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Travelling to Peru with Kids or Teens

Travelling to Peru with Kids or Teens

Travelling with children or teens in Peru is a different experience than travelling solo or as a couple; extra planning is required. This article will give you ideas on organizing an unforgettable family trip to Peru. Peru is an excellent destination for a family trip; your kids (and your parents) will love it. Read along for extra recommendations and tour details so you can focus on packing and remembering all the extra socks, favourite stuffed animals and toothbrushes. Then, get yourself ready for Traveling to Peru with Kids or Teens.

Is Peru a good place to visit with kids?

Many adults dreaming of a trip to Peru ask themselves this question now that they are parents. Don’t worry, and be assured that Peru with kids will be a unique and excellent experience for everyone. Peru is legendary, and you should have no doubts Peru is a GREAT destination for a family trip to South America. Peru offers a spectacular family-friendly vacation for all ages with unique biodiversity, fascinating wildlife, friendly people, Inca ruins, colourful markets, and yummy food. So read along and prepare for Traveling to Peru with Kids or Teens.

Travelling to Machu Picchu with kids

Benefits of family travelling

There is nothing better than recalling that old story from a family vacation where you can’t quite get it out because you are laughing too hard. Travel has highly positive benefits for interpersonal bonding and making family memories. Nothing makes a group of people closer than being in new and unique situations and places, like in Peru. Challenge yourself and make memories in Peru that you will not forget for the rest of your life.

In general, travel has many benefits for a child’s education, cultural awareness and future career choices. Children who have travelled have an increased tolerance and respect for other cultures and people and a greater willingness to try new things. In addition, travel can help your open-minded kids with their self-esteem, independence, confidence, adaptability and interpersonal skills when interacting with other children. This article will find great tips about Traveling to Peru with Kids or Teens.

Peru with Kids: Book your tours in Peru in advance with a travel agency

Pre-booking your tours, flights and hotels in Peru is probably the best tip we can give you. Having pre-booked the essential tickets for your trip to Peru and your accommodation will save you the time and energy you can dedicate to your kids! If you need to look for a tour while dragging along cranky toddlers or angsty teens, you will regret not planning a little more in advance. Also, you will enjoy yourself much more when you are relaxed and can look around, instead of comparing prices on your mobile screen with poor internet.

Having hotels, tours, entrance fees, flights, and transportation tickets ready to go will be an absolute miracle. Like Dos Manos Travel Agency in Peru, some other agencies will offer children and student discounts on various tours.

And as maybe not everything may go to, it’s nice to have the emergency WhatsApp number of an agency that will solve any issues that might arise. For example, certain tickets must be booked well in advance (e.g. Machu Picchu entrance fee tickets and train tickets). Your agency knows Peru and designs the best family trip in Peru with convenient itineraries, time slots, and more.

Travelling with kids train to Machu Picchu

What is the best time to visit Peru with Kids?

There is much to say about the weather in Peru. Still, generally speaking, the best time to visit Peru is usually between April and October/November. Even though it can get cold during the nights in the Andes – especially in May and June -the skies are mostly clear blue, and there is not a lot of rain.

April is often lovely; everything is green after the rainy season (the rainy season in the Andean mountain takes place from December to March). Still, the chance of rain showers is considerably less than in the months before. Also, in April, it is less cold than in the months after (May, June). July and August are high season months due to the summer vacation in the USA and Europe; weather-wise, these months are good. September and October are usually beautiful, less touristy, and relatively dry, depending on your luck. It also starts to warm up in September and October.

Suppose you spend most of your time along the Peruvian coast. In that case, you might prefer the summer months for your trip to Peru: January and February (during these months, it’s the rainy season in Cusco, Machu Picchu, Arequipa, Puno.

Read more about the Best Time to Visit Peru

Travelling with kids Machu Picchu lamas

Peru with Kids: Best places to travel with kids in Peru

What are the best places to visit in Peru with kids? Below we have included the best destinations to visit with kids. We also give you tips on where to go and what to do at each destination in Peru. Overall, Peruvians love children, and the people will welcome you all over Peru. Peru can be considered a kid-friendly country.

1) Cusco with Kids

Cusco is one of the top tourist destinations in South America because of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, intricate textiles, lavish dances and music, colourful festivals, culinary delights, ancient engineering wonders, and architectural styles. Cusco, Peru, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. The ancient city of Cusco is situated in the southeast part of Peru, located in the Andes Mountains at a breathtaking 3,400 meters (11,155 feet) above sea level.

