Peru Active Family Adventure: Visit Machu Picchu and explore the Andes with your family
Days: 9 | From: $4,150/per person
An active itinerary that is perfect for families that enjoy outdoor activities. Explore vibrant Cusco, try outdoor activities in the spectacular Sacred Valley of the Incas, and take a day hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
- Top quality family accommodations, outstanding local private guides who love kids and families
- This itinerary can be customized to your family’s interests, dates and budget!
Talk to a Vaya Travel
We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.
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At a glance
1 night: Options for biking along the oceanfront and surfing lessons; great restaurants everyone will enjoy
- Sacred Valley
4 nights: Share Andean life with locals while hiking, biking, climbing a Via Ferrata, ziplining, eating, paddleboarding & 1 night of deluxe camping
- Machu Picchu
1 night: Day hike through cloud forest on the last part of the Inca Trail to this stunning icon
2 nights: Walk the streets of the former Incan capital; learn to make and taste Peruvian chocolate at the ChocoMuseo
All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.
Welcome to Lima
Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas. Your family will be met at the airport by an English-speaking representative to transfer to your first class hotel in Miraflores, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is a great area for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants. A less than 10 minute stroll down one of the city’s most vibrant streets takes you to the Malecon, Lima’s premier city park, which extends for almost 3 miles along the cliffs and includes playgrounds, bike paths, ocean views, sculptures, and restaurants serving up renowned Peruvian food.
If you are interested and time permits, we can arrange activities the kids will enjoy, including a surfing class on the Pacific Ocean, a biking tour along the coast, and a visit to the Magic Water Circuit (a water and light show that is a sure family pleaser). Adjoining rooms are available at the hotel for your family’s convenience.
Accommodations: Casa Andina Premium Miraflores
With a contemporary design and an ideal location, the Casa Andina Premium Miraflores offers 148 luxury rooms and suites. Peruvian-owned, the hotel manages to be sophisticated, first class, and modern while also exhibiting local charm. Amenities include a heated pool, fitness center, and an outstanding location in the heart of Lima's main commercial and cultural area. Several of the city's top restaurants are within walking distance.Upgrades and alternatives: Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others
Fly to the Sacred Valley of the Incas: Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary and Pisac Ruins
Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. Your local guide will meet you at the airport and take you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long, fertile river valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu. For the next 4 nights you’ll come to know this colorful region in depth, with a wide range of activities that you can do at your family’s own pace.
On your way into the Valley, visit the Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary, a family-run organization that rescues and cares for injured and endangered animals, including the majestic Andean Condor, pumas, monkeys, and llamas… kids love it! Next you’ll have the chance to visit remarkable Incan sites and small towns near Pisac, where you’ll also stop for lunch. Your private guide will be there to help your family make the most of the entire experience. Family suites are available at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna
The Sol y Luna Lodge is located in Peru's Sacred Valley of the Incas, not far from the town of Urubamba. Peruvian art adorns each of the first class, comfortable adobe cottages, whose terraces offer spectacular views of the mountains. A place that does things the right way, this hotel has long been among our traveler favorites due to the superb accommodations, location, and service. The property offers two outstanding restaurants. There is also a stable with beautiful horses that can be taken out into the surrounding mountains on horseback riding excursions.*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch
Via Ferrata and Zipline / Picnic lunch / Explore Ollantaytambo
Set out for nearby Pachar in the morning. Here, scale a dramatic rock wall using a Via Ferrata, a system of embedded steps and handholds that creates a safe, established route with the use of harnesses. This activity requires no prior climbing experience and allows you to move through spectacular mountain scenery as you ascend over 980 feet. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the top while taking in the sweeping views of the surrounding area. After lunch, descend via a series of five ziplines totaling over 6,500 feet, flying you over and through the beautiful Sacred Valley.
In the afternoon, walk the streets of Ollantaytambo, one of the few towns to survive in its current layout from Incan times. In Ollantaytambo, visit a local house to see how families in the area live. Kids will enjoy seeing the families’ ever-present guinea pigs!
(Please note: alternative options abound in the Sacred Valley, including day treks, rafting, horseback riding, visits to Incan ruins, and more.)
Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna
Pachamanca, Kayaking, and Camping on Lake Piuray
Explore lovely Piuray Lake, where preparations will be underway for a Pachamanca. This is a traditional way of cooking in the Andes, where an oven of hot stones is created in the ground and layers of vegetables, potatoes, meat, fruit, and corn are carefully wrapped and placed in the oven.
While your feast is cooking, head out on the lake in kayaks or on stand-up paddle boards to take in your surroundings: lush green hills, farm terraces and forests, and snowcapped mountains. Return to shore for your delicious lunch while the kids get a hands-on immersion in this most traditional of Andean culinary rituals. After lunch the day is free for relaxing on the lake, doing some more paddling, or exploring the area trails by hiking or biking. At night, see the stars come out over the Sacred Valley as you settle into your camp and enjoy a campfire.
Accommodations: Camp at Piuray Outdoor Center
Mountain Biking in the Sacred Valley / Visit to the Honeybee Sanctuary
Continue your adventure with one of the best one-day mountain biking trips you could find anywhere. Non-technical and mostly downhill, you start near the town of Chinchero and descend past the unique Incan site of Moray and the village of Maras, and finally past the ancient salt pans below Maras to the valley floor. Not just for serious mountain-bikers, this is an accessible but excellent mountain biking experience, visiting some off-the-beaten-path locations. (If your children are younger or you prefer a less strenuous biking option, you can also opt for an easy ride along the shores of the river.)
