Travelling to Patagonia with kids

How can your children learn about different cultures and understand the world that surrounds them?

Travel with them.

And  you can start with a destination rich in both nature and culture. Patagonia.

Patagonia offers a wide variety of destinations and attractions for you and your family to enjoy.

Your kids can appreciate the flora and the beautiful animals natives to the area, like the Magellan penguins in Isla Magddalena, go whale-watching in Punta Arenas and in the Patagonian fjords, or spot sea lions in Cochamó and Valdivia cities.

They can also practice sports like as hiking, excursions, scuba diving and skiing.

But most importantly, it is a destination that provides the perfect settings for the most important experiences of family traveling: doing something with the people you love the most.

- Why travel to Patagonia before it's too late

Tips for traveling to Patagonia with children

Parks in Chilean Patagonia to visit on a family trip

6 most wonderful animals you´ll get to see in Chilean Patagonia

- 7 museums to visit when traveling to Chilean Patagonia with children

Why travel to Patagonia before it's too late

Traveling with kids to Patagonia

There are plenty of reasons for your children to visit Patagonia. One, however, will undoubtedly persuade you to make this trip as soon as possible: climate change.

It may sound dramatic, but this is a reality that is having unfortunate consequences both in the south of Chile and in the rest of the world.

A story that went around the world was the how a massive piece of ice broke off from Grey glacier, located in Torres del Paine.

These large detachments of ice blocks are due to an increase in global temperatures, which are becoming uncontrollable throughout the planet.

Just think about it: the last block of ice that broke off from Grey in February 2018 was 350×380 meters long.

If you travel to Magallanes on a ferry, you can watch the penguins on Magdalena Island. Or, if you are lucky enough, to see massive glaciers inching through the valleys towards the sea. The continuing loss of glaciers has become a constant problem caused by global warming. What’s worse, it could be irreversible; as the average temperatures increase, the amount of ice melting off is more significant, as the warm seasons last longer.

Your children should not miss the chance to know these beautiful bodies of ice while they are still in good condition; as time passes, lesser the opportunity they can observe and enjoy them in their magnificence.

According to Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the University of California-Irvine, glaciers in Patagonia are changing rapidly. In fact, they are melting away at some of the highest rates on the planet.

Furthermore, according to photos and studies provided by JPL, San Quintin and San Rafael glacier retreats have been dramatic; between 1870 and 2011, the first lost 14.6% of its surface, while the second 11.5% in the same period.

Meanwhile, according to glacial geologist Mike Kaplan, a Lamont Associate Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the University of Columbia, the temperature in Patagonia has increased between in the past 100 years.

Glaciers are extremely sensitive to climate, and they are melting further because of global warming every summer. As a result, watersheds receive less water, and this is changing the landscape as you read; eventually, there will be no water for irrigation or for human consumption.

All these changes are already causing social, political and even economic impacts.

In fact, in the face of how vulnerable Patagonia in Chile and the Antarctic peninsula are, the Research Center: Dynamics of High Latitude Marine Ecosystems (IDEAL) was recently founded. Among its study subjects is the surface reduction in the Patagonian Ice Fields, one of the largest water reserves in Chile. The impact on critical species and changes in the structure and functioning of ecosystems are also a matter of research.

The added value of sailing in Patagonia

Now you know the main reason why to visit Patagonia with your children. How can you enjoy this unique experience to the fullest?

By sailing.

It’s one of the best ways to explore Patagonia. Prepare to be awed by glaciers by sailing the fjords in southern Chile on a ferry comfortably and enjoy every mile of it. Also, your children will have the opportunity to experience a trip full of unforgettable landscapes, colors and unique sensations.

For example, a ferry trip between Puerto Natales and Puerto Montt takes 4 days approximately. Can you imagine a journey this relaxing and magical, observing dynamic landscapes, unique flora, and fauna, and beautiful sunsets?

If you travel to Chiloe from Puerto Montt on a ferry, you can watch the penguins on Magdalena Island, or you may be lucky enough to see massive glaciers gliding through the valleys towards the sea.

