brazil is the world’s second largest consumer of coffee.
  10. Some experts predict Brazil soon will oust the U.S. as the world’s largest coffee-consuming market.
Minas Gerais

Gretchen grinding coffee at Refugio Andradas in Minas Gerais

Minas Gerais

A rainbow over the Refugio Andradas Coffee Farm in Minas Gerais



  1. Isso e Café
  2. Cupping Cafe
  3. Coffee Lab
Minas Gerais

Hiking in Minas Gerais

Want to plan your next adventure to the coffee lands of Brazil? Contact us!

Your friendly Brazil expert,


Posted in Brazil, Family Travel, South America, Sustainable Tourism, Trekking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best South America Travel Destinations for March and April

Thinking of booking a last-minute adventure this March or April? Check out our list of the best South America trips for inspiration for the next two months!

Torres del Paine

Domes at EcoCamp

1) 5-Day Patagonia: Torres del Paine W Trek with EcoCamp

This 5-Day/4-Night tour allows you to experience the best of Torres del Paine National Park!

The trip is ideal for travelers who enjoy trekking into the wilderness and spending nights in cozy domes while looking up at the austral skies! The domes at EcoCamp have comfortable beds, measure 140 ft, are energy efficient, and have beautiful local decor.

Group Departures: This trek departs every Sunday and there are still spaces available to join in late March, April and early May.

Pricing starting at: $1495 USD per person.

Laguna Los Tres

Laguna Los Tres

2) 7-Day Los Glaciares National Park: Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre Trek

From north to south, trek to the basecamps of Mt. Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre, camping at each and trekking to Paso del Viento with views of the second largest icecap outside the polar regions! Experience classic Argentine Patagonia landscapes – steep granite spires towering over vast glaciers, cerulean lakes, rivers and forests.

–Season: October to March

–5 days backpacking trek, 7 days total

–Difficulty: Intermediate – Must be physically fit; 6-8 hours trekking/day

–Requires backpacking experience (carrying 40-45 lbs/18-20 kgs backpack; sections of steep trail and scree, river crossings by zip-line and/or wading)

–Group size: 4 to 8 guests


–Mar 25-31

Pricing starting at: $1395 USD per person.

Inca Trail

Machu Picchu

3) 5-Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

From Cusco, we drive north across Antapampa into the Apurimac watershed. Mollepata is the starting point of our five day trek across the Cordillera Vilcabamba, past Mt. Humantay and Salkantay into the headwaters of the Santa Teresa valley. Hiking down this cloudforest area we ascend to the Pass of Paltallacta in whose vicinity we camp. Great views of Machu Picchu from a different perspective. Hike into the Aobamba Valley and arrive near the hydroelectric works, downriver from the citadel, board the train at the hydroelectric station, ride to Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night. Next morning we will visit Machu Picchu ruins before heading back to Cusco.

This trek is a good alternative to the Inca Trail when permits are sold out!

Set departures are on Sundays.

Pricing starting at: $1135 USD per person.


Salta Trekking to the Clouds

4) 4-Day Northwest Argentina: Trekking to the Clouds

This trek begins at the foot of Cerro El Golgota in Ingeniero Maury and ends four days later in Quebrada de San Lorenzo, right next to Salta city. Explore an old Inca trail amid landscapes of great contrasts. The first part of the tour takes place in a dry and arid climate. During the final segment we will enter the rainforests of Salta’s Yunga. Along the route, we will be in contact with nature and the culture of a special area of Salta.

Starting at the Quebrada del Toro, our first ascent will be surrounded by cardones (giant cacti) and will reveal the snowy peaks of Cerro San Miguel and Acay. The trail leads to the archaeological site of “Sillon del Inca” (Inca Seat), ruins that once belonged to the southern part of the Inca empire. We will continue the trip visiting the local inhabitants of the area, who work the fields and breed livestock over in villages over 3,000 meters high. Camp sites and dinners will be the time to share moments with the group and sometimes with locals when we camp near their homes at night.


