With its friendly locals, delicious cuisine and beautiful natural landscapes, a family Peru trip should be on every family’s bucket list. That said, traveling with kids is never easy—and like any trip, local or abroad, there are a myriad of things to consider before you go.
To help you plan ahead for your family trip to Peru, take a look at our tips and tricks for going with young children, below. Happy traveling!
While some major attractions might not be in full swing, traveling to Peru during off season— like in December or January—means less crowds. And as every parent knows, less crowds mean much less stress when it comes to chasing children through a foreign destination. Plus, the weather in the Southern Hemisphere is much warmer at this time of year, so you can take advantage of the South American coast and spend time along Peru’s beautiful beaches.
Lima is great to fly into from any destination, both because it’s easily accessible and because it’s at a lower altitude than other destinations in Peru—making it easier for travelers to acclimate! When you fly in, don’t immediately rush off to other cities or sites. Stay a couple days and relax in Lima to let young children recover from jet lag and get used to their new surroundings.
What kid (or parent, for that matter) doesn’t love being on the water? Peru is packed with boating trips and water excursions that let you do everything from swimming with sea lions and seeing Lake Titicaca, to hopping on Amazon riverboats and cruising around the Ballestas Islands.
Exploring Machu Picchu is a hike… literally. To make it easier for all those traveling on your family Peru trip, plan to stay in Sacred Valley so that the journey up there is less daunting. On top of that, there are buses that run up to the top from Aguas Calientes daily, plus trains that can take you to Cusco.
Parts of Peru (especially Machu Picchu and Cuzco) are at very high altitudes! Everyone adjusts differently, but all could face serious side effects if you try to do too much too fast. To let your body acclimate to the area’s lower levels of oxygen, don’t do anything too active on the first day, drink alcohol in moderation, and sip on coca tea or eat coca tea leaves. You can find coca tea or leaves them almost anywhere, and many hotels in Cuzco will even offer them to you for free.
Does your child have any allergies? Let the hotel know of any food aversions or sensitivities so they can prepare accordingly. Are certain sleeping arrangements required for your family? Since you’re traveling to another country, don’t expect hotel rooms to have the same layouts as what you’re used to at home. Check the hotel website to find out how many beds there are, and request a cot in advance, if need be.
Photos from home, or even your child’s favorite stuffed animal, will help calm them down if they get overwhelmed by a new destination.
Remember, it’s a Peru family vacation, so let your group relax, too! Plan a few “free” days to hangout or even just lay by the hotel pool. There are plenty of good views in beautiful Peru, and keeping children well-rested is an easy way to help them stay amenable throughout the trip.
Planning a family Peru trip? Let Surtrek, the leader in custom South American travel, help. Find out how they can here.