Travelling to Peru with Teenagers
With its thriving culture and endless opportunities for adventure, Peru is an incredible place for a family holiday with teens in tow.
Peru is one of the best places to travel with teens in Latin America and a trip here is sure to be a thrilling once-in-a-lifetime experience for the whole family. Whether your kids are energetic tweens or restless older teenagers, Peru is an enthralling country with plenty on offer for every age and activity level.
The key to an unforgettable family holiday with teens in Peru is to intersperse visiting the amazing ruins, temples, museums, and churches with high-energy activities such as hiking, mountain biking trips, or white water rafting. This way, no member of the family goes into culture overload and your teenagers can enjoy a fun mix of things to do on the trip.
At Scott Dunn, we know how to customise the best combination of experiences to make sure that no matter your teenager’s interests, your family will be well taken care of.
Is Peru a Good Place to Visit with Teens?
Peru is a fantastic destination for a family holiday with teenagers because there’s so much to see and do. From mountain biking on ancient Inca trails to taking selfies with llamas at Machu Picchu, the only real question is: where to travel first with your teens?
If you’re travelling with thrill-seekers, Peru is a natural amusement park. To start the epic adventure, take your teens white water rafting on the Rio Apurimac near Cusco, where you’ll ride over rapids through an astonishing 3000m-deep canyon, and break for campfire meals on sandy beaches. We can also arrange an unforgettable inflatable canoeing trip on a tranquil section of the Urubamba River that’s perfect for families with older kids (minimum age is 10).
The nearby Sacred Valley also offers plenty of activities to keep the kids occupied. In this historical valley, adventurous trails wind through rugged mountain landscapes once home to the ancient Inca civilisation. We recommend you stay at the rustic-chic Hotel Sol y Luna, just outside Urubamba, where your teens can go horseback riding and take in glorious views of the Andean foothills.
For a change of scenery, trek through the dense greenery of the Amazonian rainforest on a canopy walk. Your family will get a unique perspective of the jungle while coming face-to-face with brightly coloured toucans and rambunctious monkeys swinging through the treetops. It’s a great way for everyone to learn about the fascinating wildlife at each level of this diverse ecosystem.
Exploring culturally rich cities in Peru gives teens insight into how these vibrant places are different to what they know at home – after all, is there any greater education than travel? Cusco in particular is sure to be a hit with your kids. It’s a melting pot of quaint streets, colonial churches and local markets buzzing with life. Cusco sits at around 3,400 metres above sea level, which means it’s important to leave some time in your itinerary for you and your children to get used to the altitude, especially if you’re planning a trek to the iconic ruins of Machu Picchu.
If you need a break from the elevation altogether, head to vibrant Lima, which also has a thriving foodie scene, along with many interesting museums. Further up the desert coast is beachside Máncora, where teens can learn to surf, go on whale-watching tours, or simply relax on palm-dotted beaches.
Our Destination Manager, Sophie Tomlin, recommends some exciting activities for teens in Peru:
“There’s plenty to keep restless teens entertained in Peru! Adrenaline-inducing white water rafting, stand-up paddle boarding on lakes, mountain biking around Inca sites, and horse-riding through the scenic Sacred Valley. Of course, there are also lots of day hikes that we can suggest which aren’t overly strenuous or difficult and can be broken up with visits to indigenous villages and picnic lunches.”
Can You Go to Machu Picchu with Teens?
If you’re planning an epic trip to Peru, no doubt you’ll have your sights set on the country’s most famous attraction: Machu Picchu. For teens, this presents them with an invaluable opportunity to experience one of the great ancient sites of the world.
But you may be wondering: can you do Machu Picchu with kids? And is this part of Peru good for teens?
The short answer to both questions is: yes!
You can definitely visit Machu Picchu with kids, especially teens – all it takes is a little preparation and choosing the best activities for your family, depending on the ages and abilities of your children.
Everyone who goes to Machu Picchu must pre-purchase entry tickets and be accompanied by a guide. But don’t worry, our travel specialists will organise everything for you in advance.
Travelling to Machu Picchu with teens
A trip to Machu Picchu with teens is likely to be somewhat easier than travelling with little ones, as older kids should have no trouble with the huge stone steps at the site, as well as all the walking involved.
Getting to Machu Picchu is half the fun and there are a few different ways to get there. There’s a scenic Inca Rail train which is ideal for families with younger kids or simply anyone who wants to take in the breathtaking views along the way from the comfort of their luxury carriage.
