If you have one week with the family in Patagonia, you should focus on 2-3 regions. Buenos Aires offers culinary workshops for aspiring chefs and interactive museums for curious kids. Active families can choose from outdoor activities such as kayaking on Lago Gutiérrez, cave tours in Torres del Paine National Park, a visit to Perito Moreno Glacier, and hiking around Cerro Tronador. Those keen on wildlife can encounter penguins at Isla Magdalena, whales at Puerto Pirámides, and dolphins at Agua Fresca Bay.

Itinerary #1: Gentle Family Tour of Chilean Patagonia: Santiago & Punta Arenas

The leisurely pace and kid-friendly activities on this itinerary make it an excellent option for families of a range of ages, including younger children (four and up). Sample street food and visit the sites in Santiago, then take your wildlife-loving kids to observe Magellanic penguins at Magdalena Island and spot dolphins on a cruise in Agua Fresca Bay before visiting historic Fort Bulnes.

Stroll among adorable penguins with a day trip to Isla Magdalena
Meet the penguins on a day trip to Patagonia's Isla Magdalena
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago, Relax in Bicentenario Park Santiago
Day 2 Family-Friendly Santiago City Tour Santiago
Day 3 Fly to Punta Arenas, Historic Ships of Chile at the Nao Victoria Museum Punta Arenas
Day 4 Isla Magdalena Penguin Encounter Punta Arenas
Day 5 Dolphin-Watching Adventure Punta Arenas
Day 6 Center of Chile Monument & Fort Bulnes Punta Arenas
Day 7  Fly to Santiago, Relax at a Play Café & Depart  

Get to know Santiago on a family-friendly tour that includes Plaza de Armas, where the kids can experience live music and street food such as sopaipillas (fried dough with sweet or savory toppings) and a climb up Cerro Santa Lucía for city views (if little legs are weary, an elevator is available for a portion of the trip up). Next, catch a flight to Punta Arenas and inspire your young explorers with the historic ships and exhibits at the Nao Victoria Museum. Then, take your aspiring naturalists and photographers on a cruise to Isla Magdalena to see one of South America's largest Magellanic penguin colonies.

The animal lovers among you will be thrilled to find the wildlife encounters continue with a dolphin-watching excursion in Agua Fresca Bay. Then, satiate the curiosity of your young historians with a visit to the Strait of Magellan Park and Fort Bulnes, where you can learn about Indigenous history and the first Chilean settlement in Patagonia before one last family dinner in Punta Arenas. On your final day, return to Santiago for some souvenir shopping and a leisurely day at a play café before departure. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Family Outdoor Adventures in Patagonia

Picking up the pace, this itinerary suits outdoorsy families interested in visiting Argentine and Chilean Patagonia. Adventurous kids (five years and older) will appreciate the opportunities to explore caves in Torres del Paine National Park and see Perito Moreno Glacier up close, while animal lovers will be in their element among the horses and sheep at a Patagonian ranch. Due to the bus transfers, this itinerary is best for families comfortable with public bus journeys. 

Spend a day making friends with the horses and sheep of a traditional estancia
Let the kids spend a day with horses and sheep at a traditional estancia
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Fly to El Calafate El Calafate
Day 2 Perito Moreno Glacier Excursion, Nautical Safari El Calafate
Day 3 Half-Day Ranch Adventure at Estancia Nibepo Aike El Calafate
Day 4 Bus Journey to Puerto Natales (Chile), Free Time Puerto Natales
Day 5 Panoramic Excursion to Torres del Paine National Park Puerto Natales
Day 6 Archaeology & Caving Adventure at Estancia Ernesto Helmer Puerto Natales
Day 7 Bus Journey to Punta Arenas, Fly to Santiago & Depart  

On arrival in Buenos Aires (Argentina), catch a flight to El Calafate, the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park. The long journey will be well worth it when you see the delight on your children's faces while visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier via steel walkways and a nautical safari. Remind them to stay alert and keep a camera handy to witness the calving when chunks of ice break off and make a thunderous splash in the water below. Next, bring the kids to meet the farmers, horses, and sheep at Estancia Nibepo Aike, a Patagonian ranch where you'll take a horseback ride and refuel with a traditional barbecue.

