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DAY 1

Welcome to Peru

You’ll be picked up from your Cusco accommodation at 1pm, eat a delicious lunch at a local favourite restaurant, then head for the tiny Inca town of Pisac in the stunning Sacred Valley.

Along the way we’ll visit Cochahuasi, a private animal-rescue sanctuary where you can get close to flamingos, lynxes, pumas, tapirs, and condors. There’s time before dinner to wander through the charming cobbled streets and squares of Pisac, or to simply rest: it’s important to take it easy as you acclimatise to the altitude of the high Andes (3,300m or 10,800ft in Cusco, 2,900m or 9,500ft in Pisac).

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Pisac. Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 2

Explore Pisac

Pisac is home to two major tourist attractions. The first is the huge Inca fortress that bristles spectacularly on the mountain above the town. In the morning you’ll explore the sprawling ruin, and enjoy the views of the high peaks aroundyous and the verdant Sacred Valley of the Incas below.

In the afternoon there’s time for shopping at Pisac’s handicraft market – the biggest and most famous in the region. Pisac is also home to a great family attraction: a country club with kid and adult pools, a playground, miniature lake with fish, and lots of space to run around. This is another great option today as we ease into our Peru experience.

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Pisac. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

DAY 3

Experience Peruvian Village Life

You’ll spend this very special day with families who lead a life that has barely changed in hundreds of years: subsistence farming in the village of Amaru.

In the morning you’ll help the farmers in the fields, assisting them with whatever tasks they’re doing on the day, which depends on the time of the year and could be anything from herding pigs to ploughing a field to helping with the harvest.

In the afternoon, the women of Amaru will show you how they make the traditional textiles they wear. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in every stage of the process, from picking plants to make dyes to weaving on a loom!

Accommodation: Guesthouse in Amaru. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

DAY 4

Through the Sacred Valley

After breakfast you’ll wave goodbye to your new friends in Amaru and head down off the mountain into the Sacred Valley. For proficient bikers, there’s the option to ride bikes from Amaru down to Pisac: it’s a fun, curvy descent on an unpaved country road through beautiful mountain scenery.

Then you’ll be driven through the sunny, fertile Sacred Valley – you’ll need lots of photo stops! – to Ollantaytambo, the most charming of all Inca towns. From here you’ll take a scenic train ride, that enchants children and adults alike, to Aguas Calientes, the town that nestles at the base of Machu Picchu mountain.

Accommodation: Hotel in Aguas Calientes. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

DAY 5

Machu Picchu

An early start rewards us with sunrise at Machu Picchu – a peak moment for anyone. A spectacular stone city surrounded by incredibly steep, incredibly green mountains, Machu Picchu needs no introduction and is deservedly one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Your guide will show you around the key structures and get you oriented in this massive site, then you’ll have time to explore the ruin, or relax and play on lawned terraces with incredible views, before we take the train back to Ollantaytambo.

Accommodation: Cosy family-run hotel, Ollantaytambo. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

DAY 6

Moray and Salineras

Today you’ll visit two unusual and fascinating Inca sites.

First is Moray – three massive Inca amphitheatres of incredible engineering precision and stern, magnificent beauty. They are said to have been a crop laboratory but have a mysterious, other-worldly vibe that suggest a more mystical purpose to many.

Next is Salineras, the still-operational Inca salt factory – a surreal and beautiful patchwork of pools and paths that’s one of our favourite sights in the Sacred Valley. If you like, you can ride quad bikes (also known as ATVs or four wheeled motorbikes) from one site to another today – it’s a great way to enjoy the beautiful rolling countryside. Kids can drive their own, or be passengers with a grown-up – it’s up to you.

Accommodation: Cosy family-run hotel, Ollantaytambo. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 7

Paddle on Lake Piuray

This morning the adventure continues with stand-up paddleboarding – a fun, safe adventure that we recommend for even our smallest guests.

After a full briefing and warm-up, you’ll spend the morning paddling on serene, stunning Lake Piuray. It’s a lot of fun for kids, and a great way for parents to soak in the quiet majesty of the mountains all around you. In the afternoon, there’s time to explore the charming church and expansive mountain terraces of Chinchero before you head to Cusco for the night.

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Cusco. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

DAY 8

Explore Cusco

Cusco is bursting at the seams with things to see and do: churches and temples, colonial architecture, stunning streetscapes, great cafés, mountain views, museums, musicians, markets, and crazy hole-in-the-wall shops selling everything from frogs and herbs for casting spells, to the world’s most colourful candles!

If you feel like taking a family-friendly class today, learnign to make either chocolates or ceramics with local master artisans, this can be arranged.

There’s also hikingin the countryside only minutes away, and plenty of outdoor activities on offer, so whatever you feel like doing today, we’ll make it happen!

By this stage of the trip, your guide will be familiar with your family’s interests and will be there with you to help you make the best of your time in this amazing town.

Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Cusco. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

DAY 9

To the Amazon jungle!

Today we’ll make the incredible journey – by van, plane, and dugout canoe – to pristine Amazon rainforest outside Puerto Maldonado. The irrepressible life all around you, with buzzing insects, flocks of birds and monkeys, and plants growing so fast you can almost see it happening, lets you know immediately that you’ve come to a very different world.

The feeling that you’ve stepped into another dimension is enhanced when you find yourself spending the evening spotting caimanes (freshwater crocodiles) from a boat on a jungle waterway!

Accommodation: Remote jungle lodge. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

DAY 10

Macaws, monkeys and more

This is an unforgettable day of family adventure, so we’ll get started early. (Like everything else in on all our family trips, this is optional – we find most teenagers prefer to sleep late!) We need to be up well before dawn to get in position at Collpa Chuncho, the biggest macaw claylick in the world!

Up to 100 big, clever, guacamayos (macaws) congregate here each morning, eating clay which provides nutrients they can’t get anywhere else. Along the way there and back, there’s a good chance we’ll spot sloths and monkeys going about their morning business.

After lunch at the lodge we’ll hike (about 1.5 hours) to an oxbow lake, where we’ll paddle around spotting dozens of different bird species in the shallows, troops of monkeys on the lakeshore, and flocks of red-bellied macaws in the flooded palm forest.

Both tonight and tomorrow, optional guided night hikes give you the opportunity to spot tapirs, night monkeys and tarantulas, and to take in the soundtrack of the jungle after dark.

Accommodation: Remote jungle lodge. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

DAY 11

Piranhas and kayaking

This morning we’ll journey by land and water to Tres Chimbadas Lake, where we’ll have as good a chance as anywhere in the world of spotting two elusive giants – our guests often spot both giant river otters and giant anacondas here!

No family trip to Peru would be complete without fishing for piranha, and we have the chance to get into it today! Pan-fried piranha is delicious, and frying up and eating your own carnivorous catch as the sun sets over the Amazon Jungle is a dinner to remember and the perfect way to round out the trip as you savour your final evening in Peru.

Accommodation: Remote jungle lodge. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

DAY 12

Departure day

Today you’ll retrace your journey back to Puerto Maldonado airport. It’s a good idea to book your flight out for the afternoon, so as not to have to get up too early!

Includes breakfast.