Fun for all the family in Peru
Peru offers a combination of extraordinary Inca and pre-Inca ruins which conjure up images of ancient rituals, amazing landscapes through which you can mountain bike or paddle board, exotic brightly coloured wildlife ranging from spectacled bears to comic toucans and some amazing opportunities to make your own chocolates or craft pots; all in all, there are plenty of activities which all members of the family can enjoy together.
Here is a simple itinerary which we think will entertain the whole family and provide memories for many years to come.
Day 1 – Fly into Lima, overnight in a fun ’Arts’ hotel with amazing paintings and modern arts displays.
Day 2 – Visit the Mario Testino MATE photographic museum, featuring well known celebrities and a special room dedicated to Princess Diana. Lunch at the Larco Museum café, and a gentle afternoon looking at some curious pre Colombian art and artefacts, including the occasional rather rude pot.
Day 3 – Fly to Cusco, have lunch at a special hacienda in the Sacred Valley and then visit some traditional indigenous homes and see traditional textiles being made and dyed. Get photographed with old ladies in traditional costumes and llamas!
Day 4 – Full day of gentle mountain biking, mostly downhill, with picnic lunch. Start at the traditional market town of Chinchero, have a choice of paths which take you to the strange Inca terraces at Moray and the salt pans of Maras, before ending on the banks or the Urubamba River.
Day 5 – Drive to the shores of Lake Piuray where you have fantastic views of the snow covered Andes Mountains in the distance. Prepare a traditional Peruvian meal with vegetables cooked on hot stones in the ground. Whilst this continues to cook, try your hand at stand up paddle boarding on the lake.
Day 6 – take a train then get off to hike the last few miles of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. With a picnic lunch at a viewpoint, you walk in to the ruins via the ancient Sun Gate and there to the left, you will see the ruins below you. Overnight at the Inkaterra hotel in Aguas Calientes at the bottom of the hill, maybe enjoy a dip in the hot springs.
Day 7 – you could start your day with a visit to the hotel’s special Spectacled Bear project, or make an early start and head straight on up for your second visit to the ruins. If you are feeling fit, climb Huayna Picchu (the mountain next to Machu Picchu), but beware, it is quite steep! Return to Cusco on the special Hiram Bingham train with food and entertainment – a perfect end to a long day.
Day 8 – have a tour of Cusco then head out to the fortress at Sacsayhuaman, a masterpiece of Inca engineering. Just try and insert a credit card in the joints between the huge block of stone some weighing more than 100 tons? Their engineering was so precise you can’t!
Day 9 – a day to relax a little and walk around Cuzco at leisure. However, you are bound to be tempted to visit the Choco Museo where you can take part in a two hour workshop learning about the chocolate making process, and then making your own chocolates, filled the way you like them.