This thrill-filled family tour is perfect for travelers with older kids and teens. Start in the capital city of Lima, where you'll stroll historic plazas and local parks. Then, it's off to explore the mysteries of the Amazon rainforest. See monkeys, caimans, and tropical birds in their natural habitat, walk high among the trees on a canopy tour, and cruise the river at night to see nocturnal creatures. End with food tours in Cusco, a walk with the ancients at Machu Picchu, and the mystical floating islands of Lago Titicaca.


  • Discover the flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest via suspension bridge 
  • Go standup paddleboarding on the gorgeous waters of Laguna de Huaypo
  • Walk among the sacred ruins of the Inca empire at Machu Picchu
  • 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 Fly to Puerto Maldonado, Journey into the Amazon Rainforest Puerto Maldonado
Day 3 Amazonica Lodge: Lago Sandoval & Canopy Walk  Puerto Maldonado
Day 4 Amazonica Lodge: Creek Cruise & Rainforest by Night   Puerto Maldonado
Day 5 Fly to Cusco, Free Afternoon  Cusco
Day 6 Market Tour & Peruvian Street Food  Cusco
Day 7 Urquillos Inca Trail Hike Urubamba
Day 8 Sacred Valley Paddleboarding & Mountain View Lunch Urubamba
Day 9 Train to Aguas Calientes, Hot Springs Visit Aguas Calientes/ Machu Picchu
Day 10 Discover the Treasures of Machu Picchu, Return to Cusco Cusco
Day 11 Fly to Puno, Free Afternoon Puno
Day 12 Lago Titicaca: Uros Floating Islands & Taquile Island Puno
Day 13 Amantaní Island: Cultural Workshops & Boat Tour Amantaní Island
Day 14 Amantaní Island Morning Exploration, Fly to Lima & Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lima, Explore

Welcome to Lima, Peru! 

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 Plaza Mayor de Lima, located in the historic center. Here, you'll find notable sights such as the Government Palace, where Lima's president resides, and Casa Aliaga, one of the oldest houses in Peru. You can also see the Municipal Palace, Archbishop's Palace, and the stunning Lima Cathedral

Let the kids peruse the pre-Colombian artifacts at the Museo Larco, then head to 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, with 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 central fountain. This is also a great place to shop for souvenirs, as local vendors set up daily to sell their handmade crafts. Browse the stalls and find the perfect memento to take home, then head back to your hotel to relax.

Day 2: Fly to Puerto Maldonado, Journey into the Amazon Rainforest

Take an afternoon boat excursion along the Amazon's Río Madre de Dios 

This morning, take a private transfer to the Lima airport and hop on a plane for the quick, 1.5-hour flight to Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival, you'll be met by a driver and transported to the boat launch, where you'll take a scenic 45-minute boat ride along the Río Madre de Dios, heading deep into the Amazon and to Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Lodge, an eco-luxury resort that sits adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve

Take some time to settle into your beautiful cabaña and have a quick lunch in the dining room, then start your jungle adventure with one of the many excursions offered at the lodge. A guided walk around the trail system is a great introduction to the rainforest environment, taking you along winding paths and lush greenery, with plenty of opportunities for bird-watching if you've got any birders in the family! 

Later this evening, watch the jungle transform into a nocturnal wonderland on a twilight river tour. Travel by boat along the river, seeing the nighttime jungle species emerge as the sun sets. Your guide will share information about the different animals that are lively at night, share fascinating facts about their habits, and take you on a search for owls, capybaras, nightjars, and caimans. Enjoy dinner in the main dining room before retiring to your rooms and falling asleep to the intriguing sounds of the jungle at night.

Day 3: Amazonica Lodge: Lago Sandoval & Canopy Walk 

Say hello to curious monkeys at Lago Sandoval

After an early breakfast, take an excursion into the Tambopata National Reserve via wooden canoe, touring the pristine waters of Lago Sandoval. The lake is home to the endangered giant river otter, as well as red howler monkeys, red-bellied macaws, anacondas, side-neck turtles, and black caimans. Cruise along the glass-like lake surface while you and the kids keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, and your guide shares information about the reserve and the various species that live here. 

Later today, get a bird's-eye view of the forest with a canopy walk. You'll ascend a tower that sits at more than 95 feet (29 m) above the jungle, entering an otherworldly treetop realm. Walk a suspension bridge that networks eight different platforms, taking in panoramic scenery that stretches for miles. The kids should keep a lookout for colorful toucans, woodpeckers, monkeys, and slow-moving sloths! Families also have the option of extending the walk and watching the sunset from one of the towers. Return to the lodge in time for nature presentations at their eco-center and happy hour.

Day 4: Amazonica Lodge: Creek Cruise & Rainforest by Night 

See caiman on the banks of Gamitana Creek

Take a boat ride on Gamitana Creek, located about 25 minutes from the lodge. Cruise along the banks of this dark-water creek, home to piranha, caiman, turtles, and tons of colorful birds, until your reach the Sanipanga landing point. Your guide will then take you back downstream, with a stop at nearby Gamitana Farm. Here, your family will enjoy a guided tour with local farmers, learning about their methods of growing fruits and vegetables in the rainforest.