Or, perhaps, you’ve already traveled to the south of Chile with your partner or friends. We recommend you return with your children and go on those hiking trails and to those destinations that you were not able to visit the last time.

Now you understand why your children should visit as soon as possible. Therefore, it’s time to plan a trip to Patagonia. Make sure you take note of the following tips to make this a pleasant experience. 

Tips for traveling to Patagonia with children

Tips for traveling to Patagonia with children

Traveling with your family is an entirely different experience than going alone or with a partner, especially if the destination is as challenging as Patagonia.

Planning your trip is more demanding with kids, and you must take into considerations variables like climate or accommodation. Also, you should think through all activities given they will be mainly carried out in the open air.

There are trekking circuits that are too challenging to do with children (but not impossible). Here are a few ideas; you need to assess if they are feasible to do with your children.

Nonetheless, traveling to Patagonia with children can be easy.

Patagonia is huge so you will be able to find fun in almost all places. And remember that most of the private tours available can be adapted to the pace and ability of kids.

There are plenty of activities that you and your family can enjoy. From soft hiking, horseback riding, to boat rides, and more.

Check out these recommendations for activities and places to visit.

What to do with kids in Patagonia?

Tours

  • - The Cave of the Milodon is a natural monument located 25 kilometers from Puerto Natales, where the remains of a large mammal that became extinct in prehistoric times were found. Children can learn about it while strolling through the cavern. At the entrance, there is a replica of the animal for pictures.
  • - There are bike city tours in Puerto Natales. Children can learn about the city’s history and the main tourist attractions. The service includes a bike, helmet, snacks, guide, and binoculars.
  • - Although children do not enjoy museums much, the Nao Victoria Museum can be a completely different experience. Your kids will be able to interact with replicas of the ships that discovered Patagonia; ambient sounds and reproductions of the navigation instruments and artillery used at the time are also available. The museum is located on the shores of the Strait of Magellan.
  • -The Franciscans Route begins eight kilometers from Coyhaique, in the Bonanza Equestrian Fields. Children can go horseback riding, which is an ideal scenario for adventurous kids. The guides will teach them all the necessary techniques to control the horse and the tour includes gears like leather leggings and rain ponchos (in case of bad weather). This circuit takes about three hours, and involves crossing streams, native Lenga and Ñirre forests, green hills and plateaus.

Boat trips

-An ideal activity for traveling with children to Patagonia is go to penguin-watching in Punta Arenas. There are plenty of agencies downtown for you to book a day trip to Magdalena Island to watch this species in their own habitat; there are more than 60,000 pairs of Magellanic penguins in the island. The boat sails through the Strait of Magellan; it’s better if the trip is made on barges rather than small boats (due to the heavy weather). The ideal season is between September and March.

-The classic boat trip to the Balmaceda and Serrano glaciers is ideal for a family trip as it does not require much physical effort. The voyage includes several attractions: Guanaco island, where you can watch Magellan dolphins; Punta de Lobos and its large population of sea lions; and, the Waterfall, home of Andean condors; and of course the majestic glaciers.

- Gray Glacier makes one of the most impressive sights in Patagonia. A large chunk of ice detached recently, as a sign that the glacier will be decreasing in volume as time goes by. When your children are older, they will appreciate you taking them to see this giant mass of ice when it’s still majestic. They will be impressed by the massive floating icebergs and more than 19 kilometers of pure ice.

Where to eat in Patagonia?

The southern Chile cuisine is something that you and your children must try. If you're wondering where to eat with children in Patagonia, check out these recommendations.

- There are kid friendly restaurants in Patagonia. Some even have special places for them, like Chilean food restaurant Okusa in Punta Arenas. It is an old house that has a space with toys and materials so that they can play while their parents eat.

-The Mesita Grande restaurant in Puerto Natales, across from the main square, is famous for its wood-oven cooked pizzas, which are very coveted by children and grownups alike. This restaurant offers something for every taste. Long tables are set  so travelers can exchange experiences.

-The Tablón del Ancla restaurant in Puerto Montt is a classic. Located next to the main square, its menu mainly consists of fish and seafood. The best thing: it’s got a children’s menu too.

Make sure to include some of the following national parks in your itinerary, which offer the perfect mix of wildlife watching and outdoor experiences. 

