It’s no secret that we have been dreaming of travel, instead of actually exploring the world. But we are starting to see travel open up, albeit very gradually, so there is no better time to form a plan for your next family sabbatical encompassing a mix of adventure, relaxation, discovery and learning.
Lockdown has taught us that while our plans have been postponed and our pace of life brought to an amble, life has not stopped and we can start to look towards better days.
We’ve also shown we can work remotely, we’ve learnt to love (or hate) the endless Zoom calls and we know we can educate our children at the touch of a button. So you can embark on a big trip of a lifetime with the whole family whilst staying as connected as you need to be.
The key to sabbatical travel is about getting the pace just right and taking the time to explore the richness and diversity that the continent has to offer, ensuring all family members are able to make the most out of each part of the journey.
Instead of pin-balling around the continent, think longer stays which strike the balance between adventure-filled days and some much-needed downtime, gazing out to sea from the comfort of your poolside lounger, a glass of wine in hand.
From private estancias and haciendas to lodges and remote camps, we handpick some of the best properties suitable for families of all ages and sizes.
We love Casa Macaire, in the heart of Chile’s Casablanca Valley nestled amidst olive groves and vineyards. Hike or cycle to the nearest lookout for stunning views of the valley or how about spending the day by the pool?
Take the journey deep into Patagonia and head to Torres del Paine National Park with its granite peaks and turquoise lakes. A chance to kayak or hike or some white-water rafting for the more adventurous. Then wind your way through the Atacama desert where star-gazing is at its best.
Why not cross the border into Argentina’s northwest and explore the rolling plains, vast forests and spectacular mountains? If you fancy staying on a private estate which expands across 30,000 hectares, we’ve got the spot for you; Estancia Pampa Grande is authentic, rustic, homespun and most importantly, perfect for families. Spend the day exploring the hills and assisting with the gauchos, experiencing the true gaucho way of life. All produce is bred, grown and harvested on the estate so end your day with a delicious feast followed by some board games.
Travel slowly into Brazil’s Ibitipoca National Park. The park offers spectacular scenery, walking expeditions to spot wildlife, discover waterfalls and swim in natural pools.
Then spend some time unwinding at Sol y Luna which is nestled in the Peruvian Andes and funds education for local children, offering a chance for guests to volunteer at the foundation. It’s a collection of colourful villas which offers a treasure chest of outdoor adventures for children.
After that, move gradually north and head to the Galapagos for more breathtaking biodiversity. We recommend staying at the Galapagos Safari Camp. It is discreet luxury at its finest in the heart of the tropics. The camp is perfect for kids, spend your days hiking, biking, diving or kayaking to discover the archipelago. As the sun dips below the horizon, watch as the Pacific Ocean turns into an apricot haze while the mysterious hums of the jungle echo around you.
Weave through the Colombian Amazon to Canaloa Lodge, home to prolific wildlife and wilderness. You can learn from the indigenous communities who will teach you safely to fish with poisonous roots or hunt with blowpipes. This is a chance to switch off and reconnect with nature.
Learn to surf on the shores of Costa Rica, trek towering volcanoes in Guatemala or kick back on the beach in Brazil. The breathtaking experiences you can have on a family sabbatical is almost endless.
Family sabbaticals as much about learning as it is exploring, so how about immersing yourself and the kids in a Spanish course? It’s a chance to delve even deeper into the local culture. We’ve got some of the best teachers and schools to hand and you’ll be sounding like a local in no time. They say Colombian Spanish is the clearest and Peruvian the most neutral but we’ve got a soft spot for the gentle lilt of the Argentines.
We know that safety is paramount when planning a family trip like this and we craft all of our trips with that in mind, providing guided tours in all regions and private transport getting you from A to B. On top of that, we’re available 24/7 at the other end of the phone to provide you with round-the-clock support. We’re keeping a close eye on restrictions being lifted across Latin America so you can head off on your next adventure when it’s safe to do so – and that means it’s a good idea to start planning now.
Taking a sabbatical trip through South America, whether it’s 3 months, 6 months or a year, offers exceptional experiences for all the family, with the Andes as your playground and the crystalline waters of the Caribbean your back garden. A family holiday isn’t about ticking off as many sights as possible. It’s about cherishing your time together and creating precious, lasting memories.
Get in touch with the team today and we’ll make the planning easy putting together an unforgettable family trip. Here’s to our dreams of travel coming true very soon.