- Spend a night in the Amazon and walk through the rainforest canopy
- Hike the Sacred Valley of the Incas and paddleboard on a mountain lake
- See Inca ruins (and friendly llamas) at Machu Picchu
- Wonder at the floating islands of majestic Lake Titicaca
- Stay with a Uros family on the island of Amantaní
|Arrive in Lima, Fly to Puerto Maldonado & Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
|Explore the Rivers & Treetops of the Amazon Rainforest
|Fly to Cusco, Gateway to the Sacred Valley
|Hike the Urquillos Inca Trail, Sacred Valley Standup Paddleboarding
|Lunch at Mountainview, Scenic Train Journey to Aguas Calientes
|Machu Picchu Family Excursion, Transfer to Cusco
|Fly to Juliaca, Transfer to Puno & Lake Titicaca
|Family Tour of Lake Titicaca: Uros Floating Islands & Taquile Island
|Transfer to Amantaní Island
|Amantaní Island Sunrise, Fly to Lima & Depart
Day 1: Arrive in Lima, Fly to Puerto Maldonado & Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
Welcome to Peru! Upon arrival at Lima airport, you'll catch a 1.5-hour flight east to Puerto Maldonado, a thriving city and capital of the country's southern jungle. Your family adventure starts straight away as you and the kids are whisked to the Río Madre de Dios, where you'll take a 45-minute boat ride to the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Lodge. Settle into your cabaña (cabin), enjoy lunch, and head out to get better acquainted with the Amazon. Take a guided walk along the trail system, where the kids will be amazed by the colorful birds, exotic insects, and impressive trees in the spectacular jungle setting.
Later on, as dusk falls, discover the sights and sounds of the Amazon with a nighttime boat ride. It's a captivating experience as you and the kids watch the daytime creatures give way to species such as nightjars, owls, and friendly capybaras. Hear from your guide about the animals' distinctive nocturnal habits, and watch out for several varieties of the reptilian caiman. Afterward, return to the lodge and enjoy dinner before relaxing in your cabaña, to the memorable backdrop of the jungle.
Day 2: Explore the Rivers & Treetops of the Amazon Rainforest
After breakfast, the day is yours to explore the jungle with your family at your own pace and choose from various activities the lodge offers. Relax in a traditional wooden canoe as you and the kids glide across the mirror-like Lago Sandoval into the Tambopata National Reserve. Keep your eyes peeled for the red howler monkeys, red-bellied macaws, anacondas, and the endangered giant river otter while taking in the lush jungle that dominates the banks.
Return to the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica for lunch, and if the kids are eager to get up close and personal with the jungle, head for a treetop adventure along the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway. There are lifelong memories to be made as you and the kids ascend a 95-foot (29 m) observation tower and spend an hour or two strolling through the rainforest canopy via a suspension bridge that links the remaining seven observation towers. It's a beautiful way to encounter the toucans, monkeys, sloths, and trogons in their natural habitat. In the evening, enjoy drinks and dinner back at the reserve.
Day 3: Fly to Cusco, Gateway to the Sacred Valley
Today you'll swap the lush rainforests of the Amazon for the historic city of Cusco, the former Inca capital and gateway to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Return to Puerto Maldonado via boat and catch your 50-minute domestic flight, where a driver will be waiting upon landing to take you to your accommodation. After a refresh at your hotel, head out to explore. From fascinating ruins to vibrant local markets, Cusco's charming streets are brimming with unforgettable experiences and family-friendly adventures.
Ease yourselves in gently as you get used to the elevation—the city is 11,000 feet (3,352 m) above sea level—with a relaxing drink at the central Plaza de Armas; the town's square, filled with gorgeous colonial architecture and the 16th-century Gothic-Renaissance Cathedral Basilica. Then, wander through the narrow stone alleyways to San Blas, the old bohemian quarter famous for its striking white walls, blue doors, and creative artisan community. Feast on authentic Peruvian fare for lunch, trying specialties such as crackling pork, pickled vegetables, and hearth-baked breads.
There are plenty of ruins for the little ones to explore too. Don't miss Qoricancha (Temple of the Sun), the most important temple of the Inca Empire. Roam the 13th-century complex as the kids discover the smaller temples dedicated to the rainbow, stars, lighting, and thunder.
Day 4: Hike the Urquillos Inca Trail, Sacred Valley Standup Paddleboarding
It's back on the adventure trail this morning as, after breakfast, you and the kids take a private transfer to nearby Chinchero, a traditional Inca colonial town en route to the heart of the Sacred Valley. Here you'll lace up your hiking boots for a fun half-day hike as you follow the Qhapac Ñan, a network of ancient trails once used to connect the entire Inca Empire. Perfect for kids, the cobblestone trail leads downhill as you descend 1,800 feet (549 m) to the Colonial town of Urquillos. Stop to admire the views and break for lunch, enjoying the warmer temperatures as you approach the city.
There's more fun to be had this afternoon as you venture farther into the Sacred Valley to the tranquil lakeshores of Huaypo, nestled within the mighty peaks of the Andes. You and the kids will explore the lake and surrounding scenery as you take a guided standup paddleboarding tour. Suitable for the whole family, get kitted out, and whether you are an expert or a complete beginner, you'll soon be up and paddling. Enjoy a relaxing picnic on the banks and savor the breathtaking views. You'll stay overnight in nearby Urubamba, where the night is yours to relax after an action-packed day.
