Exploring Peru: A Family Adventure
Open new windows of understanding in your grandchildren's eyes as they discover ancient Incan heritage at astonishing Machu Picchu and go off the beaten path to Sacred Valley.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
We loved all the family-oriented activities – making the tiles at Pablo Seminario, weaving at Chinchero, participating in the cooking lesson, taking the market tour, and visiting the llama center.”
family from Washington, DC.
[My family’s favorite part was] Machu Picchu – absolutely awesome!”
Spectacular life experience!”
Overall this was a very well put together package and gave us a good sampling of history and culture of Peru.”
- Smithsonian Travelers Discover Machu Picchu's Sacred Spaces
- A Tailor-Made Journey to India and Nepal
- The Forbidden City: Official Spaces and Private Quarters
- Journey from Bangkok to Bali: Following the Spirits
Introduce your children to history and archaeology at the famed “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu, and explore other Inca sites such as Pisaq and Ollantaytambo. See llamas and alpacas up close and learn about etching, painting and baking ceramic tile. *Indicates a different itinerary and price. Our family adventure to Peru is geared for families with kids ages 10 and older.
Day 1 — Arrive in Lima
Upon arrival in Lima, your family is met and transferred to the hotel. Rest and relax after your long journey. Overnight: Hotel Costa del Sol Lima
Day 2 — Lima to Ollantaytambo
Start the day with an orientation and welcome breakfast at the hotel, then return to the airport. Fly to Cuzco, ancient capital of the Inca Empire, where your first stop is the Sacsayhuaman ruins. Once a military complex, the ruins consist of massive stones weighing close to 125 tons apiece and form a double wall in a zigzag shape. Archeologists estimate the construction of this complex took over seven decades and the work of 20,000 men, and is a masterpiece created by the Inca to show the world their great power and elegance. After, visit the Awanacancha Llama Center, where you can learn about llamas, alpacas, and other New World camelids, which have been important to the way of life here for centuries. Continue to the Sacred Valley, with an in-depth walking tour of Pisaq ruins. This site is known for its meticulous stone terrace, its aqueducts, Sun Temple ruins, and one of the largest known cemeteries from the Empire, yet no one fully understands what its original purpose was. Casa Andina Private Collection Valle Sagrado (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Ollantaytambo
In the morning, we’ll drive to the small, adobe Andean village of Chinchero, hailed as the birthplace of the rainbow! Known for their superb generations-old weaving tradition, local Quechua women demonstrate the age-old Andean craft of back-strap weaving. While in Chinchero, we’ll visit the crumbled ruins of a once-grandiose Inca palace. After, set out to explore the Ollantaytambo ruins, village, and surroundings. The village is the best surviving example of classic Inca town planning. Many of the original Inca walls, compounds, and irrigation channels date back to the 15th century or earlier. Ollantaytambo is so well preserved it serves as a veritable replica of a typical community during the reign of the Incas. Be sure to stroll along the river and take a peek in the buildings, a unique glimpse into the life of this long-lost culture. Casa Andina Private Collection Valle Sagrado (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu
Visit the studio of renowned ceramicist Pablo Seminario whose work is dedicated to rediscovering and preserving the ceramic techniques and designs of ancient Peruvian cultures. Lunch is at the Kuchuwasi restaurant, a quiet haven in a shaded back street of Ollantaytambo that is operated by a local family. After lunch, explore Ollantaytambo, the best surviving example of classic Inca town planning. Later, take a 90-minute train journey following the Urubamba River which presents a non-stop series of awe-inspiring views of soaring mountains and dramatic canyons (11-pound carry-on limit per person. Excess luggage will be stored before boarding the train). Check-in to Inkaterra Hotel in Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. After check-in, you are free to explore the 12 acre grounds, venture into town or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Machu Picchu to Cuzco
We have a half day to explore wondrous Machu Picchu. This Incan engineering and architectural jewel was completely self-contained and designed to be intimidating to potential invaders. Photographers won’t want to miss the opportunity to witness the changes in light as the sun rises over the eastern mountain ridges; Thomson offers an early morning shuttle bus to the site. At 7,800 feet, you are literally “in the clouds” here as the mists swirl and lift and sweep across the emerald green landscape. There are two optional hikes. Experience an exciting hike up to the sacred summit of Huayna Picchu, the rocky knoll overlooking the entire site of Machu Picchu (Age min. is 8). The less strenuous hike is the route that follows the famous Inca trail to Machu Picchu and the Gate of the Sun (Inti Punku). This hike is a mile long and approx. 1,000 feet up. Later, return to the Sacred Valley on a 1 ½ hour train ride that follows the Urubamba River. Hotel Los Portales (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Cuzco
The temples and buildings of Cuzco once shimmered with gold, but the Spanish conquest left its architectural mark, wiping away any traces of richness. Your city tour begins this morning with a visit to the Koricancha temple, the Incan temple that was dedicated to the worship of the sun. Continue your walk up Calle Loreto past the fine palace walls to the Plaza de Armas. After lunch in the Plaza, resume your city walking tour visiting the Hatun Rumiyoq stone and artisans’ shops in the San Blas neighborhood. Dinner is included tonight at a local restaurant. Hotel Los Portales (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Depart Cuzco
This morning walk through the streets of Cuzco to the San Pedro market, Cuzco’s largest, and explore the bustling aisles and mountains of produce. Return to the Plaza de Armas by way of the Plaza San Francisco. Enjoy leisurely wanderings and discover the tempting souvenir treasures in Cuzco. After having lunch on your own, you may choose to enjoy a cooking class. You will learn about the history of Peruvian cuisine, how to prepare some Peruvian dishes, and of course enjoy a Pisco Sour. This afternoon return to Lima to connect with your international flight home. (B)
*The itinerary on the June 19th departure is slightly different to allow you and your family to enjoy Inti Raymi Day where you will witness the Salute to the Sun ceremony, which takes place outside of our hotel at the Koricancha Temple. Later in the morning, get settled at the Saqsayhuaman esplanade, where we will have reserved bleacher seats for the day’s ceremony.
**The itinerary on the December 26th departure is slightly different due to holiday schedules.