Ensuring that your family holiday in Peru is rich in memories set to last a lifetime is high on any parents priority when choosing an adventure. An adventure to Peru is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so be sure to do it to the best of your ability- don’t stick to the tired tours that push you around one museum after another with bored and annoyed kids begging to actually do something- to get their hands dirty rather than read yet another placard.
After all, you’re here to experience Peru, not to stand on the sidelines and watch it pass you by, right?
A Word on Safe Travel in Peru
As much as we would love to jump in headfirst with the best way to adventure your way around Peru, it’s very important to discuss the safety side of things. Peru has a bit of an issue with unlicensed tour operators, tour operators that have not received proper training, and operators that do not replace their equipment as often as necessary.
We don’t say this to scare you off, as there are operators who certainly are responsible and safe (as we pride ourselves to be)- just so that you are aware that choosing a safe Peruvian tour company may not be as simple as you first assume. Do your homework, and don’t go for the cheapest option and you will be fine.
Adventure Travel in Peru with Kids
Whatever your kids, and your family, is into you will find it in Peru. Whether it’s white water rafting, sightseeing, or mountain biking, Peru has you covered. Its extremely diverse landscapes mean that whether you’re a family who wants to learn to surf up in Mancora, shop in Lima, or take on history and culture in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, the perfect trip is waiting for you.
While Peru is most certainly your oyster, it’s very important that you see it properly. This means having a great guide. A great guide really can make the difference between cherished lifelong memories of you and your family cooking traditional pachamanca (a Peruvian dish that is cooked on rocks buried underground), and a weird tag along to a vacation where stress is higher than it should be.
Having a great guide can also mean that you get away from the crowds and have a bit more space to run around. A great example is how we avoid the standard Sacred Valley tour in favour of the lesser done Southern Valley tour, which gets your family away from the crowds and the kids’ space to run around.
Another unmissable experience for kids and parents alike in Peru is camping. Admittedly, for some people camping has an unfair reputation, but camping in Peru means that you are miles and miles away from civilization (and cell phone service) and can experience a clear night sky as a family.
Activities to do With Kids in Peru
It’s true that not every member of the family is all about constant adventure. Sometimes you want to just slow down, take a breath, and still have something to remember the trip by.
If your kids are more taken by the creative side of adventure then you can consider a ceramic art experience in Cusco, which is a perfect way to create souvenirs and spend an afternoon. If this is your kind of speed, you can also take on a cooking class, giving your family great memories and a great skillset to take home from the culinary capital of South America.
You could even work as a family to bring a better future for Peru by planting a tree each. This is an incredible way to grow as a family and contribute together.
Hikes to Do with Kids in Peru
There’s no debate that hiking is a quintessential part of most Peruvian adventures. It’s also no debate that it’s one of the best ways to experience an untouched side of Peru. Not all families love hiking, and not every hike in Peru is suitable for all families.
The Inca Trail with Kids
A good example of this is the 4-day Inca Trail. This trek can be hard on the feet, it’s extremely busy, and if you or your kid decides they don’t want to walk anymore- it’s tough. There are no exit routes, and there are very few emergency evacuation plans in place. At Amazonas Explorer, we offer a 5 day Inca Trail instead of a 4 day. This is to allow you to take your time- minimizing the risk of injury and avoid the crowds (almost all other companies push for 4 days, so you will have the trail almost to yourself).
Besides the risk of injury, the Inca Trail isn’t a dangerous choice for a family hike- and injuries are relatively infrequent. If you do decide that the Inca Trail is the right trek for your family, make sure that you are up to date on the current regulations, and book in advance, as permits often sell out in advance.
There are no hotels on the Inca Trail so you will need to camp. Many families find this to be a great window into nature, especially taking the 5 day Inca Trail, as this will allow you to be almost alone in the lesser-used campsites. This is a great way for you to improve your Inca Trail experience.
It’s also worth noting that the desperately early wake-up call (around 4 am) you will need to arrive at Machu Picchu along with the rest of the crowds will likely leave your kids in a bad mood for the rest of the day- and the mythical Machu Picchu sunrise rarely summits. We recommend an afternoon arrival to avoid the morning scramble and the first hour cloaked in the clouds. This will give you more time to take on Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain as well!
Things you must know about Peru with Kids
Any holiday with kids runs the risk of being poorly planned, especially somewhere like Peru, where once they’ve seen one Inca ruin, they’ve seen them all. However, it would be a real shame to come all the way to Peru and not see some Inca ruins. It can be a difficult balance, but we have some great family adventures through Peru that will show you why sightseeing is not enough.
It’s not easy to plan a family holiday that caters to everyone, but for such a huge and diverse country, Peru does a great job at making sure everyone remembers the adventure. Just make sure that you choose the right one.
Family Safety While Traveling Peru
Of course wherever you travel safety will always be a priority, especially as a family. There are a couple of pitfalls that people can unfortunately regularly fall into when travelling Peru. One is booking an unlicensed or uninsured tour operator. Upwards of 70% of tour operators in Peru work without a license, meaning that choosing a safe Peruvian adventure outfitter can be more challenging than it seems.
Something else to be considerate of is the social troubles that can plague parts of Latin America as a whole. These troubles can be especially prevalent in places like Rainbow Mountain, which is why we don’t recommend travel there.
Social troubles are another great reason to choose a reputable travel company. If something goes wrong, what do you do if your company cancels on you and leaves you stranded? Particularly in the wake of COVID19, it’s important to know how your chosen company handles a crisis that is out of its control. Amazonas Explorer has made a series of commitments for travelling Peru safely, and always putting the customers’ needs at the forefront of every decision.
When to Travel to Peru
The best time to travel to Peru depends a little on when is convenient for you and the family. If your kids are in school then July and August are good times to visit- although this is the peak of the travel season so it will be busy. Christmas in Peru is an incredible once in a lifetime experience, but remember to consider that the rainy season is just beginning.
There are also plenty of festivals throughout Peru for you to enjoy throughout the year, be it Inti Raymi in June, or Queuña Raymi Tree Planting Festival. Whether you choose to travel for a festival or convenience, avoid the months of January and February, as these months are the heaviest rain of the season and many things are closed.
Tourism in Peru Post-Covid
It’s no secret that tourism and family travel in Peru will change dramatically post-covid. COVID has exposed some gaping holes where we can all do better, and post-covid there is an unspoken understanding that we can all do better, while still maintaining exceptional adventures and experiences for you and your family.
Peru is a magical country, and with so many things to see, do, and experience, you can guarantee the holiday of a lifetime. It doesn’t matter so much about whether you prefer a luxury excursion or if you like to rough it a little, Peru Adventure cannot be measured in stars. You will leave with memories that will last a generation. If you’re ready to start planning, get in touch with us, and we will help plan your dream adventure.0