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Top 8 Things to Do in Peru with Family

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Family in Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

The top eight things to do in Peru with family will introduce you to Peruvian culture, breathtaking wilderness and wildlife, and the spirit of adventure.

You can experience educational moments on tours of historic sites tracing centuries of Peruvian history with your kids, partake in adventurous activities in the Amazon rainforest and across the desert sands with your teenage children, and spot endemic wildlife and marine creatures on thrilling trips to national parks and seaside resort towns with those of all ages.

Suitable for the entire family, experiences in Peru invite travelers to share quality time together while discovering what makes Peru a must-visit destination.

Overview

  1. 1. Discover Incan History
  2. 2. Enjoy Adventurous Exploration
  3. 3. Embrace Peruvian Culture
  4. 4. Uncover the Amazonian Wildlife
  5. 5. Observe Coastal Wildlife in Paracas
  6. 6. Embrace the Scenery on Wheels
  7. 7. Indulge in the Sun and Sand
  8. 8. Delight in the Spirit of Horses
  9. Experience the Top Things to Do in Peru with Family

1. Discover Incan History

Maras salt mines in Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru

The Incan Empire was the largest in pre-Columbian America and its influence left a lasting impression on the world. Beneath the Andes, Incan sites preserve the culture and heritage of the ancient civilization. As a family, you can travel across magnificent natural landscapes to view these vestiges of the past.

Beyond the borders of the colonial quarters of Cusco, you can find UNESCO-listed heritage sites that display Incan history. Adventurous families with older children can choose to walk the famous Inca Trail to the fascinating site of Machu Picchu at sunrise. Easier trips to the Maras salt mines and Moray crop circles are ideal for families with younger kids.

You can explore the Incan treasures in the Sacred Valley, discover the historic Sacsayhuamán site, and more on tours that are educational, inspiring, and set against magnificent natural backdrops.

Best Archeological Sites to Visit: Machu Picchu • Wiñay Wayna • Maras salt mines • Moray crop circles • Chan Chan • Sacsayhuamán

2. Enjoy Adventurous Exploration

Surfers at Huanchaco Beach and the traditional reed boats in Peru

Trujillo, Peru

Family vacations in Peru are as much about exploring the country’s rich history as they are about participating in action-packed adventures. Incredible activities are possible in Peru’s remote regions and many are suitable for all ages.

Ziplining tours through Peru’s many dense forests are remarkable ways to experience the wilderness. Many of Peru’s beaches are blessed with glassy waves for sensational surfing. There are rushing rivers on which to enjoy whitewater rafting, towering dunes for sandboarding, and dusty desert trails for cycling.

These experiences only scratch the surface of the ways you can experience the rainforests, beaches, and deserts of Peru as a family.

Best Activities to Enjoy: Ziplining • Whitewater rafting • Sandboarding • Surfing •Cycling • Horseback riding

3. Embrace Peruvian Culture

Inka Museum in Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru

Peru’s rich cultural history extends from the cities to villages that rest in the hills. Museums, heritage sites, and authentic Peruvian restaurants in these destinations are great places in which to embrace the local culture as a family.

Exhibits in museums and galleries display pre-Columbian art, Baroque architecture reveals diverse cultural influences that have shaped the cities, and Peruvian eateries serve century-old culinary traditions. Your family can absorb the unique culture of Peru as you partake in tours and experiences of these highlights.

You can also visit charming boutiques and textile markets to purchase unique jewelry, crafts, and other items to take home a piece of Peruvian culture.

Best Museums to Visit: Museo Inka • Museo de Arte de Lima • Museo Santuarios Andinos • Museo Huacas de Moche • Museo Oro del Perú

4. Uncover the Amazonian Wildlife

The Path of Mother Earth in the Peruvian Amazon

Peruvian Amazon

Several places in Peru are gateways to the Amazon rainforest, inviting your family to discover the region’s unique wildlife.

The Amazon is famous for its biodiversity and home to a variety of animals, birds, bugs, and plants to spot on guided tours. Children of all ages can join their parents on experiences beneath the flourishing forest canopy, including walks along shady trails and 4x4 cruises to remarkable viewpoints.