Cusco is surrounded by beautiful hills and extends into a river basin known as the Sacred Valley of the Inca. There are nice cafes and restaurants within the city and a couple of museums with activities the kids will enjoy. The city centre is small; if your accommodation is downtown Cusco, (almost) everything will be within walking distance.

Travelling with kids to Cusco

Altitude Sickness

The first part of a Peru family adventure travel is acclimatizing to the high altitudes in the Peruvian Andes. Should you feel the effects of altitude sickness in the higher areas, the best remedy is lots of water and rest. It takes a bit of time to get adjusted, so don’t plan a hike or a full day of travel right after arriving at Cusco. Read more about How to Adjust to the Altitude Quickly and not suffer from altitude sickness or soroche.

Tours in Cusco with Kids

Some see Cusco mainly at the departure point for a visit to see Machu Picchu. Still, Cusco & the Sacred Valley have so much more to offer – especially for families travelling with children!

  • Do the Cusco City Tour, or explore the city yourself. Don’t miss the Temple of the Sun, the vast Cathedral, and the nearby ruins.
  • Even if you did the Cusco City Tour (and you’ve already briefly visited Sacsayhuaman), you can go back and spend a relaxing afternoon in Sacsayhuaman. It’s half an hour’s walk from the Plaza de Armas in Cusco. Did you know you can slide down some rock faces within the ruin? Great fun for the kids!
  • Stroll the streets of the San Blas Neighborhood, visit the small artisan’s shops and the picturesque cobble-stoned streets.
  • Do a Day Tour to the Sacred Valley or go there by yourself. There is public transport (or you arrange a taxi) to explore the picturesque villages in the Sacred Valley. You can visit the traditional markets, go for a picnic next to the river, and enjoy the time together in this beautiful valley. Village to explore: Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Urubamba, Calca.
  • If you visit Pisac independently, there is some excellent walking to and from the Pisac ruins. The trail is well-marked, but it does contain some challenges for younger children. First, you will pass through an Incan doorway where you can spend as much time as you want to explore the ruins. After that, continue downhill to see irrigation channels and enjoy the scenic landscapes.
  • Visit the salt mines in Maras

Adrenaline adventure tours to do in Cusco with Teens

Travelling with kids to Machu Picchu

Fun Activities for Kids and Teens in Cusco:

  • Volunteer in Cusco to help your kids see the realities of the local population and make an impact
  • Join a Cusco cooking class with the whole family, or have the kids do a Cooking class for kids
  • Visit some of the local markets. Take a break from sightseeing, visit the Mercado Central de San Pedro, or Cusco market, intermingle with the locals, and try the lovely fruit juices at the ‘sección de jugos’.
  • Join a chocolate workshop in the Museo del Chocolate (ChocoMuseo) and learn how to make Peruvian chocolate ‘from bean to bar’. This hands-on exhibit is always a hit with children.
  • A one-day Introduction to Spanish or a short Spanish Immersion for Kids

Machu Picchu with Kids:

Cusco is the gateway to the Seventh New World Wonder, the Inca Citadel Machu Picchu. “Are there things to do in Machu Picchu for kids?” “Is it safe to travel to Machu Picchu with kids?”, ”How to go to Machu Picchu?” These are just of few of the many questions you will have when planning your trip to Peru.

Travelling with kids to Peru Machu Picchu

How to travel to Machu Picchu with kids
First of all, Machu Picchu is epic and is interesting for all ages. If your kids (8+) are very active and love to be outside, we can recommend a trek to Machu Picchu, such as The Classic Inca Trail or the Inca Jungle Trek.

(please note that for the Inca Jungle Trek, the children need to be able to ride bikes).

If not, or you travel with younger kids are you are not into hiking, a Train tour to Machu Picchu is a good option and another adventure. It is recommended to take seats on the left side of the train for the best views of the constantly changing landscapes, from the Andes into the (higher) jungle lands.

There is no age restriction in Machu Picchu. However, although the Inca Citadel is open to kids of any age, it is probably most suitable for children seven years and up. The entire complex is built out of hand-carved stone, the steps are huge, and there is a lot of walking. Children under 8 are free.

Travelling to Peru Machupicchu family trip

What to do in Machu Picchu?
Since 2019 it’s not allowed anymore to walk in Machu Picchu without a guide, so the guide will take you and show you the highlights of the citadel. First, of course, there is time for the classic family picture at the famous Sun Gate to Machu Picchu, at the entrance of the Urban Sector. One of the coolest things about Machu Picchu for kids is the llamas and alpacas all over the place, grazing freely.
Additional tips:

  • Important note: there are no toilets within Machu Picchu
  • Take enough water and make sure you (and the kids) drink enough
  • It’s not allowed to take bags into the ruins; there is storage near the entrance
  • Make sure you get the Machu Picchu stamp in your passport when you leave Machu Picchu. This is a fun souvenir for kids to show their friends back home.

