From llama-dotted mountains and lunar-like landscapes to boat trips through steamy jungles, Bolivia offers adventures that will leave an imprint on young travelers. Visiting Bolivia is a one-of-a-kind cultural experience, and while traveling with children poses some challenges, the rewards are great.
Wildlife spotting and riverboat trips in Parque Nacional Madidi, with accommodations in family-friendly ecolodges.
A great central plaza, and mild and comfortable climate, plus dinosaur footprints and excursions to the surrounding countryside.
There are Wild West adventures to be had in the countryside surrounding this laid-back town, with plenty of options for day-trip excursions by horseback, bicycle or jeep. At 2850m, the altitude is manageable.
Kid-friendly outings abound, with botanical gardens, butterfly farms and zoos within easy reach of the city center. There are plenty of eating options for fussy diners as well as malls selling any items you might need.
Day trips to El Fuerte ruins, a pleasant climate and plenty of choice of accommodations, from campsites to hotels.
Kids will love the children's museum and cable cars, but be sure to acclimatize carefully – it's high up here!
Bolivians love children, and bringing your kids will do wonders for breaking down cultural barriers. But while families can and do visit Bolivia, be prepared to grapple with a number of potential obstacles, including the altitude of the altiplano, the sometimes inhospitable climate, poor levels of hygiene and a general lack of predictability – floods, snow and bloqueos (road blocks caused by political protests) might force you to change your plans. Be prepared to be flexible.
There are a few things to consider before bringing your children to Bolivia. Think carefully about what you might need, as clothing and equipment can be difficult to find outside the main cities, and are certainly more expensive.
For all-round information and advice, check out Lonely Planet’s Travel with Children.
Bolivia's national parks are home to a mindbogglingly diverse array of wildlife, with mammal-spotting, reptile-monitoring and bird-watching possibilities that will exceed any young animal lover's wildest dreams.
In the Amazon Basin, Parque Nacional Madidi was revealed by a 2018 World Conservation Society study to be the most biodiverse natural area in the world. The fabulous ecolodges in the area are family friendly and the perfect launchpad for jungle adventures. Animals you might see include jaguars, sloths, pumas, spectacled bears, pink river dolphins and titi monkeys. Kids will no doubt love the elephant-nosed tapirs and lolloping giant anteater.
Residents of the Parque Nacional & Área de Uso Múltiple Amboró include elusive spectacled bears, jaguars, tapirs, peccaries and various monkeys, though mammals are not always easy to spot. Agencies in Samaipata can help put together a family-friendly itinerary.
Andean species including vicuñas, llamas and alpacas, as well as flighty flamingos, can be seen in the stark mountains of Parque Nacional Sajama. It sits at a lofty 4200m, so don't attempt to visit until you are fully acclimatized. The climate is harsh and accommodations are fairly basic. It is probably not a trip you would make with young children.
Biocentro Güembé Outdoor center near Santa Cruz with a butterfly farm, orchid exhibitions and natural pools.
Mi Teleférico Swing high on La Paz's 30km-long cable-car system.
Parque Cretacico Follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs at this park near Sucre.
Jardín Botánico These gardens are an easy day trip from Santa Cruz.
El Fuerte Pre-Inca ruins with plenty of space to run around.
Parque Nacional Madidi Wildlife watching in the Amazon Basin.
Parque Nacional Sajama Llamas, alpacas and vicuña are among the animals here, but be sure to acclimatize.
Senda Verde Wildlife Sanctuary Fun place where humans are 'caged' and monkeys run free.
Zoológico Municipal Fauna Sudamericana Santa Cruz's zoo, near the city center.
Zoológico Andino Native Andean wildlife in Oruro.
Zoo El Refugio This refuge for rescued animals is near Samaipata.