The journey continues with a bus ride to Puerto Natales, a small town in Chilean Patagonia located near Torres del Paine National Park. Your guide will entertain the kids with local legends as you visit Milodón Cave and Lago Grey, then stop by Lago Sarmiento for family photos. Next, your budding archaeologists and little explorers will be captivated by a visit to Estancia Ernesto Helmer, where you'll explore caves, learn about the area's earliest human history, and spot ancient stalactites. Share your favorite memories on the bus back to Punta Arenas, where you'll fly to Santiago for departure. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Family Trip to Chilean Patagonia: History, Lakes & Wildlife

If your kids (four years and older) are keen on seeing penguins, this family trip is for you. You'll have two chances to observe these cute creatures in the wild—at Isla Chiloé and Isla Magdalena. In addition, a family-friendly tour of Santiago, a dolphin-watching excursion, and visits to the Nao Victoria Museum and Fort Bulnes provide enriching and educational experiences showcasing Chilean history, wildlife, and culture. 

Swinging in the shadow of the Osorno volcano in Chile's Lake District
Enjoy the great outdoors near the Osorno volcano in Chile's Lake District
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago, Family-Friendly City Tour  Santiago
Day 2 Fly to Puerto Montt, Transfer to Puerto Varas Puerto Varas
Day 3 Isla Chiloé: Ancud, Caulin & Penguins Puerto Varas
Day 4 Fly to Punta Arenas, Nao Victoria Museum Punta Arenas
Day 5 Isla Magdalena Penguin Encounter Punta Arenas
Day 6 Dolphin-Watching Adventure Punta Arenas
Day 7 Explore Fort Bulnes, Fly to Santiago & Depart  

Invite the kids to choose your adventure on arrival in Santiago: a climb up Cerro Santa Lucía and Cerro San Cristóbal, a tour of the city's landmarks, a leisurely day at Araucano Park, or a visit to Sky Costanera for panoramic views. Then, fly to Puerto Montt and transfer to Puerto Varas in the Lake District, where the kids can observe Magellan and Humboldt penguins on a boat ride to Isla Chiloé. Next, fly to Punta Arenas on Day 4 and help the kids imagine the lives of previous explorers on a visit to the Nao Victoria Museum.

Wildlife enthusiasts in the family will be happy to have another chance to see penguins—as well as Peale's dolphins—on a catamaran cruise to Isla Magdalena, followed by a dolphin excursion in Agua Fresca Bay. In the evening, enjoy some souvenir shopping and one last Chilean dinner in Punta Arenas. Then, make the most of your final morning by squeezing in a visit to Fort Bulnes before you fly back to Santiago to connect with your flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Family Fun in Argentine Patagonia: Buenos Aires & Bariloche

This itinerary is ideal for active families interested in combining outdoor adventures with a taste of Argentine culture. You'll introduce the kids to local history and culture on guided tours of Buenos Aires and Bariloche, kayak on Lago Gutiérrez, embark on family-friendly hikes around Cerro Tronador, Isla Victoria, and the fairy tale forests of Los Arrayanes, then celebrate your journey with a culinary workshop in a local family home. 

