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Best Autism Friendly Destinations in South America

Updated: Mar 9

A photo of a South American Country.  There is a title that reads Autism Friendly Travel.  Best Autism Friendly Destinations in South America.  There are so many natural wonders to see while traveling in South America.

There are so many natural wonders to see while traveling in South America. If you are finally ready to explore Amazonian rainforests, Incan ruins, and Andean peaks, you won’t find a better place than South America. However, as a parent of an autistic child, you may be wondering how you can do this. I completely understand! As a certified autism travel advisor who has an autistic son, I know the challenges that come with travel. But I can tell you that it is possible to travel to South America with your autistic child. Have a wonderful time! I would love to discuss the possibilities further, so don't hesitate to get in touch with me today.

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Best Autism Friendly Destinations in South America

A photo of a lake in Argentina.  There is the country flag and mountains.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is quite a large city. Yet, amongst the crowds is unique architecture, delicious food, and lots of open space at the local playgrounds. This is a city where it is essential to plan your days carefully. I always stress that one or two activities a day are best for most autistic children.

One of your first planned activities in Buenos Aires might include a stop at the Buenos Aires Children’s Museum. This interactive museum will allow your children to have puppet shows, pretend to be a television anchor, and shop at a replica grocery store. To avoid the crowds and have the best experience, I recommend arriving at this museum earlier in the day. You may also want to visit the Bioparque Temaiken, Mercado de San Telmo, and Plaza de Mayo.

Outside the city, you can explore nature by hiking to Iguazu Falls. There are more than two hundred waterfalls in that area, so even if you can only walk for a few minutes, you will see several different waterfalls.

A photo of a mountain in Quito, Ecuador.

Quito, Ecuador

Culture is everywhere in Ecuador. Add in the diverse landscape, and your autistic child will learn many new things during your visit. The best part about this destination is the locals love children. So, do not be surprised to find your children receiving free admission at many attractions. A favorite place to spend time is the Parque Metropolitano. This park offers a lot of space for playing and running around. It's an excellent location for getting the wiggles out at any time! Outside the city, your autistic child can explore nature at Podocarpus National Park. Swimming is a must at the beaches within Machalilla National Park.

A shout of a south American City.

Montevideo, Uruguay

Uruguay is one of the forgotten countries in South America. This country borders both Argentina and Brazil. This is the most autism-friendly destination in South America if you are looking for a beach vacation. When you are not at the local beaches swimming, you will find yourselves exploring the vibrant city. La Rambla is currently the longest sidewalk in the world. If your autistic child does not like to walk long distances, you may want to do different sections of this walk throughout your family vacation. Other things to add to your itinerary in Montevideo include Tres Cruces, Plaza Independencia, and Parque Batlle. Machu Picchu, Peru. You have probably heard incredible stories about people who have traveled long to Machu Picchu.

You are probably wondering why I included it on a list of autistic-friendly destinations in South America. I haven’t lost my mind! You don’t need to hike for miles to reach this fantastic destination. As a parent of an autistic child, I know you want your child to experience anything and everything. So, why not take advantage of the bus ride that takes you directly to the entrance of Machu Picchu?

Yes, taking the train from Cusco to the Urubamba Valley will still take a while. Then there is the bus ride. I can help plan it all so you have time to regroup and take a break. When you arrive at Machu Picchu, you can see three different areas.

Those areas include the citadel ruins, Huayna Picchu, and Machu Picchu Mountain. The citadel ruins are the most autism-friendly. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot see the other two areas if your child is up to the adventure. It is important to note that even though you are taken directly to the entrance by bus, there is still quite a bit of walking at Machu Picchu. I believe it is best to remember your child’s capabilities when planning this trip.

A photo of Jesus Christ the Reformer through someone's hands.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is another bustling city. However, there are numerous sections where you can escape the noise. One of those areas would be almost any of the local beaches. Leblon Beach is considered the most child-friendly beach in the city. When your autistic child is tired of the sand and water, you can head to the play area called Baixo Baby. A train ride around Corcovado Mountain to the Christ the Redeemer statue is an option for your autistic family. You may even want to consider riding the Sugarloaf Mountain cable car.

Other potential adventures in Rio for autistic families include visiting AquaRio, the Zoological Gardens, and the Botanical Gardens.

These are some of the best autism-friendly destinations in South America. I would love to plan a fantastic family vacation for you in any of these destinations. I can suggest other destinations if these are not exactly what you want. Contact me, and let's discuss your trip!

A couple standing in front of Machu Picchu there is a title that reads Autism Friendly Destinations in South America.

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