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Peru family holidays

Advice & inspiration

Family adventures don’t come much bigger than Peru – land of giant condors, lost cities and spectacular Andean landscapes. A Peru family holiday is a world away from a fly and flop beach holiday, and all the more rewarding for it. Of course, travelling around South America’s third largest country isn’t quite as simple as your standard beach holiday either, so we’ve put together some advice and inspiration to help you plan.

Prefer to chat things through? Get in touch with our Peru team.

Peru Lake Titicaca local women

What to expect

Dramatic landscapes, incredible history, amazing wildlife, some of South America’s best cuisine… a family trip to Peru is a real adventure. Although it’s not the easiest destination in the world for a family holiday (expect a few long journeys and some tired legs), it may well be one of the most exciting.

Peru is considered a safe country for travel and tourists are rarely targeted for anything other than some occasional petty theft. You may be concerned about altitude sickness and while this is a possibility, we’ll always plan in some acclimatisation time when you’re travelling to higher grounds. Children are not thought to be at any additional risk from the effects of altitude.

In some ways, travelling with kids can help you connect more with the local people. Peruvians have a reputation for being good hosts and generally quite gentle people, but they can also be a little reserved and even standoffish at times. We’ve found that travelling with kids can really help break down any barriers – Peru has a very family-orientated culture and kids will always raise a smile and start a conversation.

School holiday weather

If you’re planning on taking the kids to Peru then chances are you’ll be limited to the longer school holidays, and the good news is that these times present some great travel opportunities.

Your best bet for a Peru family holiday is during the summer break. This is Peruvian winter, but temperatures aren’t that low (usually around the low 20°Cs during the day with chilly nights) and it’s also one of the sunniest and driest times of year too – ideal for a trip to Machu Picchu, the Amazon, and most of Peru’s top destinations. It can get busy though, so book ahead.

Alternatively, Easter usually falls within shoulder season and is also a good time to go. Things will be less busy and can be a little cheaper too, but expect a few more showers than during summer.

Christmas is less than ideal with heavier rains common across the Andes and Amazon. Machu Picchu remains open and will be quieter than usual – booking a trek is a little risky though so perhaps best to get the train. If you plan to visit in December, the best places to go are around the coast or up into the lesser-known north of the country.

You can read more about Peru’s climate in our weather guide.

Our top places to go with kids

  1. Machu Picchu – Peru’s most famous site is simply a must-see and it’s definitely worthy of the hype. The lost city of the Incas inspires child-like wonder in even the most seasoned traveller, so imagine what it’s like for an actual child! If you’re travelling with older kids then the Inca Trail is a great option, otherwise you can get there by train or take on a shortened trek.
  2. Cusco – One of South America’s most enigmatic cities, Cusco is more than just a starting point for your Machu Picchu adventure. We recommend a few days here to explore the cobbled streets, colourful markets and ancient ruins dotted around the city. The food is incredible too!
  3. Huacachina & Islas Ballestas – This little stretch of Peru’s coastline has an otherworldly feel to it that kids will love. The protected Ballestas islands, just off the coast, are home to sea lions, iguanas, pelicans, penguins and more – sort of like a mini Galapagos! Meanwhile, Huacachina is a small town built around an oasis, surrounded by giant dunes that are perfect for sand-boarding. See our Huacachina & Islas Ballestas
  4. Colca Canyon – Home to the mighty Andean condors, the Colca Canyon is the world’s 3rd deepest canyon and it’s a truly breath-taking sight. Driving down into the canyon is an experience in itself, and our Condors in the Colca Canyon trip also lets you meet a local family and help out on their farm. It’s an amazing way to show your kids a whole different way of life.
  5. Lake Titicaca – Once sacred to the Incas and still one of South America’s most beautiful places, Titicaca is somewhere we could revisit again and again. Struggling to sell it to the kids? How about visiting a community who live on floating islands made of reeds?
  6. The Amazon Rainforest – We probably don’t need to tell you much about the Amazon, and if your kids love their animals then we’re sure they’ll be persuaded by the chance to see monkeys, macaws, parrots, toucans, capybaras, caimans and more. It’s also a great chance to switch off from the modern world and see a way of life that’s a world away from home.