–April 28**

–May 26**

–June 23

–August 25**

–September 22**

–October 27

–November 24

*New Moon

**Full Moon

Pricing starting at: $590 USD per person.

Want to book one of these exciting adventures? Contact us!

Your friendly South America expert,


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Physical Preparation For The Inca Trail (and other treks in Peru)

Getting ready for the Inca Trail? Here are a few FAQs that we receive from travelers about ways to prepare your self at home, in the US and in Cusco before heading off on the trail:

Inca Trail to Machu PicchuInca Trail to Machu Picchu

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

1. What is the best general way to prepare for trekking the Inca Trail?

We recommend doing stairs to get ready. Try to find a place where you live, or the stair-stepper at the gym, where there are many flights of stairs in a row and practice going up and down those to get in the best shape for the Inca Trail. You do not have run the stairs, you just need the endurance. You can even practice with a weighted back pack (you can put water bottles in your pack for weight) and go up and down with that for extra endurance training.

2. Is there anywhere in the US where one can go to practice hiking at altitude?

The best places in the US to acclimate, or practice hiking in high altitude areas are in Colorado- there are numerous 14K ft peaks there that are non-technical to practice on. However, we believe that the most important thing with training is just making sure that you are in good overall physical shape. The hardest part of the Inca Trail for most people (our AWR team included) is the downhill portions. Your feet and knees get tired so it is good to train your self, once again, going up and down stairs, or doing hikes near by where you live that will stimulate this. For altitude, the most important thing is not trying to push yourself too fast (slow and steady always wins the race in altitude) and DRINK LOTS OF WATER- hydration is so important.

3. Do you have a recommended local hikes or excursions while staying in Cusco to see local sites and promote acclimatization?

In Cusco, one of the main tourist attractions is the ruin sites just outside the city. The Sacsayhuaman Ruins are the closest. All the ruins require a tourist ticket to enter and most require transport to get to. However, for Sacsayhuaman, you can take a hiking trail from Cusco to get to the entrance of these ruins and you can get to a vista point overlooking all of Cusco for free. This is an excellent walk/hike to get ready for the trail. Remember to take it slow and do not get discouraged if you run out of breath quickly; take your time, enjoy the hike and enjoy the view! 🙂

Want to book your Inca Trail adventure? Contact us!

Your friendly Peru expert,

Posted in Family Travel, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Peru, South America, Trekking | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The most anticipated restaurant in Peru is ready to open in Moray, Cusco

For those of you foodies out there, mark your calendars for the opening of the newest and most exciting haute cuisine restaurant in Peru yet!


Moray archeological site

Joined by Peru’s top chefs, Virgilio Martinez (owner and chef of Central) will be inaugurating this Februrary 27th one of the most anticipated restaurants in the Peruvian Andes – Mil. The new restaurant is located next to the archaeological site of Moray outside of the city of Cusco.

From its valley location amidst mountains, lakes, and ravines, Mil will bring the Andean landscapes and community traditions together on diners’ plates. Guests will discover and enjoy delicious food created together with the region’s local communities, Kacllaraccay and Mullakas Misminay. The objective of every dish on the menu is to highlight the region’s diversity and local products as well as to tell the story behind each of them and the hard work of the people involved in their existence.

The price per person is about US$ 145.00. For more information about reservations, please contact us. It’s important to note that in the beginning, Mil will only accept 20 diners at a time and by reservation only.

Your friendly South America expert,


Posted in Luxury, Machu Picchu, Peru, South America | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Traveler Advice for Southeast Asia

Travel Advice Southeast Asia

We thought you might enjoy these 29 tips for traveling in Southeast Asia from one of our experienced travelers!

