Vacationing in Peru with Teenagers

Incredible adventure, ancient Inca culture, and plenty of fun things to do – it’s no wonder Peru is one of the best places to travel with teens.

Peru for Teens

Visiting Peru with teenagers is a wonderful way to create amazing family memories you’ll cherish for years to come. Whether your children are high-energy tweens or restless older teens, Peru is a captivating country with much to offer for every age and activity level. 

To make the most of your family vacation with teens in Peru we recommend balancing the many cultural activities, like visiting temples, museums, and Inca ruins, with outdoor recreation such as mountain trekking, horseback riding, or white water rafting. This way, no member of the family goes into culture overload and your teenagers can enjoy plenty of fun and adventure while also learning new things. With such a rich mix of activities and attractions, it’s easy to see why Peru is one of the best places to travel with teens in South America.

At Scott Dunn, we can curate the best combination of experiences on a fully bespoke tour to make sure that no matter your teenager’s interests, your family will have an unforgettable trip.

Is Peru Good for a Family Vacation with Teens?

Peru is a fantastic destination for a family vacation with teenagers because there’s so much to see and do. Whether you trek to Machu Picchu on the legendary Inca Trail, head to buzzing cities for incredible Peruvian delicacies, or learn to surf under the endless sun in Máncora on the desert coast, there’s something for everyone. The real question is: where to travel first with your teens?

Adventure hot spots

Peru is an adventure-lovers paradise, so if your teens are looking for thrills and excitement, it’s the perfect destination. To start the fun, take them mountain biking near Cusco or on a trek through the cloud forest to the colossal Gocta waterfalls near the town of Cocachimba. We can also arrange an amazing inflatable canoeing trip on a beautiful section of the Urubamba River that’s perfect for families with older kids (minimum age is 10).

The world-famous Sacred Valley is a great place for hiking, biking, and horseback riding on well-traveled trails that wind through rugged mountain landscapes once home to the ancient Inca civilization. Of course, it’s also home to one of the best places to travel with teens, Peru’s iconic Incan citadel: Machu Picchu. If you’re staying in the Sacred Valley, one of our favorite accommodations is the charming Sonesta Posadas del Inca in Yucay, which is perfectly situated to provide some respite from the altitude of Cusco so your family can recharge between adventures. 

For a change of scenery, trek through the dense greenery of the Amazon rainforest on a canopy walk. Your family will get a unique perspective of the jungle while coming face-to-face with brightly colored 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 ecozystem.

Culture-rich cities

Taking in the different sights, sounds, and experiences of Peru’s vibrant cities will give your teenagers the chance to broaden their horizons beyond what they know at home. Cusco in particular is sure to be popular with teens, thanks to its youthful energy and interesting mix of quaint streets, colonial churches, and buzzing local markets.

Vibrant Lima is an ideal place to start your vacation to Peru if you’re traveling with teens who are very much into their food. Set on Peru’s wild desert coast, Lima is known for its thriving culinary scene, with trendy restaurants serving up traditional Peruvian specialties and local seafood, including fresh ceviche! Kids of all ages will also love the chance to take part in a hands-on workshop at the ChocoMuseum (also in Cusco), where they can make their own chocolate concoctions.

Our travel specialist, Julie Norton, shares some of her top suggestions for things to do in this incredible country:

"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 Do Machu Picchu with Teens?

If you’re thinking of traveling to Peru on an exciting family vacation, Machu Picchu is bound to be on your bucket list. Peru’s most iconic attraction offers teenagers the opportunity to soak up the cultural history of the most awe-inspiring ancient sites in existence.

But you may be wondering: can you do Machu Picchu with teens? 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 organize everything for you in advance.

Visiting Machu Picchu with teens

Going to Machu Picchu with older children and teens will be easier than traveling with little ones, as they will be better able to navigate the large stone steps around the citadel, as well as all the walking involved. Active teenagers can also hike the famed Inca Trail. 

Otherwise, you can choose from rail services, including ultra-luxurious Inca Rail options, ideal for families that include younger children, or those who just want to enjoy the vast mountain, valley, and river views from the comfort of their seats. 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.

