Blog Itineraries Peru

Machu Picchu For Kids: An Amazing Week in Peru

In the summer of 2016, we took our 15 and 13 year old sons and 11 year old daughter for an amazing week in Peru.  We thought the highlight would be Machu Picchu.  It truly was a remarkable site to visit.  One that I believe should be on everyone’s bucket list.  However, our whole week in Peru was one of the best family vacations that we have ever had.

img_2263 harrison cuddling a llam

We visited Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco and were blown away by the beauty of the land, the food, and the history of all that we saw.  We visited churches in Lima and Cusco and explored the Inca Ruins in Cusco, the Sacred Valley and at Machu Picchu.   We tasted Peruvian delicacies in markets and restaurants.  We rode horses while being in awe of the mountains that surrounded us.  We hung out with llamas and alpacas, and watched as local women weaved their beautiful scarves and clothes.  We visited a remote village and spent an unforgettable afternoon with children and their teacher at their school.  Then, we visited a family home, and learned about how they live.

img_1828 Two women weaving in a native home.

This week had everything that I always hope to have when I create an itinerary for my travels – culture, history, adventure, and, most importantly, authenticity.    I worked with Kouda Travel, a local Peruvian travel agency, to help us craft our week in Peru.  They were exceptionally helpful before we arrived and were amazing guides in their beautiful country.

Below is our day to day schedule with a little bit of commentary.  If you wish to read more about this trip; what did and did not work; what we might have changed; and our highlights and why, please go to my blog Peru and Machu Picchu: Would We Do It Again.

Day 1 – Lima

We arrived in Lima, were picked up at the airport and taken to our hotel, Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores.  We relaxed and recovered from our long day of travelling.

Day 2 – Lima

In the morning, we explored the Miraflores  area around our hotel on our own and did a little bit of shopping.

In the afternoon, we were picked up at our hotel for a very interesting private tour of Lima.   We went to:

  • The historic centre of Lima, and saw San Martin Square and the Bolivar Hotel;
  • The Local Market in Surquillo District and tried Peruvian fruits, vegetables and delicacies;  and
  • The Plaza Mayor and visited the Cathedral of Lima, the Archbishop’s Palace and Pizarro House.

img_3843-1

We also explored Casa Aliaga, a special experience as it is one of the oldest mansions in the New World and has been occupied by the same family since 1535.

We stopped at the Traditional Bar-Restaurant Cordano, where we tried a typical beverage of Lima called “Chica Morada” and other Peruvian dishes that were delicious.

In the evening, we did the Magic Water Tour at the Parque de la Reserva.  It was beautiful and fun!  After, we ate a lovely dinner at La Tiendecita Blanca.

Day 3 – Sacred Valley

In the morning, we were picked up at our hotel and transferred by private car to the airport.  We boarded a plane for our short flight to Cusco.

Upon arrival, we were picked up by a private car and guide.   Our adventures in the Sacred Valley began.

img_2146 Lucas feeding llamas and alpacas

Our hotel in the Sacred Valley was 1 1/2 hours away from Cusco.   The scenery on our drive was breathtaking.  Half way through our journey, we stopped at the Living Museum of Awanakancha where we watched traditional weavers at work.  We had fun spending time with, learning about and feeding the llamas and alpacas.  We explored the shop filled with luxurious and fashionable alpaca items, tempted to make many purchases.  Afterwards, we headed to our hotel, Casa Andina Private Collection Valle Sagrado to relax.

Day 4 – Sacred Valley

In the morning, with our private guide, we explored the Inca Ruins at Pisac.  It was spectacularly beautiful on top of the mountain and extraordinary to walk around and hear about its history.

img_2162 Inca Ruins at Pisac

In the afternoon, we strolled through the native village of Pisac and its artisan market.  We found many traditional crafts and hand-made textiles that we purchased.  There were many opportunities to watch the traditional people and their children go about their daily lives in the market.  They were friendly and proud of their market.

