- Explore the Inca fortress and colorful local market of Pisac
- Get a glimpse into the farming and weaving lifestyle of Andean villages
- Explore the Sacred Valley, including Machu Picchu, on foot, bike, and train
- Learn about ancient agricultural practices at the crop circles of Moray
- Descend into the canyon of the salt mines of Salineras
- Paddleboard on Lake Piuray and kayak down the Tambopata River
- Venture into the Amazon, view flocks of colorful parrots, and fish for piranha
- Stroll the charming streets of Cusco, the regional and cultural capital of Southern Peru
Traveling is a great way to spend time with the family, and Peru offers a variety of great experiences that you won’t find in more conventional ‘family’ destinations. Convenient transportation on both land and water also ensures that the trip will remain relaxing for the whole family, unlike other more rugged treks such as the Inca Trail.
You will stay in comfortable lodging each night, whether it be a jungle bungalow or a hotel in the city. English-speaking guides will assist you in your tour and share stories that contain local insights.
|Day 1||Arrival in Lima||Lima|
|Day 2||Arrival in Cusco||Cusco|
|Day 3||A Day in Pisac||Pisac|
|Day 4||Life in the Countryside||Amaru|
|Day 5||See the Sacred Valley||Aguas Calientes|
|Day 6||Explore of Machu Picchu||Ollantaytambo|
|Day 7||Moray and Salineras||Ollantaytambo|
|Day 8||Lake Piuray and Chinchero||Cusco|
|Day 9||The Streets of Cusco||Cusco|
|Day 10||Venture into the Amazon||Jungle Lodge (Amazon)|
|Day 11||Down the Tambopata River||Jungle Lodge (Amazon)|
|Day 12||Life in the Amazon||Jungle Lodge (Amazon)|
Day 1: Arrival in Lima
¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to Lima, Peru's largest city and central metropolitan hub, and home to one-third of the country's population. Located at the site of a pre-Columbian indigenous Ychsma settlement, which was conquered by the Inca empire in the 15th century and later by the Spanish conquistadores, Lima has a fascinating history and a diverse mix of cultures. Amerindian, European, Afro-Peruvian, and Asian—especially Chinese and Japanese—influences make Lima a dynamic and exciting city to explore.
Lima's breezy location on the Pacific Ocean and mild desert climate make it the perfect city for exploring on foot. Head downtown to mingle with locals, stretch your legs, and grab a bite to eat in one of the many award-winning restaurants.
Suggested activities include:
Explore the historic center of Lima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed with fascinating Spanish architecture. Start with a scenic tour of the colonial downtown, which emanates from the main square. Stroll over to the 16th-century Cathedral, which took 80 years to construct and was built in the grandiose style of the Spanish Empire.
Visit the Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion granted by chief conquistador Francisco Pizarro to Jerónimo de Aliaga, one of his captains, in 1535. This is the only house from that era that still belongs to the same family.
Stroll around the Pueblo Libre district to the privately owned Larco Museum of pre-Columbian art, housed in a beautifully restored viceregal mansion built over a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid. The museum boasts a vast pre-Colonial collection of gold and silver artifacts, as well as pieces of erotic art.
In the evening, head to the eclectic "Love Park" in the upscale coastal district of Miraflores, where you can admire a huge kissing statue and beautiful mosaic walls. The park is built on the cliffs of Chorrillos and is a perfect place to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Pacific.
- Enjoy a nightcap at an open-air cafe or restaurant in the diverse Miraflores neighborhood.
Day 2: Arrival in Cusco
Arrive in Cusco, where your tour officially starts with lunch at a popular local family restaurant. First, you’ll make a stop at Cochahuasi, an animal sanctuary conveniently located en route to Pisac. Get up close and watch rescued flamingoes, lynxes, tapirs, pumas, and condors, all which will be sure to delight the kids. Then, you’ll head to Pisac, a quaint Peruvian town with centuries of history. Walk the cobbled streets and see the main square before dinner, or just to kick back and relax.