Extra hike in Machu Picchu: visit Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain
Do you want to go the extra mile with your older kids?

If you haven’t done enough hiking yet, there are a few additional hikes you can do within Machu Picchu Sanctuary. The most popular is a hike to the top of Huayna Picchu. Although this is not a very long hike (approx. 45 min to the top), you cannot do the Huayna Picchu hike with small children (minimum age: 8 years). Even with other kids (10+), we recommend you evaluate if your kids are active, not afraid, etc. It will depend on how fit they are (and how well acclimatized) and if they will enjoy the hike or not. The climb is steep, the steps are huge, and there are dizzyingly sheer drops on either side of the trail. However, once upstairs, the views are amazing. Tip: you might need to reserve Huayna Picchu tickets several months before your arrival in Peru.

Travelling to Machu Picchu Panoramic View

Another alternative if you are interested in hiking with kids is Machu Picchu Mountain. This trail is more extended than Huayna Picchu (3 hours round trip), but it is less steep. It takes you in the direction of Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. Still, it is not an easy-going walk.

Read more:
Tips to Machu Picchu with kids

2) Lima with Kids

Before or after your stay in Cusco, you can delve into Lima. The Peruvian Capital is a stimulating, energetic and elegant modern city of approximately 8 million inhabitants that rests above a long and meandering coastline of steep sedimentary cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. The city that was once called The City of Kings still maintains its colonial past and splendour.

Today, Lima is one of the leading culinary destinations in the entire world. You will delight in unforgettable cuisines that combine the unique flavours from various cultures, landscapes, and multiple regions of Peru. A few must-try dishes include Arroz con Mariscos, Lomo Saltado and anything with fresh seafood like Ceviche. You can also try out a dish from the Chifa menu, a Peruvian and Chinese fusion. Lima offers something for every visitor, from a variety of museums with brilliant modern and ancient works of art, monasteries, mansions, archaeological sites, beaches, boardwalks, shopping, world-class restaurants, buzzing nightlife and adventure sports like paragliding and surfing.

Travelling to Peru visit Paracas

Read more about Peruvian Cuisine: Why Peruvian Food is the Best

Lima can be a good break from nature and the countryside. Visiting Lima allows you to show your kids a view of modern-day Peru, with cultural and historical influences.

Walk or bike along the boardwalk above the Pacific Ocean and admire the gardens and views of the coast. Stop in at the Choco Museo in the Miraflores district and take a tour. Visit the El Circuito Magico del Agua for the smaller children, a waterpark with water bridges and a timed water fountain to run through. At night there is also a fun water light show to enjoy.

Recommended tours in Lima:

  • Parque de la Reserva (Circuito Mágico Agua)
  • Lunch in China town
  • Walk along the beach and see the surfers
  • Culinary tour in Lima
  • Take a taxi to the Zoo “Parque de las Leyendas” with every imaginable animal from the coast, jungle and the Andes of Peru as well as international animals, a botanical garden and multiple habitats, and museums and archaeological sites.
  • Walk along the coast in Miraflores.
  • Visit the bohemian neighbourhood of Barrancas and watch the graffiti and the bridge.
  • Take the Lima City Tour to see the highlights of the Peruvian Capital in an easy, enjoyable 4-5 hour tour.

3) Arequipa with Kids

If you are in the white city of Arequipa in southern Peru, do not miss out on the opportunity to visit the Colca Canyon, located about 4 hours from Arequipa. The Colca Canyon is Peru’s third most visited tourist destination and the second deepest Canyon worldwide. The views are stunning, the villages friendly and picturesque.

Travelling to Peru Colca Canyon

The Colca Canyon is the best place in South America to see the Andean Condor with its impressive 3-meter wingspan and an average weight of 10- 12 kilos. Apart from the condor, in the Canyon, you can find over 100 kinds of birds, more than 30 types of cactus and 300 types of plants. The highest point of the Canyon is Ampato, at 6388 meters above sea level.

Recommended tours in Arequipa:

  • Go and see the condors flying at Colca Canyon! The peak time to see the condors flying is between March and June at dawn or at dusk at the lookout point called the Cruz del Condor. It’s an unbelievable experience watching these huge birds cruise. If you can make it to Colca Canyon for a Peru family vacation, it will be something you won’t forget. Most people do a two-day visit to the Canyon or a (three-day) hike.
  • Try the homemade cookies in the quiet, impressive Santa Catalina Convent. This incomparable colonial district is a small city within a city.
  • There are opportunities for river rafting or biking near Arequipa for the older kids.

