The Moray Inca ruins with kids was a great warm-up for our next day tour. After visiting Chincheros, we head to Moray Inca Ruins called Quantus Raquay, it was right before Salt Maras Moray Pond.
Also, Moray was a great warm-up for Ollantaytambo which we visited the following day. Usually, you can get this tour together because their proximity is convenient. I strongly recommend you to do your research to customized your tour if possible.
Basically, in Moray, Quantus Raquayis is an Inca ruin that contains circular terrace used for an irrigation system. The Incas build this system to grow crops in different microclimates. Every level has different temperatures. It was sort of Inca agriculture laboratory used to grow resistant plans high in the Andes.
Seems that they were build to use the different microclimates that the Peruvian Andean terrain provided and experiment growing of different types of plants. A true statement of the genius of human archeology and hydraulic.
To get in here you need to buy tickets on the entrance, get the partial tourist ticket III (Sacred Valley) for $25 or the full ticket for $47. Get your tourist ticket at the office or DICERTUR Main square at Calle Mantas from Monday to Sunday or on site.
Once there we were lucky to witnesses a ceremony where they recreate the ceremonies that use to happen here.
We climb up and down and admired and learn about this amazing place!
I hope you find this helpful t travel here with your kids. good luck!
Our Cuzco adventure with kids couldn’t be complete without visiting Sacred Valley. On our visit, we stayed in Urubamba, the little gem of Sacred Valley.
Sacred Valley is fertile farmland on the heart of the Inca Empire located in Ollantaytambo and Urubamba Districts. It was Inca’s properties and Inca’s people settle up there because of their very important maze production.
We stayed in Urubamba for a day before taking our train to Machu Picchu. This little town is less “touristy” than Ollantaytambo but still close by to the train station.
Our itinerary with kids in Urubamba:
We arrived in a small town in the evening. It was fascinating to me, the streets were so small for the cars that it made hard to manipulate to get in. The reason is that the size of the street reminded the same size since the Colonization. Our car was too big for them and it almost got stuck. Exciting!
Next morning, after a good breakfast provided by the hotel, we have so much fun exploring Urubamba’s local market with the kids. During our visit to the market, they got to make new friends and played with local kids and dogs. At the market, boys found a toy store, and you know how boys are when they see a ball, right? They beg us for a ball and we got one with they played around until we left and donated it to the local kids.
At the market, we were able to find great tea and Maca. After a nice stroll back to the hotel we left to Ollantaytambo.
I feel that visiting Urubamba was a real Andean’s experience for the kids, it was a town very laid back. You don’t find a bunch of tourist walking around, just working on trading or selling agriculture products. We love this!
If you are wondering if visiting Sudamerica, Peru with kids is the right idea. Here is the information you need to take this decision. South America is located mostly in the Southeast hemisphere and Is the Spanish and Portuguese speaking area of the Americas. I am going to focus mainly on Peru on this blog.
The Spanish invasion to Peru in latest 1500, brings a strong influence of Spanish culture in Peru and in most South Americas countries. There is so much to see in South America and Peru is the gem of Southamerica.
South America geography helps to created amazing cities and places to visit. It is surrounded by Ocean Pacific and Atlantic, and on the Western are dominated by the Andes; while in the eastern side present a tropical area with lowland surrounded by major rivers. Peru is one of the few countries that geographically posses part of the coast, Andean and tropical area. Peru is a must visit Country due to their diversity, there is more than just amazing Machu Picchu is a country that will awe you.
Does Peru Have One of The New 7 Wonders of The World?
Machu Picchu in Peru is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, together with:
The Great Wall of China
Christ the Redeem statue in Brasil
Chichen Itza in Mexico
Roman Coliseum in Rome
Taj Mahal in India
Petra in Jordan
What Should I know before Traveling to Peru with kids?
Weather in Peru varies according to the City. This is happening due to its geography. Peru has a coastal city like Lima and Nazca. Andean Cities as Arequipa and Cusco, as well as tropical cities as Loreto and Madre de Dios, this last two located on the Peruvian Amazonian Jungle.