Parks in Chilean Patagonia to visit on a family trip

Parks in Chilean Patagonia to visit on a family trip

The New York Times recently highlighted Chilean Patagonia’s National Parks System as one of the top tourist destinations to visit in 2018The region ranks sixth among 52 on the list, which is not bad!

Here are a few of the best parks in Chilean Patagonia to visit with your family.

Chiloé National Park

It’s located on the west coast of the Grand Island of Chiloé, in the Lagos region. It stretches for almost 42 thousand hectares, and its main sectors are Chepu and Abtao.

Chepu is in the north, and it’s notorious for its rich cultural heritage, as well as places of paleontological interest like Rahue beach.

Native Huilliche communities living close to the park preserve their customs and traditions. Most importantly, they are fully integrated into the operation of the park, and there are hosting alternatives for travelers to learn more about their culture.

Because the park is found on an island, endemic species of birds and mammals have endured, including the Chiloé concon and diuca, the cocoi heron, caranca, the southern pilpilen, among others. Also, you will be able to observe Chiloé foxes, monitos del monte, mice tree, and others.

The park includes trekking circuits like the El Tepual, Dunes of Cucao, Chanquín-Cole Cole, Cole Cole River- Anay River, the Chanquín-Grande River, and Castro-Abtao, although some require some preparation.

Also, there are observations spots like the one at Cucao Lake and the coastal dunes that are a must-see attraction.

We recommend you access the park through the Cucao-Chanquín sector. You can arrive by land from the city of Castro by Route 5 until you reach the Notuco junction and then head off to Cucao.

The accommodation found in the area consists of cabins and camping sites.

Torres del Paine National Park

In 2013, Torres del Paine was declared the Eigth Wonder of the World. That is why, year after year, more tourists want to visit this park, making it of the best-qualified national parks in Chile.

Also, it’s located 112 kilometers to the north of the city of Puerto Natales, so it’s easy to reach by land.

There, you'll find different types of accommodation, from comfortable hotels to camping sites. The same applies to activities and attractions; there is something for all tastes and ages.

Without a doubt, the main attraction is the Paine Massif, with its impressive blue peaks. However, other beautiful spots are as remarkable, like the Gray Glacier, the Pehoé Lake, the Salto Grande waterfall, and the Nordenskjöld Lake.

If you’re traveling with children, you’ll be probably wondering what to do in Torres del Paine. It all depends on their interests, the number of days the visit will last, and their physical conditions.

If your family likes to go trekking but without so much physical preparation, avoid doing the W hiking circuit or the O trekking trail, which are more demanding.

Prefer shorter excursions (you can do some on top of a tour van, even) and other alternatives like horse riding, fishing or rafting (for kids older than 12).

If you want your children to learn about the species they’ll see in the park before you visit, check out this site.

Take note of these tips to make the perfect trip to Torres del Paine.

Laguna San Rafael National Park

It’s the largest in Aysen region, extending 1.74 million hectares, of which 400,000 consist of only millennial ice that is part of the Northern Chilean Ice Fields, which gives shape to several glaciers, lagoons, and rivers.

Its main attractions include the San Rafael glacier and lagoon, a natural pool of crystal clear water, ice and a diversity of marine species such as dolphins, sea lions, chungungos, elephant seals, whales and much more across 700,000 hectares.

Here, one of the most common activities is the boat tour (and then by zodiac) that takes you closer to the glacier. The experience includes navigating through the fjords and channels appreciating the magnificent landscape, and finishing the journey enjoying a glass of whiskey (or non-alcoholic beverage) with millennial ice extracted from some of the floating chunks of ice that have fallen to the water.

The most striking aspect of this tour is the different shades the icebergs have depending on their exposure to light, and the resonant sounds the ice makes when breaking off the glacier.

This is an ideal family trip. However, make sure beforehand that your children don't suffer from motion sickness.

San Rafael is a reservation for bird species like the Black-necked swan, the huet huet, the Black-browed albatross, the cormorant and the chucao, which makes it a perfect destination for travelers who love birdwatching. The local fauna also includes mammals like the huemul (a Chilean emblem) and the kodkod.