Visiting with your teenagers also opens up the possibility to hike the heart-pumping Inca Trail, which is suitable for children around eight years and above. You can also do the Jungle Inca Trek, which involves riding a bike for part of the way.
However you get there, Machu Picchu is one of the best places to travel with teens in Peru. Whether it's the jaw-dropping scenery of soaring, forested peaks and bright-green Inca terraces sprawling down the mountainside, or the captivating history and spirit of this cultural icon, visiting Machu Picchu with your teens is sure to be a deeply memorable and mind-expanding experience.
Is Machu Picchu Safe for a Family Holiday?
The Inca Trail and the areas around Machu Picchu have large numbers of visitors year-round and are generally safer than other parts of the country.
To keep your family safe and protected from the elements, make sure to pack enough sunscreen, waterproof clothing, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and take into account that you'll need a bit of time to acclimatise to avoid altitude sickness.
Our Suggested Peru Family Trip Itinerary
At Scott Dunn, we'll make sure your family trip to Peru is guided by an itinerary that takes in the sights and activities you want to experience the most while keeping your teenager active and engaged.
Discover some of our specialist's top picks to include in your itinerary:
- Take a trip to the monumental, ultra-deep Colca Canyon and see the huge Andean condors gliding peacefully overhead
- Wander around charming Cusco and call in at intriguing museums, churches and markets
- Trek the Inca Trail and experience the immense wonder of Machu Picchu, then stop by other ancient ruins in villages nearby
- Go on a family hike or mountain biking adventure in the spectacular Sacred Valley
- Take your teens white water rafting and canoeing on the Urubamba River for plenty of thrills and family fun
- Uncover the history of indigenous communities on Lake Titicaca together and learn about the ingenious floating reed islands they live on
- Expand their developing palates with amazing local food in Lima, which is now known as a popular foodie destination Tour the Amazon rainforest to see brightly coloured macaws descend on salt licks, and catch a glimpse of more amazing wildlife on a river cruise or jungle trek
Where to Stay in Peru with Teens
At Scott Dunn, our team of travel specialists can select the perfect accommodation for your family from our carefully curated collection of gorgeous luxury hotels across Peru.
With its vibrant, youthful energy, Cusco is a fantastic place to stay on a family holiday with teens. Peru’s ancient Incan capital is home to luxurious hotels with a rich sense of history, including Monasterio, A Belmond Hotel, a centuries-old monastery with opulent rooms, and Palacio Nazarenas, a stunning restored convent with an outdoor pool.
Lima is a great starting point in Peru for family tours and our travel consultants have found some of the very best places to stay in the city. Our hand-picked Lima hotels are set in the sought-after oceanside area of Miraflores, and some offer convenient child-minding services and activities tailored to kids, such as yoga classes.
In the Sacred Valley, you can stay within easy reach of historical Inca sites at boutique, rustic-style hotels with beautiful gardens and on-site horse stables. We can arrange stunning accommodation close to the vast Colca Canyon, where luxury casitas provide plenty of space for everyone to spread out, and unbelievably scenic locations set you up for the perfect family holiday.
If you're venturing into the rainforest, we can secure the best accommodation for your family at eco-focused jungle lodges in the thrilling Peruvian Amazon, where teenagers can go on tree canopy walks or guided nature excursions for the chance to see extraordinary wildlife such as giant river otters, colourful macaws and two-toed sloths.
A Taste of Lima
A fascinating morning visitingone of Lima's markets and joining a passionate local Chef who will teach you how to prepare a typical Peruvian meal and a Pisco Sour.
Canopy walkway at Reserva Amazonica
Puerto Maldonado, Peruvian Amazon, Peru
Come eye to eye with the primates and birds that live in the treetops of the Amazon rainforest from the canopy walkways at Reserva Amazonica. Towers and hanging bridges link their way through the forest offering a unique perspective.
Chinchero, Maras & Moray (optional hike)
Lose yourself in a fascinating private guided tour to the local village of Chinchero renowned for its archaeological site and colourful market (best on Sunday), the Inca terraces of Moray and the astounding salt pans of Maras.
Cuzco Walking Tour - Half Day
Explore the magical city of Cusco on foot with a local guide taking in the rich ambience and key highlights of this fascinating city. The half day tour will take you to the Bohemian quarter, the main square and cathedral along to Mercado de San Pedro.