Cusco is in high altitude, you need to take actions to prevent it.
Cusco is located on the Andean while Machu Picchu is located in the tropical and warmer area.
You would need to drink water from a bottle.
Eat only cooked vegetables.
Spend time in Lima. Lima has so many great places to visit
If you take a picture you will be charged, especially in the tourist areas. don’t be surprised if you take a picture and then the peso ask you is “5 soles” please. Also, if you take pictures with them usually they charge you. Keep in mind is their main income and your sweet souvenir.
If you are doing the Inca hike book your slot as earliest is possible months in advance.
If you doing the Inca trail make sure you are in shape.
There are two shifts to enter to Machu Picchu and a limited of 200 people per day to enter Huayna Picchu
People start getting in Machu Picchu at 6:00 am you will need to be up sometimes from 4:00 am to get in there.
You don’t need a VISA if you coming from the USA.
Be ready for the unexpected
Is It Safe to Travel To Peru with kids?
Thousands of people visit Peru each year and return home from a trouble-free trip. By taking the same basic precautions as you would traveling anywhere is safe for you and your family.
If you want to avoid the crowd you can travel from April to May or September to October that is considered the low season. Although there are chances for rain May and October are generally great months to see everything greener and less crowded. I have been there on those months and once in heal, so an umbrella or poncho will be great to add to your packing list.
Cusco is a definitely safe place to travel if you want ideas of what to do in Cusco check this blogs
Why is Machu Picchu Considered one of the Wonders of the World?
Machu Picchu is a citadel build in the 15th century on the top of a mountain located 7 970 feet. Above the Sacred Valley through where the Urubamba rivers run. This was the citadel where the Incas and his royalty family lived. Its impressive location and construction in classic Inca style well preserved despite earthquakes and harsh climate made it famous around the world.
It was built with big boulders and there are many theories on how they did that. No one has a final answer. Machu Picchu was voted in 2007 as one of the new Wonder of the world. After getting international attention in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, in an effort to help its preservation the Citadel was declared a sanctuary in 1981. Later in 1983, it was declared a World Heritage by the UNESCO before becoming a World Wonder of the World
How Easy is it to Visit Machu Picchu with Young children?
Traveling with kids has their own challenges, like anything with family, so in order to make the trip a briss, plan in advance. the experience is priceless and to me definitely worth it.
if you are nursing a baby be sure of their routine and bring wherever is need to keep the routine going. I traveled while nursing my kids, not to Machu Picchu but to Lima. keep hydrated is the clue so you can keep baby happy, I nursed my kids during take off to easy their ear pressure, or gave them a pinkie to suck on.
To get to Machu Picchu you need to take an airplane or bus, a train, and another bus. My kids appreciate all the rides. To travel with kids you need to be ready for the unexpected and have the best attitude. Machu Picchu with older kids is easier, but you need to expect them to wake up earlier to go to the ruins. One of us went to nake the bus line earlier and the other one stays, but your kids have to be ready at the bus station by 5:30. There is the option of the second shift later during the day, which is good for kids. We just didn’t want to miss the amazing show of the fog breaking through the sun. We had great time kids were faster than us and they love exploring the Inca ruins.
High Altitude sickness?
Cusco is located at an Altitude of 3,400 meters (11,200ft) above sea level, everyone reacts to attitude different. I always get a slight headache, my older son got one too, on the other hand, my husband and the youngest kid didn’t feel discomfort. For attitude I always tend to have an easy first day in Cusco, arrive and don’t walk around too much. I take into consideration that some streets are on hills and it doesn’t help for your body to acclimate.
There is always mate de coca available in local restaurants and at hotels. Usually, hotels give you that as soon as you arrived. I recommend you to drink it. water is boiled so you won’t get sick for that. then, rest for a few hours before exploring the city, a good nap will help your body to the different amount of oxygen is getting.
What is The Weather Like in Machu Picchu and Cusco, Peru?
Peru weather varies according to the area.
Lima weather is average during the year not too hot or too cold, with temperatures ranging from 12 C or 54 F to 18C or 64 F in Winter. On the hot season temperature range from 24C or 75F to 28C or 82 F.