With high altitudes of 2,900 m. (9,500 ft.) in Pisac and 3,300 m. (10,800 ft.) in Cusco, you’ll want to take it easy acclimatizing to the conditions of the Andes. Retreat to your nearby hotel whenever you want to call it a night.
Day 3: A Day in Pisac
Today, you’ll get the chance to see two of Pisac’s most popular attractions. In the morning, we’ll climb up to the Inca mountain fortress at the edge of town. The ancient ruins are a great example of traditional architecture and offer a splendid view of the surrounding Sacred Valley.
After lunch, it’s time to check out the region’s most renowned market where you can buy locally-made handicrafts, jewelry, alpaca products, and more. Sundays are especially busy, as entire indigenous communities in the surrounding highlands gather to shop for weekly goods. The market is, however, a popular tourist site, so if you want the best deals, try your hand at bargaining!
Later in the day, you can take some more time to explore Pisac or enjoy some family fun at the local country club, where you can take a dip in the pool (there’s a kiddy pool as well as an adult one), go fishing, or get active on the playground.
Day 4: Life in the Countryside
Wake up early for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a unique way of life. In the village of Amaru, people make a living through traditional subsistence farming. As villagers start their day, join them as they go about their daily tasks — harvesting, plowing fields, or herding their livestock.
Then, immerse yourself in the process of Andean textile weaving accompanied by experienced local women. Pick cotton, make dyes, and try your hand at the weaving loom. After a day of hard work, spend the night at a community guesthouse.
Day 5: See the Sacred Valley
After bidding farewell to the people of Amaru, descend into the Sacred Valley after a hearty breakfast. Following a winding, unpaved trail, we’ll pass through stunning scenery and head back towards Pisac. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can rent a bike for this rough, downhill journey.
Then, get ready for a drive deep into the valley, with plenty of photo opportunities. Pass by Ollantaytambo, a historic town hosting the ruins of an ancient Inca estate. Finally, board a train to the base of Machu Picchu. Look out the window for amazing mountain views until you get to the town of Aguas Calientes, where a comfortable hotel awaits you.
Day 6: Machu Picchu!
Today, you’ll see Peru’s — and one of the world’s — most famous attraction. Rise early to visit the ruins before the crowds arrive and to catch some of the soft morning light. Your guide will be waiting for you to take you on a tour of the ruins.
Marvel at the stone temples, the geometry of the ruins, and the picturesque natural surroundings of the Urubamba Valley. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu is full of beautiful vantage points from where to look out over the ruins. Once you’re finished exploring the ruins, a train will take you back to Ollantaytambo, where you’ll stay at a family-run hotel.
Day 7: Moray and Salineras
Smaller, but just as beautiful, Inca ruins are still waiting to be discovered, and the first one of the day is Moray. The fascinating site contains a series of odd circular terraces, where some believe the Inca experimented with agricultural techniques.
When it’s time to move on, you can ride ATVs (four-wheeled motorbikes) through the valley. Kids can ride with the adults or ride their own if they’re feeling daring. Eventually, we reach Salineras, a salt mine dating back to Inca times. You’ll be greeted with a field of shining white terraces, where pools of salt sit between narrow grid paths. Tonight, you’ll once again stay at Ollantaytambo.
Day 8: Lake Piuray and Chinchero
Get ready for another day of fun for kids and adults alike. Once you learn the essentials and warm up, you’ll spend the rest of the morning paddle boarding on the calm waters of Lake Piuray. Paddle boards are easy to stand and balance on, so children of all ages can participate without risk. Together, the family can relax and appreciate the surrounding mountain scenery.
Afterward, head into Chinchero to see the beautiful local church and nearby slope terraces. This is a great place to visit at dusk, as sunset illuminates the ancient church, stone walls, and mountains of the Sacred Valley. Once the afternoon has passed, return to Cusco as night falls.