Focus on the scenic Lake District of northern Patagonia with this family-focused itinerary
Find plenty of family photo ops in the Lake District of northern Patagonia
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires, Guided Neighborhood Tour Buenos Aires
Day 2 Fly to Bariloche & the Lake District, Explore Bariloche
Day 3 Bariloche Circuit Tour Bariloche
Day 4 Isla Victoria & Los Arrayanes Forest Adventure Bariloche
Day 5 Family Excursion to Cerro Tronador  Bariloche
Day 6 Kayak Tour of Lago Gutierrez, Fly to Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 7 Family-Friendly Cooking Class, Depart Buenos Aires  

Dive into Argentine history and culture with a family-friendly tour of Buenos Aires that includes the city's oldest district, San Telmo, and the brightly-painted houses of La Boca, then fill rumbling tummies at a local parrilla (steakhouse). On Day 2, fly to Bariloche in the Lake District of northern Patagonia for a guided "short circuit" tour with a stop at Bonita Beach and a chair lift ride up Cerro Campanario. Bariloche is known as Argentina's "chocolate capital," so save time for a stroll down Calle Mitre, where you'll find chocolate shops sure to please anyone in the family with a sweet tooth!

Take a catamaran or boat to Isla Victoria on Day 4, where you can enjoy a family hike on the gentle trails before heading to Los Arrayanes National Park to stroll the walkways in the shade of towering deciduous and coniferous trees. The outdoor adventures continue with a trek up Cerro Tronador (where the kids will be surprised to find Ventisquero Negro, a glacier known for its uniquely dark color), followed by a kayak tour of Lago Gutierrez. Return to Buenos Aires and cap off your trip with a cooking class where you'll make traditional dishes, such as empanadas, and make memories together in a local family home. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Family Adventure in Buenos Aires & Patagonia's Valdés Peninsula

Focusing on Argentina, this trip is a fit for families eager to pair wildlife encounters on Patagonia's Valdés Peninsula with some urban experiences in Buenos Aires. Travelers of all ages (best for five years and older) will be thrilled by close encounters with penguins at Punta Tombo, whale watching along the coast of Puerto Pirámides, and a dolphin spotting excursion from Rawson Port. You'll also have some free time in Buenos Aires to see the sites, do a little souvenir shopping, entertain curious minds at the kid-friendly museums, and dine in a traditional Argentine steakhouse. 

See whales and other wildlife on this family tour of Patagonia
Take the kids whale watching in Puerto Madryn
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires, Guided Neighborhood Tour Buenos Aires
Day 2 Fly to Trelew, Transfer to Puerto Madryn, Explore the Valdés Peninsula Puerto Madryn
Day 3 Visit the Penguins of Punta Tombo Puerto Madryn
Day 4 Whale Watching Excursion to Puerto Pirámides Puerto Madryn
Day 5 Dolphin Sighting Tour, Chubut Valley Tour or Whales of Playa El Doradillo Puerto Madryn
Day 6 Return to Buenos Aires, Free Afternoon in the City Buenos Aires
Day 7 Depart Buenos Aires  

On a guided tour, Check out some popular spots in Buenos Aires, including Plaza de Mayo and San Telmo. If you're here on a Sunday, put Plaza Dorrego on the agenda, too; the Sunday market is a great place to entertain the kids with food stalls, shopping, and street performers. Next, fly to Trelew and transfer to Puerto Madryn, where you can prepare the kids for their Valdés Peninsula excursions with a visit to Eccocentro, a museum showcasing the natural wonders of Patagonia and offering a dedicated children's section. 

Each day in Valdés Peninsula offers opportunities for your family to encounter wildlife: visit the penguins at the Punta Tombo reserve, go whale watching in a semi-submersible (a unique experience for the kids!) from Puerto Pirámides, and spot the Commerson's dolphin one of the world's smallest dolphins, on a cruise from Rawson Port. The following day, you'll return to Buenos Aires and let the kids choose your final activity—interactive exhibits at the Museo Participativo de Ciencias (Science Participation Museum) and souvenir shopping in the markets, both popular choices. Learn more

More Great 1-Week Patagonia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Patagonia? Check out these other weeklong Patagonia itineraries, with outdoor adventures, family-friendly trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of 1 Week in Patagonia - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
Map of 1 Week in Patagonia - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas