Peru with the Family: Ingredients, Incas and Animals
- Itinerary:Lima - Huacachina - Islas Ballestas - Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Puno - Lake Titicaca - Cusco - Machu Picchu
- Duration:17 days / 16 nights (flexible)
- Price:From £ 2,845.- per adult (excluding flights)
- :From £ 2125, - per child (up to 11 years)
Days 1-3 – Market Plazas of Lima
You’ll be collected from the airport by a private driver who’ll take you to a charming traditional posada in the charming Miraflores area. During your stay, you’ll be shown around Miraflores food market and the charming colonial centre by a local Limeño guide, and the rest of your time is free to relax, explore and get used to your new time zone. If you’re active types then we can also arrange a city bike tour, just ask your Travel Specialist.
Today you will be collected very early in the morning from your hotel and transferred south along the coast to the port of Paracas – gateway to the Islas Ballestas – about 3 hours from Lima.
Sleep next to a surreal desert lagoon and sail around islands crammed with sea lions. Welcome to the curious coastline of Peru! From Paracas you’ll join a fascinating boat trip to the Islas Ballestas – Peru’s own ‘mini-Galapagpos, where sea lions laze and penguins patrol along the shorelines as you sail close by. You’ll spend the evening and most of the next day in the charming oasis town of Huacachina, surrounded by giant sand dunes. Take in the sunset on the top of a dune, or you could even try your hand at sandboarding.
In the early evening you’ll be transferred to the bus station in nearby Ica to board the overnight Royal Class bus to Arequipa. Your travel time is roughly 11.5 hours, but the bus is modern, safe and comfortable with fully reclining seats so you’ll hopefully all get a decent night’s sleep.
You won’t forget a visit to Arequipa, surely one of Peru’s most charming cities. Wander along cobbled streets to the local market and enter an explosion of colour, sounds and smells. Your family will be welcomed into local home to learn the secrets of how to cook perfect quinoa, chicha or caldo verde. In the evening you can visit Basilica Cathedral and watch local life unfold with a pisco sour (they also make alcohol-free ones for the kids!).
Early this morning you’ll be picked up in Arequipa for the five hour drive across the Altiplano to Coporaque. You can doze off for the first couple of hours, until the bus starts to wind its way up into the mountains.
Zigzag into the dizzying Colca Canyon, watch silver-winged condors and visit traditional villages to see a different type of family life. With ancient terraces carved into the hillsides and alpacas grazing on the plains, it’s an area packed with Peruvian romance. You’ll spend your first night in a cosy hotel and your second with a local family in their home. Enjoy a typical Peruvian breakfast then help out with the daily chores around the farm – it’s a fantastic and eye-opening experience.
Next, you’ll travel with a small group of other travellers in a comfortable mini-van to Puno. There’ll be a couple of interesting stops along the way to stretch your legs with the travel time being roughly 4 to 5 hours.
Sail to the floating reed islands of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake on earth. You’ll stay in Puno, on the shores of the lake, and enjoy a trip by speedboat across the shimmery waters of Titicaca during the day. Lake Titicaca was a sacred place for the Incas, believed to be the birthplace of the sun. Sitting at over 3,800 metres above sea level, it’s steeped in crisp beauty with clear starry nights.
Explore Cusco, the Inca heartland and a city of colourful contrasts. Your family will spend two nights in this lovely old city, the gateway to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. People from all over the world meet here before heading into the mountains, making it a lively hub of restaurants, bars and museums. Scattered with Inca ruins and colonial churches, it’s a brilliant place for an atmospheric wander. The kids will also enjoy the chance to make their own chocolate, using the finest local cocoa beans.
Days 13-16 – Trails and Valleys – Short Inca Trek
If you feel that four days of trekking might make your children disown you, then this one day version might be the perfect solution for your family. Spend a day exploring the snow-capped Andes, marvel at Machu Picchu and sleep in a comfy bed. During this trip, you’ll trek the final part of the Inca Trail, arriving at Machu Picchu in the afternoon. You’ll spend a night in a cosy local posada in Aguas Calientes. The next morning, you’ll visit the Sacred City again for sunrise, and photos which will be the highlight of your family album.
After your time exploring the ancient Inca ruins, you’ll hop on a train to the village of Ollantaytambo, your first stop in the Sacred Valley. It’s the best preserved example of Inca city planning, so it’s packed with fascinating sights. Head up to the Inca fort, with sweeping views, you can watch as the town awakes for the day before exploring its unique Inca courtyards. The following day you’ll journey on to the village of Urubamba, where you’ll have plenty of time to relax.