Winter is during the month of July and September and Summer from January to March.
Cusco weather is different than Lima due to its geography, the Andeans have a great influence on it. It has two very mark seasons from November to April is the wet season or winter and May to October the dry season or summer. February is wettest. The dry season is partly cloudy and is cold year around. Over the course of the year, the temperature varies from 32F to 66F. the temperature varies so little then we can’t cold or hot season. when sunny during the day is pretty warm. Cusco is usually warm and sunny during the day and very cold at night.
Machu Picchu Weather:
The rainy season is from November to March and April to November is dry season. weather is part of the jungle so it can feel very tropical. The hottest temperature in 26C (79 ) and reaching temperatures of -2C (-36) in the coldest months. it always warm during the day and cold evenings, so bring layers.
What is the nearest airport to Machu Picchu?
The closest airport to Machu Picchu is Alejandro Velasco Astete located on Cusco. It is an international airport that received domestic flights as well as some international flights. Is located close to City Center. Machu Picchu is located 3 hours on the train from Cusco. You may want to know how we made it to Machu Picchu, route and costs.
Named after the first airplane Pilot that cross the Andean. Taxis are located just outside the landing area. Plan in advance your pick up. Although Cusco is pretty safe if not plan in advance taxis can be pretty expensive.
What Should I Prepare for a Trip to Machu Picchu?
Peru is one of the best places in the world to travel make the most of it planning it correctly.
Make arrangements for you pick up from airport to hotel in Lima or Cusco
The Nazca lines are amazing geoglyphs draw in a huge scaled by the Nazca people. A civilization which began around 100 B.C. and flourished from A.D. 1 to 70. These geoglyphs are drawn on the desert dirt and can be seen from high. They were drawn along 30 miles or 48 kilometers ( and around 170 Miles Square and 450 Kilometers Square) and represent animals and plants. The Nasca Lines were created between 500 BCE and 500 CE. You can see pictures of them here.
There are many theories but they still a mystery. In 1994 the Nazca lines were declared UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What are the Nazca Lines Drawn?
The Nazca lines drawings are a series of animals like monkey, whale, llama, duck, lizard, and dog. Also birds as the Hummingbird and Insects as the spider.
We can find plants like cactus, flower, tree and a humanoid shape called “astronaut” that seems greeting you. Check for your self here
Why Are the Nazca Lines a Mystery?
Nazca Lines has been studied for over 80 years and it still a mystery to many. First, because there is not a completely proved theory of how the geoglyph was made.
The studies of Nazca lines started on the earlies the ’20s by local Toribio Mejia Xesspe, a Peruvian archaeologist. However, more research started after it was flying over on the 1930s.
Earliest studies pointed out that the purposed of the geoglyph were astronomy related taking in consideration the position of the lines around the winter solscitice.
Later, Maria Reiche, a German archaeologist got to research them and concluded that its purpose was to be an astronomical calendar. She further believed that some of the animal geoglyphs were representative of groups of stars in the sky.
More recent researchs lean to believe that its purpose was related to water, a very valuable source in the arid lands of the Peruvian coastal were Nazca Culture developed. Some believe that Nazca lines were used to point to where water can be found. Later another theory said that the drawing was used to as a part of a ritual to the gods and effort to bring needed rain.
Research still trying to find the real purpose, but something is real, they are amazing creation that has survived 1000 years!
Are the Nazca Lines Visible from Space?
There are Nazca Lines viewing tower right off the side of the Pan-American Highway, which passes right through the desert where the ancient Peruvian symbols are found. However, the view of all the Nazca lines is limitated. We recommend to see them on the airplane if you can afford it.
Are Nazca Lines for Kids?
Absolutelly yes! our kids really enjoyed visiting and learn so much about ancient culture. There are Museums you can visit once there. Besides the fly, they were impressed with the mommies. You can check that here.
Nasca with kids was for us a great learning experience and I hope you you dont hesitated to do it with kids.
I hope this help you when take your kids to Peru and have fun in family!
I will keep updating this as we keep travelling back there.