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 Vacation? 

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 acclimatize to avoid altitude sickness.

Our Suggested Itinerary for a Peru Family Vacation

Our trusted travel specialists will plan your family vacation to Peru with an itinerary that includes the best places to travel with teens and tailor it perfectly to your family’s needs. 

Check out some of our highlights to include in your vacation to Peru:

  • Visit the colossal Colca Canyon and watch huge Andean condors gliding peacefully overhead
  • Explore the sights of Cusco, including great museums, churches, and markets
  • Hike the world-famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and call in at other ancient ruins in charming villages
  • Discover the incredible Sacred Valley on a mountain biking adventure or hiking excursion
  • Experience the thrill of white water rafting and canoeing on the Urubamba River
  • Learn about the fascinating history of Lake Titicaca and the indigenous communities who live on its man-made floating reed islands
  • Introduce your teens to Peruvian delicacies in Lima
  • Head into the Amazon rainforest to see brightly colored macaws descend on salt licks, and spot amazing wildlife on a fun cruise or jungle trek

Best Places to Stay in Peru with Teens

Let our team of knowledgeable travel specialists find the ideal luxury hotels for your family from our carefully curated collection of properties across Peru.  

The first step is choosing the ideal location, whether that’s a city or out in nature.

Cusco

Known for its lively energy, Cusco is a great place to base yourself for your family vacation with teens. Peru’s ancient Incan capital exudes a rich sense of culture and history, and you’ll be close to the action at the stunning JW Marriott El Convento Cusco, set in the historical center with major attractions nearby.

Lima and the Desert Coast

Many travelers start their Peruvian adventure in Lima, to spend some time at a lower altitude before heading higher up. We recommend exclusive Lima hotels in oceanside Miraflores, the perfect spot to base yourself for activities teens will love, from cycling on the beach promenade to paragliding. 

For an extra treat, stay at the Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort on the central coast, a three-hour drive from Lima. This contemporary resort features a beautiful outdoor pool, an indulgent spa, and a private boat dock - ideal for taking a sailing trip to the wildlife-rich Ballestas Islands.

Sacred Valley

While staying in the famed Sacred Valley, base yourself close to historical Inca sites at boutique, rustic-style hotels with beautiful gardens and on-site horse stables. We can arrange stunning accommodation close to the epic 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 vacation.

Amazon

For stays in the sensational Amazon rainforest, our travel specialists can secure beautifully rustic accommodation for your family at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, near Puerto Maldonado. At this eco-focused jungle lodge, your teens can go on tree canopy walks or guided nature excursions for the chance to see extraordinary wildlife, and the whole family can enjoy a sunset river cruise led by an expert guide.

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Aymara Route Exploration at Titilaka

Aymara Route Exploration at Titilaka

Lake Titicaca, Peru

Enjoy a full day exploring the Chucuito peninsula and Acora, bordering Lake Titicaca, traveling by mountain bike, on foot or by car. Visit local communities, archaeological sites and birdlife whilst stopping off at stunning natural lookouts.

Cooking Lesson Palacio Nazarenas

Cooking Lesson Palacio Nazarenas

Cuzco

Soak up all there is to learn to create delicious local specialities with the hotel's head chef. You will get the exclusive opportunity to visit the hotel’s secret garden to gather fresh produce and master the art of cooking with these seasonal items.

Day 1 - Andean Explorer, A Belmond Train - 2N Cusco to Arequipa

Day 1 - Andean Explorer, A Belmond Train - 2N Cusco to Arequipa

Cusco to Arequipa, Peru

Your epic journey on board the Andean Explorer, A Belmond Train starts late this morning. Enjoy the magnificent Altiplano scenery as you travel from Cuzco to Lake Titicaca, marveling at the Andean landscapes as you climb to higher altitudes.

