Peru for Families
Peru is a must for any family interested in traveling to South America. From exhilarating treks to the iconic Machu Picchu, to diving into culture, to the immense waters of Lake Titicaca, your family will have an incredible time in this enthralling country. And traveling with children in Peru certainly has its advantages. It’s a family-oriented society full of culture and history.
Peru is an excellent learning vacation for kids of all ages with the chance to explore and interact with an incredible range of peoples and surroundings.
A fantastic base for exploration is Cuzco. This beautiful colonial city offers gorgeous churches, cobblestone streets and ancient Inca walls. The main square, the Plazas de Armas, is a fun atmosphere for children and features well-preserved historical buildings. The markets are also a must for any family while in Cuzco. Your kids will be overjoyed by the selection of vibrant weavings, jewelry, leather goods and knits made from llama and alpaca wool.
Some of the best-preserved Inca ruins are a stone’s throw away from Cuzco. One of the biggest perks of family travel in Cuzco is that the majority of the main tourist attractions are located in a small area of the city, making them easy to journey between, which is especially important when with younger kids. Cuzco is also a short distance from the Scared Valley and one of the main attractions of any trip to Peru, Machu Picchu.
The awe-inspiring “lost city” of Machu Picchu is set on a high mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley. For younger children, we recommend taking the train, which is part of the fun. We find that kids love trying out new forms of transportation and the views during the journey are amazing. Your family will be treated to soaring green mountains and the rushing Urubamba River. For more adventurous families, go on a guided trek up to Machu Picchu, you won’t regret it. The whole family will love taking selfies with alpacas as the iconic Incan ruins provide the perfect backdrop, making for some seriously envy inducing photos.
And for a taste of local culture and Peruvian life as it used to be, the nearby Sacred Valley is home to small villages where locals walk around in colorful traditional dress and there are tons of manageable craft markets overflowing with souvenirs to peruse.
If after exploring Machu Picchu you've caught the adventure bug, then the Amazon is a perfect next stop. Easier to access than the Brazilian portion of the Amazon, the rainforest is an area of profound natural beauty and fantastic wildlife viewing. On nature hikes and walks, your family can spot snakes, toucans, butterflies, monkeys, turtles, lizards and brightly colored macaws.
Lake Titicaca is another great place for outdoor lovers. The world’s highest navigable lake is dotted with dozens of islands, including the famous man-made floating reed islands of the Uro Indians and Taquile. Your family can spend the day learning about these ancient communities and their expert weaving techniques, or spend the day exploring the area around the lake. Travel around the Chucuito Peninsula and Acora by bike or on foot, visiting local people, archeological sites and stunning natural lookouts.
Lima is a perfect city break and an excellent counter to all of the outdoor adventure of Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the Amazon. Kids will enjoy the many parks like Parque del Amor, which provides lovely vistas overlooking the ocean, and they'll be mesmerized watching the fountains at Ciculto Magico del Agua, where shooting streams of water are choreographed to music and light.
Lima is also a cultural and gastronomical highlight of Peru. There are many prestigious museums in the city, including the Larco Museum, which features the finest gold and silver collections from ancient Peru. And what kid wouldn’t love a trip to the ChocoMueseo? Your family can take a bean to bar workshop, where you’ll learn the ancient process of producing hand made chocolates. It’s a real treat. For the foodies in your family, delve into Lima’s incredible culinary scene. A local chef will take your family to the Surquillo Market and the San Isidro Fish Market to pick your fresh ingredients for the day. Then, you’ll head to his kitchen classroom to learn how to create an authentic Peruvian meal, and for the adults, mix the perfect pisco sour. Your family will undoubtedly have an unforgettable time in the City of Kings.
At a Glance
Visit the clay licks of the Amazon to watch tons of brilliantly colored macaws gather.
Stop by the deepest canyon in the world, Colca Canyon, which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.
Hike to Peru’s incredible ancient sites in the Inca heartland like Machu Picchu, Ollantayambo and Chincharo.
We can organize e-Biking, mountain biking, white water rafting, paddleboarding, kayaking, paragliding, hiking.
Explore one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in Peru, Cuzco.
Travel to meet indigenous communities on the man-made floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca.
Indulge in world class cuisine in one of the gastronomical capitals of the world, Lima.
The Peruvian Amazon covers 60% of the country.
We recommend spending a few days in either Cuzco or the Sacred Valley before visiting Machu Picchu to acclimatise to the altitude.
The potato originated in Peru, there are 3,500 different varieties grown here.
