Peru is an unforgettable experience with both family-friendly and adult-only tourist attractions. It gave us everything we wanted and more. If you’re looking for a country that has tourist attractions for the entire family, then Peru should be on your list. But keep reading to find out what activities you can do while there.
Family-Friendly Peru Tourist Attractions
1. Ride the PeruRail Vistadome
This is the train we took from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. I’ve ridden some fantastic trains, but this is one of my favorites. It’s all glass, the roof is glass and both sides are glass, offering unobstructed views of the mountains and adjacent flowing river.
It’s what dreams are made of. The rails have everything that makes it a comfortable trip. There’s a nice car where you can stand out and look at the view in front of you. There’s live entertainment where the artists are playing live music and doing traditional dances, as well as a mini fashion show displaying the different traditional clothes.
The ride is 1 hour and 45 minutes. And due to COVID, they no longer allow food consumption, and everyone must wear a mask and face shield. Since this is a top Peru tourist attraction, I highly recommend tickets be purchased well in advance, here.
2. Machu Picchu
You definitely read this right. Machu Picchu can be a Peru tourist attraction for kids. My twin three-year-olds went and loved every moment of it.
In case you’re wondering, we didn’t do the multiple-day hike through the Inca Trail. We booked the regular tour, which took about 2 hours, got a tour guide, and began walking. Our driver hooked us up with a tour guide, but you can get one at the gate. When you start walking, there are two options: the lower or higher tier. It all depends on how high you want to walk.
The Wright Family enjoys an adrenaline rush so you can guess what we went for the highest tier, of course. With most hikes, you should hold the hands of your kids, especially around the edges as there is little protection. So keep your kids close and once you get down to the sacred city, it’s flat and the kids can run around pretty freely. What I loved about this is the kids got a chance to get up close and personal with llamas, which they loved.
Bonus: There’s a market and it has everything. I was so upset that I didn’t have time to shop. I purchased a scarf and a mug. But they had everything from materials to clothes. An avid shopper can spend an hour, if not more, in the market.
3. Llamas, Alpacas, and More at Awana Kancha
Awana Kancha which translates to the living museum of the Andes is about 30 minutes from Cusco. And it’s a petting zoo in a sense. Kids and families can see animals native to Peru. But it’s not just a petting zoo, that’s the feature that gets the most publicity.
It also has exhibits that focus on the production and craft of Peruvian fabrics. You can make a day out of watching the local women weave by hand and purchase a few souvenirs to take home, as it’s a market as well. Entrance is free but consider donating.
Adults-Only Peru Tourist Attractions
Sometimes, we adults need a break from our kids. Luckily my mom and her husband accompanied us to Peru, so my husband and I got a break to enjoy a more adult-inclined tourist attraction. She took the boys to Awana Kancha while we went on a hiking journey.
1. Lake Humantay
Lake Humantay is beautiful, absolutely stunning. It’s a turquoise lake hidden in the mountains. I say hidden because when you’re hiking there’s no view to look forward to. You will not be able to see it because it’s in the valley of the mountain. But when you find it, it makes it worth it.
Humantay is a 4-hour drive from where we stayed in Lamay, which is also 3-hours from Cusco. The elevation is 13,780 feet. There’s an option to take a horse or hike it. My husband opted for the horse which was 20 USD (80 Peruvian Sol), it took less than an hour. Of course, I needed a challenge, and I hiked. Before I continue, it’s important to note that experts recommend that everyone stay in the Sacred Valley for a few days before hiking. I did not. I went after one full day in Sacred Valley. It took me two hours, and I felt like I died a little inside. But the view was incredible.
Although I have listed this as adults only, a few local women strapped their babies and toted their kids the entire way. Maybe it’s adults only because I can’t imagine a world where I do that.
There’s also no way to escape hiking back down. Everyone has to hike down. If you want to make this extra romantic, there are dome homes that allow you to stay in Humantay.
2. Rainbow Mountain
We didn’t get to Rainbow mountain. If I had more time, I probably would have done it. The elevation is 17 thousand feet, which is absolutely ridiculous to me. I say this now, then I’m climbing it. Don’t mind me.
The trail is flat until you get to the peak, but the elevation will kick your a**. However, you can take the horse but only until you reach the peak, and then you’ll have to walk up the rest by yourself. But the prize at the end is llamas and alpacas.
Visit or Not to Visit?
Peru is filled with tourist attractions that everyone in the family will love. We enjoyed so many activities with our boys and was a bit sad to leave as there were other activities we wanted to experience (i.e. Sechura Desert where you can sand surf).
Fair warning though, there’s a huge risk of altitude sickness in Peru, especially in the Cusco Region. Take precautions unlike me and do what is recommended. Risk typically starts at 8,000 feet. It is recommended to stay in the Sacred Valley for a few days to get acclimated, especially for children.
Activities like the Vistadome and Awana Kancha have a reduced risk because they both start in the Sacred Valley, which is the lowest point.
The boys and my mom, who is 60+, stayed in the Sacred Valley for 2.5 days before heading out to Machu Picchu. Nobody experienced any issues. So as long as you’re safe, you’ll have a fantastic time.
Thinking about visiting Peru during their summer (November-March)? Check out this post to learn about the weather and things to do in summer in Peru.