Couples Culture Rail
Day 2 - Andean Explorer, A Belmond Train - 2N Cuzco to Arequipa

Day 2 - Andean Explorer, A Belmond Train - 2N Cuzco to Arequipa

Cusco to Arequipa, Peru

Today, your journey continues to Lake Titicaca where you will have time to admire the sunrise over the lake's mirror-like surface before exploring the distinctive islands that frequent the waters. Interact with the local communities of Uros.

Couples Culture Rail
Day 3 - Andean Explorer, A Belmond Train - 2N Cuzco to Arequipa

Day 3 - Andean Explorer, A Belmond Train - 2N Cuzco to Arequipa

Cusco to Arequipa, Peru

Today you will reach your final destination and visit the "white city" of Arequipa, so named because of the beautiful sillar stone which has been used to construct many of the city's buildings.

Couples Culture Rail
Exploring the Amazon

Exploring the Amazon

Amazon, Peru

Explore the Peruvian Amazon, meandering along its rivers and waterways by boat or exploring on foot. Your guide will introduce you to the fascinating flora and fauna here, from the tiniest insects to the colorful birdlife.

Full Day Highlights of the Sacred Valley with Wayra Lunch

Full Day Highlights of the Sacred Valley with Wayra Lunch

Sacred Valley

Wonderful full day private excursion to the village of Pisac home to its colorful Indian market and Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Lunch in Urubamba, followed by a visit to the impressive Inca town and fortress of Ollantaytambo.

Islands of Lake Titicaca Exploration at Titilaka

Islands of Lake Titicaca Exploration at Titilaka

Lake Titicaca, Peru

Spend the day exploring the amazing man-made floating islands of the Uros people, as well as the island of Taquile on beautiful Lake Titicaca. Meet local communities and learn about traditional crafts on this full day excursion by boat.

Peru's Gastronomic Revolution

Peru's Gastronomic Revolution

Lima

Peru’s cuisine has previously not been something to write home about – until now. In recent years, Peru has undergone somewhat of a gastronomic revolution.

Private Lima Tour

Private Lima Tour

Lima

Enjoy a private guided tour of Lima to discover "The City of Kings", as it was named by its founder Francisco Pizarro is 1535 is now a bustling metropolis, with a vibrant food and art scene.

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1 - 10 of 40 Hotels
CHOICE
CIRQA

CIRQA

Arequipa, Arequipa and Colca Canyon, Peru

Set in the historic city of Arequipa in the south of Peru, Cirqa sits on the site of an ancient monastery dating back to 1540 and still retains many of its original features. Just one block from the main plaza, Cirqa enjoys a great central location.

CHOICE
Puqio

Puqio

Colca Canyon, Arequipa and Colca Canyon, Peru

Discover deepest Peru with a stay at Puqio, an exclusive tented camp located high in the Andes in the spectacular Colca Canyon, experiencing authentic Andean culture, glorious scenery, soaring condors, and the traditional crafts of this remote region.

CHOICE
Atemporal

Atemporal

Lima, Peru

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.

Couples Culture
CHOICE
Hotel Sol y Luna

Hotel Sol y Luna

Sacred Valley, Peru

Hotel Sol y Luna is a charming boutique hotel surrounded by beautiful gardens in Peru's magical Sacred Valley. The hotel is located near spectacular Inca ruins and has been built in the local rustic style reflecting the spirit of the Andes.

Adventure Culture Riding
CHOICE
Miraflores Park, A Belmond Hotel

Miraflores Park, A Belmond Hotel

Lima, Peru

Miraflores Park, A Belmond Hotel is a luxurious European-style hotel, which forms part of the prestigious Belmond group and is located in the exclusive Miraflores district of Lima by the Pacific Ocean and within easy reach of superb restaurants.

Couples Culture Spa & health
CHOICE
Monasterio, A Belmond Hotel

Monasterio, A Belmond Hotel

Cusco, Peru

Monasterio, A Belmond Hotel, is a beautiful 16th century converted monastery, located in the colonial city of Cusco. This award-winning property takes full advantage of its unique history and is one of Cuzco (and Peru’s) most luxurious hotels.