You can easily access this park by sea from Puerto Chacabuco or by land through Exploradores Bay.

Queulat National Park

This beautiful park is close to Puerto Cisnes, 165 kilometers north of the city of Coyhaique. It is known as "the evergreen forest" due to its abundant vegetation composed mainly of coigües, tepas, and tepus.

Meanwhile, its fauna includes the Black woodpecker, condor, pudu, puma and four-eyed frog, among others.

Its main attraction is its hanging glacier, a vast mass of ice in a groove in the mountain that you can observe from a lookout point located on the front, to which you arrive after walking a hiking trail of 2.500 meters.

You'll also find the salto Padre García Hurtado waterfall, the Risopatrón Lake, the Pumas Lagoon, the Queulat slope, the Iceberg Lagoon, and the Condor waterfall.

Queulat also hosts resting areas like the Puyuhuapi Hot Springs, with thermal waters that reach up to 47ºC.

Inside the park, you can also do biking, fishing, and boating tours.

This is an ideal park for children because it has short walks for all public and its landscapes seem to come out of a fairy tale. Proof of this is the path called the Enchanted Forest, 1,700 meters long, which gives your access to a lagoon at the foot of a rocky wall that shapes like an amphitheater, the birthplace of the Cascada River.

You can get to Queulat Park directly through Carretera Austral (Austral Highway or Route 7).

Yendegaia Bay National Park

This park, founded in 2013, is the center-south of the Grand Island in Tierra del Fuego and adjacent to the Tierra del Fuego Park in Argentina.

This is an ideal alternative for families looking for extreme adventure because there are no routes but a few marked trails.

Here the forests are thick, some sectors are swampy, and the rivers run strong.

One of its main attractions is the path that crosses the Darwin Massif in the Andes Mountain Range.

The area is surrounded by snow mountains, glaciers, channels, glaciers of different sizes and unique flora and fauna where baguales (wild horses), the leopard seal or birds such as the southern giant petrel roam.

More interestingly, this is a place that few get to see.

Due to its remoteness, it is necessary that you guide yourself with the help of a GPS and, as expert recommends, a local guide who knows the place. Bear in mind there are no accommodation alternatives in the park.

Given that the Yendegaia involves some physical demand, it is advisable to go with children older than 12 years in good physical shape; keep in mind that even if they are prepared, you may need to carry their backpacks during part of the journey.

Take note of this practical tip: arrange your visit directly with the Military Body of Work (CMY), which is building a road that crosses the park.

Visitors often arrive from the city of Punta Arenas to the town of Porvenir on a ferry. Then they drive to the Fagnano Lake, where the trekking route to Yendegaia begins.

Alerce Andino National Park

In the Lakes region, in Llanquihue province, lies this Biosphere Reserve of temperate rainforests of the Southern Andes.

In its almost 40 thousand hectares, the alerce tree or Patagonian redwood dating back to 3,000 years predominate; this tree grows approximately 1 centimeter every 15 years. You’ll observe that some trees reach 50 meters high, even.

There’s also a large number of lagoons (around 50) that spread between the alerce forests.

The park is 40 kilometers away from the city of Puerto Montt through Carretera Austral. Access is quick using two alternatives routes:

- The Camino Público V-65 that joins Puerto Montt with the town of Correntoso.

- The south entrance through the road that connects the village of Lenca with Puerto Montt.

Inside the park, you will find several hiking trails, like the one that stretches between the Chaiquenes Lagoon and the Triángulo Lagoon, or the path between Sargazo Lake and Fría Lagoon, or the one between the Correntoso River and Pangal River, among others.

Other attractions in Alerce Andino include the Reloncaví Estuary, where the waters of the Petrohué River flow into; Cochamó and Puelo; a clutter of alerces close to Fría Lagoon, and fauna composed by pumas, monitos del monte, pudu, vizcachas and much more.

This park has two sectors for camping and picnic areas that are ideal for day visits.

Useful tips before you visit a park in Patagonia

It is essential that you know first the abilities and interests of each member. If you have small children or they are not used to this kind of voyages, a park that is more equipped with essential amenities, like Torres del Paine, is a better alternative.