Having been to Southeast Asia four times now, I have a smidgen of experience on which to base the following travel tips and observations. However, I have to offer a major caveat: I’ve indulged myself rather a bit and have skewed toward the higher end of the luxury scale, and have not ever gone the backpack / hostel route. So I’ve undoubtedly missed many things, and some of my points below are in the mode of a pampered American who’s wondering why the local cable TV doesn’t carry English-language shows.

1) I’ve been to SE Asia in May, October, and December, and I haven’t had major problems with the weather. However, I live in Texas, and so I’m somewhat acclimated to heat and humidity. Caught a bit of rain in Laos in this most recent trip in early December, but nothing major. However, friends of mine who subsequently went onwards into Northern Vietnam later in the month encountered a LOT of rain.

2) It’s probably best to travel with some sun screen and bug repellent, but honestly, I’ve never had occasion to use either.

3) Don’t forget to bring an electrical adapter with multiple settings!

4) Never hurts to bring a couple of precautionary doses of Imodium AD or Pepto Bismol.

5) If you’re staying in a hotel, it may have a safe in your room. Don’t be afraid to use it. I generally do not wander around with my passport on my person. Some hotels will actually require that they hold it for you.

6) Usually, there is no need to take your room key with you.  You can leave it at the front desk when going out, although be advised that the staff seems surprisingly casual about handing it back over with no I.D. check.

Waterfalls in Southeast Asia7) Plan ahead on how to manage changes of outfit. If taking the hotel route, do NOT be shy in using their laundry services. The prices range from roughly a dollar an item to maybe three bucks for larger pieces. However, there’s usually a 50% surcharge for express service. At any rate, you should count on your clothing getting pretty sweaty. You can also end up caked with dust or mud, depending on how trekking-happy you might be, or soaked from rafting or wading through creeks. Hostel types can usually find a retail laundry service nearby. Bring a large plastic bag with you so you can cram your soiled clothing in it and stow that in your luggage if you have no chance to get anything laundered for a while.

8) I’ve gotten by for the most part with just bringing the one pair of shoes on my feet, but if you intend to be fording rivers or careening about on rafts, you might want to bring a pair of sandals.

9) If you intend to go inside certain temples or pagodas, be sure to have at least one outfit that will get you pretty covered up from head to toe. A collared shirt (short sleeves okay) and slacks for guys, and for women, something that keeps legs and cleavage and midriffs concealed. Apparel like this may also be required for some museums. Take your hat off when visiting places with this type of dress code.

10) Depending upon your budget and particular needs, you might not need to ever use local currency. I’ve mostly gotten by with U.S. dollars, credit cards, and charging things to my hotel room (to be covered by my card). This is very likely not optimal, though, so you should swap over to kip or dong or baht or whatever as necessary. Some hotels have a money changing desk, but you’ll probably want to use the foreign exchange kiosks in your arrival and departure airports if traveling by air. Money changing storefronts can also generally be found pretty easily in your tourist-heavy districts. Very important: if you intend to use tuk-tuks or taxis a lot, or the bus, HAVE LOCAL CURRENCY. Finding out in the middle of the night in Seoul when you’re being dropped off at some place way far from your hotel that you do NOT, in fact, have enough won with you is not a great outcome. This may have happened to me once.

11) Convenience-type stores (including 7-11 outlets) are pretty common, although you’ll need either local currency or have to make a credit card purchase for a certain minimum amount. These places will generally carry drinks, crackers and chips (for which very few of the latter are in typical Western flavors), noodles, and such. Some toiletries and drugstore-type articles. Very little in the way of dairy.

12) Finding English-speakers is fairly easy, but don’t count on it! They will abound in standard tourist districts (such as the Old Quarter in Hanoi), but it can be hit and miss otherwise. Don’t count on finding them! And at least learn how to say hello and thank you in the local language.

