The vivacious textiles of hand woven cloth shine from market stalls. Women in bowler hats and large shawls walk llamas along the cobblestone streets of Cuzco. The relaxed beachside charm of Lima blends with the rush of its capital streets. Birds chirp in the Amazon, their cries carry over the howling monkeys. The jungle and glacial peaks create a unique combination, filled with definitive culture and an endless connection to a complex past. On this family friendly adventure Peru tour, the children...
Lima – The Shores of Lima
Lima is a beachside city at heart, pressed against a mountainous backdrop and filled with the collections of culture from around the country. The Pacific Ocean glistens against rising cliffs and charming walkways that wind around the neighborhood of Miraflores. The sea air swirls around the daylight. The breeze blows in and fills the neighborhood with the delightful aromas of freshly trimmed grass and the nearby ocean. The city’s history is palpable, filling stately museums with original pottery.
Modern, edgy art is situated next-door to religious processions that date back to the 18th century. When you arrive, the family is met at the airport by a private transfer arranged by our Peru travel agency, and you will be taken to your fabulous hotel. In the evening you can find over one dozen vendors in the main square in the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco, creating the jovial night market. People from around the countryside, the Andes to the Amazon, display their handcrafted jewelry and artesian woven alpaca shawls glowing in the city’s evening light.
Lima – Subterranean Delights
The marine layer weaves through Miraflores at sunrise and quickly burns away, leaving the shimmering Pacific Ocean reflecting the sunlight. The city rises to life and the streets bustle with morning activity. Plaza de Armas is over 1,500 square feet and offers a window into the heart of the 16th century settlement established by Spain. After breakfast your guide meets you at the hotel and takes you around the city for a private in-depth tour of Lima’s grand and enrapturing history. The Monastery of San Francisco was constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries and restored in the 1960s. The bright yellow façade is visible from across the square.
Each brick emanates brightness. The overall edifice creates an image that is both pious and elegant. The kids are excited to explore the historic structure, not just for the library, which holds over 25,000 antique texts, but also for the structure’s famous catacombs. When you enter the monastery the past comes to life. The baroque building holds a remarkable cupola over the main staircase. The ceiling was designed in the Moorish-style, decorated with geometric shapes that almost parallel the stairway. You follow your guide down the stairwell and the air becomes cool. The walls are made of stone and cold to the touch.
Light flickers as you descend. The family enters the catacombs, which were discovered in the 1940s. The subterranean center has withstood earthquakes throughout the centuries and continues to hold an interesting history of Lima. The catacombs also house the religious history that came across the sea with the Spanish Conquistadors. The kids are amazed at the size and look of the catacombs. They look down into the well-shaped hollows and awe at the protected vault. When you step out into the main courtyard of the monastery the city looks brighter, the birds sing louder, and Lima’s energy urges the family forward.
Puerto Maldonado – A Jungle Family
The morning is graced with the aromas of the Pacific Ocean and sweet maracuya, also known as passion fruit. The family is eager to continue their exploration of Peru and so are you. After breakfast your private transfer escorts you to the airport for your flight to Puerto Maldonado. The city is located in the Amazon Basin and was once home to rubber barons, gold miners, and oil prospectors. The Tambopata and Madre de Dios rivers converge near the town and offers unparalleled access to the celebrated flora and fauna of the rainforest.
Disembark the plane and find a different world waiting for you. The sounds of the city are merged with scarlet macaws calling out in the distant foliage. The Plaza de Armas is decorated with a colorful clock tower that matches the rising palm trees emblematic of the city. The warm and sunny sky reminds you that you have arrived in the Amazon jungle. Spider monkeys ramble through the trees on the outskirts of the city. You can see the power of the Rio Madre de Dios from the Puerto Capitania dock, with a width of over 1,640 feet.
Puerto Maldonado – Sounds of the River
A cool breeze drifts over the boat as the family cruises through the Amazon. The kids dip their fingers into the water and feel the cool and refreshing current sweep over their skin. The forest rises from the fertile ground and creates a wall of trees on the riverbanks. Local fishermen pass by on shallow wooden canoes. They smile and wave as the current takes them past your boat. You come to the forest walkway and ascend into the trees on a network of hanging bridges. The entire family marvels at the density of the rainforest and the superb natural colors of the wild. Tree branches bob under the weight of passing monkeys. Toucans soar through the trees. Their angular bills are vibrant with yellow and red hues.
