Last weekend we took a fab day trip to Tricao. Parque Tricao is a vast nature reserve about an hour and a half from Santiago.
If you’ve got children or just want to escape the chaos and pollution of Santiago, be sure to check it out.
As you arrive there’s a huge kids’ playground. When I say huge, I mean VAST.
Parents – be sure to pack wellies and a spare change of clothes. This is the ‘before I jumped in’ photo.
My children had so much fun balancing, climbing, exploring…
and it’s a rather magical place to connect with nature.
Row, row, row your boat…
After a picnic in a hidden spot we discovered some rowing boats and the boys led us for a mini adventure.
Mini rain forest
Then we ventured forth to explore a little more…
We headed to the aviary. I’m not a fan of zoos or animals in cages, but this aviary is the second largest in the world. It’s a bit like stepping into a mini rain forest.
Thankfully the crocodiles weren’t real though.
As our guide explained, we were visitors in the ‘bird’s home’ and we had to stay really, really silent. But the birds made such a racket!
After a day in the wild, we sat back for a cruise along the river.
And stopped off for a little more padding along the way.
So much to explore
As the sun was low in the sky, we say our goodbyes to Tricao. We didn’t have time to check out the water lily gardens, the restaurant, the kayaking, the mountain bike trails or much more, so we’ll be sure to visit again soon.
Need to know:
Clothes for a dip – Bring wellies and spare clothes for your kids. The paddling opportunities are too good! In the summer months you might like to bring swimming attire for them too. I’m not sure the water is clean enough for a proper swim, but there are a few little beaches dotted about for a mini dip.
Strollers and buggies – There are disabled paths and I did see parents with strollers, but I’d advise packing your little ones into a baby sling if you can.
A car to explore – Even if you’re a keen walker, Tricao is vast, and you will most likely need a car to get from one point of the nature reserve to the next.
Keep an eye on your kids – This is not UK style health and safety, but real nature. There are not always barriers and fences in place, so be sure to keep a close eye on your kids.
Al fresco dining – There’s a restaurant with beautiful views of the river, but alas we ran out of time to check it out on this visit. There are several secluded picnic spots near the playground and nearby. There is also a beach bar serving drinks, although it was closed by the time we got there.
Tickets – We bought our tickets in advance via the internet. To save, time, I’d recommend you do the same.
A general admission with entry to the aviary costs 9,000 CLP per adult and 6,000 CLP per child / senior. Without entry to the aviary, admission is charged at 6,000 CLP per adults and 3,000 CLP per child. You can also hire a barbecue area for 30,000 CLP. The boat ride and cross country mountain biking is free, but kayaking is charged additionally.
Times – Open Summer 9am – 8pm and winter from 9am – 7pm. Traffic can be bad returning to Santiago on weekends, so we’d recommend leaving by 5pm absolute latest.
Avenida Las Brisas, 4,25 km Santo Domingo, Región de Valparaíso. Tel +56 9 9227 9132 www.tricao.cl
Have you been to Tricao? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
For more ideas of things to do in the capital itself, check out out my top ten things do with your kids in Santiago