Peru sits firmly on the wish list of family-friendly destinations, and in this boom-time market for family travel, Peru has some of the hottest vacation options of all: “re-conquering” ancient Inca cities and cruising the Amazon wildlands. “As our international campaign highlights, family travel to our country is increasing every year,” says Sandra Doig, deputy director of promotion for PromPeru. “And nowadays travel agents are not only able to offer clients educational and adventurous experiences among ruins and rainforests, but hotel-based family-bonding activities such as horseback riding, pizza-making and painting classes in the Sacred Valley or whale watching, surfing lessons and kayaking in the mangroves on the North Coast.” So, for the young and the young at heart, let’s consider this Peruvian trio of family vacations.
Abercrombie & Kent
According to Jean Fawcett, spokesperson for A&K, “Peru [along with Ecuador and Costa Rica] receive the most—and right now increased attention—from family travelers, who are putting travel to other parts of the world on hold.” And ready for booking is Abercrombie & Kent’s Family Peru 2017, a luxury, 9-day, small group journey (18 guests) whose highlights include visiting a local weaving village and the local school supported by A&K, a Quechuan language lesson, playing the traditional sapo game, and kayaking the Huaypo Lagoon, while staying at Hotel Sol y Luna Lodge; exploring the wonders of Machu Picchu, while staying at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel; touring the ancient ruins of Sacsayhuaman, while staying at Palacio del Inca in Cusco; touring the City of Kings, swimming with sea lions off Palomino Island, and enjoying a final dinner amongst the ruins of Huaca Pucllana during a 2-night stay at the Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel in Lima.
Priced at $5,999 pp dbl, small-group family departures for 2017 are March 16, June 8, July 6 and Aug. 16.
New and popular these past two years, says IE Travel, is a 6-day Amazon Riverboat & Rainforest Lodge Tour, featuring more active jungle tours including night hikes, kayaking, and visits to a Yagua village and market, an Amazon medical clinic and an Amazon library. Additionally, company spokesperson Emily Harley points out, “the itinerary is short enough to add on Cusco and Machu Picchu without booking a 2-week stay.”
Following the first night in Lima, families fly to Iquitos for a 3-night river cruise aboard the deluxe new La Estrella Amazonica, a custom-built, 31-passenger river boat featuring air-conditioned cabins with private balconies, open-air bar and observation deck, dining room and fitness room, state-of-the-art Lecture Room for naturalist briefings, and two 18-passenger excursion boats. After disembarking on the fifth day, passengers board a smaller river craft for the river run to the Canopy Walkway, whose suspended pathways and platforms offer a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest. Guests then continue by boat to the beautiful and comfortable Amazon Explorama Lodges’ Ceiba Tops Lodge for the night. Priced from $3,698 pp dbl, family departures in 2017 are June 23, and July 14 and 21.
Guests joining the Backroads’ 8-day Peru Family Breakaway Multisport Adventure visit the land of the Incas up-close when walking, hiking and biking around Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, following truly “back roads.” Every day, guests, each traveling at their own pace, have a choice of guided activity levels: easy going, active and avid. The first two nights are spent in Cusco, walking around this former Inca capital and learning about Peru’s ancient cultures. On days three and four, guests pedal out to explore the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo and visit with a Quechua community of weavers and a world-renowned ceramicist. Another day, they’ll hike through the honeycomb of tiered pools of Las Salineras and bike among the high-altitude farmlands, while days six-eight are reserved for exploring Machu Picchu. Guests stay in Premier Inn category hotels: Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco, housed in a 16th century monastery; Hotel Sol y Luna in Urubamba, a Relais & Chateaux member; and Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Priced at $5,198 pp dbl, departures for 2017 are May 16, June 13 and 17, and July 4 and 25.