Culture Couples
Hotel Paracas, A Luxury Collection Resort

Hotel Paracas, A Luxury Collection Resort

Paracas, Lima and the Desert Coast, Peru

Hotel Paracas, A Luxury Collection Resort on Peru’s central coast, offers contemporary accommodation with a private dock, range of dining options and tranquil spa. Ideally placed for exploring the wildlife-rich Ballestas Islands nearby.

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

Cuzco, Peru

The JW Marriott El Convento Cusco is located a few blocks from Cuzco's main square and surrounded by the city's top historical attractions. It offers contemporary guest rooms, modern amenities and excellent service with a fantastic central location.

Culture
Sonesta Posadas del Inca Sacred Valley

Sonesta Posadas del Inca Sacred Valley

Sacred Valley, Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, Peru

The Sonesta Posadas del Inca is a charming historic hotel in Yucay in Peru’s Sacred Valley. A converted eighteenth-century monastery, the Posadas del Inca offers plenty of atmosphere and comfortable, inexpensive rooms in a peaceful garden setting.

Culture
Aqua Nera

Aqua Nera

Iquitos, Peruvian Amazon, Peru

Experience the Amazon Rainforest in Peru from the comfort of the luxurious Aqua Nera, the newest cruise vessel to operate in these waters. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as you explore the rich ecozystem of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

1 - 10 of 40 Hotels
1 - 6 of 6 Tour Ideas
CHOICE
14 nights
Epic Peru

Epic Peru

Lima, Amazon, Sacred Valley, Cusco, Mancora

Looking for something a little different? Combine a trip to the mystical lost city of Machu Picchu with a wild rainforest adventure. Squeeze in some sea, sand and surf while visiting some of Peru's most famous landmarks on this tour. Taste your way through the country's blossoming culinary scene and stay at boutique properties along the way.

Adventure Couples

$7,900 pp

14 nights
Ultimate Peru

Ultimate Peru

Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Puno, Arequipa & Colca Canyon

Explore fascinating Inca ruins, colorful culture and dramatic landscapes on this incredible escape. Get a unique view of the Andean plains on the exquisite Belmond Andean Explorer – South America's first luxury train. You'll also see Machu Picchu and take escorted visits to the Inca sights of the Sacred Valley on this captivating Peru tour.

Couples Adventure Culture Rail

$14,200 pp

12 nights
Family Fun in Peru

Family Fun in Peru

Lima, Amazon, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco

Peru offers the perfect introduction to South America for families. There's a diverse selection of activities on offer, family-friendly accommodation, and bucket-list highlights. This fun itinerary combines wildlife, culture and adventure, taking in Peru's Amazon rainforest, tours of the Sacred Valley and the iconic Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.

$7,100 pp

13 nights
Limitless Peru

Limitless Peru

Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Lake Titicaca, Lima & the Amazon

Access the inaccessible on our exclusive Limitless Peru tour. Explore the country's highlights by day and relax in sumptuous properties by night. Admire the dramatic Andean scenery and the breathtaking Machu Picchu. Take in Lake Titicaca, Cusco and the Sacred Valley before finishing with a luxurious Amazon cruise aboard the Aqua Nera.

Cruise Culture Adventure Rail
14 nights
Epic Peru & Bolivia

Epic Peru & Bolivia

Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, La Paz & Uyuni

Experience the best of two incredible countries: Peru and Bolivia. The tour takes in Lake Titicaca's floating reed islands and includes a private guided trip to the unforgettable Machu Picchu. You'll also stay in glamping domes at the breathtaking Uyuni salt flat, where pristine reflections of the sky create ethereal landscapes with no horizon.

$11,800 pp

12 nights
Extraordinary Peru

Extraordinary Peru

Lima, Paracas, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Cusco, Lima

How do you want to spend a two-week vacation? If the answer involves hurtling across vast sand dunes and seeing penguins and llamas up close, this adventure tour in Peru is for you. You'll explore the lost city of Machu Picchu and see the impressive Colca Canyon before tucking into delectable cuisine at some of Lima's most celebrated eateries.

Adventure Couples

$8,200 pp

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