When heading out on Lake Titicaca bring a hat and plenty of sunscreen. The sun is strong at that altitude and it reflects off the lake increasing your family’s chance of a sunburn.
The largest flying bird on earth can be found in Peru, the giant Andean condor.
Try to visit Machu Picchu as the site opens first thing in the morning - it may be a struggle to get the entire family up that early for a hike, but it’s well worth the effort. Or you can go in the late afternoon to try and avoid the majority of the crowds.
Get your kids involved in planning your itinerary, they’ll feel even more excited about the vacation if they’re included.
Peru is a fun vacation destination for the entire family. Those traveling with younger children can expect friendly locals, a diverse range of activities and many hotels that cater to younger guests. These accommodations serve special kid-friendly menus, offer babysitting so the adults can have some exploration time on their own, and have programs tailored to children, including activities like yoga. Cities like Cuzco have parks and petting zoos where your little ones will love meeting llamas and alpacas. And even the jungles of the Amazon make for an exciting expedition for children. Through gentle walks, your kids can get up close with fascinating animal species and your knowledgeable guides will even safely catch small animals to give your kids an even closer look. Peru is a entertaining, educational vacation for families, a trip here certainly won’t be easily forgotten.
Belmond Miraflores Park is set overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the fashionable Miraflores district. This luxury hotel has an ideal location within easy reach of famous historic sites, plazas, restaurants, cafeterias, boutiques and open-air entertainment, offering plenty of excellent opportunities for family exploration. The hotel also offers morning yoga and meditation sessions, as well as gastronomic tours and cycling excursions. When not out sightseeing, your family can relax by the pool, or play a round of golf or tennis. Children will feel very welcome at the Belmond Miraflores Park, cots and babysitting are available, and there is a children's cinema on the second floor which has regular screenings of children's films and has complimentary snacks including cookies and popcorn.
Hacienda Concepcion, in the Southern Amazon, is nestled within more than 2,000 acres of lush rainforest, it’s home to rich ecosystems, tropical plants and wildlife. This family-oriented lodge offers special accommodations, such as additional beds, or bed railings; as well as highchairs, child-friendly guides, a children’s menu, and a child’s explorer kit with a flashlight, cap, colored pencils, magnifying glass, and granola in a belt bag. Treasure hunts are organized for children from 5-12 years. All excursions here are led by bilingual guides, with some being specifically recommended for children. While here, your family can observe giant river otters, blue and yellow macaws, dusky titi monkeys, agoutis, two-toed sloth, peccaries, prehistoric-looking hoatzins and black caimans. In addition to wildlife experiences, your family will also be able to learn about the lodge's history and its botanical gardens featuring local medicinal plants.
The Libertador Paracas, overlooking Paracas bay, is the most luxurious hotel on Peru's coastline and makes an ideal base for visiting the Nazca Lines as well as exploring the Ballestas Islands with their amazing diversity of marine wildlife, from sealions and flamingos to dolphins and penguins. Families are well taken care of at Libertador Paracas. There is a children's club, playground, family pool and a children's menu on offer in the restaurant. Cots can be provided and connecting rooms are available. The Balcony Suites and Solarium Suites both have a sofa in the living room, which can sleep two children up to the age of 10 years. Babysitting can also be arranged on request, giving adults some much needed relaxation time by the pool.
There are so many adult activities in Peru that can be scaled down for tweens and teens. Your children will have an exciting time white water rafting near Cuzco, canopy zip-lining in the Sacred Valley, horseback riding in the Andean foothills, spotting wildlife in the Amazon and discovering ruins in the Sacred Valley and at Machu Picchu. On the desert coastline your teens will love sand surfing on the massive dunes, or if your kids are more culturally inclined, Lima and Cuzco are packed with incredible museums, history, architecture and markets.
Exotic yet reachable, Reserva Amazonica sits in a private reserve on the banks for Madre de Dios River, an unforgettable introduction to this amazingly biodiverse region. The 35 jungle cabanas and suites are illuminated at night by lanterns, have beds shrouded with muslin and hammocks swinging in the porch ways. The sound of the jungle in the background adds to the magical and enchanting ambience. The lodge features one of Latin America’s largest tree canopy walkways, comprising a system of towers and hanging bridges high in the forest canopy. Carefully camouflaged, it allows your family to watch and interact with species. The reserve also features the ‘Anaconda walk’, a series of raised platforms at ground level to make exploring the forest floor easy. You can also take to the river for a sunset cruise to explore deeper into the amazing Amazon jungle, accompanied by an expert bilingual guide. All excursions can be tailored to your children’s interests.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is home to some of the best Inca sites, and is a great place to start your visit to Cuzco. The Valley generally has year-round good weather, stunning landscapes, picturesque villages, folk arts and crafts and friendly indigenous people, offering a real authentic Peruvian experience for your family. Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is set against a breathtaking mountain backdrop, surrounded by wild flowers and trees and is the perfect place for mental and physical rejuvenation. Popular with outdoor lovers, this is a great place for eco-friendly activities such as trekking, horseback riding, rafting and mountain biking. Discover ancient Andean traditions on the ecological farm tour, take a trail walk at twilight while learning about the importance of astronomy in the Andean world, go on an educational tour learning about the medicinal uses of plants, and sample indigenous food and drinks. With a variety of excursions on offer in the Valley and its surroundings, this is a perfect retreat for families.