Now, if your children are used to going on excursions and like adventure, you can go to parks that are more remote or less intervened, like Yendegaia.

For necessary information like the entrance price, services, or visit the website of the Chilean forestry corporation Conaf, in charge of managing the parks. 

Have your eyes and cameras ready as soon as you step into any of these parks, as you may come across some of the most spectacular Patagonian wildlife. Here are a few samples of what may cross your path.


6 most wonderful animals you’ll get to see in Chilean Patagonia

6 most wonderful animals you’ll get to see in Chilean Patagonia

Chilean Patagonia is a region that offers very particular living conditions, in which only animals in southern Chile can adapt. From abundant vegetation, unpredictable weather and, to almost no human interventions in some areas.

You will find here wildlife found in only a few places in the world or that are definitely on the verge of extinction, like the following 6 most remarkable animals:

1. The small Ñandú

The ñandúes (also known as choiques) are a species similar to the ostrich that lives in the Patagonian steppe.

The small ñandu is a subspecies in danger of extinction. Although it doesn’t fly, it uses its wings to gather speed when running away from predators. In fact, it can reach up to 60 km/hr. It weighs 15-25 kilos, and its feathers depict white, gray and brown spots.

The history of the small ñandú dates back centuries. British scientist Charles Darwin took his time to realize that this was a different species from the common ñandú.

What's more, its sole existence questioned the theory at the time that each species had been specially created to adapt to its habitat.

When he unexpectedly found remains of this bird, Darwin understood that species can change and adapt over time, depending on conditions.

Studies show that the largest population of small ñandús is found in Chacabuco Valley, in Aysén region, in the extreme south of Chile.

Ñandús feed primarily on leaves, seeds, and roots, but they also consume insects and small rodents. A peculiarity of this kind is that the male is in charge of incubating the eggs and caring for offspring when they are born.

Their main threat is hunting and the collection of eggs for food.

2. Huemul

This mammal belongs to the same family of the deer, and it’s a Chilean emblem. In fact, it’s shown in Chile’s national shield.

It is robust, about one meter high, very docile and similar to the European red deer.

Unfortunately, it classifies as "endangered" in the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

There would be only 2,000 huemules in the world (they live the forests of the Patagonian Andean Mountains exclusively), scattered between the Nevados de Chillán and the Strait of Magellan. Its population has decreased by 50% in the last 500 years.

In Chile, the species is protected by Law 19,473, which prevents from hunting, possession, capture, transport, and commercialization. The most substantial number of specimens per hectare is present in the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park.

Its main threats are hunting, fires, attacks from their natural predators the puma, the culpeo or the wild dog), diseases transmitted by cattle, and the destruction of its habitat by human action.

3. Chilote fox or Darwin fox

It is one of the four animals in greatest danger of going extinct according to NGO Greenpeace Chile.

It is the smallest canine found in the country. Its population is mostly concentrated on the Grand Island of Chiloé, and to a lesser density in the Nahuelbuta National Park, in the Alerce Costero, in the Valdivian Coastal Reserve, in Oncol Park.

That is to say, it likes secluded places, far from humans, in the temperate forests and lower swamp areas in southern Chile.

Its gray and reddish spots on ears and legs are very characteristics. It feeds mainly on insects, wild fruits, birds, reptiles and rodents (especially the long-tailed mouse, which transmits the deadly hantavirus). 

And like the huemul, its conservation status according to the IUCN is "in danger of extinction." Today its population does not exceed 600 specimens.

Given its critical state of preservation, several Chilean government agencies such as the Ministry of the Environment and the Environmental Protection Fund are concentrating efforts for its conservation.

4. Humpback whale

Humpback whales are easy to recognize due to the hump on its dorsal fin, and they shape it takes when it submerges in the water. 

It’s said to be one of the most acrobatic of the whale's species, given the pirouettes demonstration they do at sea; its incredible jumps and noises it makes when hitting the water with its fins are known.

Its most characteristic trait is the melody it makes when it communicates underwater. Also, it usually feeds on small fish and krill.