Return to the lodge in time for lunch, then head out to the lodge's botanical gardens for a plant walk. Learn about the more than 200 different plant species that grow in the gardens and their medicinal uses and health benefits. Your guide will compare plant medicines with traditional remedies, and the kids will have a chance to explore the beautiful and peaceful gardens. 

If your family would like to learn more about the jungle and its inhabitants, take a "rainforest by night" excursion this evening. This guided walk takes you deep into the forest after nightfall, where you can see (and hear!) the jungle awakening and the nocturnal animals moving around. Your guide will explain which species emerge only at night and will take you to the areas where you're most likely to see them, giving you an opportunity to view these rarely-seen creatures in their natural habitats. 

Day 5: Fly to Cusco, Free Afternoon

Take your time exploring the city of Cusco and adjusting to the altitude

You're off to your next destination, the city of Cusco. 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. After breakfast, you'll take the boat back to Puerto Maldonado, where you'll catch your flight to Cusco. After arrival and check-in at your hotel, the rest of your day is free to explore on your own. 

Cusco is quite walkable, and a self-guided walking tour is an easy and fun way for your family to see more of the city. Start at the main square, Plaza de Armas, and the Cusco Cathedral, which was actually built with stone blocks brought from Sacsayhuaman and features incredible examples of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance styles. Nearby you'll also find the ruins of Qoricancha (Temple of the Sun), once an important Inca religious center. 

Visit the Puca Pucara ruins, an architectural complex with plazas, baths, aqueducts, walls, and towers that were formerly used by the military, then head to the neighborhood of San Blas, an old bohemian quarter known for its stunning white walls, blue doors, and creative artisan community. Walk up the steep streets and stop to rest at the Plazoleta de San Blas, where you'll find the Coca Museum, the Hilario Mendivil Museum workshop, and the San Blas Temple. San Blas also has a wide assortment of restaurants and cafés, making it a great place for lunch or dinner.

Day 6: Market Tour & Peruvian Street Food 

Visit the colorful San Pedro Market in Cusco

Learn all about Peruvian cuisine with a tour of the local markets and tasty street food. Your guide will collect you in the morning and take you to the popular San Pedro Market, where you'll find fresh produce and meats, food stalls, and souvenir stands. The kids can sample fresh-squeezed juices, locally made breads, and fruits, and the more adventurous eaters might even like to try some sheep's head soup! 

After strolling the market, you'll head out into the side streets where the action and true tastes of Cusco lie. Your guide will share information on the history of the dishes and ingredients as you try traditional foods such as choclo con queso (roast corn with cheese), anticucho (meat kebabs), or traditional Peruvian tamales. Finish with some delicious picarones (fried sweet potato doughnuts), a sweet treat the whole family will love.

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Day 7: Urquillos Inca Trail Hike

Chincheros and Huchuycusco
Grab your hiking boots for a family trek along ancient Inca trails

See more of Peru's Sacred Valley with a guided morning hike along the Qhapac Ñan trails. Your driver will collect you from your hotel after breakfast, and you'll drive to Chinchero, a traditional Inca-colonial town located between Cusco and the heart of the Sacred Valley. From here, your family will begin the trek down a single-track cobble-stoned Inca trail that takes you from 11,220 feet (3,420 m) to 9,420 feet (2,871 m), traversing ancient pathways that once connected the entire Inca Empire from Quito to Santiago de Chile.

Enjoy the picturesque views, noting how the vegetation changes as you descend, and the kids will stay busy sighting the various birdlife in the area. Your guide will share stories and legends about this network of ancient trails, and you'll have a chance to stop for photo ops as well as a picnic lunch. The hike ends in the colonial town of Urquillos, where your transportation will be waiting to take you back to Cusco.

Day 8: Sacred Valley Paddleboarding & Mountain View Lunch

Take a standup paddleboarding cruise along Laguna de Huaypo 

Try your hand at standup paddleboarding today with a trip to the beautiful waters of Laguna de Huaypo. Locals will tell you that this activity is nothing new in Peruvian culture. Thousands of years ago, fishermen here rode the waves on small reed boards called caballos de totora, which translates to "reed horse."

Paddleboarding is fairly easy to learn and requires no previous experience or specific skill levels—making it a great family activity for all ages! You'll meet up with your instructor, and after a safety briefing and some pointers, start your relaxing and peaceful paddle around the lake, taking in the stunning scenery of the Andes as you go. Afterward, have a snack and relax on the shoreline a bit before continuing your day. 

This afternoon, head up to the lodge at Mountain View for lunch. This scenic area offers gorgeous views of the Andes, and the kids can say hello to the many llamas grazing around the nearby fields. Lunch includes an entree and beverage of your choice, and afterward, you can overnight in one of the tipi huts that make up the lodge or return to your hotel in Cusco.