For families traveling with multiple generations, Peru has a little something for everyone. It’s a country filled with culture, history, adventure, wildlife, and phenomenal food. And most of the activities can be tailored to every age and ability, so all members of your family from children to grandparents can participate in every moment of your vacation. The range of incredible activities from world class museums and markets to wine tastings, spa days and ancient ruins, combined with luxury accommodations makes Peru a great choice for your next group vacation.
Titilaka is a contemporary style lodge which offers a luxurious refuge from which to explore this mystical region of Peru. Wrap around terraces create a privileged vantage point for breathtaking sunrises and peaceful sunsets. 18 fully serviced lake view suites feature heated floors and spa bathrooms, with oversized tubs and massage showers and an array of amenities for a comfortable stay. There is also a fantastic restaurant serving local specialties such as trout and alpaca steak. The hotel is a haven for re-energizing after a day excursion by boat or by 4x4, mountain biking, kayaking, and hiking. Explore the Andean communities on the islands of Taquile, Amantani and Uros, among others, visit the archaeological sites of Sillustani, Inca Anatawi, Aramu Muro, Tiahuanaco and the Sun Island, as well as the splendid colonial churches of Lampa, Juli and Pomata, or simply absorb the spirit of the region.
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is just steps from the entrance to the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountain. The hotel’s privileged location allows guests to enjoy magical sunrises and sunsets in relative solitude at the ruins before and after the majority of other visitors have arrived or departed. Of course, the main highlight of a stay at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge are the tours and treks around Machu Picchu, Huanya Picchu, the Sun Gate, the Temple of the Moon, Putucusi and the thermal baths in Aguas Calientes. The trekking is challenging at times and goes to high altitude, so participants should have a good level of fitness. Other activities include a Pachamama tribute ceremony, coca tea leaf reading, star gazing with a resident astrologist, meditation and yoga, and for younger guests, treasure hunts in the hotel's gardens. After a day spent exploring, your family can unwind with a massage using traditional Inca techniques or in the relaxation space for yoga and meditation.
Hotel Sol y Luna’s forty-three individual casitas, including some that are perfect for families, are located 1km outside Urubamba between the famous market of Pisac and the Incan archaeological site of Ollantaytambo. They offer the perfect base for exploring one of the most intriguing parts of the Andes. Your family can enjoy a range of activities here including horse riding, trekking, rafting and mountain biking. Additional hotel facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, gift shop and Yacu Wasi spa. The spa features a fully-equipped gym, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, and Spanish bath. A wide selection of spa therapies are offered including facials, wraps and masks, along with newer treatments such as music therapy, and energy therapies such as Reiki. Massages include traditional Swedish massage, shiatsu, aromatherapy and reflexology massages. Classes or personal sessions in yoga and tai chi are also available.
There are many opportunities for active adventure in Peru. It’s a country of diverse ecosystems from the high Andes Mountains, and the lush jungles of the Amazon rainforest, to Lake Titicaca and the desert. Peru also offers an incredible array of ruins to explore and getting to them is part of the fun. Treks to Machu Picchu, Ollyantambo and the Sacred Valley should be on every outdoor loving family’s bucket list. The countryside around Arequipa has emerged as another firm favorite for nature enthusiasts. Your family can go hiking, white water rafting, and discover Colca Canyon. Stop at Condor Cross for incredible views of the canyon, home to the majestic Andean condors. The cities provide an excellent balance with the outdoors featuring colorful markets, museums and charming colonial buildings for your family to tour.