Day 5: Lunch at Mountainview, Scenic Train Journey to Aguas Calientes
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Enjoy a relaxed morning after yesterday's activities as you prepare for the next leg of your family adventure. Start with a trip to Mountainview, a rural idyll where you and your family will be served a feast of Peruvian dishes. The resident llamas will surely be a hit with the kids, while the view from your table toward the snow-capped peaks of the Andes is one to linger over. Afterward, your guide will drive you to the station, where you'll embark on a train journey through forest-clad mountains and deep valleys to the small town of Aguas Calientes, at the base of Machu Picchu.
Settle in at your accommodation, and you have a couple of options: unwind in the hot springs after which the town was named, or grab a drink and watch local life at one of the local cafés. A short fifteen-minute walk will lead you to Mariposario de Machupicchu, a butterfly farm where kids can walk amid the freely fluttering creatures and learn how butterflies emerge from their cocoons. The town's Machu Picchu Museum is a great option to spend an hour or two discovering pieces uncovered during the site's excavation and the ongoing conservation work.
Day 6: Machu Picchu Family Excursion, Transfer to Cusco
No trip to Peru is complete without a visit to the 15th-century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and justifiably one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. A masterpiece of engineering that served as a sanctuary and retreat for the Inca Emperor Pachacutec and his royal court, Machu Picchu is nestled high in the slopes of the Andes mountains at 7,970 feet (2,429 m). Abandoned 100 years after its construction following the Spanish conquest, this breathtaking site remained largely hidden from the outside world until the early 20th century.
It's just a short walk after breakfast to meet your guide for the 25-minute bus ride to Machu Picchu. The kids won't fail to be stunned by the grandeur and majesty of this "city in the clouds" as you take a guided tour of the site and learn about the citadel's fascinating history. Afterward, you'll transfer back to Aguas Calientes and can grab a bite to eat before traveling to Cusco for the night. Enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants as you recount your highlights of the trip so far and bid goodnight to the exhausted but happy kids.
Day 7: Fly to Juliaca, Transfer to Puno & Lake Titicaca
This morning, transfer to Cusco airport in time to catch a four-hour flight south to Juliaca. Your destination is Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, South America's largest lake and a hotbed of ecological diversity, archaeological ruins, and farming communities. Although many bodies of water exist at higher elevations, Lake Titicaca's surface elevation of 12,507 feet (3,812 m) makes it the highest lake in the world navigatable by large commercial vessels. Arrive at your hotel, and the rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to relax and get your bearings.
Day 8: Family Tour of Lake Titicaca: Uros Floating Islands & Taquile Island
Today's adventure begins after breakfast. The Uros people are believed to be among the first ethnic groups to populate the Andean region and have made their homes on artificial floating islands constructed out of the totora reeds that grow in abundance around the lake. Travel to the islands and hear firsthand from your guide about everyday island life and the traditions of the Uros people. It's a unique experience for both kids and adults and a fascinating glimpse into life on the lake as well as the impact of tourism on cultural heritage.
Next up is a visit to the island of Taquile, which, until the 1950s, mainly remained isolated from the outside world and is famous for its exquisite weavings created by local artists. It's a climb of 500 steps to the central part of the island—an excellent way for the kids to burn off some energy, and you'll be rewarded with a delicious lunch at a local restaurant afterward. With no cars and very little electricity, locals follow a particular way of life that the kids will no doubt find intriguing. Your visit concludes with a boat ride from the island back to Puno, where the rest of the evening is yours to spend as you wish.
Day 9: Transfer to Amantaní Island
It's your family's penultimate day in Peru, and after yesterday's insight into local life, today is your opportunity to experience island life first-hand. Travel by boat to the island of Amantaní, where members from your host family will greet you and your family. Intrepid kids will be curious to discover a way of life a world apart from their own as you make your way to your lodgings.
Once settled in your new surroundings, enjoy lunch in a local house and decide on your afternoon activities. You and the kids can choose from hands-on options, including an embroidery and weaving workshop, a boat trip with a local fisherman, or a local produce cooking class. As dusk falls, you and your family will be invited to join the community in a traditional night of music and dance to celebrate and give thanks for your visit. It's a memorable way to spend your last night in Peru and one that will surely become a treasured family memory for years to come.
Day 10: Amantaní Island Sunrise, Fly to Lima & Depart
It's time to say farewell to your hosts on Amantaní and head home, but before you do, there are a few final activities and surprises in store. The sunrises over the lake are spectacular; you'll either wake early to help the local fishermen collect their nets or take a gentle early morning hike to Island's highest point and watch as the colors transform the mirror-like glaze of the lake. Return to your lodgings for a beautiful final breakfast before saying farewell to your hosts and returning to Taquile.
Depending on flight times, you might have time to squeeze in one last hike on the island; otherwise, head to lunch at a local restaurant before returning by boat to Puno. Transfer to the airport and catch your flight to Lima, where you'll board your flight home. Safe travels!