As you explore the thriving rainforest you can keep your eyes peeled for jaguars, sloths, and so much more. Trips to the macaw clay lick are unforgettable, Lake Condenado is a treasure trove of elusive creatures, and the Manu Wildlife Center is filled with animals.

Best Animals to Search For: Sloth • Caiman • Howler monkeys • Jaguar • Macaw

5. Observe Coastal Wildlife in Paracas

Sea lions in Paracas National Park in Peru

Paracas, Peru

Spend your family vacation on the Peruvian coastline, specifically in the resort town of Paracas, to observe the wildlife that flocks to these shores.

Paracas and its surrounding marine sanctuaries are home to all sorts of wonderful sea creatures. Sea lions and Humboldt penguins gather on the breathtaking beaches of Islas Ballestas islands, flocks of pelicans and seabirds circle in the baby-blue skies, and dolphins leap from the sea.

Cruises can guide you across the glistening waters flanking Paracas’ golden shores to see these fascinating marine beings as you capture stunning wildlife photography and create marvelous memories.

Best Marine Life to Search For: Sea lions • Humboldt penguins • Pelicans • Dolphins • Whales

6. Embrace the Scenery on Wheels

Huacachina oasis in Ica, Peru

Ica, Peru

Peru is a large country with many magnificent places to visit and things to see. On wheels you can explore more than ever as a family.

Tours through the rainforests in 4x4s allow you access viewpoints and wildlife viewing spots within the Amazon and dune-buggy trips across the desert are a stunning way to race across the sands to the Huacachina oasis. Better yet, you can explore forest and desert by bicycle to see the scenery like never before. You can follow shady trails or dusty tracks to viewpoints inaccessible via other modes of transportation. Along the way, you can get up close to the wildlife and see Peru from new perspectives.

As you travel Peru, opting for tours on wheels lets you experience the breathtaking natural scenery of cities, remote villages, and far-flung landscapes.

Best Cycling Routes to Enjoy: The Sacred Valley • Peru’s Great Divide • Andes Mountain range • Lima • El Misti

7. Indulge in the Sun and Sand

Beautiful sunset in Huanchaco, Peru

Huanchaco, Peru

The Peruvian coastline boasts sun-washed beaches flanked by palm trees and surrounded by sapphire seas stretching as far as the eye can see.

Family vacations in Peru are best spent with some time on the beach. You and your children can swim in the crystal-clear waters and snorkel around reefs to see the fascinating marine life. You can settle in at seaside restaurants overlooking the South Pacific Ocean for lunch and dinner. Water sports offer older children an opportunity to surf the glassy waves or tube across the glistening sea.

There is so much to do on the beaches of Peru and you can spend many days embracing the warm Peruvian sun on golden sands.

Best Family-Friendly Beaches to Enjoy: Playa Santa Rosa • Huanchaco • Los Órganos • Barlovento • Paracas

8. Delight in the Spirit of Horses

The Sacred Valley in Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru

Horseback riding in Peru is a great way to connect with the local culture and see the sensational landscapes as a family.

Many horseback-riding trails wind across the Peruvian countryside, inviting families to experience the country in a unique way. You can explore the mountains surrounding Cusco and view the Incan sites peppering the Sacred Valley. You can trot to the Rainbow Mountain to see one of Peru’s most colorful and inspiring natural wonders. Horseback tours can range in length, tailored to your family's goals.

Each trip can also include a short experience at a traditional Peruvian village, where you can try the local cuisine and learn about the ancient cultural traditions with friendly locals.

Best Places to Horseback Ride: The Sacred Valley • Colca Canyon • Cusco mountains • Rainbow Mountain • Pilcopata Forest

Experience the Top Things to Do in Peru with Family

Inca warrior statue in Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

When planning your custom trip to Peru, consider our Peru Vacations that include these top eight things to do in Peru with family. Here you can find sample trips designed with families in mind and discover an itinerary suitable for your children, no matter their ages and interests.

You can also explore our Peru Travel Guide for further information on what to expect when visiting. From the best time to visit as a family to must-see places, we share everything you need to know about traveling in Peru.

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