If you are looking for the best place to enjoy a trip with the kids in South America, Peru is the perfect place for you. With plenty of outdoor adventures and culturally enriching experiences, everyone will find something to fall in love with. While planning your family vacation to Peru, be sure to include these five must-see destinations for the most unforgettable trip ever!
1. Catch Some Waves With The Kids In Lima
When you’re flying into Peru, you’ll most likely be landing in the vibrant capital city of Lima. This coastal city has an undeniable energy that invites travelers of all ages to participate in the traditions of Peru, like enjoying some refreshing ceviche while looking out over the Pacific Ocean. Whether you’re just making a one-day pit-stop in Lima or looking to spend a full week getting to know the city, there are some amazing excursions for you and your family to enjoy together!
Take advantage of the ideal location with an exciting beach day full of surf, sand, and sun. Start your day off at Playa Waikiki, where you and the kids can rent your own wetsuits and boards and learn how to shred waves like the pros. Lima is known as one of the best surf spots in the world, so you can expect to see some experts in the water showing off a few tricks. But don’t worry, there are also plenty of beginners and enthusiasts taking their time with smaller waves.
Or, if you’d rather stay out of the water but want a unique beach-front experience, test your bravery with a paragliding excursion! This is perfect for any family that’s traveling with older kids looking for some serious heart-pounding adventures. Each flier is partnered up with a paragliding instructor to expertly guide you on your voyage. As you leap off the cliffs and soar through the sky, don’t forget to look around and soak up every airborne second. Unparalleled views of the coast to the north and south make this a worthwhile experience that you and your family will be talking about for years to come.
2. Explore The Sacred Valley During Your Family Vacation To Peru
Peru’s Sacred Valley is a paradise on Earth. From ancient architectural sites to breathtaking outdoor experiences, there is an abundance of opportunities throughout the Sacred Valley to enjoy during your family vacation to Peru.
Of course, one of the most highly sought-after experiences in Peru is Machu Picchu, but some families may find the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu too difficult. Luckily, the Sacred Valley is filled with unique historical sites from the Inca Empire that you can explore as well! One major underrated destination is the quaint village of Ollantaytambo, often overlooked as people travel from Cusco to Machu Picchu. But if you choose to stay and explore, this charming city offers you a glimpse into small-town Peruvian life in a town that has stood since the Incas dominated South America. While you’re exploring Ollantaytambo, be sure to visit the Temple of the Sun, which sits atop a pyramid of seven terraces facing the town’s main square. A site that once had great spiritual and ritual functions now serves as a monument to ancient indigenous culture.
The Sacred Valley is also home to some adrenaline-filled excursions if a history lesson is not what you and your family are looking for. Embark on a zipline tour through the treetops just outside of Cusco, where the lush green foliage transports you to a tropical paradise. Thrill-seekers can choose to bungee-jump, rock climb, and even take a four-wheel ATV tour of the Sacred Valley if you’re looking for more advanced experiences to share with your family.
3. Visit Ica For A Unique Desert Oasis Experience
While many travelers adore Peru for the overgrown tropical jungles and Andean landscapes, there is a gem awaiting towards the south called Ica. This prehistoric coastal desert region is a unique destination you cannot miss while visiting Peru. If the adults are looking for a place to spend a day indulging on their own, Ica is famous for its locally produced wines. Take a tour of one of the vineyards and enjoy specialty Peruvian wines during the parents-day-off!
And don’t worry, there’s plenty to do with the whole family while you’re here. For any archeology buffs, the desert is home to many fascinating exhibits that dive into the mummification process. Also on display in this museum are the fascinative elongated skulls from the Paracas culture, which many people say look like alien life forms! Kids who are interested in science, history, and the supernatural will love exploring this destination. Ancient remains and artifacts are on display at the Regional Museum of Ica “Adolgo Bermúdez Jenkins.” Various indigenous cultures can be studied here, including the Inca, Nazca, and Chincha. For the family who finds cultural and historic exploration to be the most exciting vacation activity, this is a can’t miss opportunity.
Among all the activities in Ica, a trip to the town of Huacachina is essential. This is a true desert oasis, centered around Laguna Huacachina, a small body of water surrounded by picturesque palm trees and sandy slopes. For a one-day stop, this is the perfect destination to enjoy delicious local specialties as well as some essential action adventures like sandboarding or dune buggy rides. You can also explore the lagoon with a paddle boat for a more relaxed activity. Whichever you choose, a family vacation to Peru is not complete without a day trip to an authentic oasis!
4. Experience the History of Lake Titicaca
For a truly inspirational destination, visit Lake Titicaca to learn about the city that floats on water. Not only will you be exposed to stunning mountain landscapes and picturesque hiking trails, but you’ll also have the opportunity to see a diverse group of indigenous communities who have inhabited the Andes for centuries.
The Uros Islands are undeniably one of the main reasons travelers visit Lake Titicaca. Constructed entirely by hand with sustainable materials, these islands are home to the Uros people, a tribe that has lived here as early as civilization was sprouting up in South America. Travelers can book a tour of the islands and be welcomed by the inhabitants as they explore this small floating city.
Lake Titicaca is also home to several unique celebrations in the town of Puno, which overlooks the body of water nearby. Known as Peru’s folklore capital, Puno offers a lively look at the dynamic traditions of ancient cultures shared by the Aymara and Quechua people. If you attend during the right time of year, you and your family can even enjoy some major Peruvian festivals, like Carnival, or the Festival of the Virgin of Candelaria, a UNESCO-recognized event that offers a look at local spiritual practices.
5. Relax In The Coastal Town Of Paracas
When the major tourist spots are too much, it’s time to relax and enjoy the small town of Paracas. Although many travelers overlook this little beachfront paradise, there is plenty to do especially if you and your family are looking to make some exciting aquatic friends!
The one can’t-miss experience in Paracas takes place a little ways off of Peru’s coast on Islas Ballestas. Once you hop on the short boat ride, you’ll be escorted to a little island that is thriving with adorable wildlife! See what kinds of birds you can spot flying around, and say hello to the sea lions and tiny penguins perched on land. This tour takes place entirely from the boat, but makes for an easy adventure to add to your itinerary!
If you’re planning a family vacation to Peru, ask a Kuoda travel designer about the best destinations for your specific interests. There is plenty to do throughout the region that travelers of all ages will love. Adventure and education await you in one of South America’s most beloved vacation spots!