The Mountain Lodges of Peru Lares Adventure offers a fabulous 4-night itinerary through the Lares Valley in the Sacred Valley of the Incas outside of Cuzco. The trek offers unique adventures, ideal for a variety of hiking levels and abilities. At the end of the day, relax in a comfortable lodge with wonderful amenities —it’s the best of both worlds! Expert guides travel with the group for the entire journey and share their knowledge of natural history, culture, and local traditions. The trek includes exploration of the breathtaking Inca sites of Pisac, with its remarkable stone structures, Ollantaytambo, where the rebel Inca leader Manco Inca defeated the Spanish in battle, and incomparable Machu Picchu. Comfortable mountain lodges serve as deluxe “basecamps” for daily hikes bringing you to remote passes with views of a panorama of waterfalls, snow peaks, and turquoise glacial lakes, with the occasional condor soaring above, and to tiny Andean highland communities unchanged for centuries, where your family can meet local weavers and farmers and get a glimpse of the distant past.
Designed in line with its surroundings, Explora Valle Sagrado has traditional hacienda décor combined with modern fixtures and fittings to promote the feeling of luxury and comfort. There is no Wi-Fi or television in rooms to encourage guests to withdraw from everyday life and maximize the opportunity to relax in peace after a long day of exploration. All of the 20 outdoor adventures on offer have been carefully designed to make the most of the extraordinary surroundings. All are included with your family's stay and are guided in small groups (private excursions can be arranged). Activities range from treks in the surrounding mountains and villages where you can enjoy biking through the countryside and visits to markets and Inca ruins, including Machu Picchu. The excursions focus on archaeology, history and local culture and ensure an intimate experience, off the beaten track in one of Peru's most stunning regions. Yoga packages can also be arranged for those family members who want to focus on wellness.
Mountain Lodges of Peru's Salkantay Trek is a 6-night lodge-to-lodge itinerary that culminates at the sacred city of Machu Picchu. You will cross high Andean pastures and rocky passes, walk along Inca staircases and through cloud forest in the shadow of snow-capped peaks, and have the opportunity to see a wide range of wildlife, from hummingbirds to condors. The route lies far from civilization, which means that the people you meet are interested in welcoming you into their way of life and making sure you have a wonderful experience. One of the route’s highlights is the recently restored Inca citadel of Llactapata, which affords rarely glimpsed views of Machu Picchu. Groups are small, with a maximum of 12 participants, with a highly experienced team of guides and mule trains to carry your luggage, so that you can enjoy each moment fully. At the end of each day’s walking, relax in comfort at your lodge. Very comfortable ensuite rooms await, as well as excellent cooking using fresh local ingredients, a well-stocked bar and hot tubs for soothing aching muscles.
Time to unwind
Though Peru offers tons in terms of adventure, it also offers just as much in relaxation. Luxury hotels set in stunning vistas, incredible spas featuring ancient Inca treatments and medicinal plants and a world-famous food scene all make for a lovely family getaway. From the remote lodges without Wi-Fi providing the perfect place to disconnect to the laid-back beaches with fresh seafood and lots of lounge time, Peru offers tons in terms of peace and quiet. Your family will return home feeling completely rejuvenated.
Arennas Mancora boasts plenty of beautiful outside space, with direct beach access, a large palm garden and a relaxing pool area. Guests can also indulge in spa treatments and tuck into delicious cuisine at the restaurant which serves an elegant fusion of Peruvian cuisine mixed with international dishes and favorites. Plenty of fresh seafood and ceviche also features on the menu and the cocktail list is extensive. Explore nearby Mancora for a laid-back evening out and plenty of other fantastic dining options.
Belmond Hotel Monasterio combines the decor of a colonial monastery with the luxury, elegance and comfort of a modern five-star hotel. Just off Cuzco's main square, the hotel is set around a shady courtyard surrounded by graceful arches. It is steeped in history, dating back to 1592 and has been sensitively designed to reflect the building's story as well as offering beautiful modern touches. Many of the guest rooms and suites afford fabulous views of the city and its colorful rooftops and guests can enjoy exquisite cuisine at the Illariy and El Tupay restaurant, the original refectory, where Inca dinners are held with live folkloric music and dancing.
Children will love the many cultural tours offered in and around Cuzco particularly the more active activities such as mountain biking, horse riding and rafting (only suitable for older kids). Other activities include archaeology and agriculture programs, botany and weaving. At the end of a day of epic exploration, you can relax with a massage or jump in a hot bath courtesy of one of the hotel's bath butlers.
The Colca Lodge is a rustic-style lodge set at 3,250 meters 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.
This calming and quiet space is inspired by the Inca world and offers a range of treatments using indigenous products from the Colca Valley and the highlands of Peru. Children are sure to enjoy the numerous adventure activities on offer.
Scott Dunn presents Peru
Peru: More Than Machu Picchu
We question the teens...