13) If you are going to wander afar from your home base, be sure you actually remember the name and address of your hotel or hostel, and that ideally you have a map with you so you can retrace your steps. Even so, you should probably get someone at the front desk to write down that stuff in the local language on a scrap of paper for you. This will make return trips easier. A lot of cab drivers don’t speak English, so slowly and loudly telling them “No, the Hotel UPPER CLASS TWITTINGTON. Upper Class! Twittington!” may not prove effective.

Markets in Southeast Asia14) Enjoy the markets, but be careful with your purchases of fish or meat or produce, of course, and you shouldn’t plan on bringing stuff like that back to the States with you. (I mean, if you’re planning on returning with some fresh Asian catfish filets with you, I’m not sure any of my advice is going to help you.) The U.S. Customs Service seems to take a dim view of this.

15) If you can get a visa in advance, DO IT. You’ll save yourself from having to stew in some bureaucratic line for an interminable time. The Landing Visa office in Saigon is the worst. You could end up trapped there for an hour or more. Also, keep in mind that you may have to pay your visa on arrival fee in American dollars, so have a few twenties handy. The fee will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 or $30.

16) Traveling by air? Use the luggage carts if you have a lot of stuff to wrangle as you try to hunt down a ticket counter or escape from baggage claim at the airport. They seem to be free in most places.

17) Lines. From time to time, you may need to board a bus or boat or plane. Sometimes, people will politely queue up in an orderly fashion and proceed in a calm and organized and fair manner. And by “sometimes”, I mean “none of the time”. Be prepared to fight your way through, or you’ll get run down.

18) Taking a lengthy trip by train or by bus? Or the slow boat from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang? Be sure to bring some bottled water and snacks. And hope that you can be comfortable in your seat. A friend of mine noted that the seats on the bus from Luang Prabang to Hanoi were tilted at an exact angle so you couldn’t really sleep nor feel comfortable just sitting there. Note that you can get a small private compartment on the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai with a reasonably comfy bed.

19) If in Chiang Mai, visit Elephant Nature Park, and plan to be there the whole day. Or maybe several! DO NOT RIDE ELEPHANTS, anywhere or in any fashion. They do not like it (they have to be savagely beaten as calves and trained into submission), and it is a practice that many are trying to abolish.

20) A lot of the chairs at the cafes and restaurants are made for smaller and less bloated builds. If you have to acknowledge that you are a hefty hunk of steaming junk and that like Missy Elliott you crush everything you land on, use them with extreme caution.

Eating in Southeast Asia21) I found that I liked both pumpkin and peanut-and-tamarind curries, and I hate everything.

22) If you want to buy art and/or handicrafts, you can find excellent stuff in Hanoi or in Hoi An, if you’re visiting Vietnam. Plenty of art galleries in the former (the good ones are not in the Old Quarter itself). Lots of lacquerware and paintings, plenty of wood or stone figurines and boxes and containers, many silk goods (wall hangings, place mats, table runners). Certainly there are many, many places to get general souvenirs (including gift shops in hotels or in airports), but be very careful and selective in your purchases of larger pieces, as you’ll see across a range of shops in any given city and even across several countries that a lot of items are extremely similar and I’m not sure that quite a few don’t just come from mass production factories in China or Korea. You can get some stuff shipped directly home, which I’ve done from Hanoi and Saigon, but be advised that a really large piece might have to go through some more formal import process, and you might have to pick it up from Customs at the international airport nearest to you. In Siem Reap in Cambodia, you can get some nice items at…uh…this place. I think it’s Artisans Angkor. There are also PLENTY of folks hawking souvenirs at Angkor Wat itself, and some of the rice paper prints are quite good. In Bangkok (and elsewhere in Thailand) you probably will want to pick up one or two talismans, which can be found in various locations, including sometimes being sold out the back of a pickup truck in the parking lot of a 7-11 along the road to Uthani Thai. For instance. Maybe read up in advance on the advisability of buying anything depicting Buddha? On my first trip, there were stern warnings in the Bangkok airport warning tourists that it’s disrespectful to buy Buddha-related tchotchkes, but on a subsequent trip my guide seemed to indicate that it’s not such a big deal.