Its physical features include a dark back and white spots in its stomach, chin, and inside of fins.

Although it is present in many parts of the world, it’s easier to spot in Chile.

Where to watch humpback whales? One of the best places is the Carlos III Island, in the Francisco Coloane Marine Park, in Magallanes region.

When humpback whales migrate to Antarctica in search of food, the Strait of Magellan is one of the few places where they stop before they get to the white continent. It’s ideal to travel to Patagonia between December and May to go whale watching.

Currently, only 10% of the original population of the humpback whale remains.

5. Chilean dolphin

It’s common in Chile to call “toninas” all dolphins found in Chilean waters; whether it’s the bottlenose, the Austral or the Chilean dolphin.

The latter is a cetacean that lives mainly on the southern coast of Chile, from Valparaíso region to the Strait of Magellan.

It is one of the world's smallest dolphins (maximum 1.60 meters long) and is characterized by its rounded fins. Commonly, it is dark gray with a white throat and stomach, and a white spot behind each pectoral fin.

One of the best places to watch this dolphin is Chiloé Island. Even though it’s a shy animal, it is not necessary to travel far into the sea to see it.

This marine mammal was at risk during the 70s because its flesh was used as bait for fishing crabs. Today is also part of the IUCN Red List, under the category "near threatened" due to the destruction of the marine ecosystem.

6. Magellanic Penguin

Patagonia hosts several species of penguins, but the Magellanic penguin is the most popular, primarily due to the regular tours to Magdalena Island, located an hour and a half from the city of Punta Arenas by sea, a place home to about 60 thousand couples of this specimen.

This area is protected and managed by the National Forestry Corporation (Conaf) under the name "National Penguins Monument".

It is possible to see penguins on Otway Bay, 65 kilometers to the northwest of Punta Arenas.

This species not only can be seen in Chile; like a good a migratory bird, the Magellanic penguin moves to warmer waters such as those in Brazil and Peru in winter.

This bird was described in 1520 by Italian explorer Antonio Pigafetta as a strange goose measuring 35-45 centimeters, with a dark head a white stripe stretching from the eye to the neck, with short and strong wings, grayish-black plumage on the back and white feathers on the chest.

In January and February, its kind avoids the water altogether while it’s changing plumage and does not have the necessary waterproofing layer isolating it from the cold.

Its worst enemies are sea lions, the Southern giant petrel, human pollution and industrial fishing.

Chilean Patagonia also makes a unique and fascinating classroom for you children to learn about history and nature. Make the most of your kids' learning experience by including any of these seven museums in the itinerary. 

7 museums to visit when traveling to Chilean Patagonia with children


7 museums to visit when traveling to Chilean Patagonia with children

1- Maggiorino Borgatello Museum (Punta Arenas)

Salesian missionaries founded this museum in the 19th century after they arrived in the city of Punta Arenas to evangelize the area.

Today, this Salesian museum houses the cultural and ecological heritage of the region.

In 1984, the museum grew from 700 square meters to 1,700 m2, an extra space which allowed to accommodate the entire collection, which is divided into four sections: ethnology, flora and fauna, archaeology, and history.

What can you find at the Maggiorino Borgatello Museum?

The exhibit includes crafts and utensils used by the indigenous people like the Onas, Tehuelches, Yaganes, Alacalufes, as well as documents, and objects belonging to Salesians priests, animal fossils, and a collection of personal items that belonged to Father Alberto De Agostini, the most important explorer of the region.

Past visitors praise the museum’s rich display of the history of Magallanes regionbefore and after its colonization.

2- Municipal Historical Museum (Puerto Natales)

This museum displays remains of the foundation of the city of Puerto Natales and the settlement of the region.

The themed rooms exhibit crafts and artifacts of daily use by the Kawésqar  and the Aonikenk aboriginal cultures, which they used in their hunts and gathering of food.

The exhibit includes document records by colonizers and artifacts from the end of the 18th century to the mid-19th century of German and British origin.

There is also a photographic registry of the 1930s in the region and a historical record of the Frigorífico Puerto Bories cold storage plant opened by Sociedad Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego, a livestock company founded in 1893.