In the afternoon, we enjoyed a pottery class.  We were taught by the owner of a long standing family pottery business.  We each did our best to create something that didn’t make him cringe!  It was very amusing and relaxing!  Our creations were left to be baked in the kiln, and were delivered to our hotel in Cusco the night before we left Peru.

This afternoon, we also tried one of the official delicacies of Peru – guinea pig!  No one was able to do more than have a nibble or two of the dish.  I think it had something to do with how we saw it cooked.

img_2212 cooked guinea pig

Day 5 – Sacred Valley

In the morning, we went horseback riding on the rural paths below the mountains.  We had a guide, and a couple of extra helpers walking and riding to help our inexperienced family on our way.  We peaked over fences and met locals going about their business.  It was quiet and magical.  We didn’t want it to end.  We ate lunch at Hacienda Huayocari, a restaurant attached to the ranch from where we went horseback riding.   This was an extraordinary meal and a beautiful family restaurant with its own museum.

img_2232 horseback riding in sacred valley

In the afternoon, we visited a remote local village called Umasbamba Community.  We visited a traditional family home and watched the women do their extraordinary crafts.  We also visited the local school which offers after school programs for the children of the village.   We met with the teacher and students and gave them school supplies that we brought on our trip.   They sang for us and gave us artwork that they had created.   It was an inspiring afternoon and one of my favourite experiences on our trip.

img_1835 School and children at Umasbamba Community

Day 6 – Machu Picchu

In the morning, we woke up early and checked out of our hotel.  We were collected by our guide and driver and driven 20 minutes to Ollantaytambo for our 2 hour train ride to Machu Picchu.   The scenery along the way was stunning.   When we arrived at Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu, we lined up and took the 15 minute perilous bus ride up the mountain to Machu Picchu. The day was already remarkable, filled with astonishing views, and we had not even reached Machu Picchu.

img_1902 Machu PIcchu with my family

We spent the day at Machu Picchu with our private guide.  It was truly spectacular and fascinating.

In the late afternoon, we took the bus back down to Aguas Calientes and had a lovely early dinner.  We boarded the train for the 3 1/2 hour train ride to Cusco.  Our driver collected us from the train station and delivered us to our hotel, the JW Mariott El Convento Cusco.   It was a very long day, but it was filled with extraordinary experiences, none of which I would have given up.

Day 7 – Cusco

In the morning, we had a private tour of Cusco and the surrounding areas.  We visited the Santo Domingo Monastery and the colonial cathedrals in the Plaza de Armas.  

img_1917 Cusco

In the afternoon, we visited the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the temple and amphitheater of Q’enko and the red fortress of PucaPucara.   We shopped in Cusco and purchased many gorgeous alpaca sweaters, shawls and scarves.

Day 8 – Home

We left Cusco for our long flight back home.

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Peru and Machu Picchu are amazing places to take your children for a family holiday or vacation.  This article provides a 7 day itinerary of Peru and Machu Picchu that was amazing.

 



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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Josie @ Adventures In Flannel
    November 14, 2016 at 5:39 am

    What an amazing experience! I’m so jealous. My uncle had invited me to go with him and a few of my other cousins to hike Machu Picchu this past September. Alas, I couldn’t make it work with my work schedule. I don’t think they spent much time on other activities and visiting communities, but after reading all the activities you did, I definitely be adding a few more things on my must-do list for when I finally get to travel to Peru. Thanks so much for the share!

    • Reply
      nlhunter
      November 14, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      The hike to Machu Picchu looked amazing. We opted not to do that because it wouldn’t work for all my children. So, there would have been lots of complaining. But, hiking around Machu Picchu, once you get there, is also awe inspiring.

  • Reply
    Susie
    November 15, 2016 at 1:44 am

    What a wonderful adventure, I adopted 3 kids when my 4 where just reaching the travel age so as a family of 10 we stuck to road trips & camping (I’m running out of patience waiting for grand-kids) when the Grandbabies finally come I am hoping I can do some greater adventures with them.

    • Reply
      nlhunter
      November 15, 2016 at 6:26 am

      Wow! 10 children! You must have come incredible stories to tell about raising that many children!

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