Afterward, visit Tikapata, an innovative local primary school that draws students from very diverse backgrounds, from local indigenous children to the children of expatriates who have settled in the Valley. The school puts an emphasis on environmental awareness and is a great way for your kids to mingle with local children while enjoying lunch.
In the afternoon, head to the Sacred Valley Honeybee Sanctuary and Project for Sustainable Beekeeping. Here, your family can don beekeeping suits and participate in a fascinating workshop on sustainable beekeeping, seeing the project’s 15+ hives up-close and learning about conservation efforts to save threatened honeybee species.
Alternate activity: you also have the option of a morning horseback riding excursion through the Sacred Valley, with lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the bee sanctuary.
Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna
Train toward Machu Picchu / Day Hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Catch the morning train toward Machu Picchu, but disembark at Kilometer 104 to start your 5-6 hour hike to Machu Picchu along the last part of the Inca Trail (6-7 miles in total).
Hike upward at a gentle grade for a few hours, passing the large Incan site of Winay Wayna. After about 2 more hours of hiking along the classic Inca Trail, you will find yourself at Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, with a magnificent first view of Machu Picchu.
After descending to the ruins along the final stretch of the Inca Trail, catch a shuttle down to the town of Aguas Calientes for the night. Your hotel in Aguas Calientes is among the most highly regarded in South America, and offers some of its own great activities, such as the Inkaterra Spectacled Bear Project, an effort designed to recover bears that have been negatively affected by human impact and reintroduce them into their natural habitat. Several of these extremely rare and endangered bears are on site and can be seen and appreciated by the kids. Family suites are available at the hotel.
Alternative activities: If you are interested in an easier going hiking option or taking out the hiking altogether, that’s no problem. Your family can also visit another site in the Sacred Valley this morning, or do a shorter hike (such as hiking to Purmamarca) and then take the scenic train all the way to Aguas Calientes. Rest assured we will customize the itinerary to match any family’s activity level and it can be adjusted along the way as desired!
Accommodations: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
This hotel sits on its own 12 secluded acres in Aguas Calientes, the town located at the base of Machu Picchu. The hotel is ideally located in natural surroundings, a short walk to the train station and the shuttles that take visitors to the ruins, but just outside the town, which is quite touristy. Guests follow stone pathways to their rooms, located in comfortable one- or two-story whitewashed casitas. Unlike the other hotels in Aguas Calientes, the Pueblo is set in a natural cloud forest, allowing you to experience the beauty of this unique ecosystem during your stay.*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Explore Machu Picchu / Take the Train Back toward Cusco
Return to Machu Picchu with your private guide in the early morning to experience the site at your family’s own pace. If you take the earliest shuttle up to the site, you can be at Machu Picchu when there are fewer people around. If you prefer to sleep in, you can visit the Spectacled Bear Project in the morning and then head up to the ruins.
Adventurous kids also have the chance to hike with their parents up to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu (about 2 hours roundtrip), or even down through the cloud forest a short distance to the Cave of the Moon.
After visiting the ruins, catch the afternoon train back to Cusco, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel. Adjoining rooms are available at the hotel.
Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco
A Relais & Chateaux property, La Casona is set in a restored 16th-century colonial manor house, which was built over an Inca complex and later occupied by the conquistadors of Peru. Its 11 suites surround an elegant courtyard, and the hotel offers a dining room, dining terrace, lounge and sitting area. La Casona graciously preserves the site's historic details while offering modern comfort and amenities. An exclusive boutique hotel experience, and one of the top options in Cusco.*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch
Upgrades and alternatives: Palacio Nazarenas, Palacio del Inka, Hotel Rumi Punku, and others
Explore Cusco / Learn to make chocolate at the Chocolate Museum
Get to know Cusco with your knowledgeable private guide, making sure to go at a pace that works for your family. Visit Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you can enjoy views out over Cusco and the entire surrounding area and where there is space to run around.
In the afternoon visit the ChocoMuseo for a fun (and tasty!) chocolate workshop, where your family can participate in making candy and taste some superb Andean chocolate sourced from the highest quality local cacao beans.
Cusco is one of the highlights of a trip to Peru, a fascinating city built on the foundations of the former Incan capital. Filled with lively markets and almost-daily parades and celebrations, the city has a vibrant atmosphere and many excellent restaurants.
Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco
Depart for Home or Your Next Destination
In the morning your family will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival to Lima you will have assistance at the airport in making your connecting flight home.
If you have extra time before your international flight, we can arrange a driver for your family so you can go out to eat and see some more of Lima before your flight. Another option we can arrange is to use the pool and spa at the adjoining (and very pleasant) airport hotel until your flight departs.
Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary
Add a few nights in the Peruvian Amazon or Lake Titicaca, both easily accessible from Cusco.
More time on the Inca Trail: See our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu itinerary for information about hiking the whole trail over several days. If your kids like to hike and you enjoy camping, there are few experiences that could be better with your family than hiking the entire classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. You carry only a daypack, the camp is set up for you, and great meals are served.
Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing the perfect trip for your family!
Why Travel with Vaya?
We're TRUE specialists
South America is the only place we do trips, and no one knows our destinations better. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former U.S. expatriates with years of experience in the region.
From the first phone call to after you get back, we’re here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.
Thoughtful, respectful travel
Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.