Peru with Kids: Family Destination Guide

Everything you need to know about travelling to Peru with your family

Peru: Why You’ll Love It

Tambomachy 7

  • Think of Peru and no doubt images of the mysterious lost city of Machu Picchu will immediately spring to mind. This wonder of the world is Peru’s most famous attraction and rightly so, it’s a mind blowing archaeological masterpiece shrouded in mystery and legend….and llamas!
  • Machu Picchu is just the tip of the iceberg, this country is chock-full of breathtaking things to see and do.
  • Delve into the unparalleled biological riches of the Amazon Rainforest, explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas, visit the Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons, and discover the ancient architecture of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cusco. And that’s just for starters.
  • Peru is famous throughout South America for its cuisine and you’ll want to put enough time aside to sample some of its most famous dishes including trucha (Andean trout), aji de gallina (chicken stew), lomo saltado (stir-fry beef) and the zillions of wonderful seafood dishes.
  • And for the really brave there is cuy, otherwise known as guinea pig – best washed down with a Pisco Sour or two!

 

Peru: Why The Kids Will Love It

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  • Home to the Amazon Rainforest, the Andes and, of course, Paddington Bear, Peru is a wonderful destination for families.
  • Travelling with small children can be a challenge owing to rugged terrain of the ancient Inca sights, but slightly older kids and teens will quickly fall in love with this magical country.
  • Peru’s most famous attraction, Machu Picchu, the mysterious city in the clouds, will have children spellbound – particularly when they spot the local residents, the llamas, wandering around!
  • But what you’ll quickly find is that children tend to find all the ancient Inca sites fascinating. From the circular terraces at Moray and the salt flats of Maras to the mind-bogglingly large stone walls at Chincheros and Sacsayhuaman, every one is completely unique.
  • Away from archaeological wonders of the Incas, kids can marvel at the mythical Nazca Lines, learn about the incredible flora and fauna of the Amazon jungle, go white water rafting along the Urubamba River, visit the indigenous peoples of Lake Titicaca, discover the characterful city of Cusco and much more.
  • For history, culture, wildlife, activities and adventure, Peru is the perfect family destination.

Peru With Kids: When To Go

Chincheros terraces

High Season: Peru has two very distinct seasons, wet and dry. Peru’s high season for travel coincides with the driest months, May through October. The greatest number of visitors arrive in July and August.

From June to September (winter in the Southern Hemisphere) in the highlands, days are clear and sunny, with chilly or cold nights, especially at high elevations. These are the best months for trekking, including the Inca trail, and for visiting the Amazon basin (fewer mozzies!).

Rainy Season: November through April is the rainy season and the wettest months are January through April. Roads and trek paths in mountain areas can become impassable.

National Holidays: July 28 is a national holiday and Peruvians travel in huge numbers around this date; accommodations can be hard to find over this period. Mid-December to mid-January are also considered peak season and this is reflected in airline and accommodation rates.

 

Peru With Kids: FAQ

Inca wall

Capital: Lima

Time: GMT – 05:00

Language: Spanish is the main language spoken.

Voltage: 220 v

Flight time from the UK: 13 hours

Visas: Contact your nearest Peruvian embassy or consulate for up to date visa information for your nationality. If you are from the UK, we recommend Travcour for their excellent visa service (www.travcour.com) – if you are not from the UK their website is still full of useful information. Make sure to check before travel. Your passport must also be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of exit from Peru.

Health & Vaccinations: Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. All visitors should have travel insurance that covers medical expenses. Vaccinations for Hepatitis A and Typhoid are also recommended. Check with your doctor before travel.

Altitude sickness, known as soroche, is a very real possibility when visiting Peru. Altitude sickness can occur at heights of 2,500m (8,000ft) above sea level so it is vitally important that you allow everyone in the family time to acclimatise. Symptoms of acute altitude sickness include: 

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • lethargy
  • poor sleep
  • loss of appetite

The number one rule when arriving in Peru is to rest, avoid alcohol and don’t over indulge on the wonderful Peruvian food. As hard as it is to follow these rules with young kids in tow, it’s so important! For more information see www.altitude.org.

Getting There: Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport is where all overseas flights from North America and Europe arrive. Major international airlines from North and South America, Europe and Asia all fly to Lima.

It’s very important to reconfirm airline tickets in advance of flights; 48 hours in advance for domestic flights and 72 hours in advance for international flights. Remember to keep hold of money for airport tax; $6 for domestic flights and $31 on international flights. Tax must be paid in cash (either US $ or Peruvian Nuevos Soles).

Money: Peru’s official currency is the nuevos sol (S/), divided into 100 centavos. Coins are issued in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 centavos, and bank notes in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 soles.

Note that Peru is still very much a cash society so make sure you bring plenty of soles with you when travelling – don’t expect to exchange money or use a credit card in small villages and towns. US dollars are also accepted (although generally change is given in local currency so make sure you know what the correct exchange rate is).

Safety: Peru does not have a great reputation but the country is significantly safer than it was in the 1980s and 1990s. Pickpocketing can occur in most large Peruvian cities, especially Lima and Cusco, and although assaults and robberies are rare, incidents have been reported. Avoid wearing expensive watches or jewellery and keep any flashy camera equipment out of sight. Stick to known neighbourhoods and avoid walking alone late at night. Use a radio taxi or ask the hotel or restaurant to call you one rather than flagging a taxi down on the street. As with anywhere, be vigilant when you travel. Most crime is opportunistic and common sense is always your best safeguard. Please consult your own government’s travel advisory for safety advice such as fco.gov.uk

Dress: Layers are your best option for dealing with the changing climates in relation to the different altitudes – no matter what season you visit in. A fleece or light down jacket is needed at night and a light rain coat is also useful to have, even in the dry season. Perhaps the most important item is a decent pair of walking shoes or trainers. Peru is all about exploring the Great Outdoors!

 

Peru With Kids: Our YouTube Playlist

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Peru With Kids: Inspire me!

You can also find all our Peru blog posts listed in the Table of Contents above.

Peru with Kids: 10 Things to Do with Kids in The Sacred Valley

Peru with Kids: At 2,792m (9,160 ft) The Sacred Valley makes a good first port of call in this region for families, here’s our pick of things to see and do.

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Peru with Kids: Exploring the Inca sites surrounding Cusco

Peru with Kids: Exploring the Inca Sites around Cusco. I wasn’t sure how my children would react to yet another tour of Inca sites. Fortunately, however, they loved it! Here’s why…

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Peru With Kids: How to Plan, Book & Budget a Family Holiday to Machu Picchu, Peru

A guide and checklist to help you plan, book and budget a family holiday to Machu Picchu, Peru.

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Peru with Kids: 10 Things to do with Kids in Cusco

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Peru with Kids: Exploring Machu Picchu With Kids

Peru with Kids: Discovering the ancient city of Machu Picchu with kids, here’s how we did it!

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