On the hanging bridges you can see into the depths of the forest in search of natural mysteries and wonder. The kids point out a sloth on a nearby tree. They cling to the trees with their long, slender claws. Their fur is multi-hued and lets them blend into the bark and forest underbrush. They can move up to 13 feet per minute when in danger and can sleep up to 10 hours a day. The family continues to meander along the hanging bridges. The kids scour the trees for more animals, whether birds, monkeys, or the infamous anaconda. You see the entire family smiling and welcome the collected enthusiasm.
Cusco – The Lowlands and Highlands of Peru
The sounds of the jungle have become soothing and familiar. You listen to the howler monkeys in the morning. Their deep guttural calls echo through the sky. The sun rises over the tree line and fills the horizon with layers of orange and pink. Your private transfer meets you at your hotel early in the morning and escorts you from the depths of the Amazon to the heights of Cusco. Travel along the Interoceanic Highway, the roadway that traverses the continent and connects Peru to Brazil, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. The temperate trees soon fade and give way to the flatlands. The grass shines bright in the sunlight and stretches to the foothills.
The family watches the landscape change, from grasslands to undulating mountains. When you pass Tinqui you can see the towering peak of Ausangate, the highest mountain in Peru that stands almost 20,945 feet above sea level. Vicunas, a wild relative of the llama, roam the mountainsides. Their fur is tawny brown and white. They can grow to a length of five feet, from head to tail. You see Ausangate’s snowcapped peak. It looks like a cloud against the backdrop of blue sky. The rolling landscape drifts from lush grass to high altitude plains. You arrive in Cusco and find the famous Inca capital paved with large stones. The city continues to captivate all those that visit the city.
Cusco – Surrounded by the Sacred
Cusco is the undisputed archeological capital of the Americas, filled with Inca temples and cobblestones streets, Spanish churches and Andean tradition. The Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman continues to stand watch over the city streets. The large boulders are both intriguing and intimidating, held together like puzzle pieces without mortar. The city is built along the mountainside. The streets wind around Cusco’s center like a labyrinth and homes encircle the foothills in a swirl of colors in the sea of green grass. The day is filled with wonders to experience, from pre-colonial architecture to the traditions of towns in the Sacred Valley.
Pisac is a town located around 18 miles from Cusco. The valley was deemed by the Inca to be the “belly button of the world.” When you arrive on the sunny streets of Pisac you find the famous vibrant hues of textiles displayed in the market place. The traditional culture of the mountains continues to thrive during the market days, when people from around the area flood the town to buy and sell goods. Aromas of chili and herbs rush around the lanes. Pink and black blankets are folded and displayed beside remarkable blue sweaters woven by the vendor.
Behind the village you can see the towering Inca fortress rising up the mountainside. The slopes are terraced and create a textured layer to the ruins and the landscape. Steps that lead diagonally from bottom to top separate the terrace’s graceful curves. The fortress guarded the Urubamba Valley and a hidden pass that led into the jungle. The kids point at the wall opposite Kitamayo Gorge. Tombs honeycomb the cliff wall. In the afternoon you return to Cusco and continue your immersion into the world of the Inca.
Inca Trail – Foot on the Trail
The morning begins early for your adventure in the Andes. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you to Tambomachay, known as the “guest house cave.” The stone ruins contain a living quarters. They linger around the slopes of the rising foothills. You find three small baths trickling with spring water that is heated from the local thermal activity. After your introduction to the landscape and ruins you follow your guide through the weaving foothills along the lowest trail in altitude that leads to Machu Picchu. The air is crisp and cool.
The grass waves in the breeze. Inca ruins are dispersed throughout the sprawling greenery. The forest begins to surround you. The branches are home to leaves and the occasional effervescent orchid. Butterflies flutter around the mossy undergrowth of the forest. The kids are thrilled to be active, roaming through the landscape behind a trained guide. The guide informs the family of the flora and fauna located in the area, along with the thrilling history of the Inca that forged the path before you. In the evening you spend the night beneath the stars and can see the same shimmer of light that the Inca saw, which inspired their architectural design throughout their empire.
Aguas Calientes – Pushing Past the Limits
North of Cusco, at an elevation of 11,8000 feet, is Huchuy Qosqo, also known as “Little Cusco.” Reservoirs once lined the water clad area and filtered to the cityscape. In the 16th century the Spanish constructed the large reservoir seen today. The great hall of Huchuy Qosqo stretches over 131 feet long. The verdant hillside towers over the ruins and almost camouflages the remaining redbrick. The site looks over the Urubamba Valley and the Cordillera de Vilcanota Mountains. The family notices the wonder: the lushness of the hills, the powerful structures that continue to stand, and the overall grandeur of the view. The scent of fresh grass blends with the old stone. You listen to your guide explain the rise and fall of the ruins, along with the Inca’s connection to the land. After lunch you follow your guide to the town of Ollantaytambo to catch the train to Aguas Calientes for the evening.