23) Some places you stay at might have cable TV. Most often, none of the channels are in English. If they are, usually you’re getting CNN, HBO, and a range of Discovery-type outlets. Otherwise, lots of Thai soap operas and Korean dramas. I can recommend GUNMAN IN JOSEON (which actually *was* subtitled).

24) Your larger hotels will have a breakfast buffet, included in the cost of the stay. Generally, there will be various potato and rice and noodle dishes, perhaps an omelet station, maybe crepes or pancakes or French toast, lots of sliced bread and biscuits and rolls and mini-baguettes, cereals, yogurt (very popular in many places in SE Asia), perhaps a cheese platter, some sweet baked goods, and a whole lot of fruit, with pineapple and watermelon being staples. Not a lot of citrus or apples. Bananas come in pygmy form. Many other fruits, including pomelo and jackfruit, but you will be uniformly warned away from even trying to find the dreaded durian, the “stinky fruit” about which the locals will warn you that you’re not ready for it. Smaller hotels will have a fixed or limited breakfast menu. Always some fruit, rice, eggs, and bread, though. Fruit juices tend to be REAL fruit juices, and not laser-pumped with a super-saturation of concentrates and fructose and sugars.

25) If walking through the Old Quarter or around Angkor Wat, just become accustomed to automatically saying “No, thanks”, because there are many vendors eager to make sales and you will get hailed constantly.

Angkor Wat26) Yangon in Myanmar (was Rangoon in Burma) is a big city. For comparison, it has got a population of 5.2 million people, while both Saigon and Bangkok have 8.2 million. So it is VERY LARGE. It is quite modernized to Western standards with its own particular flair. Many of the old original colonial buildings downtown are being restored and re-purposed. Be sure to see the Shwedagon Pagoda!

27) You want pagodas, Bagan in Myanmar has them! So…many…pagodas. Literally dozens…hundreds? All sizes and shapes and ages and conditions. Very much worth a visit. Roam about! You may find the countryside much different from many other areas in SE Asia. Drier and scrubbier and thornier.

28) In Bangkok, take the canal tour. Look for large monitor lizards just relaxing on the banks or the porches of the houses that overhang the waters. Be advised that your pilot may find it imperative to ram the boat alongside every obstacle. Also, there’s a puppet show at the Baan Silapin Artist’s House that is quite entertaining. If you attend and are an individual of a portly build, you might find yourself gently mocked by the Monkey King. I’m not saying that happened to me. I’ve just heard about it, probably.

Canals in Southeast Asia

29) In certain parts of SE Asia, you might stand out as a curiosity to some of the residents of the places you’re visiting. If you are in the shape and size of a Happy Buddha or perhaps are hirsute, there are some (mainly the children) who will outright gawk at you. Some people will comment directly to you about your unusual appearance or come forward and poke and prod you. Women with blonde hair or very fair complexions may also draw some attention. Some people will want to take pictures with you.

See our Southeast Asia Tours >>

Posted in Laos, Myanmar, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Vietnam | Leave a comment

Cheers and Happy Carnaval!

Happy Carnaval! 2018 Carnaval in Brazil is happening now!


Feliz Carnaval! Happy Carnaval!

We thought we would share in the festivities by giving our readers a way to partake in the festivities right from home. This year for Carnaval, try your hand at making the national Brazilian drink: uma caipirinha!



According to historians, the caipirinha, as it is known nowadays, was invented by landowning farmers in the region of Piracicaba, interior of the State of São Paulo, during the 19th century, as a local drink for high standard events and parties, being a reflection of the strong sugar cane culture in the region.



The caipirinha is the strongest national cocktail of Brazil and is imbibed in restaurants, bars, and many households throughout the country. Once almost unknown outside Brazil, the drink has become more popular and more widely available in recent years, in large part due to the rising availability of first-rate brands of cachaça outside Brazil.

