fun to do kids north chile   Travel for Kids

Northern Chile

atacama desert
Northern Chile has dry deserts and snow covered volcanoes – a stunning combination. The Atacama Desert is "the driest place on earth," but it's also home to flamingos and other birds. At night, take your kids out to look at stars and the Southern Cross.
  San Pedro de Atacama – The delightful town of San Pedro is a jumping off point the Atacama Desert. Rent bikes and ride around town, or horseback riding is available. The Father Le Paige Archeological Museum (Museo Gustavo Le Paige) has mummies, and other pre-Colombian artifacts. Climb up the bell tower in the Iglesia San Pedro. Don't miss the artisanas market.
      Take day trips to:
      Valley of the Moon (Valle de la Luna) – The Valley of the Moon is an amazing set of rock formations. There are hiking trails and sunset is a popular time, but if you go in the morning, you'll have the valley to yourself.
      Toconao – The town is built at the top of a canyon, with gardens and orchards on the slopes at the bottom. Stroll through the gardens, wade in the water (avoid the pampas grass), and shop for handicrafts made out of volcanic rocks.
      Flamingo National Reserve – Lago Chaxa and Lago Barros Negros are filled with flamingos, all the more amazing in this dry, dry desert. Also visit the Salar de Atacama, the biggest salt deposit in Chile.
      El Tatio Geysers Usually you arrange for a guide and start out at 4am to arrive in time to see the geysers at dawn. At 14,000 ft, it's an experience to see the geysers shooting up in the sparkling clear air.
      Pukara de Quitor – If you have a budding archeologist in the family, visit Pukara de Quitor, the stone ruins of a 12th century pre-Inca fortress, and the site of a battle between the Spanish and local inhabitants in the 16th century. The crumbly ruins have room and room to run around. Also, Tulor has ruins of a 2,000 year old village that was buried in the sand and has been partly excavated.
    San Miguel de Azapa Museo Arqueologico (12 km east of Arica)This archeological museum has an excellent collection of artifacts from the indigenous people of the area, including the Chinchorro mummies, dating back 10,000 years. These mummies are the oldest in the world.
    Putre – Stop into the high altitude town of Putre on your way to the Lauca National Park (Parque Nacional Lauca). Visit the charming church (Iglesia de Putre), an old adobe built in 1670 or swing on swings in the park. Outside of town, relax in the Las Cuevas hot springs.
      Lauca National Park, a World Biosphere Reserve, is the place to see vicuna, alpaca and guanaco.
      At Lake Chungara, a striking lake with volcanic peaks in the distance, you can see flamingos and many other birds.

Further south, at the Surire Salt Flat National Monument there miles of "white lakes," also a habitat for flamingos and birds.

travel for kids | chile | northern chile
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