Two weeks of nonstop adventure and bucket-list activities make this Peruvian itinerary the perfect choice for curious, active kids and teens. Set off from Lima for the Amazon rainforest, where you'll spot sloths and pink dolphins, take nighttime jungle excursions, and try your hand at traditional fishing. It's on to the Sacred Valley to learn about Inca astronomy, hike alongside llamas, and explore the mighty Machu Picchu. After a scenic trip by vintage-style train, end at Lago Titicaca to explore its floating islands by kayak.


  • Swim with friendly sea lions at the gorgeous Palomino Islands 
  • Say hello to curious monkeys and slow-moving sloths in the Amazon rainforest
  • Walk among the sacred ruins of the Inca empire at Machu Picchu
  • Take a hike alongside friendly llamas and get creative with a weaving workshop
  • Visit the floating islands of Lago Titicaca and learn the traditions of the Uros people

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lima, Explore Lima
Day 2 Palomino Islands: Swim with Sea Lions Lima
Day 3 Fly to Iquitos City, Journey into the Amazon Rainforest Iquitos
Day 4 Pacaya Lodge: Plant Walk & National Reserve Iquitos
Day 5 Pacaya Lodge: Village Tour & Harvest, Fishing the River Iquitos
Day 6 River Cruise, Center for Kukama Women, Return to Iquitos City Iquitos 
Day 7 Fly to Cusco, Cusco Planetarium Tour  Cusco
Day 8 Private Family Tour to Sacsayhuamán, Cochahuasi & Pisac Cusco
Day 9 Llama Trek, Weaving Workshop, Train to Aguas Calientes Aguas Calientes
Day 10 Guided Tour of Machu Picchu, Return to Cusco  Cusco
Day 11 Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain Trek Cusco
Day 12 Ride the Titicaca Train to Puno Puno
Day 13 Kayaking Tour of Uros & Taquile Floating Islands  Puno
Day 14 Depart Puno  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lima, Explore

Take a self-guided tour of vibrant Lima

Welcome to Peru! Your flight lands in the capital city of Lima, a vibrant metropolis and one of Peru's largest cities. Your driver will collect you from the airport and transport you to your hotel, and after your family has a chance to regroup, you're free to get out and explore all that the city has to offer.

Start at the cliffside walking paths of El Malecón de Miraflores. This is a great place for the whole family to stretch their legs after the long journey, and there are bike rentals available, as well as guided bike tours. This is also home to the eclectic Parque del Amor (Love Park), which includes a huge statue of a couple kissing and beautiful mosaic walls, and Huaca Pucllana, a large clay pyramid built around 500 CE, with seven staggered levels. Make your way to the uppermost section for great views of the city!

If your family is looking for a break from the hustle and bustle, Parque Kennedy offers a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere while offering plenty of room for the kids to roam. You can stroll through the park and admire the beautiful flowers and trees or sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the park's central fountain. This is also a great place to shop for souvenirs, as local vendors set up here daily to sell their handmade crafts. Browse the stalls and find the perfect memento to take home before you head back to your hotel.

Day 2: Palomino Islands: Swim with Sea Lions

Swim with the friendly sea lions of the Palomino Islands

This morning, your driver will collect you from your hotel and take you to the Port of Callao, where you'll board a boat and head out to the Palomino Islands, a group of islets that sit just off the coast of Callao. Palomino is home to a colony of nearly 8,000 sea lions, and today your family will have the unprecedented opportunity to take a swim with these curious creatures! 

The boat ride to the islands takes about 1.5 hours, and along the way, you'll pass several other islands, including San Lorenzo, El Fronton, and Cavinzas, where you're likely to see numerous nesting seabirds. As you approach Palomino, chances are you and the kids will hear the sea lions before you see them, as their collective barking can be quite loud! You'll have some time to admire them swimming, jumping, and sunbathing for a bit, then it's time to get in the water yourselves.

Your boat captain and guides will provide instructions on how to safely interact with the animals, which includes allowing them to approach and touch you but never touching them, as well as refraining from screaming, waving arms, or otherwise being disruptive toward them when they do approach. Visitors are also prohibited from going on the island itself, and boats will anchor just offshore of the islands. After spending time with the sea lions and enjoying what are sure to be exceptional family photo ops, your boat will head back to the port, where your driver will be waiting to take you back to Lima. 

