Patagonia with Kids: Family Travel & Deluxe Camping - Chile Nativo

Patagonia with Kids: Family Travel & Deluxe Camping

Written by: Alicia Caton   Published March 27, 2020

Chile is a very child-friendly country and Patagonia an amazing destination for families that love to explore new places together. Alicia, adventure lover and a proud mother of her 2-year-old daughter, tells us about her experience of visiting Torres del Paine and Chile Nativo’s Riverside Camp with her family for the first time. 

When I came to Patagonia from the United States to live with my daughter Mia, she was just 10 months old. My partner Andres is from Puerto Natales and we knew it was a place where we wanted to begin and settle as a family. Although we have done significant traveling with our daughter and have been living in Puerto Natales for a year and a half now, our first official trip to Torres Del Paine was 3 weeks after Mia’s 2nd birthday. Like any trip with children – being well organized was the most important factor for a stress free weekend, however, we knew not to be too prepared and to keep our travels light and simple.

 

During the 1.5 hour ride, Mia napped and she woke just as we were passing by Lago Toro with a view of the Paine Massif. I could tell she probably felt like she was dreaming and she gazed in awe and curiosity. “Mountains!” she gasped – and pointed her little finger at the window. Andres and I told her that we were going camping! She squealed and laughed I didn’t know who was looking forward more to the trip – us or her.

We arrived to the Riverside Camp in Rio Serrano and we were warmly greeted by the local staff who catered to us with first class style. This was definitely not camping – it was way better! The concierge welcomed us right away, served us a fresh pisco sour and made sure that Mia knew that she was able to play freely in the lounge – a beautiful, open space just right for her to explore (the lounge & the dominoes were by far Mia’s favorite spot during the weekend trip). We felt thoroughly briefed with the details and functions of the camp – each staff member was there for every request and made us feel so comfortable and relaxed the entire time. We dined on the most incredible plate of grilled merluza with a caper sauce and puree de papas. The chef personally asked us what Mia would like to eat but she was too busy discovering to care about food. Our breakfasts in the mornings were a beautifully placed buffet, plentiful with fresh fruits, delicious scrambled eggs with fresh mushrooms and local tocino! Warm breads, fresh juices, cheeses – we all ate like royalty, especially Mia who sat patiently and quietly enjoying her breakfast while watching the liebres, striped woodpeckers, and bandurrias set against the great Paine Massif. It was a wonderland for us all.

Our evenings in our Lotus Belle tent were by far the best nights of sleep we had all gotten in months – we had never felt so cozy “camping” like this before. It was all so perfect.

 

Our tent was warm and spacious, sturdy, and a safe place for Mia to roam. She was captivated by our “giant carpa!” as it was referred to the entire weekend. To her it felt like a castle (and for us too actually). I appreciated the space heater with the auto shut off safety feature – excellent for any traveler and especially for families with children! Our accommodation came equipped with two Black Diamond Moji Lanterns providing just the right amount of soft lighting in the evenings and definitely helpful when walking to the restrooms at night. There were several instances where Andres and I debated a lifestyle change – just living in a Lotus Belle tent with a deluxe inflatable mattress – because, why not?

 

To see my daughter connect with nature and truly be in the moment with the elements surrounding her was such as blessing and beautiful gift. We watched our 2 year old disconnect her mind, relax her body, & open up to curiosity and discovery.

At times we just sat. And observed. And did nothing else but that…..

We collected rocks and dipped our feet in the cool river. We picked Calafate and watched birds, coaxed weary horses and followed sheep. We hiked Ferrier and picnicked in the lush forest. We roamed and strolled along through the pampas.

We reconnected as a family, as parents and as partners. We understood one another a little bit better and we left with our love cups very full.

SY Joyce Kan
SY Joyce Kan
2023-03-07
Amazing trip! We joined the Torres Del Paine 7 day O trek tour - note that this tour is not a complete O Trek but skipping the part from Camp Frances to Las Torres, which worked in our favour as our holiday is limited and we won’t miss much. Our guide, Debbie was knowledgeable and amicable, and very passionate about hiking. Unfortunately I fell sick during the hike and wished to leave a day earlier than planned. Debbie and Chile Nativo quickly rearranged transportation for us and was very helpful. Throughout the whole process Chile Nativo was very responsive. We had a memorable journey and I would highly recommend Chile Nativo.
Jim Garvin
Jim Garvin
2023-03-02
Fantastic experience! We were booked with Chile Nativo via Swoop and had a wonderful experience. Our guides, Tim & Lucile, were awesome. We really enjoyed their company. They were very knowledgeable about the region (the history, animals, landscape, etc). Highly recommend.
Olivia Evans
Olivia Evans
2023-02-15
I booked the independent, self-guided Torres Del Paine trek with Chile Nativo’s help and was so glad I did. When I looked to book on my own, everything was all reserved in Torres Del Paine and Chile Nativo was the only agency that could help me find a spot still. To still be able to go on the trip when I wanted to go, to not have to spend so much time planning all the logistics, to get a local’s recommendations on the best way to do the trek…but STILL get to do the trek on my own was amazing and worth every penny. In particular Paolina at the agency was incredibly helpful. I would recommend this agency to anyone looking to hike in Torres del Paine.
Chiloe Natural (chiloenatural)
Chiloe Natural (chiloenatural)
2023-02-10
Serious, professional, and friendly Tour Agency in Puerto Natales that will cater your needs in Patagonia and Torres del Paine.
Kevin Jobst
Kevin Jobst
2023-01-27
Hiking in Torres with Pepa is like walking with your smartest and wisest friend. She has an incredible depth of knowledge in everything from mycology to government, from geology to history. She is fiercely passionate about conservation and our planet and has dedicated her life to making our world a better place. Our two porters Filipe and Bastian were both incredibly strong and highly professional. Always in the know on where to set up the tent, they picked the best spot in every site we were at. Also, they were an absolute blast to hang out with after the long days hiking. I cannot recommend this particular team highly enough and if you are passionate about the environment, making the world a better place, learning everything there is to know about glaciers, mushrooms, Patagonia, the history of Chile, magma intrusions and edible berries request them by name. Thank you to all three of you for making our experience so special and I hope our paths cross again.
Brad Smith
Brad Smith
2023-01-15
Our Torres Del Paine Plus trip was fantastic! A great crew of newly-made friends, guided by Izabella “La Professora”, on a journey beyond expectations. What a great time, a balance of hiking and touring. DO NOT miss the pumas!!! I will definitely go with the Chile Nativo team again, and thanks to Nestor & Juan too!
Senga Simpson
Senga Simpson
2023-01-09
Excellent service. Thank you Vicky
Lukas Winegarner
Lukas Winegarner
2022-11-28
Camilo is ledged! Chile Nativo is extremely experienced and knowledgeable - I would highly recommend booking directly through them. We were a group of 8 doing the O 7 day hike and everything was great! Thanks to Camilo & Tomas and all of our porters!

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