Travelling to Peru visit Arequipa

4) Puno with kids

Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable Lake worldwide and the largest Lake in South America that borders both Peru and Bolivia. The Lake is located at approximately 3,810 meters or 12,500 feet above sea level and covers 8,600 square kilometres or 3,320.50 square miles. The climate is cold and semi-dry, with an intense sun during the day. The Peruvian portion of the Lake is considered a wetland of international importance and was recognized by the Ramsar Convention on January 20th, 1997.

Travelling to Peru Uros Lake Titicaca

Recommended tour in Puno:

  • Spend a night with a local family at the highest navigable Lake in the world.
    The overnight Lake Titicaca option is excellent for visitors who want a more in-depth experience and interaction with the locals. You and the kids will learn about typical clothing, native languages, foods, and the hosts’ lives.

5) Rainforest with kids

Do you want to enjoy the warm and humid air that envelops you like a hug and listen to the frogs and insects chirping in the night? And next day, wake up to an orchestra of a hundred different bird calls, sit back and enjoy the breeze during a boat ride along the river? Later, try some fresh fruit and explore the rainforest with its many varieties of flora and fauna? Then Manu or Tambopata is a superb destination for you and your family while travelling to Peru with kids or teens.

Travelling to Rainforest with kids

Reading tip:
Best Rainforest Tours: Manu, Tambopata or Iquitos.

Do your kids love outdoor exploration and animals? Check out these statistics of animal sightings. Maybe you and your kids can even discover a new species of insect!
Manu Biodiversity Records:
1025 species of birds
221 species of mammals
1307 species of butterflies
Eight species of wild cats
15 species of primates
27 species of macaws
132 species of reptiles
155 species of amphibians
300 species of ants
650 species of beetles
Tambopata Biodiversity Records:
1200 species of butterflies
103 species of amphibians
180 species of fish
169 species of mammals
103 species of reptiles
632 species of birds
1,255 species of plants

Recommended tours in the rainforest:

This Rtour is one of the most affordable Jungle Tours and it allows you to experience the magic, diversity, and tranquility of one of the most diverse locations on earth in three days! The jungle Reserve of Tambopata is located in the South East of Peru. During your stay in a beautiful Eco lodge, you will experience activity (canopy bridge and zip line, kayak) and also flora and fauna while exploring the nature, including giant otters, birds, colored butterflies, turtles and a wide variety of fish.

More info Family Trip to the Rainforest in Peru.

6) Ica/Pisco/Nazca with kids

Despite the barren landscapes of this area of Peru, the coast of the Paracas Peninsula and the nearby Ballestas Islands are havens for an abundance of Pacific marine life. The Ballestas Islands are alive with noisy colonies of sea lions and vast numbers of birds that are sustained by the food-rich waters of this stretch of the Pacific. The Paracas National Reserve, of which the Ballestas Islands are part, works hard on conservation efforts of the marine biodiversity.

Recommended Tour with kids:

* Take a boat ride to see penguins, pelicans and seals around the Islas Ballestas! The boat journey lasts between 90 minutes and 2 hours. If you book a tour, you can leave at either 8.00 or 10.00. Your kids will also have the opportunity to visit a collection of rocky islands, home to seals, Humboldt penguins, pelicans and many other types of birds.

Nazca
Fly over the Nazca Lines in a small plane or watch the figures from one of the two miradors or viewpoints in Nazca.

The Nazca Lines are a sprawling network of lines and drawings on the surface of the land. Most lines have the shape of geometric designs: you can see trapezoids, straight lines, rectangles, swirls and triangles. However, some of the zigzags make up more distinct shapes and figures of animals, such as a hummingbird, dog, spider, monkey and a long-tailed mockingbird, as well as plants. The lines are made by removing rock and earth. In total, there are over 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures and 70 plant and animal designs.
The site was declared a World Heritage Site in 1994.

Huacachina/Ica

Riding dune buggies and sandboarding Peru with kids is epic! This oasis offers a splendid patch of palm and acacia trees in the heart of an endless expanse of sand and dunes, where you can go sandboarding. The waters at Huacachina are said to have curative and healing properties. The activities and tours offered near the oasis are great fun and probably the most adrenaline-filled activity for your kids while Traveling to Peru with Kids or Teens. Be careful to select an agency with a good reputation; some say the buggy tour was a bit unsafe.

Travelling to Peru Sand dunes Nazca

Tours in Ica with Teens

  • Go sandboarding from the high the sand dunes around the Huacachina oasis
  • For about 30 soles, you can rent a rowboat or paddleboat and cruise around the lagoon
  • Do a buggy tour! Go for the 4 pm tour to have a chance to see the sunset. Not for the faint-hearted but also not to be missed.