Our first stop exploring the Sacred Valley was an amazing visit to Chincheros with the kids. Chincheros is well known for its great artisans. It is located in Urubamba before Moray and Mara’s Salt Pond’s
The first thing you want to know about Chincheros it is that is a small town close to Cuzco. It has great artisans that have created beautiful textiles since the Inca’s time.
Second, I highly recommend it for kids. They are great weaving centers and local women gave us a great educational show. They explained the Inca’s process of getting colors from plants in English and Spanish in a very entertained way. You can watch the video here. scroll down
Once there you get inside and find this little ginny pig house where they raised them. The kids were able to see them, they are kind of cute.
Next, we are greeting by the artesian and proceed to seat down.
We can find on the display what plant belongs to a specific color. It was wonderful and educational to see where they come from. I feel this visit was very educational for the kids.
Basically, they ground in a mortar the desired color. Once they get the sheep wool they watched and make it boiled together with the desired color.
I was lucky to have hiked to Putucusi the hidden hike in Machu Picchu. Putucusi is not a super well know hike although is located across from Machu Picchu. It is a hike that not many people do because everyone focuses on the hike to Mach Picchu. However, if you have a few hours to spend, it totally worth it. Once on the pick, you can get an amazing view of Machu Picchu. However, getting it is not easy.
Unfortunately, after a massive flood has kept it close and still need to be repaired. Honestly, I didn’t have expectations when I hike it for the first and only time, because I never hear of it before. It was tough for my fear of heights but totally worth it.
I remember we hiked it on a rainy day without researching about it or asking locals how difficult it was. I honestly thought it is dangerous people won’t go and it will be close, I was wrong!
Honestly, who hike this stair on the rain. right? On my defense, it wasn’t raining when we start the hike. we were lucky to have brought ponchos that help us once we were there.
When we started the hike it wasn’t the stiff until this latter came. I really didn’t want to climb but my then boyfriend and his brother put some pressure on me. How can as local couldn’t climb. So, I did it.
Once on the top, the ground started getting flag again, and then stiff and I told the guys. We shouldn’t keep hiking since we didn’t know the way and have no plan or a guide of the area, we could get lost. Suddenly a lady shows up carrying her baby on her back show up. She was wearing just flip flops and was coming down the path. I didn’t have another option than keep walking following the signs and praying we will find the promised view.
This view absolutely worth the insane hike. Here some pictures!
We came back after 11 years with our kids and it was close. This is how gar we could go.
Peru with Kids: How to Get from Lima to Machu Picchu
If you’re one of the many people thinking about visiting Machu Picchu and wonder how to get to the hidden Inca Citadel with your family; I will breakdown how to we got from Lima to Machu Picchu with our family. How I planned, how much I spent. I am sharing all that I learn by visiting Machu Picchu more than seven times, and once with my kids (5 and 8 yo).
Getting To Lima
Since there is not yet any direct International flight to Cusco form where I lived, we stop in Lima. Upon where you are located you will need to get a flight that stops in Lima and stay there or keeps flying to Cusco. You can either choose to spend a few days and explore Limaor keep traveling to Cusco. If you staying in Lima check this to find out what do when visiting Lima. We always have a great time there, not only visiting family also there is always something new to see.
A Beautiful view of Cusco sky before we landed to our adventure
Coca leaf after arriving at the airport. you can chew them or take it to make tea for the altitude
The Option of Flying:
This is the most common method to get to Cusco, and most people fly. you save time, but not money. If your ticket is not direct to Cusco, you will need to find a flight to get there probably from Lima.
We got tickets online before getting to Cusco and flew from Lima to Cusco. Tickets to fly to Cusco were approx. $130 per person.
Alternative Way- a Bus:
A bus ride from Lima to Cusco could take from 24 to 26 hours, besides be a less expensive way to travel, it could be an unforgettable experience because there are many amazing places to see in the way from Lima to Cusco (Nazca lines, Arequipa and other towns).
Depends on the time you have available to travel. There are two main routes: One via Abancay and the second goes from Nazca to Arequipa and then Cusco which is longer but is known as the safer.
