Shrouded in mystery and myth, the Peruvian Andes is a place where stories live and traditions live even longer. It’s a land dotted with ancient ruins, where history is still being unearthed and new archaeological discoveries are always imminent. To venture into Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas is to travel right into the heart of the ancient Inca Empire and experience its centuries-old culture and tradition. Young and old adventurers will find intrigue and excitement exploring the remnants of Incan civilization together as a family. Sometimes it’s the simple things, such as familiar food and not having to miss school, that really catch parents’ or grandparents’ attention.
Here are five interesting aspects of a family vacation to Peru, which may sometimes be less considered, but equally as alluring and worth factoring into your family travel decisions.
1. The Storied Mansions and Sacred Valley Stays
Kids will love to discover that their 500-year-old restored mansion hotel in Cusco was once the home of the famed Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, and that the hotel you’ll be staying at in Machu Picchu’s cloud forest includes a visit to the Spectacled Bear Sanctuary where they can glimpse and feed the threatened bear species that inspired the Paddington Bear book series. It’s an exciting fact about Peru, and the stays are almost as exciting as the sights.
2. The Petting Zoo and Textile Demonstration
A family visit to the Awana Kancha cultural exhibition includes both a textile weaving demonstration and a chance to meet, feed, and pet llamas, alpaca, and guanacos—the iconic animals of the Andes whose wool is used in a variety of garments and blankets. Weavers continue to use the same tools and methods as the many generations before them. It’s a unique stop on a Peru itinerary that will please the whole family.
3. The Culture and Community
Peru is traditionally a very family-centered society, meaning you and your kids will be met with a warm welcome during your community visits and interactions throughout the Sacred Valley. Enjoy some enriching cultural interactions at Tikapata School, where you’ll have the opportunity to meet Peruvian students and hear about their studies. Share smiles with the local Quechua community at the colorful Pisac Market, admiring their vivid attire and beautiful handicrafts. Cultural interactions are abundant in this region of Peru, making for an unforgettable experience you and your kids will treasure for years to come.
4. The Food is Familiar
Peruvian food is typically recognizable to even the pickiest of eaters. Expect rice, meat, fish and salad to on most menus. Of course, there are delicacies such as cuy (guinea pig) and alpaca also on offer for the more adventurous eaters in the family.
5. The Dry Season
Fortunately for Europeans and North Americans, the Peruvian dry season falls during summer and school vacations. Typically, May through November sees little, if any, rain in the Sacred Valley and Cusco. It’s a great time to visit weather-wise, and the kids don’t need to miss a single day of school!
Exploring the breathtaking archaeological site of Machu Picchu with your loved ones is a family bonding experience that none of you will ever forget. Natural Habitat Adventures’ Custom Family Machu Picchu Adventure and Guided Machu Picchu Adventure can include visits to other ancient Inca ruins, authentic exchanges with modern-day Quechua culture, and a private Expedition Leader wholly focused on ensuring that your entire family experiences the very best of Peru.
This guest post was contributed by our partners at Explorandes Peru.