Hopefully, this article has given you many excellent reasons for Traveling to Peru with Kids or Teens and ideas on where to go in Peru and places to see. Peru is a safe, enjoyable and thoroughly interesting destination, including for families. There is something for everyone in Peru, and Peru offers a spectacular family-friendly vacation for those with children of all ages.

BONUS: How to prepare a family vacation to Peru

Below we’ll give you tips on how to prepare for your family vacation to Peru.

If you have any questions about tours, prices or itineraries, you can always contact a representative from Dos Manos Travel Peru!

How to prepare a family vacation to Peru

 

Here are some practical tips for travelling with children in Peru! Prepare for your family trip to Peru:

– Pack in advance
When packing for yourself and your family, you need to start in advance and make lists so as not to forget anything last-minute. You can start to gather your clothes, toiletries, passports, games for the aeroplane and other essentials to go out the door on time for your flight. Sit down with your family, especially if you have teens, and make individual lists so everyone can stay on track.

– Let your older kids take photographs or keep a travel journal
A camera or a notebook will help your children focus more on what they see around them, including the people, landscapes, clothing, architecture and beauty. A journal will help your children reflect on the day, what they liked, didn’t like, and how to process the new reality they are being exposed to. A journal or photos will also help your children remember their travel memories later in time.

– Strategically plan your flight times
If you can get tickets for an overnight flight that starts right around your kid’s bedtime, they may sleep the entire flight. Letting your children sleep when their bodies want to relax will make them happier when it’s time to fly and make getting your children on and off the plane easier for you.

– Always have snacks on hand
Travelling with a hungry family is a nightmare. Mealtimes will not be followed, kids may not like the Peruvian food, you may have trouble finding a restaurant, or your tour may run late. In all that cases, snacks are a simple way to solve those above and unexpected dilemmas.

– Pack extra sets of clothes and diapers
You or your kids may need extra clothes due to rain, accidents, spills, or getting muddy or dirty. Always have extra clothes on hand and easily accessible. You can also bring a zip-lock or plastic bag to store dirty clothes. You should also travel with extra diapers. Having a few extra diapers is better than having too few at the end of the day.

– Make sure you factor in extra time
Usually, when travelling with kids, you need double the amount of time that you would take as a solo adult. Imagine tiny legs walking, the bathroom breaks, the unexpected naps, shoe tying, moving through airport security, meltdowns, time for snacks, diaper changes, and spills.

– Explain the trip to your children
Give your kids an idea of where you will be going, how long and what you will be doing.

– Remember that regular daily routines are put on hold while on vacation
You and your family may be jetlagged, miss nap time, and your children may be given foods differently than what they expect at home. Therefore, make sure to give yourself time to adapt, go with the flow and be flexible. Remember that your standard household rules may not apply, as travel is the definition of exploration outside of the ordinary routine. For example, your kids might not need to go to the bathroom before leaving the hotel; they may not want to eat at the usual dinner time or go to sleep right at bedtime.

– Push your kid’s boundaries
One of the benefits of travelling is experiencing and learning about a new culture. Help your children step out of their comfort zone, face their fears, try new cuisine, walk a little further, listen to new music, play with local children, and challenge themselves. Of course, you should respect your child’s unique personality and interests.

– Schedule some free time into your itinerary
No kid wants to be dragged along to many sightseeing locations or museums all day long. As a parent, you should create a flexible schedule with time to play, read a book, explore freely, eat, rest, and go to the park, zoo, children’s museum or events, especially for kids! When you are freely exploring the city, you may come across the artwork, a music performance, a parade, a beautiful lookout spot, some cute animals or a street vendor with fun toys. Before you leave for vacation, you can also do some research with your children, create a rough itinerary and have your kids fill in the blanks with what they want to see and do.

– Do not lose track of your kids
With all the hustle, bustle and distractions of travelling, your children have plenty of time to wander off and get lost. So always make sure you know where your children are (easier said than done). Attach your child’s contact information, including your name, email, phone numbers, and where you are staying.

– Research what documents you need before travelling
Some countries need not only a child’s passport but also their birth certificates or permission to travel from both parents so that the migrations office knows that you have the right to leave or enter the country with the children.

– Pack a medical kit
Make sure you pack the basic medicines for your family, such as diarrhea, nausea or stomach medicine, medicine for colds, congestion, headaches and altitude sickness if you are going to high altitudes like in Peru. Do not forget alcohol wipes, bandages, anti-itch cream and bug repellant.

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