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.”
- A Tailor-Made Journey to India and Nepal
- The Forbidden City: Official Spaces and Private Quarters
- Journey from Bangkok to Bali: Following the Spirits
- Haydn Seek
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 Lima
Upon arrival in Lima, your family is met and transferred to the hotel. Rest and relax after your long journey. Overnight: Ramada Costa del Sol
Day 2 — Lima to the Sacred Valley
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 (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Sacred Valley
Spend this morning visiting the ceramic studio of Pablo Seminario, whose work is dedicated to rediscovering and preserving the ceramic techniques and designs of ancient Peruvian cultures—an important part of this area’s cultural heritage. 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. 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, walk down the street to the train station to board the train to Aguas Calientes, at the foot of Machu Picchu. Enjoy spectacular views of the valley and of the Urubamba River as the train winds its way to Aguas Calientes. **Note: there is an 11-pound carry-on limit per person. Excess luggage will be stored. Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Sacred Valley
Spend a full day at the citadel of Machu Picchu. The guide will work out how this day unfolds based on the interests of the group. Together the group will hop the shuttle bus up to the ruins for exploration of the trail system and surrounding ruins. After a tour and explanation of the ruins, the guide will offer an exciting hike up to the sacred summit of Huayna Picchu, the rocky knoll overlooking Machu Picchu. The trail is steep and at one point you pass through a natural cave just before emerging at the summit. The view from the top is extraordinary.
Those who seek a less strenuous route are encouraged to hike back along the famed Inca Trail to Machu Picchu to the Inti Punku, the Gate of the Sun. This is a walk of one mile distance, and approximately 1,000 feet vertical gain. The view down to Machu Picchu from the ceremonial platform here is a classic. The remainder of the afternoon will be free at leisure; the park closes at 5:00 p.m. Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Sacred Valley to Cuzco
Return to Ollantaytambo and drive to the small, adobe Andean village of Chinchero. Here you can enjoy a traditional highland huatia—potatoes roasted in an earth oven, served with other food that is traditionally offered when family members join together to harvest the new crops. Visit the Cuzco Traditional Textiles Center, where a local expert gives a one-hour talk and demonstration of Andean backstrap weaving techniques and discusses the meaning of weaving in the local economy. Meet some teenage girls who are learning to make wool sweaters, and learn how the CTTC fits into their world-view. Late this afternoon return to Cuzco, where you’ll enjoy a relaxing dinner at the hotel. Hotel Libertador Palacio del Inka (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 Libertador Palacio del Inka (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Cuzco to Lima
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. Lunch and the afternoon are on your own today to enjoy a little family time. This afternoon return to Lima to connect with your international flight home. (B)
The June 19th departure itinerary 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 December 23rd departure itinerary is slightly different due to holiday schedules.