For more inspiration, take a look at our Peru with the Family itinerary. This is a good example of what you could do in just over 2 weeks, and it can be easily adjusted and tailored to create your own ideal family holiday.

Where you’ll stay

Cosy posadas (guesthouses), remote lodges in stunning settings, gorgeous Colonial-era city hotels… where you stay is all part of the adventure in Peru. You may even experience a few nights camping if you choose a trek like the Inca Trail.

We work with small-scale, locally-owned hotels wherever possible. Expect plenty of local charm and great locations, but swimming pools or other family facilities are fairly rare.

Family rooms or extra beds are an option in some places, and your travel specialist can talk you through your options and request different hotels or room types as needed.

You can read more about our Peru accommodation here.

How you’ll get around

When planning out your family itinerary, your travel specialist will use a combination of private transfers, domestic flights and intercity buses. With a limited rail network, these buses are the best option for most of your longer journeys and the good news is that they’re much more comfortable than a standard National Express in the UK! Most come with good legroom, reclining seats, air-conditioning and on-board toilets, so you can settle in, relax and enjoy the views.

Locally, taxis are readily available for short journeys (just make sure you agree the fare in advance), and shared ‘colectivo’ minibuses are a very cost-effective option in some places – they aren’t particularly comfortable though!

The train ride to Machu Picchu is one of the world’s iconic rail journeys, taking you through the Sacred Valley towards the Lost City, and you may decide this is a better option for little legs than a full trek.

You can read more about getting around Peru here.

What you’ll eat

Peru’s cuisine has become popular around the world over the past decade or so, with dishes like ceviche (fish marinated in lime) and lomo saltado (salty beef strips) starting to pop up in restaurants from Paris to New York. These things are always best in their land of origin, of course, and Peru is a great place to try a few new dishes (roasted guinea pig, anyone?).

For the most part, Peruvian food is quite heavy on meat, potatoes and local veg – including a few vegetables you may not have come across before. Trendy health foods like avocado and quinoa have their origins in this part of the world and are very much part of normal cuisine here. Peruvian food isn’t generally spicy, with some exceptions like rocoto rilleno.

There’s usually something pretty good on the menu for vegetarians but vegans may find things more limited – veganism is a fairly new concept in South America generally. You can find specialist restaurants in Peru by downloading the Happy Cow app.

For snacks, think tasty local fruits and street food like the famous empanadas, although trusted favourites like crisps and chocolate bars are sold almost everywhere too.

Read more about Peru’s food here.

More tips for travelling with kids in Peru

  1. Don’t rush it – you may be tempted to try and cram everything Peru has to offer into your itinerary, but our advice is to pace yourselves. Peru is a quite large country and journey times can be long, so you’ll be glad to have a few days at each stop to take it all in.
  2. Be aware of altitude – as we said before, kids aren’t at extra risk from altitude sickness but it can be an issue. Your travel specialist will plan with this in mind, but make sure you take things easy for a day or two when you arrive at a higher altitude.
  3. Pack your essentials – although most essentials and common medicines are available in Peru, you may find it difficult to find more specialist items or medications. Make sure you bring these things with you to avoid any issues.
  4. Wear proper shoes – Even if you’re not hiking the Inca Trail, a Peru holiday is bound to involve a fair amount of walking. Comfortable shoes are essential, and if you’re buying new walking shoes for your kids then try to wear them in before you travel.
  5. Learn a little Spanish – many people in Peru speak good English, especially the younger generations, but knowing the basics certainly helps and the locals will appreciate the effort. You can always use Google translate, and it can be a fun challenge for children to try communicating a few words with the local people.

Ready to start planning?

Our travel specialists have been all over Peru, and they have the first-hand experience to make your family holiday just perfect!

Travel Specialist Rob
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