Getting to Machu Picchu from Cusco:
Once in Cusco, you need to take the train to Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes train station). The buses to go to Machu Picchu citadel only depart from the town called Aguas Calientes.
We spent some time with the family in Cusco before we head to Machu Picchu, so we could acclimate and be on our best shape avoiding sick altitude.
To get to Machu Picchu you can purchase in advance your train tickets at www.perurail.com. Where you will find different departure station. Find the station for the train you are going to take. There are different prices upon the style of trip you want to take. Read on how we did it and how much we spend here. You can read about our adventure in Machu Picchu here
You will find a variety of trains departure and return schedules according to the availability of trains on the dates you have chosen. The train has two different stations: Poroy (Cusco), and Ollantaytambo.
Poroy train station:
The route from Poroy (Cusco) to Machu Picchu the train takes approx. 3 hours and 50 minutes. Poroy is located 25 to 30 minutes in a taxi from Cusco center. The taxi is approximately s/.36 soles ($11) or a bus s/.5 or 7 ($2) per person. The train only stops once at Ollantaytambo station.
Ollantaytambo train station:
To go from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu it takes 1 hour and 50 minutes, and the train operates every day except for the last Sunday of each month. Ollantaytambo is located 2 hours in a car from Cusco Center. A bus from Cusco to Ollantaytambo that cost s/. 10 soles ($4) per person or a taxi that costs around s/. 149 soles ($45).
This is another option, despite the train stops only in Ollantaytambo, we took a private tour and decided to stay in Urubamba. Urubamba is a less crowded town and I do recommend it if you want to enjoy the most “real” Peruvian town. The ride from Cusco to Urumbamba took approximately 45 minutes and it was included in our package. A private van from Cusco to Urubamba cost s/. 133 ($40). The next day our private transportation took us to Ollantaytambo train station. A private van from Urumbaba to Ollantaytambo cost s/.99 soles ($30) and a bus cost s/.5 or 7 soles ($2) per person.
Getting to Machu Picchu Citadel from Aguas Calientes Town:
Bus to Machu Picchu Citadel:
After you arrived at Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu Station (located at the town of Machu Picchu and not at the citadel), you can take a bus that takes you to Machu Picchu site. This is the only official public transport to the site. It is a 25 minutes ride and buses come every 5 minutes. The bus first comes first serve bases and bus shift start running at 5:30 a.m.
When you get there, most of the people stay in Aguas Calientes to take a bus the next morning, it’s always better to have extra time before taking the bus. Take into consideration that the line for the bus starts at 3 a.m. and you arrived at the Citadel at 6:00 a.m. When Machu Picchu site opens its doors.
You can buy your bus tickets online or get them when you arrive in Aguas Calientes. If you need more information about tickets you can find it herehttp://consettur.com.
Cusco Offices: Av. Infancia 433 – Wanchaq, phone numbers are 084 – 222125, 084 – 252959, opens Lunes – sábado 08:00 a 12:45 – 15:00 an 18:00 Sundays and Holidays: 08:00 a 12:45 and email email@example.com,
Aguas Calientes Office: in Avenida Hermanos Ayar S/N (where the buses depart), opens at 5:00 am until 21:30 hrs.Tel: 084 211 134.
We decided to take the first bus at 5:30 am and pay for the round trip $24 per adult and $12 per kid.
TIP: If you buy the tickets in the town they only accept MasterCard or immaculate dollars ( no marks, ticks or anything), no euro, no visa, no regular dollars.
Some most adventures people start hiking around 4 am or 5 am to get to Machu Picchu first. The hike last hour an half, and yes they hike in the dark if they want to be first in line.
Entrance for Peruvian people cost s/.64 soles ($19-$20)
Foreigner s/.152 soles ($46-$47)
Students pay s/.77 soles ($23-$24) but can’t get tickets online they need to get it in person on any office since there are many cases of falsification.