Day 9: The Streets of Cusco
Cusco, the region’s capital and largest city, is filled with historic and interesting sights to see. By now, your guide will be familiar with your preferences and will plan an entire day that makes the best out of your time in Cusco. The best museums, churches, temples, and markets are all right within your reach. Perhaps you’ll get to visit mystical spell-casters’ shops, the main square of Plaza de Armas, or taste the city’s best foods and drinks at hidden hole-in-the-wall eateries.
Look around at the beautiful architecture, reflecting centuries of both colonial and indigenous influences. If you want to escape the bustle, go for a hike in the surrounding highlands. This is a day where you get to see whatever you want and truly experience the colorful and eclectic city of Cusco for yourself and your family. Optional ceramics or chocolate-making sessions are included in the tour today - these are great, family-oriented activities that our guests love!
Day 10: Venture into the Amazon
It’s time to depart the Andes for the jungle wilderness for the next stage in your adventure. Travel to the edge of the world’s most biodiverse region by car, plane, and canoe, and take your first steps into the Amazon along a 1.2 km. (3/4 m.) trail at the outskirts of Puerto Maldonado.
You’re sure to encounter a wide variety of flora and fauna, from birds to monkeys, insects to flowers. At night, you'll embark onto a catamaran and go spotting for caimans (small, freshwater crocodiles), whose eyes glow in the dark above the surface of the Tres Chimbadas Lake. End your day at a nearby jungle lodge.
Day 11: Down the Tambopata River
If you can wake up early enough, today is the best day to uncover the natural beauty of the Amazon. At sunrise, go out to watch for monkeys, birds, and river otters. Then, hop into kayaks and explore the Tambopata downstream. Kapok and Brazil Nut trees tower above you, creating a canopy that provides much-needed shade. The gentle currents allow for a smooth trip, letting you get some stable exercise and time to observe life teeming at the riverbanks.
Day 12: Life in the Amazon
Start your day by visiting a nearby clay lick, a favorite spot for flocks of brightly-colored parrots to gather. Afterward, meet local farmer families who will show you their way of life enduring the unique conditions of the Amazon. Go fishing for piranha, which make a surprisingly delicious dinner when pan-fried. After a memorable meal, rest and reflect on your amazing adventure, or go on one last trek to look for tapirs, caimans, and even tarantulas in the dark.
Day 13: Departure
Our tour has come to an end, and we’ll head into Puerto Maldonado where you can catch your onward flight after breakfast. Any help you need with flights or arrangements will be available before the guides see you out.
Getting there & away
You will most likely have to connect through Lima, first, if you are entering Cusco internationally.
You will leave through the Padre Aldamiz International Airport serving Puerto Maldonado. Flights rarely leave in the evening as cargo jets usually land then, so book one for the early afternoon if you don’t want to wake up early. Domestic flights (LAN Peru and Star Peru are most reliable) connect to Cusco and Lima. Also, be aware that proximity to the Amazon means officials will be extra cautious in regard to tropical diseases. You may be asked to provided proof of yellow fever vaccination for safety reasons, so it’s a good idea to have that on hand.
Because Peru is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed from what Americans and Europeans are used to. That means in the Sacred Valley region, summer months such as July and August will be relatively mild (and at night, can get very cold) while the rainy season will be warmer and wetter.
The rainy season, between December and February, will see less ideal conditions. The Sacred Valley is most pleasant and not too crowded around May and September, the peaks of the dry season. Just make sure to pack an appropriate sleeping bag and warm clothing, as night-time temperatures can dip around freezing. The dry season also means lower water levels and less rain in the Amazon, although the region remains hot and humid year-round.
Accommodation & meals
In Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Pisac, and Aguas Calientes, you'll stay in hotels. Amaru has a community guesthouse, and the Amazon jungle lodge offers roomy bungalows. All accommodations are ideal for families and twin shared, with triple and quad options available as well (please ask one of our specialists for details). Single supplements can also be arranged for an extra fee. Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are served daily and are all-inclusive. Drinking water will also be available.