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South America's most family-friendly destinations

It’s home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, awe-inspiring mountains, tropical rainforests, exciting cities and yet more beaches. Clearly, South America is full of dream destinations for young families to explore. But where to start? *

Mar de Ajó in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mar de Ajó in Buenos Aires

Mar de Ajó in Buenos Aires

Mar de Ajó is a coastal town in Argentina’s Buenos Aires region that is, according to our travellers, the most family-friendly tourist destination in all of South America. The reasons for this popularity can partly be attributed to the mild climate (temperatures average 22ºC and rarely exceed 32ºC) and the beautifully maintained beaches. With gentle currents and plenty of lifeguards, the waters around Mar de Ajó are an idyllic spot to teach young children how to swim. Looking for somewhere to stay? The Onais Hotel has spacious family rooms and overlooks the beach.

Termas del Daymán in Salto, Uruguay

Termas del Daymán in Salto

Termas del Daymán in Salto

The town of Termas del Daymán is home to one of the largest hot springs in Uruguay, and young families find the relaxed atmosphere especially welcoming, as many Uruguayan families also holiday here. Adults will feel their cares melt away after an hour in the thermal baths. There are also saunas and massage options available while children have fun at the nearby Acuamanía water park. A children’s club gives parents some time to themselves, although many families prefer to stay close to the park and spend time together.

Algarrobo in Valparaíso, Chile

Algarrobo in Valparaíso

Algarrobo in Valparaíso

The coastal resort town of Algarrobo has something for every family member and represents Chile’s natural beauty. Its long beaches are lined with family-friendly hotels and pine forests full of hiking trails for active families. To the north of the town, nature-loving families will find a colony of South American Humboldt penguins. In order to make the most of the beach and the forests, check your family into the self-catered Departamento en la Playa, which is only a few minutes’ walk from the beach and a short drive to the Islote Peñablanca y Punta de Peñablanca (where the penguins live).

Juqueí in São Paulo, Brazil

Juqueí in São Paulo

Juqueí in São Paulo

Juqueí is a beach town on Brazil’s north coastline. Lushly forested mountains turn into white sand beaches and then azure water with currents mild enough for young children to play. Visitors spend their days on the beach, allowing the cares of home to float away and traditional Brazilian seafood dishes. If you’re travelling with children, the Beach Hotel Juquehy is ideally located, only a minute’s walk from the beach and a 10-minute walk from the Juqueí town centre.

La Paloma in Rocha, Uruguay

La Paloma in Rocha

La Paloma in Rocha

La Paloma is recognisable even to first-time visitors, thanks to its distinctive landmark – the tall, cool and bright-white El Faro del Cabo Santa Maria lighthouse. The terracotta-roofed cottages, green spaces, golden beaches and turquoise sea create a delightful contrast to the lighthouse. Young families can spend long, sunny days on the sheltered sandy bays of Bahía Chica and Bahía Grande. Further along the coast older family members can enjoy the surfing on offer at Los Botes beach. Give yourself and your family easy access to La Paloma’s beaches by staying at the family-friendly Audencia Apart Hotel.

** These were the most highly rated 'family friendly' destinations in South America, according to Booking.com customers.