School students pay s/.70 soles ($21-22) up until 12
There is a 50% discount to 60 years and older and people with discapacity on the regular ticket (152 soles) approx. $23-$24
2) In person you can get your ticket at the tourism office in the main square of Aguas Calientes located in Calle Garcilaso s/n – Museo Histórico Regional y Calle Maruri 340 from Monday to Saturday from 07:00 to 19:30 hrs (no holidays), in Aguas Calientes on the Cultural Center, every day from 05:30 a 20 hrs
3) Any tour company can get it for you.
To get into Machu Picchu Citadel we pay s/.152 soles ($46) and kids ($23)
Tips: The Citadel of Machu Picchu is located in a region bordering the jungle. In that case, we recommend the use of sunscreen, sunglasses, hats or caps and repellent both during the trip and while at the Citadel.
Getting To Huayna Picchu:
We didn’t go to Huayna Picchu this time, but If you want to do it, you need to book it weeks in advance–these tickets sell out fast because of the limitation of 200 per day. However, I don’t recommend this hike for young little kids since have very steep cliff you need to be very careful.
Entrance to Huayna Picchu cost s/48 soles ($15) for adults, kids, and students, s in general. There is a 50% discount to 60 years and older and people with discapacity on the regular ticket.
After a great time in Lima visiting family, we started our way to Cusco and Machu Picchu. I was super excited for the kids to have this experience. The first time I was in Machu Picchu I was 15 years old and it was an amazing experience.
Cusco is located in the South of Peru, so from Lima we needed to catch a plane for the hour-plus long flight. However, Some people travel from Lima to Cusco on the bus, and that takes about 24 hours. It depends on your sense of adventure – if you like driving on a bumpy road along cliffs that plunge down hundreds of feet, the bus is your ticket!. Since we travel with kids, so comfort and faster travel time is important. So, we took a flight to Cusco from Jorge Chavez Airport, the only civilian airport in Lima.
We all were afraid and excited about the high altitude of Cusco. Getting out of the airplane, we were welcomed with a basket full of coca leaves. You can chew it or not, or take it to later for a coca tea. Don’t worry, coca tea is the same as a strong cup of coffee, and how you react to it will depend on your sensitivities. It is legal, and optional, but imbibing it one way or another helps with the altitude. Pretty much every hotel provides coca tea. So, don’t worry about drinking coca tea, it is just an experience to have if you decide to go for it.
WERE TO STAY
We stayed at Kamila lodge – a little hotel in town. A pretty decent hotel but a little difficult to access since it is in the heart of the commercial district in Cusco. Since I know Cusco very well, we felt comfortable staying there despite its economical price. Also, I think it’s good to expose your kids to crowded, hectic places where they can meet real, local people and eat authentic cuisine instead of tourist fare. This little hotel was located in a walkable area relatively close to the main square. Cusco has a lot of narrow streets and it’s hard to see landmarks, but if you have a good sense of direction you’ll be fine. We were able to walk around and find this bakery that makes local bunuelos. We all loved them!
The flight from Lima to Cusco takes only an hour, but you do need to be at airport early because it gets busy. Kids were easy and happy to get on the airplane…I’m so glad they are old enough that they can play card games like Uno and entertain themselves. iPads or movies are a great help as well.
WHAT TO EXPLORE ON YOUR FIRST DAY
Once we’d put our bags down at the hotel, the kids were excited to get out and explore. We let them do that but kept it to the minimum since we didn’t want the altitude to affect them. Actually, my younger son was okay with it as well as my husband. However, my older son and I got a headache. So, the two of us rested and then we went for a walk to the main square. We found a restaurant that has beautiful balconies and we enjoyed another coca tea. My son got a soup (sopa Criolla) that was called “levanta muertos” (raise the dead), it’s a soup that I love and my grandmother (she was from Cusco) used to make.
After feeling better, that night we went to visit the twelve-angle stone located by the Archbishop’s Palace. The next day we took a tour to amazing Chincheros, Salineras Maras and Moray, check my blog about it. The second day we visited a rescue zoo, Aras Rapay and Ollantaytambo…there’s so much to tell you about each one that is why I wrote up separate articles for each of them. On our 4th day we stayed in and explored the town of Urumbamba before taking the train to Aguas Clients where we stayed till next day when we visited Machu Picchu.