Travelling in Peru with kids
The land of the Inca, of the Sun God, Mother Earth, soaring condors and unexplained glyphs, turns us all into little Indiana Joneses
Peru's mysterious past inspires a childlike fascination in all travellers, regardless of age, and children from seven or eight upwards - old enough to appreciate the history and the myth - will be fascinated by its ruins, folklore and gory stories. Machu Picchu is open to all, as trains allow families to bypass the hikes, and the Andean dry season coincides with school summer holidays for European and North American visitors, making travelling in Peru with kids even easier. There are also brilliant hikes, easy biking and adventurous kayaking to keep less culturally minded kids busy. The Latino fondness for children means they tend to be welcomed everywhere, and a community tour or homestay will leave a lasting impression on young minds.
If you want to visit the Amazon, do consult your GP or travel clinic well in advance to find out which treatment will be necessary - or feasible - for young children.
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Activities for families in Peru
Even little ones can get much further on a bike than on foot - and the mountains and valleys surrounding Cuzco offer fabulous cycling for all ages and abilities. Gentle rides across valley floors, past fascinating, flat salt pans and around Inca ruins will keep kids occupied - physically and mentally - and there are plenty of brilliant, specialist guides to help you tailor your route.
Sweet-faced alpacas are one of the Andes' most iconic species, and they're particularly important for local livelihoods. The mountains are dotted with alpaca farms, and nowadays many open their doors to tourists to supplement their income. Kids can feed the alpacas and learn about them and their domestication, before watching demonstrations of the spinning, dyeing and weaving of their fine wool.
Tim Winkworth, from our supplier Intrepid Travel:
"Lone adults can sometimes find homestays slightly uncomfortable - you don't know how you should behave. But if you go with kids, they're an instant icebreaker. They see a football or a toy and they grab it. All of a sudden this potentially tricky situation turns to laughter. Then they'll all run off together with the local kids. For families, homestays are superb."
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If you'd like to chat about Peru or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Travel advice for families in Peru
Elena Larkin is a Latin America Specialist. She is originally from Lima and has travelled in Peru with her young daughter. Here's her tips on travelling in Peru with kids:
"You have to be very flexible with the activities you choose. Different things will interest different kids. I took my nine-year-old daughter to Machu Picchu and she was bored! But in the Sacred Valley the local community showed her how they dyed their wool - and she was really excited about that. So you have to choose a combination of activities."
Tim Winkworth is a Family Travel Specialist, from our supplier Intrepid Travel, and the father of three young boys, who he travels with regularly:
"I think Peru is ideal for children aged seven or eight upwards. Earlier than that, the cultural significance and civilisation is lost. Seven and eight year olds start to study things like Egypt at school - so they're primed, they're ready and interested. Around every corner in Peru there's a story to be told, and that's what makes it so great for families. It's just so mysterious and different to the world that they live in, and that mystery is probably the key to why it's a great place - it just puts skin onto the bones of 'boring' historical facts."
Tom Brown, from our supplier Natural World Safaris, shares advice on travelling in Peru with kids:
"The Amazon is exciting for kids, they get to see birds and monkeys - but to get to the decent lodges you are travelling in a small boat for upwards of two hours. So for younger kids that might be difficult."
More about Peru
From Cuzco and the Andes, to the Amazon and the coast, Peru has one of the most varied climates on earth. We help you choose the best time to go to Peru...
Our Peru travel guide is here to help you travel like a local, including a handy section on food, shopping and culture, plus what we rate and what we don't...
Our Peru map and highlights will help you make the most of your holiday, whether you’re seeking classic highlights, an Inca trek or combining Andes and Amazon...
If you're hoping to rediscover Machu Picchu, explore the Amazon or get off the beaten track then read on for our top things to do in Peru...
Our guide to Machu Picchu reveals the history of this sacred site, with tips on what to see, how to travel there and the best time to visit...
Peru's Inca Trail is one of the highlights of a South America holiday. Discover the history of the trail, the best time to go and a sample itinerary...
There are several alternative Inca trails that lead to Machu Picchu, taking in cloud and rainforest, high passes and indigenous villages...
We explain why, when you cross the border at Lake Titicaca and see Bolivia and Peru together, you gain more than just an extra stamp in your passport...
Community homestays, brightly woven handicrafts and spectacular island hikes are Lake Titicaca’s calling cards.
The Nazca Lines in Peru remain one of the country’s great mysteries. Find out about the lines’ history, and how to view them from land and from the air...
Our Peru travel tips page is packed to the rafters with sound, practical advice from our South America experts as well as our independent traveller reviews...
Porters' rights are one of the most important Peru responsible tourism issues. We also share information on volunteering, homestays and the environment...
Find all of our Peru guides in one place, for particular places in Peru such as Machu Picchu. Or perhaps you would like to know more about the different types of Peru holidays we offer such as culture or trekking the Inca Trail.