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Family Vacation in Peru

Trip to Peru

A family trip to Peru can be an experience of a lifetime, memories made on a luxury family vacation can be shared for years to come. Why not take your children on a vacation to learn about new cultures and hear about ancient history? What better way to teach your children and give them valuable life experiences than to take them on a luxury family trip to Peru?

In Peru, we have many different zones that families can visit: the coast, the highlands and the jungle, to name a few. Why not start on the coast of the capital of Peru, Lima? Lima has many attractions for families to visit, the ruins of Pachacamac located south of the centre of Lima was built as a ceremonial centre in the Wari culture in around 100 AD. When the Spanish arrived some 1400 years later, Pachacamac was a thriving Inca town. In the centre of Lima, there is plenty to keep you occupied, including the Plaza de Armas. Every day at 12:00 noon, you can witness the pomp and ceremony of the changing of the guard, taking place at the Palacio de Gobierno, a handsome building now serving as the Presidential palace, or visit the cathedral of Lima with the inside being of neoclassical style and filled with impressive art and paintings. Just a short walk away is the San Francisco Monastery, is a beautiful, bright, yellow church most famous for its catacombs, where you can have a guided tour and hear about the history of this famous burial site. You should also take the time to visit the Monastery’s impressive library housing more than 25,000 ancient texts. A visit to Lima would not be complete without some time spent at the incredible Museo Larco; a museum displaying the best collection in Peru of ceramics from the Cupisnique, Chimu, Chancay, Moche and Inca cultures, as well as an impressive array of textiles and erotic ceramics.

Lima

Lima is also filled with lovely little barrios like Barranco, with its lovely plaza, restaurants and Miraflores which has the impressive Larco Mar; a seaside shopping complex built into the side of the cliff, full of lovely shops and a variety of restaurants with the most amazing views, well worth a visit.

Town of Paracas

Leaving Lima and travelling down the coast, you will arrive at the seaside resort town of Paracas, there are several luxury resort hotels to be found and this is the starting point for tours to the Ballestas Islands. These Islands are famous for their bird life and to experience the wonder of the great creatures who inhabit these islands, you will need to take a boat ride from Paracas port. Nearby, in the town of Pisco- a short drive from Paracas-you can take a short flight to Nazca to view the mysterious Nazca Lines. Spread across 500 square kilometres of desert, the lines remain one of Peru´s greatest mysteries. Consisting of more than 800 straight lines and 70 wonderful figures of plants and animals that can only be viewed from above, it is a wonder that everybody should see.

Arequipa

Further down the coast and inland, is the beautiful white city of Arequipa. Surrounded by volcanos, the city is built with a white volcanic stone, with a temperate climate and almost no rainfall all year, making Arequipa the perfect city to visit. Among the notable attractions is the beautiful Santa Catalina Monastery. Located in the heart of the city, it is filled with religious art, period furnishings and is a maze of twisting passageways, making it one of the most fascinating religious buildings in all of Peru. The Plaza de Armas is also a pretty place to visit if you have an hour or two to pass.  There are plenty of activities in the surrounding areas of Arequipa which include trekking to the volcanos, river rafting, mountain biking and mountaineering available for the adventurous to take part in. A few short hours from Arequipa, you will arrive at the quaint little town of Chivay; famous for being the gateway to the Colca Canyon and for its incredible hot springs. An afternoon spent in the hot springs is well worth the time, with incredible views of the surrounding mountains and pools that take away any aches and pains, why wouldn’t you want to visit Chavay? Take a short drive from Chivay and you will see the most spectacular canyon anywhere in the world, the Colca Canyon. Deeper than the Grand Canyon, this marvel of nature comes complete with the magnificent Condors, that will put on a show that you will never forget. Rising up from the canyon in the thermal breezes, the condors will glide past you for an excellent photo opportunity.

Puno

Continuing south and inland, you will arrive at the lakeside town of Puno. Puno has many attractions built around the beautiful Lake Titicaca and over the recent years, Puno has expanded to accommodate the luxury tourist market, with many luxury hotels and resorts catering to all sorts of travellers. The town of Puno has a nice little plaza complete with a church which is well worth a visit. Just outside of Puno, you could spend a day at the Pre Columbian site of Sillustani; a burial site for the nobility, with an impressive view of the lake. A visit to Puno would not be complete without a day or two visiting the lake islands, these islands are famous all over the world for their peace and tranquillity and most notably, the islands are marvelled at as they are made completely of totora reeds that grow in and around the lake. Not only are the islands made out of the reeds, but so are the homes and boats of the local peoples who inhabit the islands. The ornate vessels used by the local people are completely waterproof and carry the people from island to island and the children use them to go to the local school, the reeds seel the houses and keep water from leaking inside. To experience the resourcefulness of the people and the reed’s use, you can pay the local people to take you on a short trip around the islands for a small fee. The Islands have adapted to tourism, selling local handicrafts made from the reeds and also handwoven textiles.

Cusco

No trip to Peru is complete without a visit to the Imperial city of Cusco. Set in a valley, Cusco is surrounded by beautiful snowcapped mountains. Most people stay near the Plaza de Armas with a wide range of hotels on offer, from luxury 5-star hotels to backpacker accommodation, there is something for everyone. The plaza and surrounding areas are also packed with restaurants and bars to cater for every taste. Located on the plaza, is the Cathedral with its incredible collection of art featuring a painting of the last supper complete with guinea pig for the main course. Unusually, there is another church in the plaza which is La Compañía, equally as beautiful in it’s baroque style.

Sacred Valley

Two blocks behind the plaza is the San Pedro Market. Here, you will mix with local people and find a wide range of products and handicrafts to buy, be careful of the pickpocketers that sometimes roam through the market though. Just outside of Cusco, you have the wonderful ruins of Sacsaywaman, Tambo Machay & Puka Pukara, all well worth an afternoon visit. Outside of Cusco at around an hour’s drive is the beautiful and scenic Sacred Valley of the Incas, a full day visiting the valley and its ruins and markets is a must on any tour to Peru. From the Inca fortress town of Ollantaytambo, you can catch the train to the ancient wonder of Peru and the world, Machu Picchu. Take a guided tour to learn the history of this magnificent place known as the lost city of the Incas.

Puerto Maldonado

Finally, a short flight from Cusco is the jungle town of Puerto Maldonado gateway to the beautiful and luxurious lodges that line the Madre de Dios river in the Amazon Basin. You can spend several days walking different jungle trails seeing many different species of wildlife and vegetation. Take a boat ride at night and see animals sleeping on the banks of the river. This is just a taste of the many different things to do on your family vacation to Peru!

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