Day 3: Fly to Iquitos City, Journey into the Amazon Rainforest

Journey into the Amazon Rainforest 

The real adventure begins today as you depart Lima and head to the airport for your flight to Iquitos City. Located in the Loreto region, this port city is the largest in the Peruvian Amazon and is considered a gateway to the jungles and lodges of the northern Amazon. Upon arrival, a driver will meet you and transport you to Nauta, a small town on the banks of the Río Marañón and located approximately 1.5 hours from Iquitos. 

From here, your family will continue via boat, heading down the river to Pacaya Samiria Lodge, a small, exclusive lodge located next to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and your home for the next few days. Along the way, your boat captain will take you by the Fundo Casual, an animal rescue center, where you and the kids can meet several species of local animals. 

Arrive at the lodge and enjoy a warm welcome, as well as fruit drinks to refresh everyone after the long journey. Once you've settled in and unpacked, lunch will be available in the dining area. Later tonight, you'll have the opportunity to take an excursion into nearby Restinga Forest on the hunt for nighttime sightings of frogs, tarantulas, and various insects. You can also relax in the lodge's clubhouse area and listen to the local people who work here share the historical myths and legends that surround the Amazon. 

Day 4: Pacaya Lodge: Plant Walk & National Reserve

See slow-moving sloths on a jungle hike

Get an early start on your jungle exploration this morning, heading into the forest with one of the lodge's expert guides. You'll follow the route of the primates, taking in the green canopies overhead and listening to the sounds of the forest. Your guide will share information on the immense biodiversity of the region, explaining the many medicinal uses of the plants and trees that grow here. 

Later this afternoon, you'll head downriver via boat and into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in search of the pink and gray dolphins that live on the river. Amazon river dolphins are considered the largest species of dolphin in the world, and their equally large brains make them one of the most intelligent. Your expert local guide will take you to the best spots to sight them, and the kids might even get a personal greeting from one of these curious creatures!

If you happen to be here during the rainy season and want to see more of the forest's flora and fauna, you can also take a guided interpretive walk of what locals call "The Jungle of Mirrors," a reference to the reflective nature of the immense black waters that fill the rivers, lagoons, and lakes of the reserve. Your guide will take you along the trails and flooded forests, where you're likely to see monkeys and other primates, as well as some slow-moving sloths. Return to the lodge in time for dinner and evening talks at the clubhouse.

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Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 5: Pacaya Lodge: Village Tour & Harvest, Fishing the River

Try your hand at fishing on the Río Marañon

Learn more about the people of the Amazon today, starting with a tour of some of the local Kukama Kukamiria communities. You'll see residents at work and play as they share their customs and daily activities with you. The local people here have a deep relationship with the forest and are dedicated to preserving the environment and protecting their culture. 

If you really want to immerse your family in the local culture, you can also help with the community harvest of the fruit of the aguaje palm. This precious fruit, an important export for the Amazonian people, was once under threat due to logging, where the entire tree was cut down for harvesting. Now, locals climb the palm trees, handpicking the aguaje in order to preserve the tree. Adventurous climbers in your group can take part in this activity, climbing alongside the locals and learning more about the dynamics of the community and their efforts to preserve the forest. 

Afterward, take the kids on a fishing excursion, where you'll fish along the Río Marañon, as well as some of the smaller ponds and tributaries. Learn the ancestral fishing techniques used for centuries by subsistence fishermen, and see if you can catch a fish or two yourselves! You can do catch-and-release or bring your bounty back to the lodge to be cooked up for lunch.

Day 6: River Cruise, Center for Kukama Women, Return to Iquitos City

Take a riverboat cruise on the Río Marañon 

Make the most of your last morning at the lodge, starting with a boat cruise along the Río Marañon. You'll visit the confluence of the rivers Ucayali and Marañon, where the mighty Río Amazonas is born. The world's largest river, the Amazon, is more than 4,000 miles (6,700 km) long and is the source of one-fifth of the planet's fresh water. Weather permitting, the kids can try their hand at fishing again, and birders in the family will enjoy seeing and hearing all the tropical birds in the nearby trees. 

Afterward, visit the community of San Jorge, where you'll interact with the residents and learn more about their way of life. San Jorge is also home to the Center for Kukama Women, where the women are part of a project called Pua Kamatawara (Working Hands). As part of the project, they use their skills to create artisan crafts with palm fibers and other locally-sourced ingredients. Your family will have a chance to see them at work, and you can purchase items such as soaps, beauty masks, and artwork. Return to the lodge in time to pack up and head back to Iquitos City to overnight.