The museum building is modern although it reproduces some features of the traditional architecture of the first English pioneers that colonized the area.

3- German Colonial Museum (Frutillar)

Located in a beautiful park property of Austral University, this museum aims at recreating the living conditions of the German colonists who arrived at the shores of Llanquihue Lake.

Main attractions include the bell tower, the mill, and the Blacksmith's House. At the manor, visitors learn about the private life of German farming families, there's a large room, a music room, bedrooms, bathrooms, a large kitchen with original kitchenware and other objects.

Families can also enjoy the beautiful gardens that provide a magical surrounding.

4- Museum of the Churches of Chiloé (Chiloé)

The island of Chiloé is renowned for its beautiful churches built with native alerce wood. Many of them were declared World Heritage by UNESCO; they make some are the oldest wooden constructions found in the island.

Since the beginning of the 17th century, the island watched the arrival of several religious orders. First came the Jesuits and the Franciscans; the characteristic architectural style remained the same, with little variations.

In 2002, the Cultural Foundation of Friends of the Churches of Chiloe was founded, headquartered in a building in Ancud that dates back to 1875. Years later it became the Museum the Churches of Chiloé, which introduces locals and tourists to the culture of the island through an exhibit consisting of photographs, remains rescued from churches that have been restored, models and much more.

It is an excellent start for adults and children alike traveling to Chilean Patagonia to understand how valuable the history of these worship temples is to the history and culture of Chiloé.

5- Pablo Fierro Museum (Puerto Varas)

Twenty years ago, Puerto Montt artist Pablo Fierro began building an art registry of the region by collecting paintings of old houses in the area (Osorno, Valdivia, Frutillar, Puerto Varas, etc.).

The original aim of the museum was to do urban planning preservation. However, it’s evolved to house all kinds of antiques that go back to the time of the German establishment in the area.

Why your children will love this museum in Chilean Patagonia?

Firstly, it looks like a house taken straight out of a fairy tale. Second, kids can touch everything that’s on exhibit.

Besides Fierro’s work, several historical objects help imagine what life was like in the past. And the artist himself guides visitors through the museum most times.

The museum is on the waterfront of Puerto Varas at the shores of the Llanquihue Lake. It’s impossible to miss, given it’s a major tourist attraction of the city.

Its striking facade includes old cars and an entrance shaped like a cuckoo clock.

6- Regional Museum of Magallanes (Punta Arenas)

It's known as one of the best museums in Chilean Patagonia. Here, visitors can understand and appreciate the cultural diversity of the Magallanes region and Chilean Antarctica.

Its interior houses an extensive collection of furniture and objects that represent the golden Magellan era, and a historical exhibition which gives an account of the process of human settlement in the territory.

The museum has interactive activities, workshops and support material for educators as well. If you want to know more, check the following link.

7- Martín Gusinde Anthropological Museum (Puerto Williams)

This museum's ethnographic collection preserves the natural and cultural heritage of the Magellan archipelago.

It is the only museum in the city and is the southernmost in the world. Its goal is to preserve the heritage of Navarino Island, in particular.

It is ideal for children, as it offers guided tours, art workshops, movies and an educational virtual area and interactive modules on display.

It’s named in honour of the Austrian scientist who lived among the Selk'nam and Yaganes communities to study the indigenous cultures that inhabited Tierra del Fuego before the Colonization period.

Another museum attraction is the Sterling House, the oldest building in the area. The construction was expressly moved by sea to be part of the museum and was declared National Historic Monument in 2003.

Other useful facts and tips for your trip to Chilean Patagonia

  • Public Hospital Dr. Augusto Essman Burgos in Puerto Natales recently inaugurated a new building, with a modern design and updated medical resources. You should take this into account in the event of an emergency.
  • Major pharmacy chains in Chile Cruz Verde, Farmacias Ahumada, and Salcobrand have stores in key cities in Patagonia. You can find the closest branches in a listing on their websites.

Conclusion

Chilean Patagonia boasts plenty possibility for you to enjoy with your family a memorable experience.

Also, it is a destination that adapts to your travel rhythms and styles. And regardless of age, the south of Chile will always find a way to captivate  you.