Day 9: Train to Aguas Calientes, Hot Springs Visit

Enjoy a scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes

Take some time this morning to explore on your own, visiting the nearby town of Pisac and shopping at their colorful local markets, or if the kids need to burn some energy, take a hike to some of the Inca ruins, such as the impressive Ollantaytambo Fortress.

Later today, your family will be transferred from your hotel to the train station, where you'll catch the train to Aguas Calientes, a small town nestled at the base of the historic Machu Picchu. The three-hour train journey is an experience in itself, as you and the kids will be treated to stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Upon your arrival at Aguas Calientes, you'll check in at your hotel, where you can relax for the rest of the day, or you can head out to see more of the town. The kids might enjoy a visit to the hot springs for which the town is named,  which come from a natural spring of volcanic origin and are thought to have been used during the time of the Inca. There are also many restaurants and cafés to choose from here, and your family can sample a wide range of local delicacies. 

Day 10: Discover the Treasures of Machu Picchu, Return to Cusco

Walk among the ancients at 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 royals 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 what is considered the largest collection of wild orchids in the world. Your tour ends late in the afternoon, and your family will overnight at lodgings near the site.

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. Your evening is free to see more of Cusco or enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Day 11: Fly to Puno, Free Afternoon 

Spend the day exploring Puno

Depart for the city of Puno today. After hotel check-out, your driver will transfer you to the airport for the four-hour flight. This vibrant city sits on the shores of Lago Titicaca, one of South America's largest lakes and the highest navigable lake in the world. Puno is often referred to as the folkloric capital of Peru, with a rich culture and many traditional festivals that are held here yearly. 

Puno does sit at a high altitude, so if you or the kids don't feel sufficiently acclimatized yet, it might be a good idea to take it easy after you settle at your hotel. But if you want to get out and see the city, you can take an easy walk to some of the main points of interest, such as the baroque-style Puno Cathedral or Jiron de Lima Street, where you'll find shopping, restaurants, and local bars. Not far from Jiron de Lima is Parque Pino, a lovely green space with benches, fountains, and walking paths. This is a great place to people-watch and relax into the vibes of the city!

Day 12: Lago Titicaca: Uros Floating Islands & Taquile Island

Tour the floating islands of Lago Titicaca 

Today's adventure takes you on a full-day journey across Lago Titicaca. This giant freshwater lake is said to be the birthplace of the Inca, with still, reflective waters, beautiful surrounding landscapes, and the incredible Uros Floating Islands. After your guide collects you and you board your boat, your first stop will be on one of these floating islands, where you'll learn about the lives and traditions of the people who live here.

It's believed that the Uros were one of the first ethnic groups to populate the Andean region, constructing the islands from the totora reeds that grow around the lake. Your family will get a chance 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 head to the nearby island of Taquile. You'll have a chance to 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 13: Amantaní Island: Cultural Workshops & Boat Tour

Learn the art of weaving at a local workshop

Early this morning, you'll depart your Puno hotel and head to the docks, where a boat will be waiting to transport you to the island of Amantaní. Here, you'll spend the day and overnight with a host family, learning about the local life and traditions of the island. Once you've gotten settled at your accommodations, you'll have lunch at one of the local houses. Afterward, your family can choose between several activities that highlight the island's history and culture.

You can take a family cooking class where you'll learn about the island's native crops and prepare a traditional quinoa recipe, or attend an embroidery and weaving workshop, where you'll see the artists at work and the kids can practice their weaving skills. You also have options to visit a stonemason's workshop, take a boat ride around the island with local fishermen, visit the community library and hear stories about the island, or attend an Andean music workshop, where you'll listen to traditional music and learn the basics of playing instruments like the zampoñas and charangos

Tonight, experience the joys of this community with a celebration. It has become customary for island residents to host a party to honor visitors, and your family will be quick to join in the fun of singing, dancing, and playing music. The local people are proud to share their traditions with visitors, as well as their music. Party until the wee hours if you like, then rest up for your journey home tomorrow! 

Day 14: Amantaní Island Morning Exploration, Fly to Lima & Depart 

Say goodbye to your new friends in Amantaní before you depart Peru

Make the most of your final morning in Peru by spending some more time exploring Amantani. Your family will have the option of an early morning fishing excursion with local fishermen, heading out on the water at sunrise and checking the nets (teens can even help collect the fish!), or you can take a self-guided morning hike around the island, hiking to the highest point of the island to see the sunrise over the lake.

Have lunch at a local restaurant, then head to the main dock for your boat ride back to Puno. Upon your arrival in Puno, you'll transfer to the airport for your flight back to Lima and home. Safe travels! 

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Map of Epic Family Tour of Peru: Wildlife, Culture & Ancient Ruins  - 14 Days
Map of Epic Family Tour of Peru: Wildlife, Culture & Ancient Ruins - 14 Days