Only a short flight south from mainland Ecuador, the access point for the Galapagos, lies beautiful Peru which would make a wonderful combination for a really special family journey. You have easy access into the Amazon Basin where children will be intrigued by the unique species of creepy crawlies, amazing plants and giant river fish of this area in either beautiful family friendly fully screened lodges or aboard delightful luxurious river cruise boats.
The Andean communities around Cusco and Lake Titicaca will give you a chance to connect with very traditional rural communities where you can learn about crafts such as weaving and even try a homestay with a local family on a remote lake island. And of course, you can have the chance to visit the truly spectacular site of Machu Picchu where brave souls with a head for heights – whatever their age! – can climb Huayna Picchu to see this vast Inca citadel from above.
There are lots of active adventures to keep everyone happy from white-water rafting, kayaking on Titicaca, sand boarding near the coast and horse-riding in beautiful valleys, strewn with Inca fortresses and quiet rural villages. A family holiday to Peru is a very special experience. If you and your family are fascinated by the wonderful vibrant flora and fauna of the rainforest but would prefer to journey to a malaria-free region, then you could not choose better than beautiful Costa Rica which offers some of the best family holidays in south America.
This small, safe and impossibly friendly country offers some wonderful opportunities to spot magnificent exotic birds up close such as scarlet macaws and toucans as well as hoards of monkeys swinging in the trees in one of its many national parks. Spot humpback whales around the Osa Peninsula for up to nine months of the year as they have two migrations that arrive here and see rare marine turtles nesting at night on both Caribbean and Pacific coasts or hatchlings desperate to reach the ocean in the early morning.
Children even as young as 9 years old can enjoy some exhilarating canopy ziplines or river rafting trips here and visit cacao plantations to learn how chocolate is grown and made – sure to be a firm favourite!