Day 7: Fly to Cusco, Cusco Planetarium Tour 

Learn about the secrets of the cosmos at Cusco Planetarium

You're off to the bustling city of Cusco today. Once the capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is known for ancient architecture that showcases the history of the region, combining Inca ruins with Spanish colonial buildings. You'll take a private transfer to the airport this morning for the four-hour flight. Upon arrival, your driver will take you to your hotel, and you'll have some time to rest and regroup before heading out for a visit to the Cusco Planetarium

Located just 15 minutes from downtown Cusco, the Cusco Planetarium offers a wide range of experiences that are suitable for all ages, from their "dome," where you'll see starry sky projections and learn about constellations, to real telescopes that let visitors see the planets and stars of the southern skies. Kids, teens, and adults alike will all find themselves in awe of the star-filled skies and informative presentations.

Your tour includes a transfer from the hotel, meeting with the rest of the tour group at Regocijo's Square, also known as the Plaza Cusipata. From here, you'll travel by car to the planetarium. There will be an introduction to Inca astronomy in the interpretation room, then you'll visit the dome to enjoy a virtual projection of the southern sky. After you've learned the basics of the constellations and planets, you and the kids will have time to do some stargazing with the planetarium's telescopes. Return to the city in time to have dinner at a local restaurant. 

Day 8: Private Family Tour to  Sacsayhuamán, Cochahuasi & Pisac

See the ancient Sacsayhuamán Fortress on a family tour

Take a privately guided tour of Cusco's historic sites, starting with a visit to Sacsayhuamán Fortress, originally built as a religious site and featuring immense stones that are a testament to the incredible engineering skills of the Inca people. From here, you'll continue into the Sacred Valley, with a stop at the Cochahuasi Rescue Center, a family-run organization dedicated to rehabilitating animals who are the victims of mistreatment or illegal hunting. The kids can meet the vicuñas, llamas, and alpacas and see beautiful birds like the Andean condor. 

Make a short stop at the lookout point of Taray, which offers panoramic views of the valley and countryside, then head to Pisac, considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. Your family will explore the ancient Inca burial grounds, learn about their irrigation systems, see the astronomy center, and walk around the Intihuatana structure. As an added bonus, the views here stretch across Quitamayo Gorge and the surrounding valleys, making for stunning visuals and photo ops. 

The tour finishes in the town of Pisac, which sits at the bottom of the valley. Known for its bustling textile market, this is a great place to pick up gifts and souvenirs to take home with you, as you'll find a wide assortment of colorful fabrics, clothing, and crafts. Your guide will then take you back to Cusco, where the rest of your day is free. You can take advantage of your time by strolling the city streets, or, if the kids still have a lot of energy, walk up to Santa Ana Viewpoint, which has a lovely plaza, or Cristo Blanco and its 32-foot (10 m) statue of Jesus that overlooks the city. 

Day 9: Llama Trek, Weaving Workshop, Train to Aguas Calientes

Visit with friendly llamas in Chinchero

The day starts with a scenic drive to the Cuper Bajo community and the village of Chinchero, a drive of approximately 45 minutes. Upon arrival, you'll meet with your local guides for a fun cultural excursion: a llama trek! Accompanied by locals, musicians, and, most importantly, llamas, you'll hike along the peaceful lagoon of Piuray, surrounded by breathtaking Andean landscapes. Traverse the native forests with llamas and alpacas, just as the ancient travelers did, and learn why South American camelids are so important to Peruvian culture, eventually arriving at the Cuper Bajo community.  

The villagers will welcome your family, and you'll get an introduction to the traditions of Inca weaving. See their techniques and how they use natural plant dyes, which create astounding hues of purples and blues. See how they create intricate patterns and designs, and the kids can practice their own weaving skills. You'll also all have the opportunity to try on traditional clothing and take photos, something the teens in your group are sure to find entertaining, as well as participating in agricultural activities. 

Visit Chinchero and tour the archaeological park and colonial temple, then continue to the colorful market, where you'll find more handmade clothing and textile items. Your driver will then take you directly to the town of Ollantaytambo, where you'll board a train to Aguas Calientes, a small town nestled at the foot of the famed site of Machu Picchu. The train takes about 1.5 hours, and upon arrival and check-in at your accommodations, the rest of your day is free. You can take a walk around the village, or the kids might enjoy a visit to the hot springs for which the town is named. 

Day 10: Guided Tour of Machu Picchu, Return to Cusco 

See the historic sites and stunning views of Machu Picchu

Today you'll see one of the most well-known symbols of the Inca empire: Machu Picchu. Departing your hotel, you'll board a bus that takes you from Aguas Calientes to the site, a 25-minute ride. Upon arrival, meet with your guide, who will provide a detailed history of the citadel, explaining how the Inca people used the nearly 200 structures that make up the site, then begin your walking tour. 