Aguas Calientes – Castle in the Clouds
Before the sun rises over the valley around Aguas Calientes you reach the entry gates of Machu Picchu. The early morning is overshadowed by the excitement the family feels to have hiked along one of the trails to now stand at the base of the celebrated and mysterious city. Sunlight climbs over the surrounding mountains. You climb the staircase that brings you up the terraced hillside until the walls open. The family arrives at the top of the ancient city and can look out over the valley below to see the rushing water of the Urubamba River. The city stands over 8,500 feet above sea level.
You see the Sun Gate in the distance, the demarcation of the end of the Inca Trail. Huayna Picchu rises over the old city at almost 9,000 feet. The kids are overwhelmed with wonderment. You feel the thrill of having reached the summit of your journey. The mountains and valley look endless. Follow your guide through the ruins and arrive at the Temple of the Three Windows. The edifice has three trapezoidal windows that capture the light as the sun rises over the mountains. You know you could spend all day wandering around Machu Picchu. Every step feels more exhilarating than the last.
Cusco – Returning from History
When the sun stretches over the city the light reflects off of the cobblestones. The cathedral in the Plaza de Armas looks gilded and the old Temple of the Sun, known as Qoricancha, holds remnants of its golden walls, which are now decorated with holy catholic imagery. Breakfast is filled with the bittersweet scent of coca leaf tea and rich, flavorful Peruvian coffee. Cusco has an undeniable allure that the family has noticed since your arrival. After breakfast your private transfer meets you at the hotel and takes you to the airport for your flight home. The family has seen the wonders of Peru, from the Amazon to the Inca. The flight lifts over the Sacred Valley. The greenery spreads around the Andes. The kids smile and you know that your vacation has been an unforgettable experience.
- Experience the unparalleled celebrated ruins of Machu Picchu
- Explore the wondrous world of the Amazon Rainforest
- Hike a portion of the famous Inca Trail
- Traverse the power and beauty of the Inca and Spanish architecture around Cuzco
- Immerse the family in the cultural traditions of the Andes at Pisac
- Enjoy a comfortable train ride through the Andean plains and forest
- Visit the exceptional catacombs at the Monastery of St. Francis
- Find the endless mystique and charm of Peru with the entire family
Peru conjures images of endless mountain ranges and mysterious ruins, curling waves and soaring toucans. The kids will marvel at the endless wonders and adventures on this 10-day luxury family vacation. Taste the fresh ceviche. Hike through the Andean plains en route to the famous remains of Machu Picchu. Scour the Amazonian canopy in search of spider monkeys and scarlet macaws. Wild vicuna graze on the sprawling grasslands. Spanish cathedrals decorate historic skylines. Bring the family closer together with every passing moment. Each day brims with wonderment and showcases the incomparable beauty of Peru.
Arrive in Lima, the capital city of Peru, and be swept up in the thrilling life of the locals. Each neighborhood conjures the different cultures that surround the city, bringing together the Andes and the Amazon, the desert and the beach. Traverse the streets of the city on a guided tour and find the family spellbound by the Spanish and pre-colonial antiquity. Venture onward to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazonian basin. The kids remark on how the city emanates adventure, surrounded by trees and bordered by converging rivers.
You can hear the rushing water beneath the calls of the wild. The aromas of fresh plantains and tropical fruits are everywhere. Traverse the waterways and venture into the jungle. The family is thrilled with the prospect of a journey in the rainforest. Your guide points out the flora and fauna and the kids follow your guide’s every move. A private transfer meets you at your hotel and takes you on the Interoceanic Highway that stretches across the country. Your view of the changing landscape is distinctive and beautiful.
Arrive in Cuzco and see the stunning Spanish architecture built on a base of Inca ruins. Explore the Sacred Valley with a visit to Pisac, known for its ruins that climb the hillside and its thriving cultural market. Follow behind your guide as they take you through the cobblestone streets of Cuzco to see the mixture of Spanish and Inca edifies that decorate the historic city. The family begins to hike along a portion of the Inca Trail at Tambomachay. Spend time touring the ruins interspersed across the hillsides. Indulge in the crisp, clean air.
Notice the rolling hills and fabulous landscape. Visit the site known as “Little Cuzco,” before traveling to Aguas Calientes by a train equipped with a glass-viewing dome. When you reach Machu Picchu the family’s excitement is undeniable. Search the ruins with your guide. Discover the Temple of the Condor and the looming peak of Huayna Picchu. Return to Cuzco where you will board your flight home. Natural and manmade wonders wash over Peru to create sensational adventure for the entire family to discover.
$2,195 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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