How to make a Caipirinha:

Ingredients for a traditional caipirinha (there are many variations but you can never go wrong with the classic!):

  • 2-4 lime wedges (to taste)
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar (to taste)
  • 1 cup of crushed or cubed ice
  • 5-2.5 oz. of cachaça (to taste)

1) Cut your limes into wedges and put them in the bottom of a stout whiskey glass.

2) Add the sugar on top of the limes in the glass and muddle together

3) Add the ice on top (crushed ice is best but cubes will work fine as well) and fill glass just below the brim with ice

4) Add the cachaca

5) Stir and enjoy

As they say in Brazil, Saude! Cheers!

Happy Carnaval everyone!

Want to book your next Brazil adventure? Check out some of these incredible journeys:

Don’t see what you want? Got questions? Contact us!


Cheers! Saude!

Your friendly Brazil expert,


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Explora Lodges 25th Anniversary Deals

We would like to take a moment to say a big congratulations to our partners at Explora Lodges in Chile and Peru. This year they will be celebrating their 25th anniversary and they want everyone to celebrate with them!

Explora Patagonia

Explora Patagonia

25 years ago Explora dared to propose a new way of traveling based on the deep discovery and exploration of remote and unexplored destinations. They started in the Torres del Paine National Park showcasing the natural and cultural wealth of this destination as no one had ever done before.

Explora Atcama

Explora Atcama

Since then, they have opened 4 hotels, 3 Travesías and more than 100 exploration routes, offering an experience where every detail has been carefully designed so that travelers can explore and enjoy their destinations to the fullest. This experience has been recognized and rewarded throughout their history by major tourism referents, but most importantly, by travelers.

Explora Atcama

Explora Atcama- Salt Flats

This 2018, they are celebrating their 25th birthday and would like to invite you to live the Explora experience with discounts of up to 50%, depending on the destination and season!

Explora Patagonia

Explora Patagonia

Please check out our our favorite Explora itineraries and personal experiences below:



Want to take celebrate with Explora this year? Contact us!

Your friendly South America expert,

Posted in Argentina, Chile, Luxury, Machu Picchu, Peru, South America, Trekking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Choosing the Best Wine Experience Around Santiago, Chile

If you have one-day to visit the vineyards outside of Santiago, which one would you go to? Read on to see what our South America Program Director chose as her favorite:

Matetic Vineyards, Casablanca Valley

Matetic Vineyards, Casablanca Valley

I have been to many amazing vineyards in the Santiago area. However, I think that if I just had one day, and wanted to spend the whole day at one single vineyard, I would choose Matetic Vineyards for the overall experience and money-wise. Matetic is biodynamic. A step even further than organic, biodynamic means that the entire valley- all animals and plants- are organic and looked after in sync with the moon cycles. The wine is incredible, as is the food served for lunch (all sourced from the property).

Matetic Vineyards, Casablanca Valley

Matetic Vineyards, Casablanca Valley

This vineyard is located in the Casablanca Valley which is gorgeous with cool sea breezes that come through the region. Finally, this vineyard is owned by the same family that owns Patagonia Camp. Many of our travelers, who have been in Torres del Paine and stayed at Patagonia prior to coming to Santiago, will have tried Matetic Vineyards’ wine at Patagonia Camp already on their trip; it is a beautiful experience to then see where the wine that they drank all the way down in Patagonia is sourced.

Matetic Vineyards, Casablanca Valley

Matetic Vineyards, Casablanca Valley (Photo taken at Patagonia Camp)

What to plan your next Chile wine experience? Contact us!