Visit the Royal Residence, the solar clock at the Intihuatana Pyramid, and the Grupo del Cóndor temples, where religious ceremonies were conducted. Let the older kids climb to the terraced agriculture areas and see the huts where farmers likely lived, as well as fountains, squares, and larger residential houses. Additionally, Machu Picchu is home to wildlife such as Andean foxes, deer, and pumas, more than 400 species of birds, and one of the largest collections of wild orchids in the world. 

After the tour, take the bus back to Aguas Calientes and have lunch in the picturesque town center, then hop back on the train to return to Ollantaytambo, where your private transfer will be waiting to take you back to Cusco.

Day 11: Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain Trek

Hike in the colorful Rainbow Mountains

While many travelers might have heard of the famous Vinicunca, or "Rainbow Mountain," its smaller sister, Palcoyo, is just as vibrant and colorful, offering a less-strenuous hike and fewer crowds—making it a perfect option for families. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel in the morning, and after a stop for breakfast, you'll make the 3.5-hour drive to the trailhead. Along the way, you'll stop at the impressive Red River (known locally as Palquella Pucamayu) so the kids can stretch their legs, and you can enjoy the views of the countryside. 

Upon arrival, you'll begin your hike, which takes you along a relatively easy and flat path to the summit. Tell the kids to keep their eyes peeled for llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and other wildlife, as you all take in the incredible colors and expansive panoramas of the mountain. Relax at the top for a bit while the teens in your group take advantage of this vibrant landscape's very social-media-friendly photo ops!

Afterward, you'll hike back down, and your driver will take you back to Cusco, making a stop for lunch en route and getting you back to your hotel in plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your evening. 

Day 12: Ride the Titicaca Train to Puno

All aboard the Titicaca Train!

Your next destination takes you to the town of Puno and the shores of Lago Titicaca. This giant freshwater lake is said to be the birthplace of the Inca, with still, reflective waters, beautiful surrounding landscapes, and incredible floating islands. You'll head to Cusco's Wanchaq Station, where you'll be welcomed onboard the PeruRail Titicaca Train, backdropped by relaxing local music. The train was specifically created to provide passengers traveling to the lake with a luxurious rail experience while connecting with nature. 

Along the 10.5-hour journey, your family can enjoy the two dining cars decorated in 1920s Pullman style, serving gourmet food and a delicious afternoon tea. Your entire ride takes you through some of Peru's most breathtaking landscapes and panoramas, and any budding photographers in the group can head to the open-air observation car to better capture these incredible views. Arrive in Puno in the evening, and take your private transfer to your hotel. 

Day 13: Kayaking Tour of Uros & Taquile Floating Islands 

Visit the incredible floating islands of Uros and Taquile

Today's adventure involves a full-day journey on the majestic Lago Titicaca. Your family will get to experience the lake in a very active and exciting way, with a kayak tour, boat ride, and a local home visit! You'll be picked up from your hotel in Puno and taken to the put-in point for your kayaks, where you'll meet your guides. After an equipment overview and safety briefing, you'll start your paddle across the shimmering blue water. Paddle for about 1.5 hours while the kids take in views of flamingoes and other birdlife, then arrive at the Uros Islands.

It is believed that the Uros people were one of the first ethnic groups to populate the Andean region, and their communities live on some of the planet's only human-made inhabited floating islands, which are constructed out of the totora reeds that grow around the lake. Your family will get to meet the residents and visit their homes, which are built from the same reeds. See the unusual craftsmanship of their houses and boats,  and the whole family will enjoy talking to the Uros people and hearing their stories.

After your visit to the floating island, you'll board a boat for the nearby island of Taquile. You'll have lunch and explore the island, which, due to remaining isolated from the outside world until the 1950s, still follows a very traditional way of life. There are no cars and minimal electricity, and all decisions for the community are made communally. Taquile is also famous for the exquisite weavings created by local artists. Traditionally, the men spin the thread, and the women design and weave each piece. Later, you'll board a boat back to Puno and to your hotel for the evening. 

Day 14: Depart Puno

Farewell to Puno and Peru

Your family adventure in Peru comes to a close today as you take your private transfer to the airport and catch a flight home or to your next destination. Safe travels!

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Map of Epic Family Adventure in Peru: Amazon Rainforest, Sacred Valley & Lago Titicaca - 14 Days
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