Discover Lima & the Larco Museum
Soak up the local ambience on this half day city tour of Lima, where you will visit elegant neighbourhoods and cities main attractions, followed by a visit to the Larco Museum to take in Peru’s finest private collection of artefacts.
Half Day Andean Textiles Tour
Cuzco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, Peru
Peru's brightly coloured textiles are iconic and can be seen throughout the country, each region boasting its own distinctive style. Pay a visit to the Sulca family Textile Gallery and admire the skills of this generations old art form.
Hike Huayna Picchu
Machu Picchu, Peru
With a second day entry to Machu Picchu you can climb to the summit of Huayna Picchu (Wayna Picchu) for the classic bird's eye view over Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas.
Km 104 trek to Machu Picchu
Plunge into an unforgettable 2 day journey to reach the iconic ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, combining the best of train travel with the KM104 hike taking in the fascinating archaeological site of Wiñaywayna to get a glimpse of the famous Machu Picchu.
Private Tour of Machu Picchu with lunch
On arrival at Aguas Calientes train station you will be met by your guide and assisted with boarding the 30 minute bus journey to the ruins. You will be able to take lunch before meeting your guide again to start your tour.
Sacred Valley Horse Riding & Pisac
Sacred Valley, Peru
Enjoy an unforgettable horse ride in the Sacred Valley (all abilities welcome) combined with a visit to the local market, Inca Ruins of Pisac and lunch. The Sol y Luna horses are Peruvian Paso horses, which are unique to Peru and truly wonderful to ride.
Explora Valle Sagrado
Sacred Valley, Peru
Located in the Sacred Valley (between Cuzco and Machu Picchu), at the foot of the Peruvian Andes, Explora Valle Sagrado offers a unique all-inclusive experience combining luxury and adventure in the heart of this spectacular region.
Colca Lodge Spa and Hot Springs
Colca Canyon, Peru
The Colca Lodge is a rustic-style lodge set at 3,250 metres above sea level and 3 hours from the city of Arequipa in the heart of Peru's famous Colca Valley amongst ancient Inca terraces and overlooking the Colca River with its thermal springs.
Rio Sagrado, A Belmond Hotel
Sacred Valley, Cuzco, Peru
Rio Sagrado, A Belmond Hotel is a charming, luxurious property set in lush gardens on the banks of the Rio Urubamba in the Sacred Valley, perfect for exploring the many cultural & natural attractions nearby & relaxing before or after Machu Picchu.
Eclectic yet stylish, Atemporal is a beautiful boutique property in the chic Lima district of Miraflores, housed in a refurbished 1940s mansion. There are just six guest rooms guaranteeing a relaxing and intimate stay with fabulous dining steps away.
Sumaq Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, Peru
The Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is located in the village of Aguas Calientes at the foot of the Machu Picchu, and offers 60 spacious guest rooms and suites. It offers a perfect base from which to visit the awe-inspiring ruins and lost city of Machu Picchu.
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba
Sacred Valley, Peru
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is a modern hotel with a colonial character, located in the heart of Peru's Sacred Valley in Huayoccari and is the perfect base from which to explore this stunning region of the Peruvian Highlands.
Andean Explorer, A Belmond Train
Experience the drama of the Peruvian Andes as you sweep past breathtaking scenery and explore ancient kingdoms from aboard the luxurious Andean Explorer, A Belmond Train, the first exclusive sleeper train in South America. Enjoy 1, 2 or 3-night journeys.
Casa Andina Premium Miraflores
The Casa Andina Premium Miraflores is located in the heart of Miraflores, Lima's buzzy oceanfront residential neighbourhood which is also home to some of the city's top restaurants and shops. The hotel is an affordable and efficient choice in Lima.
Mancora, Northern Peru, Peru
Kichic occupies a stretch of golden sand, a short distance from the laidback surf town of Mancora in northern Peru, yet remains far enough away from the action to ensure a peaceful stay. Unwind with yoga, sunset movies on the beach and fresh ceviche.
Iquitos, Peruvian Amazon, Peru
Cruise along the mighty Amazon River on board the luxurious Delfin III, a modern and elegant vessel which boasts 21 cabins and has all the amenities of a hotel, whilst allowing you to explore untouched corners of Peru's Amazon Rainforest in total comfort.