Or check out the following itineraries:

Your friendly Chile expert,


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Antarctica for Adventurers & Active Travelers

12-Day Active Basecamp Antarctica

Our 12-Day Basecamp Antarctica departures are perfect for active travelers.  Activities to choose from include

  • Field camping
  • Mountaineering
  • Hiking
  • Snowshoeing
  • Sea kayaking
  • Scuba diving
  • Photography

Sea Kayaking Video:

2018-2019 Departures

  • November 7 – 18, 2018 (Ortelius)
  • November 28 – December 9, 2018 (Ortelius)
  • December 18 – December 29, 2018 (Ortelius)
  • December 29, 2018 – January 9, 2019 (Ortelius)
  • February 17-28, 2019 (Plancius)
  • March 7 – 18, 2019 (Ortelius)

12-Day Basecamp Antarctica >>

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Family Travel: What To Do With Kids In Santiago, Chile

Planning a family trip to Chile? At some point during your trip you will have to pass through Santiago. Perhaps to some parents’ surprise, there are plenty of things to do in Santiago with kids! Actually, a lot of them are very easy to figure out on your own so it is up to you if you would like a guide to be with you or not. Here is a list of our Chile expert’s top favorites for kids in Santiago:

Museo Nacional de Historia Natural

1) The Museo Nacional de Historia Natural (Natural History Museum):  has Chilean mummies, a giant whale, fossils, minerals and artifacts Easter Island.

Cerro Santa Lucia

Cerro Santa Lucia

2) Cerro Santa Lucia (Santa Lucia Hill): In 1541, Santiago was founded on this hill (cerro) and today it is a large park. Start at the water fountain along the Alameda, then climb up the curving stairways to the top of the hill, which is the Plaza Caupolican. If the kids don’t feel like walking up, take the glass elevator. On the top there is an old castle which is great for kids to explore and offers excellent views of the city and of the mountains on a clear day. In summer, there are concerts in the amphitheater.

El Muro, Indoor Climbing Gym

El Muro, Indoor Climbing Gym

3) El Muro: A family-friendly indoor rock climbing gym. Open all week and located  at Av. Américo Vespucio Sur 1647 in Las Condes neighborhood.

Parque Quinta Normal

Parque Quinta Normal

4) Parque Quinta Normal: For an educational experience, you should head to Parque Quinta Normal, home to many of Santiago’s museums. Here, you can visit the Museo Infantíl, which is dedicated to child-friendly science-related exhibits. Many of the exhibits are in Spanish, but there are plenty of interactive activities that your child can engage in without needing to understand the language. It is open Tuesday-Friday from 10:00 to 5:30, and admission is CLP 650 for children and 800 for adults. It is rather small, but definitely worth checking out. Moreover, it’s located inside the park, which has lots of other fun activities for children. Most notably, you can rent paddleboats in the small pond, which can be a great way to cool off on a hot summer day. The closest metro stop is Quinta Normal on the green line.

Parque Metropolitano

Parque Metropolitano

5) Parque Metropolitano: The Parque Metropolitano, situated on three hills, is many things in one. To get to the top of Cerro San Cristobal take the funicular (aerial tram) to Plaza Caupolican. On the way up, you might want to stop off at the zoo, the Jardin Zoologico. The zoo gets a negative review, but it has local animals, such as puma, vicuna, deer, condor and tropical birds. On Cerro San Cristobal the 115ft. high statue of the Virgin Mary is a famous Santiago landmark. The Terraza Bellavista has good views of the city.

Take the Tupahue teleferico (gondola) for even better views of the Andes in the distance. If it’s a hot day, the teleferico has an intermediate stop at Estacion Tupahue with a public swimming pool close by. (Take the teleferico up or down from Avenida Pedro de Valdiva.) Kids can easily also just spend the afternoon on hiking trails within the park or biking.

Museo Ferroviario (Railway Museum)

Museo Ferroviario (Railway Museum)

6) Museo Ferroviario (Railway Museum): The Museo Ferroviario is an open air museum with steam engines that once hauled trains through the Andes.

Want to plan your next family adventure to Chile? Contact us!

Check out a list of our recommended family adventures in Chile:

Your friendly Chile guru,


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